Yesterday, the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) and the U.S. Department of State (DOS) announced the launch of two Western Growers’ promoted initiatives designed to streamline and bring bureaucratic efficiencies to the H-2A application process. The processing changes come after continued engagement by WG staff and less than a month after WG Chairman Larry Cox led a delegation of board members to Washington, D.C.

In a recent survey of our members who use the H-2A program, more than half experienced delays in getting their workers last year. This year, with the influx of H-2B visa applications at the Department of Labor (DOL), and the greater overall demand for the H-2A program, there is a real concern that H-2A visa applications will be substantially delayed as the harvest season approaches for many of our members.

Jeff Janas

With the possibility of additional H2A processing delays threatening farming operations in California, Arizona and elsewhere, WG board members flew to Washington, D.C. and met with representatives from the three federal agencies responsible for processing applications.

Board members used the opportunity to highlight the increasing usage of H-2A and why there is every expectation the program will only continue to grow in usage, particularly in places like California where it has historically had little use, now that there are no other alternatives.

Pages

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.

Join Western Growers

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.