California considering work permits for undocumented farmworkers

As immigration reform on the national level continues, California lawmakers are beginning to take certain matters into their own hands, according to The Los Angeles Times. The state is considering a law that would allow undocumented farmworkers to obtain work permits. This is the second time such a measure has been under consideration in California. The first pass at such legislation three years ago was opposed by labor unions and immigrant rights groups that preferred national action.

However, as national action on immigration reform lags, California lawmakers believe they must do something. Assemblyman Luis Alejo introduced the bill, and said it is agricultural workers and their families who continue to suffer as the immigration debate wears on. The program would grant work permits to people already working in the country for a small administrative fee, and would exclude those who have felony or three misdemeanor convictions. It would also only apply to those who are over 18 and who have done a minimum amount of agricultural work. This would keep the workers, their spouses and their children who are under 18 or who attend an accredited college from being deported.