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Federal legislation provides path to legal status for farmworkers

A new bill introduced by a member of Idaho’s congressional delegation could provide undocumented agricultural workers with a path to legal status — and open up new workforce options for desperate Idaho dairy farmers.

Rep. Mike Simpson, R-Idaho, and five other House members introduced the Farm Workforce Modernization ActH.R. 4916, on Wednesday. The bill — cosponsored by 20 Republicans and 24 Democrats — also proposes mandatory use of the federal government’s E-Verify system by all agricultural employers to confirm workers’ legal eligibility. Rep. Greg Walden, R-Oregon, is a co-sponsor.

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