Women delegation visits Kevin McCarthy's office in Bakersfield, urging vote on immigration reform

BAKERSFIELD, Calif. - With immigrant women representing about half of the agricultural workforce, an all-female delegation, led by United Farm Workers National Vice President Erika Oropeza, is meeting today at Congressman Kevin McCarthy's Bakersfield office, asking for a vote on immigration reform legislation that would allow new immigrants to adjust their legal status and eventually apply for citizenship.

"Families continue to be torn apart, with children and women suffering the most. Just in agriculture, which is the No. 1 industry in the Central Valley, women represent 40 to 60 percent of the labor force," Oropeza said.

"There is a comprehensive immigration bill currently stagnant in the House, and as House Majority Whip, Congressman McCarthy has the power to push his party's leadership to schedule a vote. We'll keep coming until we get his support," she added.

The Bakersfield’s demonstration is in solidarity with 100 other women who risked arrest in an immigration reform civil disobedience action held in Washington D.C. earlier today. The D.C.'s women delegation, included congresswomen Zoe Lofgren (D-San Jose), Judy Chu (D-Pasadena), and Michele Lujan Grisham (D-NM). The event was organized by “We Belong Together,” an initiative of the National Domestic Workers Alliance and the National Asian Pacific American Women’s Forum, with the participation of women’s organizations, immigrant rights groups, children, and families across the country. The Bakersfield event was sponsored by the Kern Coalition for Citizenship.

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