We've been keeping close tabs on the immigration issues at the border and the over 1000 workers stuck there due to government bureaucracy, What began as a supposed computer glitch has turned into red tape after red tape for workers trying to get into the U.S. after being hired by ag producers in California, Oregon, Washington and more. We've spoken with the general counsel for the Western Growers Association as well as the executive director and program manager for WAFLA on the issue. Just when it seems there will be a resolution there are two steps back. Sunday, WAFLA provided the names of three workers they felt sure would qualify to enter based on the fact that they had received visas last year and had successfully passed biometric screenings. WAFLA program manager Roxana Macias flew to the border early Monday morning. Ms. Macias and the three workers spent the entire day either at the Consulate or standing at the border. At approximately 8:00 pm Monday night, they were notified by Department of Homeland Security – Customs and Border Protection staff that the three workers would not be considered for an emergency visa waiver, despite having the fee for the emergency visa waiver processing...and were not given a reason why the workers would not be processed only saying that the workers needed travel letters but the consulate was unable to provide travel letters for these three workers. There are more workers headed to the border next week and unless a fix presents itself these worker will be detained as well at a substantial cost to the farmers and orchardists that have hired them. More as we get it.
That's today's Fruit Grower Report. I'm Greg Martin on the Ag Information Network of the West.