The House Ag committee has recently released a report on agricultural labor, based on findings from a working group and multiple roundtables conducted over four months. The goal of the report is to identify issues with the H-2A program and provide information for policy makers going forward. The report goes into detail on issues surrounding the current H-2A system, with the main issues surrounding wage structure, regulation, accessibility, administrative delays, and more. The report found that farmers use the H-2A program as a “last resort”, when domestic workers are unavailable. When asked on why they are not (currently) participating in the H-2A VISA program, farmers responded accordingly: 32% said “Overly complicated to comply with regulations”, 22% said “my operation is ineligible”, 20% said “too expensive”, 17% said “other”, and 9% said “adequate domestic workers”. The report calls on resolving the issues in the H-2A program to ensure there is an easily available program for alternative labor supply, in the face of low domestic supply. Program changes could potentially be made through the Farm Bill, yearly agriculture appropriations packages, and administrative action from the White House, USDA, and related agencies.
November 14, 2023
Government & Regulatory Affairs, International, Sustainability, Transportation & Logistics