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 presidents immigration plan, according to The New York Times. But that seems to no longer be the case.
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 presidents 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.