Sunday, April 12, 2020

New Report on H2A Temporary Visa Program

UPenn Law Professor Sarah Paoletti sends along this post.

At a time when we’re all particularly worried about the health and safety of our loved ones, first responders, and vulnerable communities across the United States (and across the globe), I want to bring your attention to a report just released by Centro de los Derechos del Migrante (CDM) on the H-2A program, Ripe for Reform: Abuses of Agricultural Workers in the H-2A Visa Program, highlighting the ways in which the current H2A temporary worker program fails to ensure the basic human rights of another group of first responders at risk – the individuals who work to put food on our table. Based on 100 in-depth interviews with H-2A farmworkers, Ripe for Reform is a survey-based report on the conditions faced by migrant workers in the H-2A temporary agricultural program. In addition to finding stark violations of workers’ rights, the report documents how the COVID-19 pandemic is exacerbating the existing systemic inequities in the program, stranding workers in Mexico and endangering them on the job. You can read the report here. 

Here are a few startling findings from the interviews with respondents: 

  • 100% experienced at least one serious legal violation of their rights, and 94% experienced three or more.
  • 86% said that women were either not hired or were offered less favorable pay or less desirable jobs than men
  • 45% experienced overcrowded and/or unsanitary housing conditions.
  • 35% did not have necessary safety equipment to do the job
  • 43% were not paid the wages they were promised

Please join CDM in amplifying these conditions faced by migrant workers and calling for necessary protections by sharing content from our social media toolkit. Make sure to tag CDM!

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