House Republicans are preparing to announce a bill that would replace the existing H-2A visa program for farmworkers. According to Agri-Pulse, the legislation is expected to include provisions of a broader immigration bill that failed in the House last month.
The bill would have created a new H-2C farmworker program and required all employers, including farms, to use the E-Verify system to check the legal status of workers. The new version also is expected to include provisions addressing the H-2B visa program for non-farm workers.
The American Farm Bureau Federation is supporting the effort. However, the California Farm Bureau and the Western Growers Association have declined to support the House Judiciary Committee’s H-2C approach, which would require all workers in the country illegally to apply for H-2C visas and return to their home countries. Spouses and children would be ineligible for the visas unless they were also working on farms.