Farm Bureau Asks Court to Delay Worker Program

New H2A rules will make it more difficult for U.S. farms to access the labor pool. Places like California, pictured above, will have an easier time accessing workers, under the rule, due to their proximity to Mexico. States like Colorado will not have that advantage.

The American Farm Bureau Federation believes the nation’s immigration system is broken and only Congress can fix it. The organization is asking a federal district court to delay the Obama administration’s final rule on a crucial foreign worker program because the administration failed to properly consider the impacts on small businesses.

“The solution offered by the administration’s final rule on the H-2A foreign worker program only makes an already bad situation worse, and it’s going to be especially hard for family-owned farms and other small family-owned businesses,” said AFBF President Bob Stallman.

Stallman said he is hopeful the court will delay the program so that Congress can hammer out a comprehensive solution that considers small businesses and addresses the serious labor challenge in U.S. agriculture—the lack of a legal and stable work force.

“More than 15 million Americans choose to work less arduous jobs than to earn higher wages working alongside us on our farms and ranches,” Stallman said. “Higher than usual unemployment rates still have not resulted in more agricultural workers in most parts of our nation. This situation is approaching crisis proportion, one that can affect our nation’s food security, and we need a permanent solution now.”

(Image: Donnaphoto)

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