Nov 08, 2022  |  VIEW IN BROWSER


From the Desk of the Executive Director

By Daniel Sheehan
October 28, 2022

Hello, and welcome to the inside of Daniel’s Mind.  ’Tis a scary place befitting the season of spider webs, jack-o'-lanterns, and things that go bump in the night.  (Cue the creaking opening door.)
My first thoughts are of gratitude for the tremendous support the Association of Farmworker Opportunity Program (AFOP) membership provided the association and its 2022 national conference in Litchfield Park, Arizona.  We had a wonderful turnout for our first in-person national conference since the start of the coronavirus pandemic, and I think it no overstatement to say that folks really enjoyed seeing each other, collaborating, and learning from association colleagues.  We had spectacular presentations from Dr. John Arnold, PPEP founder and chief executive officer, who gave a packed room a compelling history of serving farmworkers.  We heard from United States Department of Labor Employment and Training Administration officials who provided important and timely National Farmworker Jobs Program (NFJP) updates and in-depth explanations.  We also received current NFJP performance information from Social Policy Research Associates’ Dr. Andrew Wiegand and saw over 110 NFJP grantee staff members attend intensive AFOP Training Institute instruction from the ever impressive and knowledgeable workforce development expert Jodie Sue Kelly.  Everyone seemed to enjoy themselves and to learn something new.  I can’t thank members enough for making the effort to attend and supporting AFOP through staff registrations and sponsorships.  We hope you will do the same for AFOP’s upcoming leadership conference set from January 31-February 1 in Old Town Alexandria, just across the river from downtown Washington, D.C., and its 2023 national conference planned for September 26-28 in San Diego, California.  Simply put, you won’t want to miss these events.
If the leaves are beginning to fall in Washington, D.C., and they are, I must be thinking it’s time for Congress to move a continuing resolution (CR) to extend current funding beyond the fiscal year-end to prevent a federal government shutdown.  True to form, lawmakers approved just shy of September 30 a CR to keep operations running until December 16.  In passing it, supporters said that the CR would give House and Senate appropriators enough time to hammer out, in bipartisan fashion, a final spending deal.  With polling showing, however, Republicans likely to take back control of the House of Representatives – and perhaps the Senate, too – in the next Congress, their negotiators will not engage in serious talks until they know the results of the November 8 federal elections.  Until then, I do not see any legislative progress.  Indeed, I won’t be surprised if Congress needs another short-term CR, perhaps until December 23, to get its work done.

If it gets it done.  You see, the upcoming election picture is – I’ll use a Washington term here – “scrambled,” with no one really certain how it will turn out.  While polling increasingly shows a Republican resurgence in the closing weeks of the election, after a fairly favorable summer for Democrats, experts point to data shortcomings as a good reason to be cautious about prognosticating with any sort of confidence.  That said, and risking a “Dewey Beats Truman” moment here, I will guess that the Republicans win back House control, but that the Senate, with a continuing 50-50 divide, will remain in Democratic hands.  Or, this could be a red-wave washout that sees senior Democratic lawmakers swept out of office.  Like I said, no one knows.
Whatever the result, the Biden Administration will face a far more difficult path ahead in its efforts to pass its legislative agenda and pursue its regulatory goals.  You can also expect to see a large spike in oversight hearings by Congress with the goal of holding the Executive Branch accountable.  You will also regrettably see a dangerous exploitation of the upcoming need to raise the national debt limit, or suspend its application, to exact radical cuts in non-defense spending that, sadly, may very well include NFJP.  (For those who don’t follow this matter, the nation has a statutory debt ceiling that cannot be broached without an act of Congress.  Under the ceiling are all the obligations the United States has already made.  Without an increase, the United States would fail to make good on those promises to pay, wreaking unprecedented, terrible havoc in the world’s financial markets, hitting all, including you and me.  It’s something that should always pass with bipartisan support – making good on what we owe – but seldom does.)
Thankfully, the House-passed Democrats-only fiscal year 2023 Labor-Health and Human Services-Education appropriations bill would increase NFJP funding by 10 percent to $105 million.  It would also retain the change in the low-income measure to 150 percent of poverty and provide $4.3 million in additional funds for migrant and seasonal farmworker youth activities.  The Senate’s draft version of the bill would fund NFJP at $96.7 million, also preserve the low-income measure, and direct an extra $1.3 million for MSFW youth.  For this reason, among others, AFOP recently endorsed a letter sent by the national anti-poverty community to every member of Congress urging him or her to fight for a final spending deal that matches funding levels approved by the House.  It remains to be seen how upcoming negotiations with congressional Republicans will affect these levels, but, as always, I think it would be a good idea if they agreed with me.  That’s just me, though. 
In closing, I sincerely thank all the AFOP members that also signed onto this letter and encourage you, the reader, to contact your own congressional delegation – while on your own time – to do the same.  It’s your constitutional right.  Use it.  The number is (202) 224-3121.  Call and ask for your two senators’ offices and your member of the House.  You will be glad you did. 
Take a moment to look back on all the best moments of AFOP National Conference 2022!


USDA Announces Winners of the Farm and Food Workers Relief (FFWR) Grant Program

October 25, 2022

The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) has awarded fifteen non-profits over $600 million to assist frontline food workers nationwide.  Grant recipients will provide one-time direct relief payments of $600 to eligible farm, meatpacking, and grocery workers for expenses incurred due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Several NFJP grantees are among the 15 fortunate grant recipients, including NFJP housing grantee Community Resources and Housing Development Corporation ($6.6M), La Cooperativa Campesina de California ($36M), and UMOS ($57M) (see next story).  Additionally, several farmworker service organizations garnered large awards, including the National Center for Farmworker Health ($36M), the National Migrant and Seasonal Head Start Association ($57M), and the UFW Foundation ($97M).
See the full list of FFWR awardees and their service areas here.
Click here for more information about the grant program.

AFOP Member UMOS to Assist Over 75,000 Farmworkers and Meatpackers in 13 States

October 13, 2022

United Migrant Opportunity Services (UMOS), headquartered in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, will receive $56,886,475 to implement USDA’s Farm and Food Workers Relief Program in thirteen states.
“We applaud USDA for appropriating direct relief payments for eligible farmworkers, meatpackers, and grocery workers to help defray costs associated with previous or on-going purchases of personal protective equipment and other expenses incurred during the Covid-19 pandemic such as testing, quarantining, vaccinations, childcare costs and other reasonable and necessary personal, family and or living expenses,” says Lupe Martinez, UMOS president and chief executive officer.
UMOS plans to partner with non-profit organizations in nine of the thirteen states. UMOS and its partners will outreach to agriculture and meatpacking workers and their employers, accept and process applications, collect verification, determine eligibility, and issue payments while maintaining strong financial controls which ensure funds get into the hands of eligible beneficiaries.  A one-time direct payment of $600 will be made to over 75,000 eligible applicants over a two-year period.
UMOS will partner with the following agencies:
Florida---------Coalition of Florida Farmworker Organizations (COFFO)
Arkansas-------Arkansas Human Development Corporation (AHDC)
Colorado-------Rocky Mountain SER
Kansas--------- Harvest America, SER
Illinois--------- Illinois Migrant Council
Missouri--------Legal Aid of Western Missouri
UMOS will deliver services directly in Oklahoma, Minnesota, Texas, and Wisconsin.  “We are especially happy to see farmworkers recognized for their contributions to the nation’s workforce and the food supply chain. Oftentimes they are overlooked in federal agricultural relief efforts,” Martinez concluded.
Read the full press release here.

West Coast NFJP Grantees Gather at WAFA Conference, Hermelinda Sapien Receives Award

October 19, 2022

From October 16-18, 2022, many west coast grantees gathered at the 28th annual Western Alliance of Farmworker Advocates (WAFA) conference held in Sacramento, CA, where the theme was, “Together Again and Making a Difference.”  Many opportunities for staff training were offered, including workforce development training by Jodie Sue Kelly, as well as presentations from UC Davis and University of Arizona representatives regarding COVID-19 and the future of farm work.
The most poignant part of the conference, however, was AFOP’s presentation of the President’s Award to Hermelinda Sapien, chief executive officer of the Center of Employment Training (CET), for her many years of dedicated service to farmworkers.
Ms. Sapien was moved by the award, saying, “There are many people who I’ve worked with, who should get this.  So I honor them and I appreciate all the support I’ve had from them.”  Congratulations and thank you for your tireless commitment to farmworkers, Hermelinda!

OHDC Recognizes Hispanic Heritage Month by Honoring Farmworker Clients

November 3, 2022

From September 15th to October 15th, AFOP member Oregon Human Development Corporation (OHDC) celebrated Hispanic Heritage Month by highlighting on social media farmworker clients who are contributing to their communities in unique ways.  A picture, brief story, and quote was shared about each individual:
  • Maria grew up working long hours in the fields, but thanks to OHDC, is now in a year-long medical assistant program and bringing health care to her community.  She says, “Hispanic Heritage Month, to me, means acknowledging the sacrifices that our parents made to bring us to America in search of a better future.” 

  • Estanislao works in the strawberry and potato fields and says that, for him, Hispanic Heritage Month is about independence and pride, including pride in his work.  “What I enjoy about my job is that I make honest money, and the people I work with in general.  I love the environment that I am surrounded by.”

  • Ricardo from Michoacán used to work at a nursery and vineyard, powering two key components of Oregon’s agricultural industry before participating in Oregon Human Development Corporation’s job training program.  He found a job and later started his own businesses:  a restaurant and karaoke bar and event center in Hillsboro.  For him, Hispanic Heritage Month is, “a month I can show the community my heritage and look back and be proud of how much I have accomplished with perseverance and help from my community.”

  • Ernesto, originally from Jalisco, Mexico, spent 10 years harvesting hay, corn, and potatoes, and working as a mechanic when needed, in jobs with low pay and few opportunities. OHDC helped him earn his commercial driver’s license (CDL).  “I have a better quality of life now, and I am going to be able to offer my family a quality of life,” Ernesto said.
Hispanic Heritage Month is celebrated in the U.S. each year to honor the histories, cultures and contributions of American citizens whose ancestors came from Spain, Mexico, the Caribbean, and Central and South America.
Photos by Eddie Reveles, Proteus, Inc.  Art by Tulare County League of Mexican American Women

Proteus, Inc., Sponsors Día de Los Muertos in Visalia

November 2, 2022

Proteus, Inc., recently sponsored Día de Los Muertos in Visalia, CA, a Mesoamerican ritual that commemorates loved ones who have died.  The Day of the Dead celebration was hosted by the Tulare County League of Mexican American Women on Saturday, October 29th.  This Celebration is one of the longest running celebrations for Dia de los Muertos in the San Joaquin Valley, having begun in 2010.  It was held at the Visalia Cemetery in Tulare County.  Proteus, Inc., was a proud sponsor, and several Proteus staff members volunteered at the event.
See more information about the event here
See more photos here.
CHD Supporter Candido Morales and CHD Founders George Ortiz, Louis Flores, Aurelio Hurtado (Not Pictured Jerry Cox)

Planting Seeds:  In Memory of Louis Fernando Flores (February 2, 1931 – September 13, 2022)

By Thomas Stuebner, CEO
California Human Development

In 1967, in response to a call for action from President Lyndon B. Johnson’s War on Poverty, George Ortiz, Father Gerald Cox of Sonoma County, and Louis Flores of Napa County formed California Human Development.  Joined soon thereafter by Louis Flores’ friend, Aurelio Hurtado, these four compadres set about planting seeds for a very unique revolution in the lives and visibility of members of the Latino community in California and the nation.
A few months ago, I had the pleasure of spending several hours with Louis Flores. He regaled me with his stories about the early days of CHD.  He, George Ortiz, Father Gerald Cox, Aurelio Hurtado, and others were trailblazers in the labor rights and civil rights movement.  Everything that we were, that we are, and that we hope to be is because of their compassion, passion, intellect, and tireless efforts in making lives better for migrant and seasonal farmworkers.
While there are many accolades that are appropriate to ascribe to Louis Flores, what best comes to mind is that he set about planting seeds of a future of promise for tremendously hardworking and honorable farmworkers, who are the people that feed America. 
Louis Fernando Flores--his was a life very well lived.  Gracias, Señor Flores.

Member Spotlight:  Korene Gonzalez, Employment & Training Director

Community Council of Idaho
By Korene Gonzalez
August 18, 2022

When I first started working for the Idaho Migrant Council (now Community Council of Idaho), I was excited about the opportunity to help others. I was very familiar with the work of “the Council,” observing my parents, who were employees of IMC at one point in my life.  I remember my dad telling me, “The Council helps many people in the community and makes you feel as if you are part of their family.  Never forget you are there to help others and make a difference in their lives, which in turn will make a difference in your life.”
I did not then know that I was starting on a journey that would not only change my life but also make me an instrument in positively impacting so many other lives.  I did not, on that day, realize that I would one day be responsible for leading such an amazing team - a team that is acutely aware of the importance of the services we deliver to our clients, services that are often life-changing.
CC Idaho is the second-oldest service agency in our state.  I am proud of the fact that we provide desperately needed services within the community while also giving individual farmworkers and their families pathways off the fields into other careers.  We are all about helping!
From the first GED program that we offered at Treasure Valley Community College (1973), we continue to focus our efforts on helping our families improve their lives.  This is what motivates me to continue to improve and expand what we do at Employment & Training.  We empower individuals to grow.  I love seeing this when I can go out to visit our various program locations.  I come back to the office revitalized by seeing classes being held, clients receiving aid, or the YouthBuild program in action.  I am amazed at how - through services that at times seem bureaucratic - we as a team change people’s lives and positively impact our communities.

I am very thankful for the opportunities CC Idaho gives to our clients and families and for the opportunity it has given me over the past 34 years.
Stuart Mitchell, Executive Director of PathStone Foundation, and other advocates march for farmworkers

PathStone Marches in Support of Farmworkers in Rochester, NY

September 9, 2022

A small but hearty group of farmworkers and their advocates marched in the 2022 rainy day Rochester Labor Day parade.  PathStone Foundation Executive Director Stuart Mitchell and his wife, Martha, celebrated and thanked those in the labor movement who have stood in solidarity with the struggle to demand that farmworkers receive the same labor law protections enjoyed by all other workers.  Advocates throughout New York State have worked tirelessly for more than 50 years to address this government sanctioned economic and social injustice.
PathStone was joined by a representative of the first farmworker union in New York State representing farmworkers on Long Island.


Several Key Resources Published for NFJP

October 31, 2022

DOL recently published several key pieces of guidance that impact NFJP grants.  In many cases, previous versions of the TEGL or guide should be removed from your internet bookmarks and replaced with the new version.  See below for more information about each and make sure you add them to your NFJP toolkits. 
  • The NFJP Performance Reporting Reference Guide is a reference tool for NFJP grant recipients when reporting qualitative and quantitative performance data on a quarterly basis throughout the life of the grant.  This is its first release.

  • The NFJP Program Guide was recently revised and re-published to reflect changes enacted by TEGL 18-16 Change 1.

  • TEGL No. 23-19, Change 1 is for grant recipients’ use in developing procedures that will ensure performance reporting data is valid and reliable.  It was updated to make certain documentation requirements more realistic and flexible for participants and grantees.

  • TEGL No. 10-16 Change 2 spells out the six WIOA performance indicators as well as key definitions and examples.  (As a “non-core” program, NFJP grantees should use this resource in tandem with TEGL No. 14-18, which aligns and streamlines performance indicators and requirements across WIOA programs.) It was recently updated and aligned with current information collection request standards.

  • TEN No. 08-22 provides a framework and vision for the role of the public workforce system as a strategic partner in creating and supporting pathways to millions of good-paying infrastructure jobs with high labor standards as the historic Bipartisan Infrastructure Law (BIL) investments ramp up.

DOL Celebrates National Apprenticeship Week


DOL, along with partners across the country, will be celebrating the 8th Annual National Apprenticeship Week (NAW): November 14-20, 2022.  NAW is a nationwide celebration in which industry, labor, equity, workforce, education, and government leaders host events to showcase the successes and value of Registered Apprenticeship for re-building our economy, advancing racial and gender equity, and supporting underserved communities.
During National Apprenticeship Week 2022, the U.S. Department of Labor will highlight the following key themes:
  • Monday, Nov. 14: Registered Apprenticeship in New and Emerging Industries
  • Tuesday, Nov. 15: Pre-Apprenticeship and Youth Apprenticeship
  • Wednesday, Nov. 16: Expanding Registered Apprenticeship to Underserved Populations
  • Thursday, Nov. 17: Women in Apprenticeship
  • Friday, Nov. 18: Public Service Apprenticeship and Veterans in Apprenticeship
Learn More

Stopping Guest Worker Abuse

October 28, 2022

Investigators found evidence that VH Harvesting violated its H-2A work order by providing substandard housing, paying wages below those required, and using H-2A workers as interstate truck drivers. VH Harvesting required workers to drive for up to 16 hours, using semi-trucks with mechanical failures, such as a missing motor brake, broken trailer attachment, or an engine with severe oil leaks. While on the road, VH forced workers to sleep in trucks’ cabs and share a bed with another worker.  In its H-2A guest workers’ application, VH Harvesting claimed the workers would be operating harvesting machines in Arizona and Kansas.  The division also found that VH Harvesting threatened to call law enforcement or immigration officials on workers who complained about their working conditions.
Read More


Photo:  J Scott Applewhite

AFOP, Farmworker Service Organizations Join Letter Calling for Robust Funding for Domestic Priorities

November 2, 2022

AFOP and other farmworker service agencies joined more than 411 local, state, and national groups in a letter delivered November 2 to every House and Senate office calling on Congress to agree to House-proposed spending levels for domestic and international (non-defense) discretionary programs in an omnibus funding bill needed by December 16.
The letter says, “Your constituents are being buffeted by the ongoing consequences of the pandemic, natural disasters, and other international contributors to rising prices and shortages of goods.  These affect their health, their access to work and affordable child care, their ability to pay for basic needs, and their children’s education.  Adequate full-year funding can help people withstand conditions beyond their control, and strengthen our economy in the coming months and beyond.”
See more and letter here.

Court Decisions Thwart Dreamer Regulations

Employment & Training Reporter
October 24, 2022

Recent court decisions clouded the future of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, which grants work authorization and protection from deportation to undocumented immigrants who came into the country as young people.  This temporarily thwarts a Biden Administration reboot plan.  DACA status holders are not immediately affected, but the program will not be reopening to new applicants as administration officials had hoped to do at the end of October.
DACA allowed certain immigrants who were brought into the country as children to apply for work authorization and protection from deportation, as long as they met certain good-standing criteria. The Obama Administration developed DACA in a policy memo issued to immigration enforcement officers by the Department of Homeland Security in 2012.
Read More

New York State Labor Commissioner Lowers Farmworker Overtime Threshold to 40 Hours

New York State Department of Labor
September 30, 2022

On September 30, 2022, New York State Department of Labor (NYSDOL) Commissioner Roberta Reardon issued an order accepting the recommendation of the Farm Laborers Wage Board to lower the current 60-hour threshold for overtime pay to 40 hours per week by January 1, 2032, allowing 10 years to phase in the new threshold.  The Board included its recommendation in a report that the Board voted to advance to the Commissioner during its final meeting on September 6, 2022, following a two-year process and 14 public meetings and hearings.  Following a rulemaking process to enact the Commissioner's Order, farm work in excess of 40 hours per week would be required to be compensated at overtime rates, as it is in other occupations.

NYSDOL will now be undergoing a rule making process which will include a 60-day public comment period.

The public comment period is open until December 11. Comments should be emailed to

Digital Equity Grants Aim to Close the Digital Skills Gap

Employment & Training Reporter
October 3, 2022

The 2021 federal infrastructure legislation carried with it passage of the Digital Equity Act, which is providing $2.75 billion toward digital equity and inclusion, split between state allotments and competitive grants. This is managed by the National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA). States are beginning to plan how to use their shares of this funding, and it will be important for workforce development stakeholders to be at the table with ideas.
For more information on the various grant programs administered by NTIA including the Digital Equity Act grants, click here.
For public maps and tools, such as the National Broadband Availability Map, click here.


AFOP Health & Safety Programs Are Ready for 2023!

AFOP Health & Safety
October 31, 2022

AFOP’s National Farmworker Training Program (NFTP) is pleased to announce that we will be providing occupational health and safety trainings to farmworkers in 27 states.  The new program year will begin on January 10th, 2023, and end on December 15, 2023.  New and returning trainers will receive a train-the-trainer course, WPS trainer certification, training kit, take-home materials, handouts, and more.

Through NFTP, AFOP’s network of trainers will be providing occupational health and safety training to migrant and seasonal farmworkers across the country.  Our national goals are the following:

We still need to recruit more organizations to meet our national goals.  If you considered joining the program but have questions or concerns, please contact us.  We can develop a plan that best suits your organizational and staff capacity.   Call or email Melanie Forti at 202-684-1380 or

New Proposed Heat Stress Standard in Maryland Falls Short

By Melanie Forti, Director
AFOP Health & Safety
October 31, 2022

On October 7, 2022, the Maryland Occupational Safety and Health (MOSH) Division of Labor and Industry proposed a weak and inadequate heat standard.  Compared to California, Colorado and Oregon that have all promulgated effective heat illness prevention standards, Maryland’s standard falls short in its attempt to protect workers from excessive heat.
AFOP has requested that the new proposed standard do the following:
  1. Set a clear temperature trigger when all requirements apply. The proposed standard only applies if an employer anticipates that workers will be exposed to a heat illness when performing jobs, leaving it to employers to decide when they must protect workers.

  2. Require proposed heat illness prevention programs be in writing. If the program is not in writing, OSHA and employees have no way to know whether a program exists or what the program includes. The program can change from day to day and minute to minute. There is nothing for OSHA to enforce should a worker file a complaint about heat exposure, or, worse, if a worker becomes ill or dies from heat exposure.

  3. It is critical that Maryland OSHA lower the high heat trigger to a heat index of 80 degrees Fahrenheit. The Maryland draft standard does not require the employer to consider heat a hazard until the heat index is 88 degrees, a heat index that would put Maryland workers at a greater and unnecessary risk of a heat-related illness or death.

  4. Include protections for extreme heat days. The Maryland draft standard provides no additional protections for extreme heat conditions, defined in other state standards as 95 degrees or above. Maryland OSHA must require, as other state heat standards do, that employers implement a more robust system for communicating and monitoring workers for symptoms and provide for more paid breaks in the shade on high heat days.

  5. Direct how much water needs to be provided to workers. Maryland OSHA already requires that employers provide potable water. However, this proposed standard does not contain any additional specific requirements of how much water should be provided to workers exposed to high heat or how accessible that water should be.

  6. Include precise requirements for shade protection and rest. The proposed requirements for shade protection are too vague. Shade and cooling are critical to preventing heat-related illness and death among outdoor workers. The Maryland proposed rule contains no specifics on providing rest when employees are exposed to dangerous heat levels. This is yet another fundamental flaw in this proposed standard. It is very important for outdoor workers to have access to adequate rest and shade in high heat, especially construction and agricultural workers.

  7. The Maryland OSHA proposal doesn’t have any specific requirements for acclimatization other than a vague provision in an unwritten program to “provide for monitoring of acclimatization.” The California, Oregon, and Colorado worker protection standards for heat all have detailed requirements in how to acclimatize workers.  Maryland should follow their example and do the same.
The full proposed regulation can be found HERE.


Photo:  AFOP Children in the Fields Campaign (CIFC)

Child Labor Remains a Problem in the United States

By Jack Hodgson
Washington Post
November 1, 2022

In September, Human Rights Watch (HRW) assigned a letter grade to each U.S. state offering an assessment of children’s rights.  It measured these grades based on the U.N. Convention on the Rights of the Child, the 1989 international concord that the United States is the only member nation not to ratify. No state received an “A” or “B.”  Only New Jersey, Ohio, Iowa and Minnesota received “Cs.” Twenty received an “F.”  In addition to juvenile justice standards, corporal punishment, and child marriage, many states’ scores suffered because of the prevalence of child labor.
Child labor remains the status quo in agriculture where children as young as 10 can work part-time and children aged 12 can work full-time.  The children come from predominantly immigrant and non-White backgrounds, and their work remains exempt from a federal ban on children working in “hazardous” occupations.  Child agricultural workers are exposed to dangerous machines, extreme heat, and pesticides.  Regarding pesticides, in determining the safety of such substances, the EPA does not consider the presence of children and the lower tolerances of smaller bodies.  100,000 child farmworkers are estimated to be injured on the job each year, and children represent 20 percent of farming fatalities.   
Around a quarter of U.S. domestic produce is picked by an army of child workers who numbered an estimated 500,000 in 2021.  Child labor remains intrinsic to the U.S. economy, and officials engage in hypocrisy when they condemn it abroad.
Read More

US Census Bureau Data Show Expanded Child Tax Credit Drove Record-breaking Drop in Child Poverty

By Sharon Parrott, President
Center on Budget and Policy Priorities
September 13, 2022

The Child Tax Credit expansion drove a record-breaking drop in child poverty: from 9.7 percent in 2020 to 5.2 percent in 2021.  Without the expansion, it would have been 8.1% in 2021, and 2.1 million more kids would have been in poverty, Census calculated.
The data show that the nation knows how to reduce poverty, broaden opportunity, and expand health coverage.  Temporary measures drove progress.  Policymakers should build on this experience to address the widespread insecurity and inequities that pre-dated the pandemic and will worsen if temporary relief measures aren’t replaced with longer-lasting policy advances.
Read More

Sponsors Needed for the 2023 CIFC Art & Essay Contest

Children in the Fields Campaign
October 31, 2022

AFOP’s Children in the Fields Campaign (CIFC) is seeking sponsors for the 2023 Migrant & Seasonal Farmworker Children Art & Essay Contest!

AFOP believes farmworker children have a story to tell.  We offer a safe platform for those stories through our annual Art & Essay Contest.  The stories we receive allow us to continue fighting and advocating on behalf of all farmworker children in the U.S.

The 2023 contest and theme will be announced on April 3, 2023. 

  • It find the power in their own voices
  • It offers a on the national stage
  • It provides the opportunity to for 12 contestants
  • It allows AFOP to continue for all farmworker children
Choose a sponsorship tier that best fits you or your organization.  Then send AFOP a check in the amount you are able to donate.  (Don’t forget to write in the Memo section that it is for CIFC Contest!) Mail the check and send your organization’s logo via email in JPEG or PNG format to give proper credit.
Sponsorship Tiers:
  • Platinum Sponsor:Exclusively sponsor one winner and their chaperone - $4,000
  • Gold Sponsor: Donate $2,000 towards CIFC contest winners’ prizes & travel
  • Silver Sponsor: Donate $1,000 towards CIFC contest winners’ prizes & travel
  • Bronze Sponsor: Donate $500 towards CIFC contest winners’ prizes & travel
  • Donor: Any donation towards CIFC contest winners’ prizes & travel.

→ Send check to AFOP to the attention of Melanie Forti, 1150 Connecticut Avenue NW, Suite 315, Washington, DC 20036.
→ Send logos to

The holiday season is just around the corner, why not gift with a purpose?  We have t-shirts, hoodies, stickers, tote bags, coffee mugs, canvas, and more!  We release new merch every other month, so make sure to come back and check out the new collections!
Visit our online store here.
Merch is available …
  • In multiple color options
  • In multiple sizes (small to 5XL)
  • With fast shipping
These are just some of the products available:



New H-2A Rule to Take Effect

Farmworker Justice
November 7, 2022

The U.S. Department of Labor (U.S. DOL) issued a final rule for the H-2A visa program.  Slated to take effect on November 14, 2022, the rule makes changes to rental housing, meals and reimbursements, labor contractor bonds, debarments, and prevailing wage determinations. Read FJ's fact sheets to learn more:

Farmworker Union Protections Expanded in California

Farmworker Justice
October 14, 2022

After vetoing a previous version of the bill, California Governor Gavin Newson signed AB2183, landmark legislation that expands the options for farmworkers seeking to unionize in the state.  Farmworkers are excluded from federal union protections under the National Labor Relations Act, and California is one of the few states in the country that offers protections at the state level.  This legislation is a significant step forward in strengthening those protections and giving farmworkers the ability to unionize without facing intimidation.


Teen Farmworkers Support the US Agricultural Industry But Have Few Protections (Teen Vogue)
Black saliva, sore throat, shortness of breath: How dangerous is wildfire season for US farmworkers? (USA Today)
$3.7M NIH Grant to Fund Study of Structural Racism, Pandemic Effects on Farmworkers (Maryland Today)
Undocumented farmworkers face disaster discrimination (Axios)


Photo:  Carolina Adams

Talking about Mental Health Can Be Hard Within Latino Families. Here’s How to Start

By Karen Garcia 
LA Times
SEPT. 28, 2022

Mental health stigma within Latino communities is often characterized as Latinos being resistant to talking about mental health, said Pilar Hernández-Wolfe licensed marriage and family therapist.  The relationship that Latinos have with mental health is more complicated.
“We must attend to the ways in which class and education and traditions from where people come from play in this relationship,” she said.
In a household, younger generations are generally more open to talking about their mental health. Hernández-Wolfe reminds her younger clients that they often aren’t aware of family conflicts that might stop a parent or grandparent from wanting to have these conversations.
In some homes, a parent’s, aunt’s, uncle’s or grandparent’s experience of leaving their country of origin and immigrating to the U.S. might also affect their ability or desire to talk about mental health.
“Their parents are oftentimes carrying too much intergenerational trauma,” Hernández-Wolfe said. ”The idea of going to talk to somebody about that is unbearable, because if you open that wound there is going to be a whole river flowing,” she said. Or maybe they’re afraid of being labeled “loco,” she added.
There’s also a financial barrier to care. According to the National Alliance on Mental Illness, 17% of Hispanic/Latinx people in the U.S. live in poverty, compared with 8.2% of non-Hispanic whites. A family might not have the financial means to seek therapy let alone afford a doctor’s visit.
If they do visit a therapist or a counselor, a lack of relatability, cultural understanding and a language gap could discourage that person from seeking mental health services.
Read More
Maren Grøthe was elected to the Norwegian national assembly aged just 20.  Photo by BBC News.

US Midterm Elections: What Congress Can Learn from Country with Youngest Lawmakers

By Sam Cabral & Amund Trellevik
BBC News, Washington and Oslo

America's leaders are old and growing older. As part of a new series that looks abroad for inspiration on how to fix flaws in the US political system, we ask whether Norway's young MPs have the answer.
Democratic President Joe Biden, 79, is the country's oldest ever leader. His chief rival, Republican Donald Trump, is 76.  In the US Congress, the median age is the highest in two decades. Baby boomers dominate and millennials represent barely 6% of the body.  Midterm elections this November will reshuffle the makeup of the legislative branch of government - but many of its oldest faces will remain.  The problem is a structural one, according to experts.
Congress prizes seniority, with the longest-tenured lawmakers typically first in line for leadership posts, plum committee assignments and other forms of influence. Name recognition and visibility gives incumbents a smoother path to re-election.  Making matters worse are the age requirements. You must be at least 25 to join the House of Representatives, the lower chamber of Congress, and at least 30 to qualify for the Senate.
Meanwhile, young hopefuls face financial barriers to seeking office with fewer resources, less access to wealth and obstacles like childcare costs or student debt.  Some believe youth under-representation has had a profound impact on US democracy.
"Lived experience informs legislative priorities," says Amanda Litman, co-founder of Run for Something, a group that supports progressive candidates under 40.  She claims that a lack of progress on issues young people care about, such as gun violence and climate change, have fed "a cycle of cynicism" and disengagement.
Norway has the highest proportion of young politicians in the world, according to data published by the Inter-Parliamentary Union (IPU), with 13.6% under 30.  In the US, it's 0.23% in the House of Representatives and zero in the Senate.
Read More
The AFOP Washington Newsline (ISSN# 1056-8565) is produced by the Association of Farmworker Opportunity Programs (AFOP), a national federation of agencies serving migrant and seasonal farmworkers. AFOP’s mission is to improve the quality of life for migrant and seasonal farmworkers and their families by promoting self-sufficiency through employment and training opportunities, educational attainment, and health and safety.

The publication is funded by subscriptions and the members of AFOP. The Washington Newsline receives no financial support from the federal government. Staff may be reached by calling (202) 963-3200.
Association of Farmworker Opportunity Programs

1150 Connecticut Avenue, N.W., Suite 315
Washington, D.C. 20036

Direct: (202) 963-3200

Unsubscribe   or  Update Subscription Preferences 

This email was sent to <<Email Address>>
why did I get this?    unsubscribe from this list    update subscription preferences
Association of Farmworker Opportunity Programs · 1120 20th Street, N.W. · Suite 300 South · Washington, DC 20036 · USA

Email Marketing Powered by Mailchimp