U.S. Ag Secretary Sonny Perdue applauded the proposed rulemaking from the Department of Labor regarding the H-2A Visa Program. The proposed new rule would require American employers looking for temporary help to advertise their job openings to domestic workers online, instead of inexpensive newspaper ads that reach a limited audience. This is one of the first steps in H-2A regulatory reform that was promised in May through a joint statement from the Secretaries of Agriculture, Labor, State, and Homeland Security.
Perdue says one of the biggest concerns he hears about from farmers during his travels around the country is the shortage of legal farm labor. “Our farmers and ranchers are the most productive in the world and they want to obey immigration law,” says Perdue. “When American workers aren’t available, farmers turn to the H-2A program that is overly bureaucratic and cost prohibitive. Using regulations like this is one way to modernize H-2A to reach more American workers while providing relief to farmers from one of the high costs of the program.” Perdue says it’s good to see the government using 21st Century technology, rather than limiting farmers to placing notices in want ads.