Agreement reached on guest worker program

The United Farm Workers union and US growers have come to an agreement on a new guest worker program that will be included in the Senate immigration reform bill. Reuters: The agreement calls creation of a new guest worker program to replace the current H-2A program and legal status for farm workers who entered the United States illegally. Officials said they would work over the weekend to flesh out the agreement. The Agriculture Workforce Coalition, representing a dozen U.S. farm groups, said the agreement was a step toward assuring a legal workforce on U.S. farms and ranches. Many of the 1.5 million agricultural workers, perhaps 500,000-900,000 in all, are believed to be undocumented aliens. Farmers, ranchers and nursery operators say the immigrant workers are vital because it is difficult to recruit Americans for the low-paying, often back-breaking labor such as picking fruit or daily care of livestock. Immigration reform has two major components for agriculture...(Read Full Post)