Here is the latest Ag Policy News on Immigration Reform and a New Agricultural Workers Program
“Immigration reform” is front and center in domestic U.S. politics at the moment. Earlier this week, the Senate had stalled over the current bill, largely due to details concerning the agricultural workers program. In particular, there was disagreement over wages and the quantity of H-2A visas that would be made available.
Legislators broke the impasse yesterday. Some details are available in the following Reuters story: Pact is reached on immigration reform for farm labor. Reuters reports that “The agreement calls creation of a new guest worker program to replace the current H-2A program and legal status for farm workers who entered the United States illegally.” and that “Officials said they would work over the weekend to flesh out the agreement. The Agriculture Workforce Coalition, representing a dozen U.S. farm groups, said the agreement was a step toward assuring a legal workforce on U.S. farms and ranches.”
The Ag Policy website farmpolicy.com has extensive information with numerous comments from elected officials and agriculture organizations on immigration reform
The details of the agreement are still being worked out. But the agreement reached yesterday calls for the development of a new guest worker program to replace the current H-2A visa program; the new program creates a path to citizenship for the many agricultural workers who are undocumented in the United States.
Kirk Semple, reported on the relationship between dairy farmers in NY State and the immigration debate in yesterday’s New York Times. Dairy production in NY State is booming, in part due to the burgeoning greek-style yogurt industry. But some farmers are claiming that willing workers on their dairies are hard to come by.