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United Fresh Immigration Activities
Workforce Facts & Numbers
- Labor costs account for 48 percent of the variable production costs for fresh fruits and 35 percent of variable costs for fresh vegetables
- We need between 1.5 and 2 million workers during the peak season, the current system does not address replenishment of workers
- In 2012, labor shortages on farms led to $3.3 billion in missed GDP growth and $1.3 billion in lost farm income.
- The impacts of an enforcement only approach to immigration would be detrimental to the agricultural industry. If agriculture were to lose access to all falsely workers, agricultural output would fall by $30 to $60 billion.
- Between 2002 and 2012 300,000 acres of farmland previously used to grow fresh fruit, vegetables, and tree nuts were taken out of production altogether.
- Currently, the H-2A program provides less than 4 percent of the hired workers needed in agriculture.
- 72 percent of growers reported that workers arrived on average of 22 days after the “date of need” under H-2A Program
- 42% of growers will not use H-2A because it is “too administratively burdensome or costly”
- In 2010, administrative challenges with the H-2A visa program led to $320 million in lost farm revenue