Tarjeta Azul: Iniciativa para Proteger Trabajadores Agricolas Indocumentados

Tarjeta Azul: Iniciativa para Proteger Trabajadores Agricolas Indocumentados

Tarjeta Azul: Iniciativa para Proteger Trabajadores Agrícolas Indocumentados Otorgaría Posible Residencia Permanente y Protección Contra Deportación

Tarjeta Azul: iniciativa para proteger trabajadores agrícolas indocumentados ha sido presentada el 3 de mayo del 2017 en el Senado de los Estados Unidos por un grupo de senadores encabezados por la senadora californiana Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) y que incluye a Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), Michael Bennet (D-Colo.), Mazie Hirono (D-Hawaii) y Kamala Harris (D-Calif.).

El programa, conocido como Agricultural Worker Program Act of 2017, apenas inicia el proceso legislativo y debe ser aprobado por el Senado y la Cámara de Representantes, para después ser enviado al Presidente Donald Trump.

En el comunicado de prensa informando sobre la nueva iniciativa de ley, la oficina de la senadora Feinstein destaca lo siguiente:

  • La industria agrícola californiana tiene un valor anual de $56 mil millones de dólares.
  • De acuerdo a estudios de instituciones como la Universidad de California en Davis, el 76 por ciento de los trabajadores agrícolas en el estados, unos 560,000, son indocumentados.
  • Empresas agrícolas del estado enfatizan de manera constante la escasez de mano de obra, la cual puede agravarse bajo las actuales condiciones.
  • Al crear el programa de “Tarjeta Azul” se resuelven dos problemas: las empresas agrícolas tienen acceso a la mano de obra que se requiere y los trabajadores dejan de vivir atemorizados.

La “Tarjeta Azul” ofrecería varios beneficios, destacando lo siguiente:

  • Protección contra deportación
  • Permiso de trabajo
  • Posibilidad de obtener la residencia permanente después de 3 o 5 años (dependiendo del número de días que se trabaja en el campo cada año).
  • Posibilidad de tramitar tarjetas azules para familiares (esposa/o e hijos)
  • Posibilidad de que trabajadores agrícolas que han sido deportados y cumplen con los demás requisitos pueden calificar

El requisito fundamental para calificar para la Tarjeta Azul es haber trabajado por lo menos 100 días en la industria agrícola en cada uno de los últimos dos años.

Por ser iniciativa nueva que se presenta en un ambiente político altamente polarizado, es difícil pronosticar lo que ocurrirá con esta propuesta. Es posible que se pueda generar suficiente apoyo de los dos partidos políticos nacionales para se apruebe en ambas cámaras del congreso federal. Por otra parte, también puede ocurrir que no se encuentre el apoyo legislativo requerido y nunca sea aprobada.

La iniciativa de ley se puede encontrar aqui: https://www.feinstein.senate.gov/public/_cache/files/a/a/aadb14f1-bc2a-459a-9695-f9f6ea0bcf60/71DC9ADF97CD1394AD3BE1288A64CAF1.blue-card-bill.pdf

A continuación, el comunicado de prensa de la Senadora Dianne Feinstein sobre las Tarjetas Azules / Press Release from Senator Diane Feinstain on Blue Card program for undocumented farmworkers (Agricultural Worker Program Act of 2017):

 

Feinstein, Colleagues Introduce Legislation to Shield Farmworkers from Deportation

May 03 2017

Washington—Senators Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.), Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), Michael Bennet (D-Colo.), Mazie Hirono (D-Hawaii) and Kamala Harris (D-Calif.) today introduced legislation to shield farmworkers from deportation and put them on a path to earned legal status and eventual citizenship.

Under the Agricultural Worker Program Act, farmworkers who have worked in agriculture for at least 100 days in each of the past two years may earn lawful “blue card” status. Farmworkers who maintain blue card status for the next three or five years, depending on the total hours worked in agriculture, would be eligible to adjust to a green card or legal permanent residency.

Agriculture is a $54 billion industry in California, and U.C. Davis estimates that up to 70 percent of California farmworkers—approximately 560,000 people—are undocumented. Under the Justice Department’s new immigration enforcement guidelines, they are all priorities for deportation.

“Everywhere I travel in California, I hear from farmers, growers and producers from all industries—wine, citrus, fruit and tree nuts, dairy—that there aren’t enough workers,” said Feinstein. “Farm labor is performed almost exclusively by undocumented immigrants—a fact that should surprise no one. By protecting farmworkers from deportation, our bill achieves two goals—ensuring that hardworking immigrants don’t live in fear and California’s agriculture industry has the workforce it needs to thrive. Despite their significant contributions to California’s economy and communities, farmworkers are now a priority for deportation under this administration’s shameful policies. We simply must protect the families who help put food on our tables.”

“Across our country, including the many dairy farms of Vermont, foreign workers support agriculture and help put food on our tables,” said Leahy. “It is past time we show our support for them and our understanding of the challenges that farmers and workers face in doing the hard work of dairy farming. Our bill would allow these workers to come out of the shadows and contribute to their farms and communities without fear of arrest, and I am proud to support it.”

“California has the largest agricultural economy in the country, and our famers rely on the labor of undocumented immigrant workers,” said Harris. These workers contribute to our economy and pay taxes, while performing backbreaking labor in a sector where there are often labor shortages. It’s past time and smart for our economy that we provide them a pathway to citizenship, decent working conditions, and the opportunity to come out of the shadows and more fully contribute to our state and national economy.”

“Colorado’s agriculture economy relies on an experienced workforce,” Bennet said. “The failure to fix our broken immigration system has had real economic consequences for our farmers and ranchers. This bill serves as a necessary step until we can enact a long-term solution by passing comprehensive immigration reform.”

“The United Farm Workers strongly supports and cheers Senator Feinstein’s introduction of the Agricultural Worker Program Act of 2017 because the act recognizes that the people who feed our nation should be able to earn the opportunity to gain legal status,” said Arturo Rodriguez, president of United Farmworkers. “Overwhelmingly, farm workers do the hard, brutal work of feeding all of us—it is long past time that the law should allow professional farm workers the chance to earn legal status.”

The following organizations support the Agricultural Worker Program Act:

Alianza Americas
America’s Voice
American GI Forum
Asian Americans Advancing Justice (AAJC)
Association of Farmworker Opportunity Programs
Casa de Esperanza: National Latin@ Network.
CATA
Center for American Progress (CAP)
Church World Service
Congressional Hispanic Caucus Institute (CHCI)
East Coast Migrant Head Start Project
Farm Labor Organizing Committee, AFL-CIO
Farm Worker Association of Florida
Farmworker Justice
GreenLatinos
Hispanic Association of Colleges and Universities (HACU)
Hispanic Federation
Institute for Agriculture and Trade Policy
La Union del Pueblo Entero (LUPE)
Labor Council for Latin American Advancement (LCLAA)
LatinoJustice PRLDEF
League of United Latin American Citizens
MAFO, Inc.
Mexican American Legal Defense & Educational Fund (MALDEF)
National Association of Hispanic Federal Executives
National Association of Hispanic Publications (NAHP)
National Association of Latino Arts and Cultures
National Council of La Raza (NCLR)
National Latina/o Psychological Association
National Hispanic Medical Association
National Immigration Law Center
National Latina Institute for Reproductive Health (NLIRH)
National Migrant & Seasonal Head Start Association
PICO National Network
Pineros y Campesinos Unidos del Noroeste (PCUN)
Presente.org
SER-Jobs for Progress National Inc.
Southern Poverty Law Center
U.S.- Mexico Foundation
United Farm Workers
United Migrant Opportunity Services/UMOS Inc.
United States Hispanic Leadership Institute (USHLI)
United We Dream
We Are Casa
William C. Velasquez Institute (WCVI)
Worker Justice Center of NY
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https://www.feinstein.senate.gov/public/index.cfm/press-releases?id=A7920354-F4C1-48CB-95CF-9F25298EEDFB