Changes to H2-C Immigration Bill
Hearing concerns from ag groups, Rep. Bob Goodlatte (R-Va) made several amendments to the AG Act, which would initiate an H2-C guestworker program as an upgrade to the current H2-A program.
According to Politico, the changes would offer farmers more time to comply with E-Verify. The changes would also address concerns that the maximum visa term is insufficient, and extends the term from 18 to 24 months. As Politico says this would increase the number of visa recipients that could be in the program after the first year.
It's still unknown if the bill will actually reach the floor of the House for a vote. Politico says many Republicans, including Secretary Perdue, support the bill.
While the American Farm Bureau Federation supports the bill - AFBF president Zippy Duvall has called on lawmakers to support it - those in California have not shown their support. "As now written, the AG Act just wouldn't work for California farms and ranches," says Jamie Johansson, president of the California Farm Bureau. The organization will offer its own recommendation on how to create a more practical program.