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Opinion: How a bipartisan bill in Congress could save farms like mine

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As a child, I picked melons in California’s San Joaquin Valley alongside my dad. Now, decades later, I own a 2,000-acre farm, employ a full-time staff of 25 and hire up to 300 more people at peak harvest. Most of them are immigrants. As both a laborer and an owner, I understand how important immigrant labor is to American agriculture — and the critical problem we’ve reached with worker shortages. Without providing farmers a consistent, legal workforce, our entire agricultural economy is at risk.

That’s why I applaud the House of Representatives for passing the bipartisan Farm Workforce Modernization Act this month. This timely legislation, supported by a majority of Democrats and 34 Republicans, would give legal status and a pathway to citizenship for more than 325,000 undocumented farmworkers. It’s not the definitive solution to our labor problems, but it’s an important start. Now we need the Senate to join the effort and stand up for pragmatic........

© Los Angeles Times