Monday, July 18, 2022
The Farm Workforce Modernization Act would allow dairy and pork producers to hire temporary workers year-round. Currently, year-round employers cannot use the H-2A temporary agricultural program used by seasonal employers. It would also provide a pathway to legalization for workers with a history of farm work.
The story reports that Senate negotiators are stuck on a provision allowing H-2A workers to sue their employers if they believe labor laws have been broken. That provision's biggest foe is the American Farm Bureau Federation.
According to another report, "[s]ome U.S. House Republicans, along with agriculture groups, have urged the Senate to pass the bipartisan Farm Workforce Modernization Act, which would reform the agricultural guest worker visa program.
The House passed the bill (H.R. 1603) in early 2021 and the Senate has been working on its version."
Earlier this year, Congress member Dan Newhouse (R-WA) expressed the support for passage of the bill and "hosted a press conference with community leaders and advocacy organizations including the National Catholic Council for Hispanic Ministry’s (NCCHM) Raíces y Alas Congress, Americans for Prosperity, AmericanHort, National Immigration Forum, Raíces, The LIBRE Initiative, and several other members of the Alliance for a New Immigration Consensus to urge action on his legislation, the Farm Workforce Modernization Act. This legislation is a strong workforce solution which will provide certainty to both farm owners and workers through an accessible, employment-based program, and is a key component to his efforts to address border security, Dreamers, and the agricultural workforce."