Illegal Farm Workers Fear Immigration Crackdown

Will President Trump deport high numbers of migrant farm workers?

Immigrants working illegally within the United States account for roughly 46 percent of the 800,000 plus farmworkers across the nation, according to data from the U.S. Departments of Labor and Agriculture.  President Trump has taken a hard line on immigration, threatening mass deportations of illegal immigrants.  His position on immigration has left many illegal migrant workers fearing for their safety and security within America.  Our immigration attorney at NPZ Law Group, P.C. discuss temporary worker visas and how you can protect yourself from an immigration crackdown. 

The H-2A Visa Program

The H-2A visa is a temporary work visa issued for foreign agricultural workers with a job offer for seasonal work within the farming industry in the U.S.  In order to participate, the employer must demonstrate a shortage of U.S. workers and that the immigrant worker’s wage and working condition will meet minimum requirements.  Approximately 140,000 temporary agricultural workers are currently enrolled in this visa program. 

Overall rates of legal immigrant migrant workers remain relatively low due to the paperwork and regulations surrounding the H-2A program.  Workers within the program account for just 10 percent of all farm workers.  Employers may be reluctant to hire H-2A visa participants because they are responsible for their transportation to and from the U.S., as well as food and housing once they arrive.  On the other hand, illegal workers come at less expense and without the need to cover transportation and the like.  Accordingly, many farm workers find themselves more readily employable without a H-2A visa.

Illegal Farm Workers Should Prepare Themselves for a Crackdown

President Trump has promised significant immigration reform, which could include the farming industry.  Now is the time for immigrant workers to prepare themselves for a potential immigration crackdown.  Workers should consult with an immigration attorney as soon as possible to see if there are steps that can be taken to keep you legally within the country.  Illegal immigrant workers should alert their family members of actions they should take in case they are detained and meet with an immigration lawyer to discuss their legal rights.