Washington, D.C. — House Judiciary Committee Chairman Bob Goodlatte issued the following statement on the joint announcement from the Departments of State, Agriculture, Homeland Security, and Labor regarding regulatory changes to the H-2A temporary agricultural workers program.
“Today the Departments of State, Agriculture, Homeland Security, and Labor announced that they intend to make changes to the failed H-2A system. I applaud the Administration’s intention to improve the current program. However, these reforms are only good while the current Administration is in office. Just as the Obama Department of Labor rescinded the George W. Bush Administration’s regulations, such modifications will only provide temporary relief from the onerous H-2A regulations. Our nation’s farmers and ranchers deserve more certainty than that.
“The current H-2A program does not meet the needs of our nation’s farmers and ranchers. It is expensive, flawed, plagued with red tape, and isn’t available to farms that require year-round labor. A permanent legislative solution is needed to address the farm labor crisis. That is why I have introduced legislation to permanently replace the outdated H-2A program with a reliable, efficient, and fair program, ensuring that farmers and ranchers will have access to a legal, stable supply of workers for seasonal as well as year-round work.”
Background: Earlier this year, Chairman Goodlatte, House Homeland Security Committee Chairman Michael McCaul (R-Texas), House Judiciary Committee Immigration and Border Security Subcommittee Chairman Raúl Labrador (R-Idaho), and House Homeland Security Committee Border and Maritime Security Subcommittee Chairwoman Martha McSally (R-Ariz.) introduced the Securing America’s Future Act (H.R. 4760). This bill secures the border, bolsters enforcement of existing immigration law, provides a legislative solution for the current beneficiaries of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program and makes important reforms to our legal immigration programs, including the creation of a new, workable agricultural guestworker program known as the H-2C program.
Details on the Securing America’s Future Act can be found HERE.