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Rural Migration Blog

February 24, 2021

The H-2A Program and AEWRs

US farm employers may be certified by the US Department of Labor (DOL) to recruit and employ foreign workers to fill seasonal US jobs if they satisfy two conditions. First, they must try and fail to find local workers, and second, they must ensure that the presence of the migrant guest workers will not adversely affect similar local workers.

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Alternatives to Hand Labor in Apples

Apples originated in Central Asia. China is the world’s major apple producer, accounting for 39 million of the 86 million tons of apples produced in 2018, when the US produced five million tons of apples, Poland four million, Turkey 3.5 million, and Iran 2.5 million. Apples play an important role in mythology and religion as a forbidden fruit, as with Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden.

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H-2 Guest Workers and Florida Sugar

Florida agriculture is unlike agriculture elsewhere because most of the state’s fruits and vegetables are harvested during the winter months, when crop production in other states is low but fruit and vegetable imports from countries with warmer weather are high. As a result, Florida agriculture is more protectionist than US agriculture, which tends to embrace free trade because US agriculture is a net exporter of farm commodities.

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January 12, 2021

The H-2A Program in 2020 and AEWRs

The H-2A program is in the spotlight for several reasons. First, the number of jobs certified and H-2A visas issued reached record highs in FY20 despite high US unemployment rates. DOL certified over 275,400 jobs to be filled with H-2A workers in FY20, and DOS issued over 213,300 H-2A visas. Between 75 and 80 percent of DOL certifications result in H-2A visas.

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