Lawmakers are wanting a H-2A freeze amid calculation concerns

The debate over H-2A visa worker wages is intensifying on Capitol Hill as industry stakeholders lobby Congress for relief.

They are concerned about the method of wage calculation, particularly given significant increases over the past two decades. Lawmakers on both sides of the aisle are urging action, pointing to disparities with international competitors and the strain on domestic producers.

During a recent discussion with our friend Tony St. James, Representative Rick Crawford highlighted the importance of reforming the H-2A program.

“We’re relying on H-2A to manage that migrant labor force. So we’re seeing issues related to H-2A that are making it more difficult to manage, more difficult to cash flow. It’s a costly program, it’s a cumbersome program, and it needs to be fixed. We undertook this investigation and published a couple of reports to make some recommendations to the Committees of Jurisdiction. The irony of this whole effort, though, is that the Ag Committee has almost no jurisdiction in H-2A.”

Crawford mentioned the bipartisan effort, led by the House Ag Committee, resulted in 25 legislative recommendations to improve the program. 15 received unanimous support.