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27 Mar 2024

US: Agriculture Labour Working Group's H-2A policy recommendations fall short of the strong protections required, say advocates, & risk hurting migrants financially

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Farmworkers need stronger protections and opportunities for permanent legal status to stabilize the agricultural workforce.
Alexis Guild, vice president of strategy and programs at Farmworker Justice

On March 7, the US Agriculture Labour Working Group released its policy recommendations report regarding labour shortages in the agricultural sector, with a specific focus on the H-2A visa programme for migrant farmworkers.

The report contains several policy recommendations to reform the H-2A programme, with the stated aim to better improve the programme for “farmers, workers and producers”. 15 recommendations received unanimous support from the lawmakers, and five received majority support.

On March 27, Investigate Midwest released an article saying migrant worker advocates believe the proposals from the report will have a negative impact on farmworkers, including by hurting them financially and falling short of solutions to truly “stabilise” the workforce, including through pathways to permanent status.