Settle the Garcia Hispanic Farmers' Lawsuit

President Barack Obama The White House 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue NW Washington, DC 20500 Phone: (202) 456-1414 Fax: (202) 456-2461 Email: President@whitehouse.gov Re: Petition to Settle the Garcia Hispanic Farmers’ Discrimination Lawsuit Dear President Obama, Hispanic farmers need your urgent assistance. On August 4, 2009 Judge Robertson, from the D.C. District Court, held a status conference hearing with our representatives and the Department of Justice (“DOJ”) attorneys who represent the U.S. Department of Agriculture (“USDA”). During this conference the DOJ attorneys said that they have no interest whatsoever in settling this lawsuit. We do not understand why the USDA is refusing to settle the Hispanic farmers lawsuit after it already gave over a billion dollars to black farmers who experienced the exact same discrimination that we have at the hands of USDA. This discrimination is well known and admitted by USDA and has been the subject of numerous congressional reports and hearings. We were very pleased to see your acknowledgment of USDA’s discriminatory practices when you recently announced that black farmers would receive another 1.25 billion as compensation for their discrimination. We are very disappointed that your administration is ignoring the needs of Hispanic farmers. This is unacceptable. We, the undersigned, call on you and your administration to enter into good faith negotiations with Garcia class counsel to resolve the Garcia v. Vilsack lawsuit in an expeditious and just manner, consistent with the Section 14011 in the 2008 Farm Bill. Estimado Presidente Obama, Los agricultores Hispánicos necesitan su ayuda urgente. El 4 de agosto de 2009 el Juez Robertson, del Tribunal de Distrito del DC, tuvo una audiencia con nuestros representantes y los Abogados del Departamento de Justicia (“DOJ”) que representan el Departamento de Agricultura de Los Estados Unidos (“USDA”). Durante esta audiencia, los abogados del Departamento de Justicia dijeron que no tienen ningún interés en encontrar una solución de esta demanda. No entendemos por qué el USDA se niega a resolver el pleito de los agricultores hispánicos después de que ya dio más de un billón de dólares a los agricultores negros que sufrieron la misma discriminación que los hispánicos en las manos de USDA. Esta discriminación es bien conocida y admitida por el USDA y ha sido el tema de numerosos informes y audiencias del Congreso. Estábamos muy contentos de ver a su reconocimiento de las prácticas discriminatorias del USDA cuando anunció recientemente que los agricultores negros recibirían otros 1,25 billones como compensación por su discriminación. Estamos muy decepcionados de que su administración está ignorando las necesidades de los agricultores hispánicos. Esto es inaceptable. Nosotros, los abajo firmantes, pedimos a usted y su administración a entrar en negociaciones de buena fe con los abogados de la clase de García para resolver el pleito de García v. Vilsack en una manera rápida y justa, de conformidad con la Sección 14011 de la Ley Agrícola de 2008.

Sponsor

Lupe Garcia is a third generation Hispanic farmer from Dona Ana County, New Mexico. Mr. Garcia is also the president of the Hispanic Farmers and Ranchers of America and is the named plaintiff in the Garcia v. Vilsack Hispanic farmer discrimination class action lawsuit against the United States Department of Agriculture. Mr. Garcia holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Agronomy and a Master of Science degree in Agronomy, specializing in biochemistry and physiology of pesticide from New Mexico State University. From 1969-1973, Mr. Garcia served as a visiting professor for Oregon State University teaching agronomy in Guatemala, Honduras, El Salvador, Nicaragua, Costa Rica, Panama, Columbia and Ecuador under a contract between the University and the United States Agency for International Development. Upon returning from Central America, Mr. Garcia resumed farming in partnership with his father and brother as Garcia & Sons. Garcia & Sons owned two farms totaling approximately 626 acres of land until they were wrongfully foreclosed upon and sold in 1999. Mr. Garcia now continues to farm on rented land. Garcia has been leading the fight against USDA discrimination against Hispanic farmers since 2000.

Links

Garcia Class Action Website http://www.garciaclassaction.org

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