A bill introduced earlier this month into the House of Representatives (H.R. 281) is titled the Family Farm Relief Act, dealing specifically with immigration. Politico’s Morning Ag Report says the legislation is sponsored by New York Republicans Elise Stefanik and Chris Collins and would move the H2A immigration program from the Department of Labor to the Department of Agriculture. Stefanik says the program would “be in the hands of those who best understand the specific needs of our farms.” The bill would also let applicants fill out an application online or a paper application. It would require a more user-friendly online system. The bill would bring an end to “burdensome requirements on advertising and prevailing practice surveys.” The legislation would let farm cooperatives and other agriculture groups apply for workers for their members. The dairy and livestock industries have struggled with the H2A program and this legislation aims to make the system more workable for both groups. Stefanik represents a rural district in New York that has a large number of dairy farms. Collins is one of the closest allies on Capitol Hill of President Donald Trump.
From the National Association of Farm Broadcasting news service.