H-2C Guestworker Program Pt 2

H-2C Guestworker Program Pt 2

Bob Larson
Bob Larson
With today's Fruit Grower Report, I'm Bob Larson. We told you yesterday how the Agricultural Guestworker Act, or H-2C visa program, was passed out of the House Judiciary Committee and now moves on the full chamber.

Representative Dan Newhouse says there are currently, however, aspects of the bill some find problematic ...

DAN NEWHOUSE ... "Currently there's a, in the bill, there's a cap on the number of workers that we can bring in in any particular year. And, even though there's an escalator clause on that particular part, that's causing some heartache with people for fear that we wouldn't be able to have a large enough workforce."

Newhouse says there are also other wrinkles to be ironed out ...

DAN NEWHOUSE ... "There's also some touch-back provisions, I guess you could call them, where the current workforce that's in the country now, in the first six months would have to go back to their home country. And, that is something that's causing some people angst also. So, we're continuing to work through some of these things, like I said, trying to prefect it and make it as good as it can be to relieve the pressure that we have in this country on a shortage of farm workers."

But, maybe the best thing about the H-2C program?

DAN NEWHOUSE ... "Currently, H-2A is only for temporary or seasonal work, and H-2C, all of agriculture will be eligible to utilize the H-2C workers."

Newhouse says they hope to get the AG Act through the House and on to the Senate as quickly as possible, but realizes there are plenty of possible tweaks to be made along the way.

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