Bob Larson Newhouse H-2A Amendment Pt 2
by Bob Larson, click here for bio

Program: Fruit Grower Report
Date: July 27, 2017

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With today’s Fruit Grower Report, I’m Bob Larson. Too many segments of the Ag industry are struggling to find enough labor, made more difficult because they aren’t included in the H-2A foreign worker program.

That’s according to Representative Dan Newhouse who crafted an amendment to the Fiscal 2018 Homeland Security appropriations bill, expanding H-2A to all of Ag …

DAN NEWHOUSE … “Getting labor, certainly in a dairy situation, is critical for the daily necessity of getting the cows milked. And there really are some issues, not only in the state of Washington, but around the country are stories of people having problems securing an adequate labor force. This isn’t to displace domestic workers. It’s just to augment the supply of necessary Ag workers.”

Newhouse says the bipartisan bill is now moving through the process …

DAN NEWHOUSE … “Well it’s not law yet, but it is now part of the Homeland Security appropriations bill. We passed it through committee. Now it goes, the next step would be to the floor of the House of Representatives. Assuming that we can get that passed, across the finish line, then it would go over to the Senate. But, at the same time, we are also working with some members of the Senate so that the same process can begin over there and hopefully the two ideas would then meet in the middle and we could get a final product passed by both bodies and sent to the president.”

Newhouse says the amendment would not change the time limits an H-2A worker can stay in the U.S., and would still require farmers show they’re advertising and trying to hire domestic workers first. The amendment would simply ensure that all of Ag can utilize the program.

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