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My dad has sayings for days. ‘You bloom where you’re planted’ ties into farming, but it also sums up the ideals and morals that we have as a family by staying in Firebaugh.”

 Josh Allen, Quarterback-Buffalo Bills

Regulatory Actions:

Migrant workers in the H-2A temporary agricultural worker program provide critical seasonal labor on farms across California‭, ‬spending weeks away from home doing the grueling work needed to support the state’s‭ $‬49‭ ‬billion agricultural industry‭.‬

H-2 and Other Worker Status Issues:

The H-2A program allows US farmers who anticipate shortages of seasonal workers to be certified by DOL to recruit and employ H-2A workers to fill seasonal jobs for up to 10 months.

Boundless spoke with Bloomberg Law’s Andrew Kreighbaum about his experience covering immigration and the biggest issues facing immigrants in the U.S. today.

American growers need more workers, and the H-2A program is answering the bell.

EPA Administrator Michael Regan says the agency is putting a priority on re-evaluating pesticides for their environmental impact under the Endangered Species Act.

Recently released data from the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) reflects surging demand for temporary agricultural employees under the H-2A seasonal guestworker program.

Safety:

As reported in our November 2, 2020, blog item, on October 30, 2020, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) issued a final rule on the Agricultural Worker Protection Standard (WPS) regulation that revises the requirements on the pesticide application exclusion zone (AEZ), defined as an “area surrounding the point(s) of pesticide discharge from the application equipment that must generally be free of all persons during pesticide applications.”

Immigration Reform:

Democrats renewed their push Wednesday to provide a path to citizenship for hundreds of thousands of so-called documented Dreamers who grew up legally in the U.S. but risk deportation when they turn 21 years old.

Secretary of Labor Marty Walsh talked about the importance of significant immigration reform at a House hearing this week.

NCAE This Week:

The House and Senate were in this week.

 U.S. Senator Mike Crapo (R-ID) handily won the Republican primary in his home state with a whopping 67.08% of the vote.  We are hopeful the Senator will  now move quickly with his Democrat counterpart Michael Bennet (CO) to advance a Senate bill addressing agricultural labor reform.  A successful Senate bill would then move into a conference committee with the bipartisan House passed Farm Workforce Modernization Act.  

 Efforts in the Senate on this critical issue stalled for months as Senate efforts to include immigration language in the President’s budget reconciliation bill aka “Build Back Better” failed repeatedly.  A Senate measure will require 60 votes to move off the floor.

 The Department of Labor’s Office of Foreign Labor Certification (OFLC) published data noting continued strong demand for temporary agricultural workers continues.  OFLC indicates that not only were applications up 17.5% over the same period in FY 2021, but that the total number of jobs certified has surged 16.5%.

 NCAE was notified by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) this morning that the World Health Organization (WHO) has granted approval for CanSino’s COVID-19 vaccine.  This is welcome news as NCAE has been working with the Administration on the border crossing vaccination requirement contained in the President’s Executive Order from last October.  The Order requires full vaccination with a WHO/CDC approved vaccine.  Members have experienced the dilemma that many potential workers from Mexico had been vaccinated with the CanSino product, making them ineligible to cross into the U.S.

 NCAE’s Executive Committee spent the first part of the week developing a new strategic plan for the organization.  The last plan was developed in 2018.  After finishing touches are placed on this new plan, it will be shared with the membership.  Please thank the Executive Committee for their hard work in this process.

 Have a great weekend!

Michael

News articles and citations of interest for week ending 2022/05/20

This week, AGCO, a U.S. agricultural machinery manufacturer, suffered a ransomware attack that affected its business operations and shut down its systems.

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