Calls For “Fixes” Of Legal Migrant Worker Programs Intensify
Right now, there are many jobs that need to be filled in the agriculture and seafood industries in Louisiana. If U.S. citizens will not pick up the paychecks, there are a lot of migrant works poised to grab at the opportunity.
However, taking in legal migrant workers to do the job has become very expensive, as well as a time-consuming process. This was revealed by Mike Strain, the Louisiana Commissioner of Agriculture.
With the backing of departments of agriculture in other states, Strain and others have recently called for the streamlining of visa processing and reducing the red to the minimum.
Strain said, “If we’re going to continue to rely upon foreign workers, then we need an expedited system to bring them into the country, keep track of them and to make sure they return home when their work visas have expired.”
Supervised by the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services or CIS, seasonal or temporary visas through the H-2A and H-2B programs are granted to migrant workers. With regards to agriculture-related hires, the certification process must start at least 45 days before a visa will be issued. Once it is granted, the visa will be good for a maximum of 364 days.
A lot of obstacles must be overcome, however, before the CIS can get to the request of a potential employer for a migrant worker’s visa to be granted.
First, the employer must be able to show proof that he has “actively” advertised the job and that it had no takers. Furthermore, the employer must file an assertion with the Labor Department saying, in essence, that his only option is hiring migrant workers.