Energy & Environment

Immigration suspension won’t affect farmworkers: report

agriculture farming food supply
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agriculture farming food supply

President Trump’s plan to suspend all immigration into the U.S. temporarily to curb further spread of the coronavirus won’t affect foreign employees working on farms, three industry sources familiar with the proposed measures told Politico.

The Department of Homeland Security is reportedly still formulating the planned executive order, which Trump announced late Monday evening, while the Agriculture Department is working alongside the White House to clarify that farmworkers could be exempt, a lobbyist said.

Throughout the coronavirus outbreak, the agriculture industry has continued operations to keep grocery stores well-stocked.

In the past month, the Trump administration has eased requirements on the H-2A guest worker program that farmers rely on, such as mandated in-person interviews, and has temporarily lifted the three-year limit for the workers, allowing them to stay longer.

Last year, the Department of Labor certified more than 250,000 H-2A workers, a 10 percent increase from 2018.

Labor unions serving farmers and agriculture workers say they need to be adequately protected and be offered hazard pay, free testing and coverage for health care costs during the pandemic due to their confined working conditions.

Trump’s immigration proposal, which was met with quick condemnation from Democrats, is all but certain to face multiple legal challenges.

 

Tags Coronavirus Donald Trump Farmworker Foreign worker H-2A migrant workers

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