Washington, D.C. – Congresswoman Elise Stefanik is an original cosponsor of the Farm Workforce Modernization Act, bipartisan legislation that would provide meaningful reform to the agricultural guest worker program and establish a merit-based visa program specifically designed for the agricultural sector. Congresswoman Stefanik voted for this legislation in the 116th Congress.
“North Country farmers have long advocated for a stable, reliable workforce to address their labor needs, and I have supported reforms to our broken H-2A system since my first term in Congress. I am proud to cosponsor this bipartisan bill once again – we need legislation that modernizes our agriculture labor program and provides clarity for our agricultural workforce.” said Congresswoman Stefanik.
Specifically, this bill would:
- Establish a mandatory, nationwide E-Verify system for all agricultural employment with a structured phase-in and guaranteed due process for authorized workers
- Reform the H-2A program to provide more flexibility for farmers and agricultural employers, while ensuring critical protections for workers.
- Provide access to the H-2A program for industries with year-round labor needs, including dairy
- Establish a program for agricultural workers in the United States to earn legal status through continued agricultural employment and a dedicated contribution to the agricultural economy
“New York Farm Bureau has long made immigration reform a priority, believing in a commonsense approach to improve labor issues for our farms and employees. We appreciate Congresswoman Stefanik’s efforts to address this very important issue and her support for the bi-partisan legislative process. We are advocating for a pathway forward to fix the system that will benefit agriculture and our country's food system,” said David Fisher, President of New York Farm Bureau.
“We are heartened that the bipartisan Farm Workforce Modernization Act is again moving forward in the House as a vehicle toward finally enacting legislation that addresses dairy’s unique workforce challenges,” said Jim Mulhern, President and CEO of the National Milk Producers Federation. “NMPF would like to thank Congresswoman Stefanik for once again supporting this important effort on behalf of dairy farmers in Upstate New York and beyond.”
“The U.S. Apple Association applauds Rep. Stefanik for her support of the Farm Workforce Modernization Act,” said USApple President and CEO Jim Bair. “This meaningful agriculture labor reform will greatly benefit the U.S. apple industry, which relies heavily on foreign born labor.”
Click here for more information on the bill.