Ag Labor Working Group report highlights urgent issues with H-2A

A U.S. House Ag Committee member says there needs to be a sense of urgency to pass short-term solutions addressing H-2A guest worker costs.

Rick Crawford of Arkansas serves as a co-chair on the committee’s Agricultural Labor Working Group.

“If you’re a farmer or an ag producer in any capacity that relies on the H2A program, time is of the essence because it’s costing more and more every day,” he says.

The working group recently released final recommendation to improve the H-2A guest worker program which includes a temporary wage freeze.

“I do think that there are some possibilities that maybe even in the approps process as we hammer out the 25 approach bills, maybe some of these changes can be made,” he says.

Crawford says the Homeland Security, Foreign Affairs, Ways and Means, Judiciary, and Education and Workforce Committees are responsible for making statutory changes in the program.

“I think Chairman GT Thompson and Ranking Member David Scott are going to lean into this very aggressively,” he says. “And that’s the message that we’ve received from them and that they’re actually talking to these chairmen of these committees of authority. And I know that I’ve talked to a few of those chairmen and women and they’re very open to this.”

Crawford tells Brownfield the working group was able to agree unanimously on a large majority of reforms and he expects the report to serve as the basis of immediate legislative changes.

AUDIO: Congressman Rick Crawford

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