Rampant misuse in US guest farmworker scheme-Report
United States, 8th September—The US guest farmworker program is being abused by some US farmers, findings of a latest report reveal.
US H-2 A Agricultural Visa scheme--As per the report, the US guest farmworker scheme allows US farmers to hire foreign workers to work on US farms for seasonal jobs on a temporary basis.
The condition for the US farmers is to make sure the hiring of foreign temporary seasonal workers is done only if the US workers with requisite skills are not found for such jobs.
Moreover, they also need to provide working conditions as well as wage conditions for hiring such seasonal temporary farm workers in the US.
This US visa program provides jobs to immigrant farm workers.
And the US farmers employing foreign workers for seasonal farm jobs in the US under this program are provided incentives in the form of exemption from paying unemployment and Social Security taxes on the wages paid to guest farm workers.
Misuse of US H-2 A visa program—Meanwhile, there have been certain incidences of misuse of US H-2A visa program meant for hiring foreign temporary workers to work in US farms for seasonal jobs.
The report titled “No way to treat a guest: Why the H-2A Agricultural Visa program fails US and Foreign workers” states that guest farm workers in the US comprise around 10 percent of the total agricultural workforce in the US.
Out of such workers, around 50 percent to 70 percent of such workers are undocumented immigrants, the report asserts.
Thanks to some of unscrupulous US farmers, the US H-2A visa program is subject to rampant abuse, the report highlights. It has been noticed that many a times, a significant number of US workers applying for US H-2A jobs are either not accepted by farmers or forced to quit their jobs.
Moreover, employers using US H-2A visa program often use unlawful ways and indulge in wage theft.
Poor guest farm workers coming to the US are often vulnerable to the treacherous ways of employers in the US. Forced labor, debt-peonage and human trafficking are some of the other loopholes of the US H-2A visa system, the report maintains.
Solutions for US H-2A visa program—Strict monitoring along with heavy penalties for those indulging in misuse of the US H-2A visa program can not only help in providing fair wage payments for immigrant farm workers in the US but also ensure a safe working system for the workers.