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Thread: Trump Administration Issues Statement on H-2A Agricultural Visa Program

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    Senior Member JohnDoe2's Avatar
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    Trump Administration Issues Statement on H-2A Agricultural Visa Program

    Trump Administration Issues Statement on H-2A Agricultural Visa Program; United Fresh's Tom Stenzel and Western Growers' Tom Nassif Comment

    Thursday, May. 24th, 2018

    by Jessica Donnel


    WASHINGTON, DC - Wednesday afternoon, the Trump Administration and the Departments of State, Agriculture, Labor, and Homeland Security issued a statement updating their collective stance on the H-2A agricultural visa program, essentially reconfirming their commitment to modernization. The response from the produce industry has been widely positive, with Western Growers' President and CEO Tom Nassif and United Fresh Produce Association President & CEO Tom Stenzel both welcoming the news in separate statements.
    “The Trump Administration is committed to modernizing the H-2A visa program rules in a way that is responsive to stakeholder concerns and that deepens our confidence in the program as a source of legal and verified labor for agriculture—while also reinforcing the program’s strong employment and wage protections for the American workforce,” the Administration wrote in their statement. “In addition, by improving the H-2A visa program and substantially reducing its complexity, the Administration also plans to incentivize farmers’ use of the E-Verify program to ensure their workforce is authorized to work in the United States.”


    The White House


    In response, Nassif and Western Growers outlined several points they wished to see on behalf of the associations members, including to:


    • Modernize and reduce unnecessary cost of recruitment methods
    • Improve the scope and accuracy of prevailing wage surveys
    • Simplify the application process
    • Incorporate greater flexibility for movement of workers to respond to production needs
    • Clarify interpretations of seasonality
    • Streamline the approval process for housing and transportation


    Tom Nassif, President and CEO, Western Growers“Any effort to simplify and streamline the federal government’s visa program for agricultural foreign workers—the H-2A program—will be welcomed by our members,” Nassif explained in his statement.

    “While this effort to implement administrative changes are most welcome, key aspects of the H-2A program can only be modified by statute.

    We have grown accustomed to fluctuations in the program’s processes with each administration. Indeed, administrative improvements undertaken by one administration can be, and are, undone by the next, as was done by the prior administration.”


    Nassif continued by clarifying that, while the association does support changes to the H-2A program, it is concerned with the suggestion that E-Verify would be a primary part of this proposal.

    “Changes to H-2A should be made to improve the system for the use of all, and any implication that necessary reforms would be limited to those that use E-Verify is concerning,” he said. “This is why we continue to call on Congress to enact immigration reform legislation that provides a workable path to legalization for our existing workforce and creates a new guest worker visa program to ensure ready access to an adequate supply of labor in the future. Only then can America’s fresh produce farmers plan for long-term sustainability.”

    Stenzel and United Fresh echoed much the same sentiment as given by Western Growers, highlighting that the association hopes to work closely with the Trump Administration.

    Tom Stenzel, President and CEO, United Fresh Produce Association

    “United Fresh is pleased with today’s announcement by the Trump Administration and the Departments of State, Agriculture, Labor, and Homeland Security, regarding their commitment to address the critical challenges of the existing bureaucratic temporary agricultural labor programs,” Stenzel noted. “We look forward to continuing our work with the Administration to meet our industry’s need for adequate labor. The fruit and vegetable industry is highly dependent on our workforce in order to sustain and grow our industry to meet increasing demand for fresh fruits and vegetables.”

    United Fresh shared that it has been in constant dialogue with Congress, the Administration, and other stakeholders thus far, in an effort to convey that the fruit and vegetable industry needs a streamlined solution to our critical labor issues.

    “We will continue to work to drive improvements to our current labor challenges through both legislation and regulatory solutions, with the goal of creating the best possible outcome for the fresh produce industry,” Stenzel concluded.

    The conversation around the Trump Administration’s plans for H-2A will continue to develop.

    Keep following coverage by ANUK for the latest.

    https://www.andnowuknow.com/buyside-...a-donnel/58401

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    Moderator Beezer's Avatar
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    NO PATH TO STAY!

    THEY STAY AND THEN THEY MOVE ONTO HIGHER PAYING JOBS TAKING OUR JOBS!

    MANDATORY 15% PRIVILDGE TAX WITH 15% EMPLOYER MATCHING TO GO INTO OUR SOCIAL SECURITY AND MEDICARE FUNDS!

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