California’s Vaccination Plan Needs to Prioritize Farmworkers, Their Families and Agricultural Communities

See the policy brief prepared for  COVID-19 Farmworker and Rural Immigrant Community Advocacy Coalition,  on why farmworkers and their communities should be Read the article in the Desert Sun on our policy brief.


We have to get serious about protecting California farmworkers during COVID-19

See a recent op/ed in Cal Matters on how stricter enforcement of COVID-19 protections will save lives of vulnerable farmworkers. Also, see articles in Salinas Californian, San Luis Obispo Tribune, and Cal Matters.


COVID-19 Farmworker Study

The COVID-19 Farmworker Study (COFS) will provide critical missing information on farmworkers’ abilities to protect themselves and their families during the COVID-19 pandemic. The study brings together a collective of community-based organizations, researchers and advocates to reveal information that can only be gathered directly from farmworkers who have been working during the COVID-19 pandemic.


California farmworker families face unique challenges with the coronavirus and require targeted assistance to keep families and communities safe.

See a short summary of why farmworkers are disproportionately affected by COVID-19 and and how we need to help ensure the safety of farmworker communities and the products that they produce.

What we need to do:

Access to health services

Outreach, advice, and support to farmworker families

Labor and income supports

 Federal proposed public charge regulations will harm millions

The federal government has proposed new “public charge” regulations that would unend 20 years of immigration policy that is having a detrimental impact on the health of immigrant families and our entire community. It has been well established federal policy that the use of essential health and social services would not risk having someone applying for a “green card” or resident visa be denied admission as a “public charge.”
New regulations were proposed in the Federal Register on October 10, 2018 that would add the receipt of Medicaid (Medi-Cal), Prescription drug support (Medicare Part D), housing vouchers (Section 8) and nutrition (Cal Fresh) to the list of programs that could result in someone being labeled a public charge.
Moreover, the regulations propose a balancing test that favors richer, better educated  and healthier immigrants over seniors, children, lower-income, lesser educated family members.
The Administration leaked several drafts of these regulations earlier in the year that even included the receipt of public benefits by citizen family members as counting against a applicant for adjustment of status. These leaked drafts have sent fear and confusion throughout immigrant families, since most families have “mixed” immigration status —  half the children in California have at least one immigrant parent.

We have heard reports from health, education and nutrition programs that immigrants families (including eligible citizens) are shunning necessary food and health services and dropping from programs.

These are only proposed regulations that are not yet in effect. And the proposal is “prospective” so the use of the specified programs will only affect an immigration application after they go into effect.

What can you do? You have until December 10, 2018 to submit comments on the proposed regulations. You can do so directly to the federal immigration agency (USCIS) or through the Protecting Immigrant Families website.
You can also:
a.     Encourage others to submit comments
b.     Issue a public statement on the proposed rule and impacts on children and families
c.     Sponsor public presentations for families, family workers and policy makers.
d.     For individual cases, consult immigration attorney or specialist
Catholic Charities
Attached is a handout on public charge  and PowerPoint slides that we have put together on these proposed regulations. Please feel free to contact us for more information.