House adopts Newhouse, Cuellar H-2A reforms

Print Article

A bipartisan amendment adding reforms to the H-2A guest-worker program to the 2019 Homeland Security Appropriations Bill was approved by the House Committee on Appropriations recently.

The amendment, offered by Rep. Dan Newhouse, R-Wash, and Rep. Henry Cuellar, D-Texas, broadens the H-2A program to apply to all agricultural sectors instead of focusing on sectors considered seasonal. This could open the temporary worker program to year-round agricultural industries, like dairy or mushroom farming, which are currently exempt from the program.

“This amendment is simple — it provides the agriculture industry with the access to workers it needs by making clear that all agriculture may utilize H-2A,” Cuellar said in a statementv after the amendment was adopted.

Newhouse said on the House floor that farmers using the current program are “plagued by bureaucratic red tap,” and that delays in the application process prevents farmers from getting the workers needed to work their fields, resulting in millions of dollars in lost productivity.

“Farmers facing a shortage of agriculture labor have not been well-served by the current H-2A program,” Newhouse said in a statement Tuesday. “Modern agriculture demands modernization of the bureaucratic H-2A program, and as farming methods have become less seasonal or able to produce multiple harvests, the H-2A program must be updated to meet the needs of the agriculture industry.”

The amendment would maintain the requirement that farmers show they are advertising open positions and are trying to hire domestic workers first, and it would not extend the time a worker employed through the H-2A program can stay in the U.S.

Guest workers under the H-2A classification can stay in the U.S. for a maximum of three years if their application is renewed on a per-year basis. A person who has held H-2A non-immigrant status for a total of three years must depart and remain outside the United States for an uninterrupted period of three months.

Print Article

Read More Political

Hopefuls vie for seat if Manweller resigns

October 17, 2018 at 4:20 pm | The Royal Register Following a series of sexual misconduct allegations ranging from unwanted staring to statutory rape, embattled Rep. Matt Manweller, R-Cle Elum, has promised to resign from the legislature if he is re...

Comments

Read More

Mattawa has a new administrative contact

October 17, 2018 at 4:19 pm | Columbia Basin Herald The city of Mattawa has a new administrative assistant, having recently hired Norma Avalos to fill the position. Avalos will be the community’s main point of contact with city and law enforcement adm...

Comments

Read More

Grant PUD presents 2019 budget proposal

October 17, 2018 at 4:18 pm | Columbia Basin Herald EPHRATA — The Grant County PUD plans to spend about $279,604,000 in 2019. Utility district chief financial officer Jeff Bishop detailed some of the expenditures and the reasons behind them at a publi...

Comments

Read More

‘Why pay rent?’: Frustration in South Grant County over homeless

October 10, 2018 at 5:12 pm | Columbia Basin Herald Small towns across rural Grant County have been responding with frustration and derision at a recent circuit court decision that restricted the ability of municipalities to criminalize homeless encam...

Comments

Read More

Contact Us

509-770-1227
705 E. Hemlock (downstairs)
Othello, WA 99344

©2018 Sun Tribune Terms of Use Privacy Policy
X
X