DOL Moves to Make H-2A User-Friendly

DanLabor and Immigration

Mexican-American farm workers are hoeing between rows of potatoes on this large Central California farm.
Credit: Richard Thornton /

The H-2A program seems to be getting a revamp finally. President Trump announced this week that the Department of Labor (DOL) would start the modernization process for the H-2A guestworker program. The DOL published a formal rule change, that stated: “it should streamline and simplify the H-2A application process, strengthen protections for U.S. and foreign workers, and ease unnecessary burdens on employers.” 

AgSafe’s Director of Business Services and Industry Relations Natalie Gupton said the most significant change in the proposal to note is a staggering application for workers. “Currently if you need 50 workers, you apply for 50 workers. As the rule stands now, If you need 25 workers now and then 25 more workers later, you would have to do two separate petitions for H-2A workers,” she said. “With this staggered entry, you can submit one application for 50 workers, bring in your first 25 and then as the season progresses you can bring in that additional 25 for your 50.”

The American Farm Bureau Federation commended the proposal but are awaiting full understanding before backing the change. AFBF President Zippy Duvall said in a release 

“AFBF applauds President Trump and his administration for recognizing the need to reform our nation’s agricultural guest worker program. American farmers and ranchers have long faced challenges in meeting their labor needs and asked for modernization of the H-2A program. This is a lengthy rule, and we intend to evaluate it closely for its potential to assist growers with their labor needs. We are pleased by this development, however, and look forward to submitting comments to the official docket on this proposal.”

Stay with AgNet West for more changes in the proposal.

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DOL Moves to Make H-2A User-Friendly
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Taylor Hillman