The availability of qualified domestic agricultural employees has become increasingly challenging for U.S. farmers. In response, the federal government created the Temporary Agricultural Guest Worker Program, commonly known as H-2A. Under H-2A, qualifying employers who anticipate a shortage of domestic agricultural workers may petition for permission to bring nonimmigrant foreign workers into the U.S. for temporary or seasonal agricultural employment. (An overview of the H-2A Program is available here.)
More recently, House Judiciary Chairman Bob Goodlatte (R-VA) introduced the Agricultural Guestworker Act, or AG Act, to address flaws he sees with the current Guest Worker Program. Goodlatte’s legislation would replace the current H-2A program with the H-2C program. Per AgFax, the AG Act would transfer the ag guestworker program from the Department of Labor to the USDA. People currently working on farms illegally “could participate in the new H-2C program and become legal agricultural workers.”
These issues and more will be discussed next Wednesday, October 18th, when the Agriculture and Food Law Consortium presents a free webinar, “Understanding the H-2A Temporary Agricultural Guest Worker Program.”
This webinar will provide a basic understanding of the H-2A program and an overview of the steps necessary for implementation. Congressional staffers, attorneys, students, and ag professionals seeking additional understanding of emerging issues involving the H-2A Program will want to attend.
Details on next week’s webinar, including sign-in information, are available here.