H-2A Visa Program Under Review, Short of a Legislative Fix
Morning Ag Clips on May 29 published a press release from the USDA entitled ‘Modernizing the H-2A Agricultural Visa Program’. So often we ask farmers what they need from government, and the two most common answers we get are “Less regulation” and “A fix to the H-2A program”. We think most agree that a legislative fix is the answer to H-2A; however, there is probably not going to be a legislative fix coming from Congress anytime soon.
The USDA press release, which can be found here, reports that the Departments of State, Agriculture, Labor and Homeland Security are jointly working together to modernize the H-2A program through rules until a legislative fix can be accomplished. Secretary Perdue said in the announcement that we are “working to streamline, simplify and improve H-2A, reducing cumbersome bureaucracy and ensure adequate protections for US workers.” Very little detail has been announced. Fran Boyd, Senior Vice President of Myers & Associates, said the following when asked about the announced joint department project. “Any improvement in the current H-2A program would be a major step forward for those who try to use the program. We wish Secretary Perdue and others in the Administration the best of luck, and hope they are successful in this very much needed reform.”
We will keep you informed as updates on the program become available.