In a last-minute effort to get H-2A reform finished before Congress adjourns, lawmakers have introduced a new bill.
Senator Michael Bennet, a Democrat from Colorado and Representative Dan Newhouse, a Washington state Republican, introduced the Affordable and Secure Food Act Thursday. The legislation will reform the H-2A Temporary Agricultural Worker program by expanding H-2A visas to year-round jobs for the first time, modernizing the application process, creating more wage certainty, and ensuring critical protections for farm workers.
Senator Bennet says, “This plan is broadly supported by farmers, by labor, by immigration advocates, and business,” adding, “There is no reason that we shouldn’t get this done.”
Representative Newhouse says, “let’s stop waiting, and start acting,” and “reform our broken immigration laws.”
The legislation reflects years of close input from farmers and ranchers, agricultural workers, and labor organizations, and would establish a program for agriculture workers, along with their spouses and minor children, to earn legal status.