Bush Administration Makes Yet Another Ill-Conceived Midnight-Hour Policy Change

Washington, DC -- The Bush administration has announced regulatory changes to the H2-A agricultural guestworker program that remove protections for workers and make it easier for employers to bring in foreign workers. The changes were revealed on the Department of Labor's (DOL) website and are being proposed by DOL and the Department of Homeland Security (DHS). They include reducing obligations for growers to recruit U.S. workers before applying to bring in foreign guestworkers, lowering the wage rate requirements by changing the program's wage formula and removing the already insufficient government oversight of the program. Below is a statement from Frank Sharry, Executive Director of America's Voice:

"What the Bush administration is attempting to do in its twilight will do nothing more than hurt workers for decades to come. This comes as no surprise. The Administration has a record of coddling unscrupulous employers while going after hard working people. The raid on the Agriprocessors plant in Postville, Iowa is the perfect example: They decided to go after the employer only after sustained negative media forced them to. What this country needs is common sense solutions to tough problems, not last minute administrative changes that make things worse. The changes to the H2-A program, and the expected announcement of changes to H2-B program should not be implemented. However, if they are, we expect Congress to act swiftly and reverse them. The solution to our immigration problems lies in a comprehensive approach, and we expect to see movement on this front by Thanksgiving of next year."


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