Understanding Farmworkers and H-2A In the United States
Apr 15, 2020, Updated May 21, 2021
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To understand Farmworkers and H-2A In the United States, we interviewed Dante Galeazzi of Texas International Produce Association.
We have been receiving a lot of correspondence at The Produce Moms around H-2A and farm labor. It surprised me at first. Then I recognized that the topic of H-2A labor has been trending in the mainstream media. It has brought the conversation to the forefront.
What is H-2A?
The H-2A program allows U.S. employers who meet specific regulatory requirements to bring foreign nationals to the United States to fill temporary agricultural jobs. In short, H-2A helps American farmers fill employment gaps by hiring workers from other countries.
In a recent press release from the USDA, they announced that they are making moves to protect American farmers to ensure the continue flow of America’s food supply. And they are working with the Department of Homeland Security to do so. They will temporarily amend certain H-2A requirements during the Covid-19 National Emergency.
“The Department of Homeland Security, with the support of the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), has announced a temporary final rule to change certain H-2A requirements to help U.S. agricultural employers avoid disruptions in lawful agricultural-related employment, protect the nation’s food supply chain, and lessen impacts from the coronavirus (COVID-19) public health emergency. These temporary flexibilities will not weaken or eliminate protections for U.S. workers.”
Dante Galeazzi, Texas International Produce Association
With all the H-2A discussions and current events, I wanted to talk to an expert on the subject. Dante Galeazzi is the President of the Texas International Produce Association and is an advocate for agricultural labor. He understands all of the H-2A labor laws and the challenges that farms are facing in the current state of our world.
The Topics Covered in the Interview
- The reality of work that needs to be done to harvest specialty crops.
- The fact that farms are operating at 70% typical capacity.
- The longstanding issue of farm labor (we’re talking 120 years!).
- How legislation has adjusted bringing in foreign workers amidst Covid-19 realities.
- That this process is NOT deregulation
Watch the full interview to learn more about the current state of farm labor in the United States!