Future Of Ag Immigration Reform Up In The Air

Senate Parliamentarian Elizabeth MacDonough ruled against the Democrats’ plan to provide eight million green cards as a part of their $3.5 trillion spending bill. According to The Hill, that decision makes getting immigration reform to President Biden’s desk much harder. The American Farm Bureau Federation noted that Ag labor reform in a partisan manner would not have achieved the goals the organization is looking for; a true Ag labor solution.

“And yes, we do support having some type of adjustment of status of the current workforces here,” noted AFBA President Zippy Duval.  

But proposed H-2A visa reforms haven’t always met the needs of agriculture he noted.

“We want a flexible program where our farmers can use it—all size farmers. You can’t make something that’s limited, capped, and think that you’re going to fix the problem. We’ve got to have something flexible, that’s accessible to all size farmers, that they can afford, and that they can use year-round.” 

Duval said labor continues to be the biggest limiting factor in U.S. agriculture, and without it, farming operations can’t expand, and young aspiring farmers can’t get started.

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