"I am hopeful you recognize, as I do, that if we do not act quickly and decisively we will lose the opportunity we now have to fix our immigration system," Leahy added. "Those who have been committed to this effort for decades are counting on us and expect the Senate to act thoughtfully and without further delay."
United Farm Workers joins in
Several groups have taken note of the legislators' call to action on reform. The United Farm Workers Monday announced that more than 100 members of the coalition will head to Washington, D.C., April 7 to lobby in support of the immigration reform talks.
The delegation, comprised of farm workers and their families will represent California, Washington, Oregon, Florida, New Jersey, Arizona, Idaho, North Carolina, Ohio and Minnesota.
The UFW has been working with Sens. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., Michael Bennet, D-Colo., Orrin Hatch, R-Utah, and Marco Rubio to ensure Congress approves the Agricultural Job Opportunities, Benefits and Security Act or includes language that addresses farm workers needs as part of any immigration reform legislation.
UFW says the bill would give professional farm workers presently in the U.S. the right to earn legal status by continuing to work in agriculture.
The Agricultural Workforce Coalition is also behind a push for immigration reform, sending a letter to House and Senate leaders earlier this year calling for a renewed effort to support a strong agricultural workforce.
The letter called for work authorizations for experienced ag workers in the short term, as well as a new visa program for long term employment. It is estimated that more than 11 million undocumented workers are currently living in the U.S.
The Senate will reconvene April 8 at 2 p.m. ET.