The United Farm Workers Get in a Time Machine and Cancel Themselves

Back to the Future IV?

By George Fishman on April 18, 2022


Stephanie Bower, testifying for the United Farm Workers (UFW) before the Senate Judiciary Committee’s Subcommittee on Immigration and Refugee Policy (September 30, 1981):

  • “We ... concur with the AFL-CIO’s position that imposing sanctions on employers who hire illegal aliens would be a good vehicle for controlling the hiring of illegal aliens if the proposed legislation could be effectively enforced. The proposed fine should be raised to $1,500 per worker per day because the $500 might not be enough of a deterrent. ... [T]he times when laws have been enforced, when it comes to employers hiring illegal aliens, the enforcement has been a ruse. We strongly urge that a large budget for staff and operations be allocated toward the enforcement of this proposed legislation.”
  • “There has always been an oversupply of labor for the fields. ... Most farm employers see an endless supply of slave labor and this attitude must be stopped.”
  • “[T]he American farmworkers really do see dignity in the job that they do. ... We have found that there are American workers that do want to do this work.”

Bower, responding to questions from Senator Alan Simpson:

  • “The employment, the practice of bringing illegal aliens into the country has a very detrimental effect on the farm workers. The illegal aliens have been used to break strikes and for all kinds of reasons.”
  • “We know that the American Chicano population and Black population in the Southwest and in Florida are upset because the jobs they would like to have are going to illegal aliens.”


UFW President Teresa Romero:

  • “Undocumented immigrants make up half of our current professional farm workforce. They deserve immigration action now.” (September 7, 2021)
  • “Undocumented farm workers have continued to work through escalating risks to feed this country and Congress and the administration must work just as hard to ensure that they deliver tangible relief. ... [W]e must win on immigration, this year. Sí se puede!” (October 28, 2021)

UFW Foundation Executive Director Diana Tellefson Torres:

  • “We are adamant that this is the year Congress will deliver legalization.” (September 29, 2021)