Washington, D.C. – Congresswoman Elise Stefanik sent a letter to Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, Acting Secretary of Homeland Security Chad Wolf, and Secretary of Labor Eugene Scalia requesting comprehensive resources and guidance for communities across New York State to address the impact that COVID-19 will have on the ability for migrant workers to access the H-2A visa program. As a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, many embassies and consulates have closed. Farms and businesses that depend on work visa program to meet their labor needs are facing uncertainty as they approach the 2020 season. This letter, signed by members of the New York Congressional Delegation, requests information on federal efforts that will be undertaken in the coming weeks to maintain accessible guidance for participants in work-based immigrant visa programs.
“Our farmers are facing an unprecedented challenge in keeping America’s food supply chain secure during the COVID-19 outbreak,” said Congresswoman Stefanik. “The farms and businesses in the North Country who rely on work visa programs to fill their labor gap need answers. I have heard from many farmers about the strain that uncertainty in the workforce will place on their ability to have successful growing and planting seasons. I will continue to call on the administration to find solutions and support our farmers through this trying time.”