Congressmen Push to Open Up H-2A Visas


By Chris Clayton, DTN/Progressive Farmer



If it holds through Congress, an amendment added to a House appropriations bill could expand the ability to bring in agricultural guest workers for employment on farms.


Rep. Henry Cuellar, D-Texas, and Rep. Dan Newhouse, R-Wash., got language added to the appropriations bill for Homeland Security that would allow H-2A temporary guestworkers "to be accessed year-round for Fiscal Year 2022, opening the program to producers in all sectors of agriculture, including dairy, greenhouses, and other agricultural operations with year-round labor needs," according to a news release from Newhouse.


The amendment was adopted by voice vote in the House Appropriations Committee.


"Our farmers and ranchers are in desperate need of a legal and reliable workforce," Newhouse said. "Unfortunately, the H-2A program does not work for all of agriculture. As farming methods have become less seasonal or able to produce multiple harvests, the H-2A program must be updated to meet the needs of the agriculture industry. This amendment supports legal immigration while making H-2A more workable for farmers."


The amendment is a little nuanced...


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