During the COVID-19 crisis, as a result of our efforts, a number of important steps have been taken related to our workforce. As of March 27, H-2A and H-2B workers will be allowed to enter the U.S. as members of the essential ag workforce.
- Department of Labor’s FAQs on COVID-19 Round 2
- Q&A related to announcement
- USDA Resources
- Department of State Resources
For years, the produce industry and our agriculture sector partners have made an overwhelming case for legislation to reform our broken immigration system and help build a legal and reliable workforce. Our industry must have:
The produce industry does not oppose proper enforcement of our nation’s immigration laws, but to do so without addressing the reality that much of workforce in agriculture is foreign-born would be devastating to our sector.
On October 30, 2019, Chairwoman Lofgren (D-CA) and Congressman Dan Newhouse (R-WA), introduced the Farm Workforce Modernization Act. The legislation was then passed by the House of Representatives on December 11, 2019 – an important first step in reforming our broken immigration system.
As our focus now turns to the Senate, we have the opportunity to replicate the bipartisan effort that resulted in passing the bill in the House. Given the dynamics of the Senate we expect a different process to unfold, but we will continue to be guided by our principles to reform the H-2A program to make it more workable for our growers and to address the legal status of our current workforce that is undocumented. We stand ready to work with policymakers to craft policies that keep our nation safe and help our economy thrive.
Take Action On This Issue!Grassroots Action Network
United Fresh Immigration Activities
- March 26, 2020 | United Fresh Applauds Decision on Foreign Worker Processing
- January 2, 2020 | Agriculture Workforce Coalition Letter to Senate
- December 11, 2019 | United Fresh Supports Passage of Farm Workforce Modernization Act in the House of Representatives
- October 30, 2019 | United Fresh Press Release on Introduction of Farm Workforce Modernization Act
- September 24, 2019 | United Fresh Comments on H-2A
- April 3, 2019 | United Fresh Testimony at House Judiciary Committee Hearing
- April 3, 2019 | United Fresh Statement on House Judiciary Committee for Labor Hearing
- May 24, 2018| United Fresh Statement on H-2A Modernization
- March 28, 2017 | Immigration Reform Letter to President Trump
- November 30, 2016 | AWC Letter to Vice President Pence
- October 13, 2016 | Comments on Standards and Procedures for the Enforcement of the Immigration and Nationality Act
- June 10, 2016 | Congressional Letter to Secretary of Labor Thomas Perez & Director, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, León Rodríguez on H-2A Improvements
- May 22, 2015 | AWC Letter Opposing Mandatory E-Verify Only
- July 10, 2015 | Letter to Departments of State and Homeland Security on Visa Stoppages
Agriculture Labor by the Numbers
- There are an estimated 3 million foreign workers in the U.S. agricultural labor force
- The number of full-time equivalent field and crop workers fell by more than 20 percent between 2002 and 2014
- As of 2016, the average age of a farm worker in the U.S. is 40 years old
- In 2018 the Department of Labor approved 242,762 H-2A positions and in just the last year the number of approved H-2A jobs grew by 21% and the number of employer applicants grew by over 16%
To learn more about immigration reform please reach out to John Hollay, Senior Director, Government Relations & Public Policy.