Obama to offer deportation relief to 250,000 farm workers, union says

U.S. President Barack Obama works Wednesday on an upcoming immigration speech with speechwriting director Cody Keenan and senior presidential speechwriter David Litt. (Pete Souza photo courtesy WhiteHouse.gov)

Washington | Reuters — U.S. President Barack Obama’s immigration reforms would lift the threat of deportation for at least 250,000 undocumented people who work on U.S. farms, Arturo Rodriguez, president of the United Farm Workers union, said Wednesday after meeting with Obama.

“We were pleased to learn from the president today that at least 250,000 farm workers (and at least 125,000 California farm workers) will be eligible for deportation relief under his executive action,” Rodriguez said in a statement.

The union held a “mock Thanksgiving feast” in front of the White House on Wednesday, and Rodriguez met with Obama, the union said.

“The president committed to working with UFW to do everything possible to make sure that every farm worker who qualifies for the program gets enrolled,” Rodriguez said.

In a speech Thursday evening, Obama is expected to announce executive directives to remove the threat of deportation for as many as five million of the estimated 11 million people living illegally in the U.S.

— Reporting for Reuters by Roberta Rampton in Washington, D.C.

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