US growers fume over US H-2A visa program
United States, 8th May: Growers in the US are crying about the vague US H-2A visa scheme for attracting seasonal farm workers in the nation.
Tougher rules of US seasonal farm-worker visa program are making it difficult for US farmers to get the required number of temporary farm workers.
Farmers frustrated by US H-2A visa rules—Rules for US H-2A visa program meant to allow foreign labor to come and work on US farms for a temporary period of time need to be changed, allege a large number of US growers.
Current rules are restricting US farmers from hiring temporary foreign farm workers legally, says Jjm Little, a farmer from Emmett, while voicing the concerns of many others in Idaho.
Frustration is writ large on the faces of Idaho farmers who are solely dependent on immigrant workers for their farm works. Farmers further allege that Americans are not ready to take up jobs involving physical labor.
Delays in arrival of temporary farm workers--Tougher rules for US H-2 A Visa program are posing problems in the way of recruiting temporary foreign farm workers. It takes much longer for temporary foreign labor to come to the US and work on US farms, the farmers allege.
And unnecessary administrative delays are sending US farm businesses into losses. Speaking about the issue, Rochelle Oxarango, daughter of Little, said dependence on the US H-2A visa program is complicating things for them.
Their businesses are running in losses and they are left with no option but to wind up their business, says Oxarango.
Going through the lawful procedure of hiring temporary farm workers through the US temporary H-2A visa program is full of obstacles, says Michaelene Rowe of a farmer group based in Idaho.
The program involved complicated paper procedure involving farmers to move thorough several government agencies, Rowe states. Any single mistake, even a minor one, can lead to long delays or even denials in arrival of temporary foreign workers, he maintains.
Changes needed in US H2 A visa program— US farmer associations are urging the federal agencies involved in the program to conduct meeting with farmers to solve this problem at the earliest. Jane Oates, Assistant Labor Secretary has affirmed needful action in this regard. She said the department will work towards increased efficiency of the program.