NMPF Statement on Passage of Newhouse Amendment to Improve H-2A Program for Dairy Producers

Jim Mulhern, NMPF President and CEO

“We greatly appreciate Rep. Dan Newhouse’s (R-WA) work on behalf of America’s dairy producers to expand the H-2A farm worker visa program to include year-round employees on farms.

 

 “Rep. Newhouse’s amendment to the Homeland Security Appropriations bill would allow farm employers to use the H-2A visa program to hire foreign workers, regardless of whether those employees are engaged in temporary or seasonal work. NMPF and members of its Immigration Task Force have worked with Rep. Newhouse on this proposal so that dairy farmers can more readily use the H-2A visa program to fill their need for year-round workers. We’re also grateful for Rep. David Valadao’s (R-CA) support in keeping this issue at the forefront.

 

 “Dairy farmers have largely have not been able to utilize the H-2A visa program because the current version restricts the visas only to the temporary and seasonal labor needs of agricultural employers. The H-2A program simply isn’t an option for a commodity that harvests its product multiple times a day, every day.

 “We believe that creating an additional legal pathway for workers to connect with farm employers deserves bipartisan support. It is critical that the government creates a system that provides secure, legal employment. We thank Rep. Newhouse for this efforts toward achieving this goal.”