Valley farmworkers excited, relieved to hear of Joe Biden's DACA plan

FRESNO COUNTY, Calif. (KFSN) -- Inauguration day brought new hope for undocumented immigrants in the U.S.

In a presidential proclamation, Joe Biden called on Congress to adopt legislation that gives DACA recipients permanent legal status and a path to citizenship.

He also proposed legislation that would grant Green Cards and a path to citizenship to anyone in the United States before January first of this year - an estimated 11 million people.

It was welcome news to farmworkers like 18-year old Ruben. He has been picking apples and grapes alongside his parents since he was 13.

While he's a US citizen, his parents and brother are not.

"I was the only person in my family - an ordinary, hardworking family - who had the opportunity to vote," he says.

Ruben says his parents were relieved to learn about President Biden's plan for a path to citizenship.

"They are relieved and excited, but they are also cautious. They know a plan is just a start," he says.

19-year-old Antonia Leyva says the president's plan has her feeling optimistic. She has been working in the fields since she was 17.

"It would keep my family together and we would no longer fear losing each other," says Leyva.

Says Teresa Romero, the president of United Farm Workers: "This country cannot ask farmworkers to keep filling these essential roles without providing them a path forward. The immigration policies proposed yesterday are a start."

The bill will be subject to revisions and debate on the Congressional floor.
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