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PLNA e-News: Protecting Values In the Nation

Congressional Action on New Guest Worker Program for Agriculture Postponed until Fall… or Later

Wednesday, July 25, 2018   (0 Comments)
Posted by: Gregg Robertson
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WASHINGTON, D.C. – Last week The House failed to bring the H.R. 6517, the AG and Legal Workforce Act to the floor for a vote, as anticipated. The bill simply did not have the votes to pass.

New H-2C Program

The bill was brought forward by House Judiciary Chairman Bob Goodlatte (R-Virginia) and would create a new guest worker program for agriculture, referred to as H-2C for the section of the law it would amend. The new program would replace the current H-2A guest worker program. (For background, see PLNA e-News January 23, 2018.)

PLNA and AmericanHort Opposed

PLNA and AmericanHort opposed the bill in its current format. The bill would require that to be enrolled in the program, current workers would have to return to their home country before being allowed back into the U.S. under the H-2C program. The uncertainty of this process would create a massive disruption to the current agricultural workforce. In addition, the bill would require universal use of the E-Verify program, which would cause workforce disruption in the landscape contracting workforce.

Bill's Future Uncertain

Whether the bill will be brought forward after the August Congressional recess is uncertain. As with most legislation in this Congress, getting the requisite number of Republican votes to pass a bill is difficult. As bills are modified to bring moderate Republicans into the fold, conservatives bail out and vice versa. There is simply no working majority in this Congress.

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