Obama could shield 250,000 farm workers from deportation

At least 250,000 farm workers are expected to be protected from deportation and granted work authorization under a series of executive actions on immigration that…
Obama could shield 250,000 farm workers from deportation

A laborer picks strawberries at J.R. Organics Farm in Escondido, California, on Thursday, Jan. 9, 2014. (Sam Hodgson/Bloomberg via Getty Images)

At least 250,000 farm workers are expected to be protected from deportation and granted work authorization under a series of executive actions on immigration that President Barack Obama will announce on Thursday.

White House officials had previously told immigration advocates that farm workers would not qualify for protection under the president’s immigration plan, according to The New York Times. But that seems to no longer be the case.

SEE ALSO: Obama says he’ll unveil his immigration executive actions on Thursday

farm workers

UFW President Arturo Rodriguez (left) joined Rep. Luis Gutierrez on Wednesday to call on Obama to offer deportation relief to farm workers. (Twitter/@ArtieRodriguez)

United Farm Workers President Arturo Rodriguez said in a press release Wednesday that he met with Obama and learned that at least 250,000 farm workers, including 125,000 from California, will be protected from deportation under the president’s planned executive actions.

“The President committed to working with UFW to do everything possible to make sure that every farm worker who qualifies for the program gets enrolled, and we are prepared to work with him and Congress to finish the job by passing legislation that fully addresses this issue once and for all,” Rodriguez said in a statement.

The meeting came after farm, food and commercial workers from across the country gathered in front of the White House on Wednesday to host a mock Thanksgiving feast. They laid out turkeys, bread, and various fruits and vegetables that were harvested and processed by immigrant workers. Some held up signs that read “My work feeds this country.”

Rep. Luis Gutierrez (D-Ill.) joined the group in calling on Obama to include farm workers in his planned immigration executive actions. He said it mades “no sense” for farm workers to be left out.

SEE ALSO: Obama will try to convince Americans to back his immigration plan