SAN FRANCISCO (KCBS) – Undocumented farmworkers could be allowed to live in California legally, under a new “Blue Card” program proposed by the state’s two U.S. Senators.
It’s estimated that there are more than half a million undocumented people working in California’s fields, and hundreds of thousands more around the country.
Sen. Dianne Feinstein said many are long-time, dedicated workers, and she wants to protect them, with this new bill.
“Farmworkers who have worked in agriculture for at least 100 days in the last two years can earn what we call a ‘Blue Card’ that shields them from deportation,” Feinstein told KCBS during a conference call Tuesday.
After three years with a blue card, farmworkers could get a green card, and after five years more, citizenship.
Lourdes Carnes said she has worked on a Fresno County farm for 14 years. Through an interpreter, Carnes said she is still undocumented and living in fear.
“We’re afraid after doing all this work that on the way home to see our children, we are going to be separated from our families,” Carnes said.
Feinstein is introducing the bill with her California colleague Sen. Kamala Harris and four other Democrats.
Supporters need Republicans on board to have any hope of passing this legislation. So far, there’s little GOP appetite for any immigration reform, and no sign President Donald Trump would sign it into law.