House Committee Set To Vote On New Farmworker Visa Program

This week House Judiciary Chairman Bob Goodlatte, R-Va. is planning to move a bill to replace the H-2A farmworker visa program after revising the legislation to address the concerns of immigration hard-liners, according to Agri-Pulse.

The revised version rolls back some planned protections for existing workers who are illegal immigrants.  Under the original version, the new H-2C visa program was scheduled to take effect in two years and provide work authorization to illegal workers in the interim. The new version strips the work authorization language and implements the new program in six months.  

Other provisions in the new version shrink the H-2C program from 500,000 to 450,000 visas and would require employers to provide health insurance to visa holders.

The committee is scheduled to vote on the bill Tuesday together with separate legislation that would require all employers to use the E-Verify system to check the legal status of hires.

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