Legislation Addresses Farm Worker Labor Shortage

Such shortages add to the cost of food. 

The Farm Workforce Modernization Act was introduced last year by Representative Zoe Lofgren of California and is being debated in Congress. The legislation would address the farm worker shortage by reforming the Department of Labor’s H-2A program which allows farmers to hire seasonal foreign workers to harvest their crops. 

The Labor Department says rising food prices can be tied in part to the shortages in farm workers. 

The bill would also help the U.S. avoid becoming a net importer of food, a trend that could have an impact on national security. 

Analysts say the bill would reduce food prices by limiting wage growth and would allow farmers to hire more workers and increase production. It would also allow farmers to hire workers year-round, as opposed to just the seasonal help they are allowed at present. The bill would also establish a path to citizenship for long-time workers.

Those who oppose the bill say it will not address climate change, to which they attribute the increase in food prices. They also believe the bill will exploit farm workers and do little to address food costs. 

The House passed the bill last year but it has stalled in the Senate, where legislators have not been able to reach a consensus on immigration reform and are resisting addressing it in the frame of agriculture. 

As the Lord Leads, Pray with Us…

  • For members of Congress as they consider the bill regarding foreign farm workers.
  • That senators would be wise in their approach to legislation regarding immigration and seasonal farm workers.
  • For Labor Department officials as they advocate for an increase in visas for migrant workers.

Sources: CBN, Congress, Sacramento Bee 


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