Congressmen Push to Open Up H-2A Visas

 

By Chris Clayton, DTN/Progressive Farmer

7/13/2021

 

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...

 

House Ag to Mark Up Internet Bill ...

 

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https://www.dtnpf.com/agriculture/web/ag/blogs/ag-policy-blog/blog-post/2021/07/14/congressmen-push-open-h-2a-visas