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Duffy H-2A changes backed by dairy groups

Dairy industry leaders are supporting a proposed change to the H-2A worker visa program.

Chris Galen at National Milk Producers tells Brownfield he’s glad to see Congress work on it.  “We’re glad to see members of Congress talking about things that can be done to realistically change our labor policies that will give us the help we need on dairy farms.”

Congressman Sean Duffy of Wisconsin recently introduced the DAIRY Act, which would allow dairy workers to extend visas from under one year to 18-months, and the visas would be renewable.  Galen says current visa programs don’t fit the year-round labor need.  “Right now, because it is designed to bring in seasonal, temporary guest workers, and labor needs on dairy farms are 24-7-365, the H-2A program does not work.”

Duffy’s bill also has support from the American Dairy Coalition, which has said immigration reform is its top issue.

More than half of America’s dairy farm workers are foreign-born, and both farmers and employees fear immigration enforcement might lead to deportations that would cripple the dairy industry.  Media reports say some 700 unauthorized immigrants have been deported nationwide since President Trump took office, including some dairy workers.

 

The DAIRY Act bill has been referred to the House Committee on the Judiciary.

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