As we’ve noted previously, our nation’s food supply chain depends on immigrant workers.
Temporary agricultural workers on H-2A visas are a critical part of the equation. In Maine, some large farms, such as broccoli producers in Aroostook County, rely on as many as 250 H-2A workers to grow and harvest their products each year.
This video report in the Washington Post provides a window into the H-2A program, including its connection to all the food that eventually lands on our tables, its importance to the workers themselves, and the flaws in the program that can lead to workers being victimized.
The Farm Workforce Modernization Act of 2019, which the House of Representatives passed in December 2019 , would strengthen protections for H-2A workers and offer a path to eventual permanent residency for those who have worked in U.S. agriculture year after year. It is time for the Senate to take up this bill and pass it, even as part of a COVID-19 relief bill, in recognition of the importance of these essential workers to the nation, as the current pandemic has made clear.