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With the issue of immigration reform in the spotlight, Florida Citrus Mutual is continuing to work with State and Federal legislators on the development of a meaningful and comprehensive reform package.

In the interim, we believe it’s important to remind the industry that one of the most viable current solutions is the H-2A temporary agricultural program, which enables employers who anticipate a shortage of domestic workers to bring non-immigrant foreign workers to the U.S. to perform agricultural labor or services of a temporary
seasonal nature.

To participate in the H-2A program, employers must submit an application to the U.S. Department of Labor stating that (a) there are not a sufficient number of willing, able, qualified and available domestic workers; and that (b) the employment of foreign workers will not adversely affect the wages or working conditions of other similarly employed U.S. workers.

It is imperative that employers carefully review each application and contract, as this document sets guidelines and restrictions for all aspects of employment.

The H-2A program includes many worker protections and employer requirements regarding wages and working conditions that do not apply to non-agricultural programs. Some key aspects of the program include housing, transportation and wages.

Additionally, there are a number of other regulations and requirements that must be met during the application process and throughout utilization of the H-2A program.