Labor and Immigration Reform
BackgroundUnlike most other areas of the U.S. economy where workers outnumber available jobs, the agriculture industry is experiencing a serious challenge in attracting enough skilled labor to meet its needs. Unfortunately, the current workforce, consisting of domestic laborers supplemented by foreign H-2A Temporary Agricultural Program workers, continues to provide an inadequate workforce for potato growers and other specialty crop producers.
Reform Labor and Immigration Laws
In order to avoid a crisis in agriculture where product either rots in the field or production shifts to overseas competitors, the National Potato Council supports congressional efforts to reform the nation’s immigration laws and reform the H-2A program.
Comprehensive immigration reform would create a guest worker program to address the long-term needs of the agriculture sector, while at the same time providing an opportunity for current undocumented workers to earn legal eligibility to work in this country.
In 2013, NPC and other agriculture orgnizations founded the Agriculture Workforce Coalition (AWC), which was organized to advocate for agriculture guest worker reform within the larger comprehensive immigration debate. NPC is an active member of the AWC and is working with the coalition to achieve the legislative goals that will ensure a stable, legal agricultural workforce now and into the future.