The COVID-19 pandemic has demonstrated how much we rely on essential workers in the agriculture industry. Thanks to the hard work of farmworkers, there has been food on our grocery store shelves and in our pantries. Many of these farmworkers are undocumented immigrants who have helped keep our country moving during the incredible challenges of the pandemic, all while living with no job security and under the constant threat of deportation. As we emerge from the pandemic, it is critical that we recognize their contributions and importance to our economy by passing the Farm Workforce Modernization Act. 

Farmers and ranchers across the U.S. are in desperate need of a reliable workforce to protect the future of our farms and food supply. Utah is no exception. According to a Pew Research Center study, 1 of every 3 farmworkers in Utah is an undocumented immigrant. The act would open an earned pathway to citizenship for these undocumented Utahns. 

Not only would this benefit the farmworkers who have kept food on our tables, but it would help stabilize the workforce and benefit the entire economy. In fact, a recent Congressional Budget Office estimate found that the act would increase employment opportunities and economy production for all workers. 

Supporting farmworkers and stabilizing the agriculture industry is absolutely critical as we work to overcome the effects of the pandemic. I strongly urge Sen. Mitt Romney to ensure the stability and future of our nation’s farmers by supporting the Farm Workforce Modernization Act. 

Zeke Lee

Salt Lake City