As a result of the government shutdown, the Office of Foreign Labor Certification at the U.S. Dept. of Labor (DOL) is shuttered and the processing of H-2A applications has come to a halt. If a budget deal is not reached soon, the Yuma and Imperial winter vegetable harvest, which relies on thousands of H-2A workers, as well as other areas of the country that rely on H-2A workers during the winter, will suffer significant adverse impacts.
Western Growers has been in direct communications with ranking officials at DOL and USDA, as well as the relevant legislative offices. We are seeking an immediate exemption from furloughs for H-2A adjudicators and certifying officers. In the alternative, WG is requesting that the various agencies involved in the H-2A process implement our recommended contingency plans for expediting H-2A applications immediately upon the resumption of the government.
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