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PLNA e-News: Protecting Values In the Nation

Updates on the H-2A Guest Agriculture Guest Worker Program

Monday, October 14, 2019   (0 Comments)
Posted by: Gregg Robertson
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NurseryLegislation - A bill to reform the H-2A guest worker program, which authorizes visas for temporary guest workers in agriculture, was introduced on October 30. As of this writing, no bill number has been assigned, however.

Key issues in this nascent bill are 1) creating legal status for those ag workers currently in the U.S. who lack work authorization; 2) developing a new, more efficient visa process for H-2A workers; and 3) mandatory E-Verify for agriculture businesses. Mandatory E-Verify is the price for the other H-2A reforms.

According to Craig Regelbrugge of AmericanHort, the bill has many flaws, but represents the best chance this session to get a reform bill through Congress. Hopefully those flaws can be corrected during the legislative process.

PLNA signed onto a letter to House leadership that indicated our support for the bill.

Regulatory – The U.S. Department of Labor has issued a Notice of Proposed Rule Making (NPRM) to streamline the H-2A guest worker program. PLNA participated in two responses to the NPRM, one by AmericanHort and the second by the ag labor coalition of which PLNA is a part. The ag labor coalition is dominated by the dairy industry, but many of PLNA’s concerns with H-2A are similar, except that dairy is seeking a year-round H-2A program in addition to the current seasonal program. You may download a copy of each of the responses by clicking on the links above.


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