Newhouse, Bennet Introduce Last Minute Farm Labor Bill
In a last-minute effort to get H-2A reform finished before Congress adjourns, lawmakers have introduced a new bill. Colorado senator Michael Bennet, and central Washington representative Dan Newhouse, introduced the Affordable and Secure Food Act Thursday. The legislation supporters said 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.
“This plan is broadly supported by farmers, by labor, by immigration advocates, and business,” Bennet said, “There is no reason that we shouldn’t get this done."
"Let’s stop waiting, and start acting,” Newhouse added. “reform our broken immigration laws.”
The legislation, the two say, 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.
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