Ross Introduces Legal Agricultural Workforce Act
U.S. Rep. Dennis Ross (FL-15) introduced the Legal Agricultural Workforce Act yesterday in the U.S. House of Representatives. This legislation will provide for a new type of Visa, the W-Visa, to allow non-U.S. citizens to legally participate in the agriculture economy of the United States while continuing to provide protections for American workers and taxpayers.
“We have a serious need for assistance on our farms and groves,” said Ross. “This legislation provides an opportunity for non-U.S. citizens to participate in our thriving agriculture sector while providing protections for U.S. citizen agricultural employees.”
The Legal Agricultural Workforce Act:
• Establishes a market-based nonimmigrant agricultural worker program administered by the Department of Agriculture, in consultation with the Department of Homeland Security
o Program allows for worker portability across employers enrolled in the program• Provides protections for U.S. citizen agricultural workers
o Employers must recruit US workers before applying to enroll in the nonimmigrant agricultural visa program• Includes security protections
o Nonimmigrant agricultural workers may not enter the country if they violated a term of their previous entry within the last 3 years• Funding information
o Trust funds established by the Secretary of Agriculture and financed by the employers and nonimmigrant agricultural employees will finance the administration of the programClick here to read the text of H.R. 242, the Legal Agricultural Workforce Act.