July 31, 2017


South Jersey Farm Workers Express Concerns to Sen. Booker

BRIDGETON, N.J. - New Jersey State Senator Cory Booker has been on the road visiting every county in the Garden State as part of his Jersey Summer Road Trip.

“I’ve been in South Jersey over the last two days just visiting everything from hospitals to veterans and right now we met with some farm workers to listen to the kinds of challenges they have given a lot of the changes in immigration policy,” said Booker.

“What we’ve been trying to do is raise the voice of the migrant community," said Meghan Hurley, communications coordinator for The Farm Worker Support Committee (CATA). "There’s a lot of work going on in the area around trying to support the migrant community. But, there’s also a lot of policy changes that could be made."

On Monday, July 31st, Booker stopped by the community garden in Bridgeton where the CATA was eager to speak with him about the issues they face.

 “We’re going to talk to him today about issues in immigration, workers’ rights and food justice," said Hurley. "We had our members come out today to talk to him personally and share their stories because their stories are the most important ones and the ones he needs to hear."

Those members opened up about things they experience and deal with on a daily basis and communicated a need for those things to change.

“To help us and to see if he can push something to fix our immigration system, which is the one that’s broken right now," said Leonardo Geronimo Vazquez, one of the farm workers at the discussion. "That’s why we want him to listen to us and see if he can help us."

“I think that we have to be aware that immigrants in our community, in New Jersey, make considerable contributions in terms of doing work and paying taxes,” said Booker.

After hearing from several workers Booker expressed his desire to help.

“We need to make sure we have a vision for immigration reform that’s inclusive and that makes our country better and stronger, doesn’t punish people, doesn’t punish American children and make sure it reflects our highest values,” said Booker.

CATA officials hope the discussion will lead to a relationship with Booker that’ll ultimately help farm workers throughout New Jersey. 

Booker also visited the Inspira Health Center in Elmer with New Jersey State Senate President Steve Sweeney (who recently toured Larchmont Farms in Upper Pittsgrove Township). 

The two toured the Salem County facility, met with the staff, and talked about the highlights of the Affordable Care Act. The center serves Salem County and the western parts of Cumberland County.