MOORPARK, CA — Today, U.S. Senator Alex Padilla (D-Calif.), chair of the Senate Judiciary Subcommittee on Immigration, Citizenship, and Border Safety, joined farm workers at Muranaka Farm in Moorpark, California to experience a day in the life of a farm worker. Padilla worked alongside farm workers picking parsley and radishes as part of the national “Take Our Jobs” campaign led by the United Farm Workers (UFW) and UFW Foundation to press for action on immigration reform and a pathway to citizenship for immigrant farm workers. Senator Padilla is the first U.S. Senator to work alongside farm workers in the fields.
Senator Padilla began his workday at 6:00 am alongside farm workers and held a town hall discussion with roughly 100 farm workers at the conclusion of the workday where they shared their personal stories and reiterated the urgency behind the need for immigration reform.
“Today I experienced just a small taste of the demanding work that farm workers do every day to keep millions of families in America fed,” said Senator Padilla. “I was here for just one day, but the people I worked alongside are here every day toiling, often under the hot sun, to make sure there’s food in our stores and on our tables. Farm workers are essential to the success of our country. That’s why I’m fighting to fix our immigration system and to provide immigrant farm workers the pathway to citizenship they have earned.”
“I am glad Senator Padilla took the opportunity to come and work alongside incredibly skilled farm workers like those he met today,” said UFW President Teresa Romero. “Farm workers have done the skilled and often grueling work to keep our food supply stable crisis after crisis. The Senate needs to work just as hard for them. I hope more members of Congress accept our invitation to join us in the fields and see for themselves just how much skill this difficult work requires.”
“We applaud Senator Padilla for going as far as walking in the shoes of farm workers for a day,” added UFW Foundation Executive Director Diana Tellefson Torres. “We hope this day will shine a light on how hard farm workers toil day in and day out to feed all of us and how deserving they are of permanent immigration status. Congress needs to find a solution to protect farm workers from deportation this year.”
Padilla is a longtime champion for farm workers in California and across the country. Padilla’s first bill as a U.S. Senator was the Citizenship for Essential Workers Act, which would create an expedited pathway to citizenship for the over 5 million essential workers, including farm workers, without permanent legal status who have kept Americans healthy, fed, and safe during the COVID-19 pandemic. Padilla also supports the Farm Workforce Modernization Act, which passed the U.S. House of Representatives with strong bipartisan support and would lay the foundation for a pathway to citizenship for millions of undocumented immigrants who call America home.