evolution of the farm labor force and immigration reform proposals

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Evolution of the farm labor force and immigration reform proposals. David Runsten Community Alliance with Family Farmers. H-2A Requirements. Submit request 60-75 days ahead of need Document a search, including advertising, for qualified US workers and accept any that apply - PowerPoint PPT Presentation


  • Evolution of the farm labor force and immigration reform proposalsDavid RunstenCommunity Alliance with Family Farmers

  • H-2A RequirementsSubmit request 60-75 days ahead of needDocument a search, including advertising, for qualified US workers and accept any that applyCreate a contract ahead of recruitment that specifies wages, hours, weeks of employment, place, crop, taskFor jobs that last no longer than 10 monthsPay for transportation from and to countryProvide housing and have it inspectedProvide transportation to fieldsProvide 3 meals a day for $12 or a kitchenGuarantee at least 35 hours a week

  • H-2A RequirementsGuarantee at least of contractProvide workers compensation insuranceProvide all tools and equipmentPay by the hour at the highest of:Federal minimum wage$7.25CA minimum wage--$8.00Prevailing wage--$8.70 (Madera, lowest skill)CA Adverse Effect Wage--$10.24OR, WA Adverse Effect Wage--$10.92Pay all US workers this wage as well

  • H-2A ProblemsProgram not well supervised, rules not always followedWorkers pay recruiters to get included in MexicoRequired hourly wages not always paidWorkers have no rights, cant change jobsProgram costly for growers, bureaucratic, costs maybe 40% more than undocsLong lead time to get workersOnly accounts for 3% of ag labor force (about 55,000 workers per year)In CA, growers all get sued by CRLA

  • Ag Jobs ProposalLegalizes undocumented farmworkers and recent H-2A guestworkersblue cardWorked in US ag for at least 150 days in a defined recent 2 year periodNot a criminal (as defined)Pay application fee and fine of $100Blue card workers can earn Green card by:Working 100 days a year in ag for 5 yearsWorking 100 days in ag one year and 150 days for the subsequent 3 yearsWorking 150 days in ag a year for 3 yearsPay application fee, $400 fine, income taxes

  • Ag Jobs ProposalFamily and minor children of blue card holders residing in the US would be legalizedChanges to H-2A:May be able to pay workers rent rather than provide housingMakes downward adjustments to AEWRWorkers gain access to US courtsGoat herders, sheep herders, and dairy workers could apply for green card after 3 years of work under H-2A

  • Dan Lungren ProposalAdministered by USDAIssues 10-month w visas to a number of workers each year determined by USDAEmployers enroll in program and provide information about their labor needsEmployers can request specific w workersW workers must be continuously employed in agriculture with enrolled employers, but can move among those employers

  • Dan Lungren ProposalEmployers deposit the equivalent of Social Security and Federal UI withholdings to cover expense of programEmployees SS withholdings deposited in trust fund to be paid upon their return homeW workers not eligible for federal financial assistanceAll labor laws applyNo legalization of undocumentedH-2A continues to exist

  • Our Immigration Reform PrinciplesNo industry-specific guestworker programsNo bureaucratic programsAll workers have full labor rights, including the right to change jobs and work for anyoneFamily reunification for permanent immigrants, but remove right to immigrate siblingsMinimize employer costs so all can utilizeFees charged to immigrants covers cost

  • Low-regulatory, low-cost ProposalLegalize undocumented, charge them feesjust give them all work visasDeport criminalsSet up to admit legally a large group (250,000?)of low-skilled workers every year, issuing them work visas good for 5 yearsNumber admitted adjusted every year by a commission or some other meansNo special recruitment of US workers, no AEWR, just the labor market

  • Low-regulatory, low-cost ProposalWorkers can change jobs, come and go from US, subject to all labor laws, can collect on insurance payments (UI, SS, WC), but not welfareAt end of 5 years, worker can apply for another 5-year visa or for a green card, depending on circumstances (whether has a permanent job and work history)Path to citizenshipMove toward secure documents for everyone, E-verify