100 People to Watch This Fall : Page 51 of 102

Arturo Rodriguez President of the United Farm Workers 

When the Senate passed its immigration reform bill in June, Rodriguez was quick to claim victory. Not only had the president of the United Farm Workers (UFW) secured a special path to legalization for those illegal immigrants tending the nation’s fields, but he also won new wage guarantees, housing protections and family unification provisions his group had been lobbying for.

The veteran farm labor organizer has different feelings, however, about the legislation moving through the House, where GOP leaders are pushing a temporary guest-worker bill that excludes the separate legalization pathway and many of the worker protections in the Senate version. The UFW says the Republicans’ proposal promotes a “draconian,”  “servants-only”  guest-worker program. 

Rodriquez has plenty of experience to draw upon, having spent the last two decades at the helm of the UFW. 

The San Antonio native took the spot following the death of the group’s legendary founder, Cesar Chavez, in 1993.