Agricultural Workers Coming Back into Congressional Focus
Though immigration and visa policy issues have become incredibly polarizing in recent years, areas of broad agreement persist. One of those is agricultural workers. On April 3, the House Judiciary Subcommittee on Immigration and Citizenship will hold a hearing titled “Securing the Future of American Agriculture.” The hearing precedes expected introduction of legislation that seeks to address the worsening labor crisis in the agricultural industry, including horticulture.
While there is broad agreement that the agricultural labor crisis should be addressed, there still are differences as to what to do about it. With the House under control of the Democrats, the conversation about current workforce will be easier. AmericanHort and coalition partners are pushing for a range of options to address the important issues – legal presence, and work authorization. H-2A visa program reforms will be the greater, though critically important, challenge.
We will cover the hearing, and report thereafter on where we see this issue heading in the current Congress.