Today, December 22, 2015, the Employment and Training Administration (ETA) of the Department of Labor (Department) issued its Federal Register Notice to announce the 2016 Adverse Effect Wage Rates (AEWRs). The notice applies to the employment of temporary or seasonal nonimmigrant foreign workers (H–2A workers) to perform agricultural labor or services.

Stephanie Metzinger

In an effort to better understand the labor needs required for the winter vegetable season, staff members of the Nogales and Tijuana Consulates traveled to Yuma yesterday and met with WG Board Member Sonny Rodriguez of The Growers Company in Somerton, Arizona, to discuss H-2A processes and to see the harvest in action.  

Andy Stark, vice consul of the Nogales Consulate, made it clear that the State Department's goal is to promote the economy and facilitate the flow of H-2A workers for the industry.

Yesterday, Western Growers’ Board Member Sonny Rodriguez (The Growers’ Company -- Somerton, Ariz.) and WG associate member, Phil Townsend, (Sunlund Chemical -- Yuma, Ariz.) participated in the 'Walk of the Farmworker' tour on Arizona’s San Luis border. Hunter Moore from Arizona Governor Doug Ducey's office and congressional staff from the offices of Arizona Congresswoman Martha McSally (AZ-2) and Arizona Senators John McCain and Jeff Flake also joined them. The tour was followed by ‎a meeting with local growers to discuss labor and H-2A issues, as well as water and food safety issues.  

Jeff Janas

Yesterday, the Wall Street Journal reported that the system failure which prevented the processing of visas around the world for over two weeks -- including H-2A visas for farm workers -- has been resolved.  Initially it was estimated that the inability of the State Department to process H2A visas cost California farmers between $500,000 and $1,000,000 per day.  WG Vice President and General Counsel Jason Resnick spoke with reporters from the paper about the disruption and said that although “It is too soon to get an exact estimate” of the total financial losses sustained by the agriculture

Jason Resnick

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H-2A

Western Growers has been the leading agricultural organization in advocating for a comprehensive immigration reform solution that includes legalizing the status of currently falsely-documented farmworkers and a new guest worker visa program to ensure future flows of labor. With many members increasingly turning to the H-2A program to meet their labor needs, Western Growers has elevated H-2A reform as a top public policy priority.

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Western Growers members care deeply for the food they grow, the land they sustain, the people they employ, and the community in which they live. 

H-2A Archive