Western United Dairymen Tells Congress H-2A Program Is Not Much Help with Labor Needs

May 25, 2011 06:10 AM

The solution to the immigrant labor crisis lies in comprehensive immigration reform, California group says.

Source: WUD Weekly Update

The solution to the immigrant labor crisis lies in comprehensive immigration reform and not a “broken program like H-2A that solves nothing for farmers because it simply cannot supply the few workers it is asked to provide now.”

That was the blunt message Western United Dairymen (WUD) delivered to members of Congress last week as legislators consider fixes to the H-2A program.

 “The program is cumbersome at best and quite likely irreparably broken,” WUD’s CEO Michael Marsh said.

The Agriculture Coalition for Immigration Reform testified before the House Judiciary Subcommittee on Immigration Policy and Enforcement recently, pointing out that if Congress were to set an ambitious goal of increasing H-2A use five-fold over the next several years, the program would still only provide “10 percent of agriculture’s labor force needs.”

WUD called on Congress to focus its efforts “on enacting a workable solution that provides a stable, legal, year-round workforce including workers already here.”

WUD for several years has supported AgJobs, immigration reform legislation championed by California’s senator, Dianne Feinstein.

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