H-2A Homeland Security Amendment Pt 1

H-2A Homeland Security Amendment Pt 1

Bob Larson
Bob Larson
With today's Fruit Grower Report, I'm Bob Larson. A new amendment could bring critical changes to immigration programs, improving the temporary guest-worker program.

That's the intention of a determined U.S. Representative Dan Newhouse who joined Texas Democrat Henry Cuellar on the amendment to the Homeland Security Appropriations Act that expands the H-2A program to all of ag, not just seasonal workers.

But, Newhouse says it's not a replacement for the Ag and Legal Workforce Act that failed to get enough votes before the August recess ...

NEWHOUSE ... "Well, it's a smaller change. It certainly does not take into account all of the things that we were trying to do in the Ag H-2A reform legislation. But, it's a small step but an important step for many parts of agriculture that currently cannot utilize the H-2A program."

He says there's plenty of non-seasonal ag work ...

NEWHOUSE ... "For instance, dairies now can't use H-2A because they have a permanent work available. It's not seasonal and, due the definition, H-2A does not fit them."

Newhouse says it's a small but crucial step ...

NEWHOUSE ... "We have a critical labor shortage throughout agriculture and by being able to allow more parts of the ag industry use the H-2A ag labor provision, that will help alleviate some of the shortage. But, you know I'm not going to tell anybody that this is the solution or the only thing that we need to do. We need to, in my opinion, we need further reform of our ag labor laws, but barring that this is a good step."

Listen tomorrow for more on this important H-2A revision.

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