Agriculture groups are expressing support for the Agricultural Guestworker Act of 2017. The bill would create an H-2C visa program that will allow American farmers and, packers and processors access to a legal and stable supply of workers.
The National Chicken Council says the bill would help farmers access legal workers to combat workforce shortages. The National Pork Producers Council says the bill, introduced Monday by Virginia Republican Representative Bob Goodlatte, would allow the pork industry access to a “viable agriculture workforce to remain globally competitive.” American Farm Bureau Federation President Zippy Duvall says the bill addresses the needs of agriculture’s current workforce.
The new program would allow undocumented workers, who can demonstrate agriculture work experience over the previous two-year period, to get an H2-C visa. An initial cap of 500,000 workers would be allowed under the program, with allowances to adjust the number depending on U.S. agriculture labor demand each year.