Michigan Congressional leaders speaking out on added H-2A fees

A bipartisan group of Michigan lawmakers say a proposed rule to increase filing fees for seasonal guestworker visas will negatively impact farmers.

Congressman Bill Huizenga tells Brownfield farmers using the H-2A program are already facing a nearly 13 percent wage increase this year.

“We’re seeing a lot of frustration and anger out of farmers who are genuinely worried about what the future of the industry is going to be, not just for their families, but for us as a nation,” he says.“

The Department of Homeland Security is proposing increasing filing fees for H-2A and H-2B petitions and create new ones as part of an effort to fund the county’s asylum program for people seeking shelter in the U.S.

“You’ve had more than a tripling of the cost for your labor in one fell swoop,” he says.

Michigan Farm Bureau has also commented on the proposed rule, saying farmers shouldn’t be forced to pay for a program that’s not related to agriculture.

Huizenga says every Michigan member of Congress but one is backing the letter.

Signers include Dan Kildee, Lisa McClain, Elissa Slotkin, Jack Bergman, Rashida Tlaib, John Moolenaar, Hillary Scholten, Tim Walberg, Debbie Dingell, John James, and Haley Stevens.

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