Gov. Newsom signs bill to help undocumented Agriculture workers with negotiating residency

By Nataly Gutierrez for KION 46


SALINAS, Calif. (KION-TV): Undocumented farm workers on the Central Coast aspire to have the same opportunities as people born in the United States.

Governor Gavin Newsom signed Senate Bill 831 and it would authorize the State to work with the Federal Government to establish a program to allow undocumented agricultural workers in California to work legally.

Like Yadira Mentiola, who has been working in the fields for years.

"Now that they want to have this law statewide, now I think they're paying attention us," said Mentiola. "I think this is something very good."

In a statement, California State Senator Anna Caballero, said, "Undocumented workers are a primary workforce in rural communities and agriculture and they generate billions of dollars for our economy."

Something that Mentiola couldn't agree more with.

"I'm a true believer that everyone who works in the agriculture sector does it with a lot of love and passion," said Mentiola. "We do because we want to."

Sen. Caballero said undocumented workers were designated as essential workers during the pandemic, and had the most COVID-19 infections of any occupation.

According to the Center for Migration Studies, about 50 percent of undocumented Ag Workers work in California.


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