Yuma Co. Farmworker Advocate: Changes To Guest Worker Program Would Be Felt Here
Farmworker advocates in Yuma County say a U.S. Department of Labor proposal would likely hurt guest migrant workers here.
Agricultural migrant workers get a seasonal visa called H-2-A. The Department of Labor is proposing allowing employers to pay them less, cover less of their transportation costs and have worker housing areas inspected less often.
Emma Torres is the Executive Director of Campesinos Sin Fronteras, which serves farmworkers in Yuma County from its offices in Somerton and San Luis.
Torres said the proposed changes would hurt already vulnerable farmworkers who have little to no economic protections.
“That also affects our local farmworkers, the ones that are legal residents or citizens," Torres said. "If the wages are lower in farm labor, it’s going to affect everybody, not just the guest workers.”
The U.S Department of Labor was scheduled to receive public input until Tuesday on the new rules.