Federal officials say they have streamlined the process farmers use to temporarily bring migrant workers into the United States. The United States Citizenship and Immigration Services and the State Department launched an online approval platform Wednesday that the American Farm Bureau hopes will expedite H-2A visa processing. Farm Bureau President Zippy Duvall says visa approval delays “have gone on far too long and cost farmers across the country hundreds of thousands of dollars in lost business.” The move follows advocacy from farm groups who argued that the current system causes workers to arrive late or miss critical planting and harvesting seasons.
The Western Growers Association says Congress’ inability and unwillingness to move immigration reform have forced farmers to use the H-2A Program, a program that has historically seen little use. Currently, the H-2A visa program is the only way farmers can legally hire migrant workers.
Source: NAFB News Service