You can usually find Alberto Bermejo in a sunny field near Fresno, pruning grapes or picking heavy sacks of oranges or peaches. But today he's bundled up outside the White House, joining a dozen other farmworkers who harvest celery, process turkey and pick pumpkins and apples. They're staging a mock Thanksgiving feast to keep the pressure on President Barack Obama to stay deportations for as many undocumented immigrants as possible when he announces executive action on immigration tomorrow evening.
"Without farmworkers, people don't have food on the table," says Bermejo in Spanish. "But sometimes, the very people who've harvested the wine you're drinking or the food you're eating on Thanksgiving can't even enjoy a meal with their families, because they're separated from them. Or they don't have anything to eat for their own table, because they can't afford it."
It's no secret that many farmworkers are undocumented, and so they can't travel to their home countries to see their families. Without papers, they're likely to earn lower wages, too.
It's unclear exactly who might benefit from Obama's announcement on immigration tomorrow night. Advocates speculate he will likely stay deportations for parents of U.S. citizen children and expand eligibility for the deferred action (DACA) program for young immigrants.