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Michigan migrant workers lobbying for changes to federal agricultural worker visa program

Steve Carmody
Michigan Radio

There’s legislation in Congress to streamline the federal agricultural worker visa program and create a path to legal immigration status and eventually citizenship for undocumented farm workers.

Cristo Jesus Romero is a migrant worker currently living in Kent County. He says the bill would help undocumented farm workers, like his mother.

“She hasn’t seen her brother for, I believe, a decade or two because he’s in Mexico,” said Romero. “To reunite us with our families, (Farm Workforce Modernization Act) would protect our loved ones from the threat of being separated.”

Earlier this month, Romero joined other migrant farm workers in Washington D.C. to lobby for the Farm Workforce Modernization Act. He hopes to return next month.

The bill has already passed the House, but it faces an unclear future in the U.S. Senate.

Steve Carmody has been a reporter for Michigan Public since 2005. Steve previously worked at public radio and television stations in Florida, Oklahoma and Kentucky, and also has extensive experience in commercial broadcasting.