California Lawmakers Propose Work Permit Program for Farm Laborers, Service Workers Without Legal U.S. Residency

A bipartisan group of state lawmakers has introduced legislation that it hopes will lead to the creation of a California work permit program for farmworkers and service industry employees without legal residency in the United Sates.

At a press conference in Sacramento on Wednesday, state Assemblyman Eduardo Garcia (D-Coachella) said labor shortages have caused farmers across the state “to leave their crops on vines, trees and in the fields.”

Efforts to increase housing and pay for farmworkers haven’t been enough to attract more workers, he said, while a federal ramp-up in immigration enforcement is further hurting vital industries.

“We see this labor shortage as a serious economic issue,” he said.

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