As the nation remains divided on the topic of immigration, the domestic agriculture marketplace continues to suffer. New graduates and already established professionals refuse to work in this sector. Less than five percent of the workforce makes up the entire agriculture market, and this number continues to shrink as processes become automated. Should President Trump be re-elected, it will be interesting to see what comes of this scenario. With this said, there are programs which provide foreign aid to downtrodden farmers. At this point, the h2a visa program in the United States provides a short window for foreign workers. These contracts typically last for the growing season, and these workers must return home.
Transforming Foreigners into Citizens
Right now, foreign nationals can receive an extension of up to one year at a time after the initial agreement with an employer ends. With the current H-2A Program, these nationals are only allowed to stay in the United States for three years. Since the agricultural workforce continues to shrink, it may make more sense to allow some of these workers to become citizens or, at the very least, green card holders. If domestic workers who are born stateside are not willing to perform this type of labor, making foreign national citizens may be the right solution.
Allowing Family Members to Work
The established legislation for the H-2A Program does not permit the family members to work if these file for H-4 nonimmigrant classification. Certain entities wish to end these programs altogether and are opposed to foreign labor. However, the complete removal of these programs would not lend well to the economy. To meet this individual in the middle, family members who accompany the primary worker should be allowed to work as well. Managing families will be much easier than accounting for a large amount of individual foreign nationals.