Monday, December 15, 2008

H-2A Changes: A Cheap Shot at Workers

The New York Times' editorial has condemned the proposed changes in the guest-workers program, H-2A, as a cheap shot against workers -- both native and immigrant. (See posting for December 12, 2008.) The need to attract temporary agricultural workers has led the Bush administration to relax requirements for visas. The Times, labor and immigrant advocates claim these changes will not help workers -- or most growers for that matter. They deny the rights of U.S. citizens and legal aliens by by-passing the requirement to recruit first in the local job market, and also they refuse for opportunity for current undocumented workers, who may have worked here for years and developed not easily replaceable skills. A better answer to the need of guest-worker in agriculture would to AgJobs, a program agreed between growers and farm-worker advocates that was part of the comprehensive reform in the Senate.

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