State Department clears the way for agriculture workforce


The U.S. State Department has revised restrictions on processing of visa applications submitted by farm workers from Mexico, reversing course from when it suspended routine visa processing services on March 18, 2020.

Last year, roughly 258,000 H-2A workers came in from in Mexico, making up more than 90 percent of H-2A laborers.

American Farm Bureau President welcomed the federal government’s decisions to bring in more workers while also prioritizing public health.

“We applaud the administration for recognizing the contributions H-2A and H-2B workers make on farms across this country to ensure Americans have access to healthy, affordable food. Acknowledging the critical role of immigrant farm laborers by expanding the number eligible for visas protects the public health while ensuring families continue to have access to a stable food source,” AFBF President Zippy Duvall said. “America’s farmers and ranchers are committed to feeding America’s families during the coronavirus pandemic and beyond. Workers in the H-2A program represent 20% of the country’s farm workforce, so their contributions are necessary as we enter a critical time in the planting season.”