Western Growers has long advocated for Congress to take action on immigration reform in order to provide members with a legal and reliable workforce. We will continue to work toward meaningful solutions critical to the needs of our industry and the nation.
However, because of Washington’s intractable political climate, we have broadened our efforts to focus on reforming and streamlining the only program farmers can use to legally bring in foreign workers to harvest their crops – the H-2A program.
In the absence of immigration reform, the fresh produce industry has increasingly relied on the H-2A visa program to address labor shortages, especially in California and Arizona. This trend has not been without its difficulties.
Yesterday, in response to escalating bureaucratic delays in processing H-2A requests, Western Growers President and CEO Tom Nassif sent a letter to members of the California congressional delegation urging them to lean on the U.S. Department of Labor and U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Service for a prompt resolution to both immediate and systemic issues with the program.
We recognize that time is of the essence as many of our California members are looking to the H-2A program to meet their labor needs during the upcoming season. Stay tuned for updates on our efforts to make this program more workable for our members and the agriculture industry.
Additionally, with immigration continuing to be a hot presidential campaign topic, this past week, Fox & Friends anchor Anna Kooiman hosted a segment that included Tom Nassif, in which he focused on the need for H-2A reform.
For more information, contact Ken Barbic at (202) 296-0191.