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Bob Larson Foreign Workers Not From Mexico Pt 1
by Bob Larson, click here for bio

Program: Fruit Grower Report
Date: May 05, 2017

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With today’s Fruit Grower Report, I’m Bob Larson. Farm labor from El Salvador and Guatemala are enjoying the opportunity to earn money on Washington farms and more workers are expected in the coming months.

WAFLA Director Dan Fazio says other countries have also been inquiring about opportunities here for their workers …

DAN FAZIO … “Absolutely! Honduras and Nicaragua have both expressed interest and, of course, Haiti, not a Central American Country, has been knocking at the door. It’s just very hard to organize that and other logistical problems that we want to address so that we can make sure we’re not biting off more than we can chew.”

I asked Fazio how many foreign workers they planned on bringing to Washington this year …

DAN FAZIO … “Bob, you sound like the people from Guatemala and El Salvador. They call us about once a day asking how many people that they can rely on and we tell them it depends on how the first groups perform.”

With regards to how the expanded H-2A program is working, Fazio says so far so good …

DAN FAZIO … “We’re really happy moving forward with the program. It’s going well this year. The number of employers that are using the program is increasing and so we’re very optimistic about the program. We’ve had some minor issues with some of the agencies that are just really having a hard time keeping up with the volume. Other than that, the program is working real well.”

Fazio says President Trump’s stand on immigration has caused little if any problems for the H-2A program.

Statewide, about 15,000 workers, mostly from Mexico, are expected.

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