Experienced immigrant agricultural laborers who work on American farms and factories are a vital part of our nation’s food supply. Labor-intensive agriculture and food processing is facing a critical labor shortage, which if not addressed threatens to accelerate increases in soaring food prices.
The current immigration policy is not effective. Some estimate that as much as 75 percent of seasonal agricultural laborers lack proper immigration status. At a time of global food crisis, AFFI, as part of the Agriculture Coalition for Immigration Reform, supports the adoption of comprehensive immigration reform policies that address the unique needs of American agriculture by providing seasonal immigrant agricultural laborers with avenues for temporary legal status while they work in the United States.
In recent years, Congress has failed to pass comprehensive immigration reform, but a broad coalition is gaining traction for the issue. This coalition supports passage of legislation similar to The Agricultural Job Opportunities, Benefits, and Security Act (AgJOBS), which would provide assistance to immigrant agricultural laborers by streamlining the H-2A visa program.