Farmworkers protest immigration bill at Congressman Kevin McCarthy's office

BAKERSFIELD, Calif. - Farm workers and immigration reform advocates rallied in front of Congressman Kevin McCarthy's Bakersfield office today, in hopes of persuading him to oppose a new agricultural guest-worker proposal.

Protestors were opposing the agricultural Guestworker Act being pushed through the GOP controlled house.

The Agricultural Guest-Worker Act addresses the seasonal strain on ag employers and laborers.

It would allow an initial stay of 36 months for guest-workers, followed by three months of leave. After the initial stay, farmworkers would be required to leave the country once every 18 months.

Republicans said the house bill ensures that immigration laws are enforced, something the Senate version is lacking.

The Senate version has bi-partisan support and is called a more comprehensive approach for 11 million immigrants here legally.

However, the United Farm Workers Union is against the bill because they said it transforms the labor force into a system of temporary workers and limits the tax credits and welfare programs that workers can collect.

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