- About Hunger
- How to End Hunger
- Our Impact
- Get Involved
By Andrew Wainer
Almost three-fourths of all U.S. hired farm workers are immigrants, most of them unauthorized. The U.S. food system—particularly fruit and vegetable production—depends on immigrants more than any other sector of the U.S. economy.
Immigrant farm workers fill low-wage jobs that citizens are reluctant to take. Attempts to recruit citizens for farm worker jobs have failed; without immigrant farm workers, our country’s production of fruits and vegetables could decrease. The Bread for the World Institute will address the complicated issue of immigrant farm workers and the U.S. food system in our 2012 Hunger Report, Rebalancing Act: Updating U.S. Food and Farm Policy.
In spite of their key role in feeding the American population, unauthorized immigrant farm workers labor under increasingly hostile conditions. In addition to stepped-up pressure from immigration enforcement, immigrant farm workers’ unauthorized legal status, low wages, and inconsistent work schedule contribute to a precarious economic state. Due to their immigration status and socioeconomic challenges, America’s food producers sometimes struggle with food insecurity.
The Agricultural Job Opportunity, Benefits and Security bill (AgJOBS) was developed in 2000 by farmers and farm worker advocates to regularize the status of workers in the agriculture sector. Public concern about unauthorized immigration has held up prospects of enacting the bill into law.
Immigrant farm workers should have a legal means of being in the United States. The approximately 1.1 million unauthorized immigrant farm laborers in the United States do work that citizens will not perform and that farmers need.
The current system separates immigrant families and leaves farmers with an unstable workforce. In addition to fair enforcement of immigration laws, the United States needs a way to legalize farm workers and reform our agricultural guest worker programs to support both immigrant families and farmers.
Andrew Wainer is a former immigration policy analyst with Bread for the World Institute.
By Jordan Teague, senior international policy advisor
In just five years, Kenya reduced its...
Progress has been made against global malnutrition, but many obstacles remain. This paper presents a clear way forward.
“As you therefore have received Christ Jesus the Lord, continue to live your lives in him, rooted and built up in him and established in faith.” These words from Colossians 2:6 remind us of the faith that is active in love for our neighbors.
The Bible on...
Dear Members of Congress,
As the president and Congress are preparing their plans for this year, almost 100 church leaders—from all the families of U.S. Christianity—are...
The Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) is designed to respond to changes in need, making it well suited to respond to crises such as the COVID-19 pandemic.
Bread for the World and its partners are asking Congress to provide $200 million for global nutrition in the fiscal year 2020 budget.
In 2017, 11.8 percent of households in the U.S.—40 million people—were food-insecure, meaning that they were unsure at some point during the year about how they would provide for their next meal.