In testimony delivered Tuesday to the U.S. House Subcommittee on Immigration and Border Security, representatives from the agriculture industry offered options to improve and reform the U.S. guestworker program.
The hearing, "From H-2A to a Workable Agricultural Guestworker Program," is the second in a series of several hearings on immigration issues in the subcommittee.
Bob Stallman, president of the American Farm Bureau Federation and National Chicken Council President Mike Brown, along with Giev Kashkooli of the United Farm Workers and USA FARMERS President Chalmers Carr testified regarding the need for a stable and permanent agricultural workforce.
AFBF pressed for a market-based labor program that would be administered by USDA.
The new program, AFBF says, would serve as a substitute for and eventually replace the H-2A program now in place, and would provide farmers with access to a legal and stable workforce. Additionally, the program would provide employers with certainty that they will have access to the workforce they need at a competitive cost.