Yoho statement on ‘Labor Certainty for Food Security Act’
Washington, D.C. – Congressman Ted S. Yoho (R-FL), a member of the House Agriculture Committee, and author of the "Labor Certainty for Food Security Act,”-HR 6083 released the following statement:
“We will either import our nation’s agriculture labor or we will import our nation’s food.” This quote was given to me by a produce farmer in my home state of Florida. If agriculture labor reform is not resolved soon this statement will become a reality. The United States Congress has failed to create a common-sense dedicated Agriculture Guest Worker Program for over 30 years. The result is a hodgepodge of programs that meet neither the needs of our producers nor that of the migrants that simply want the opportunity to work in America.
“Our producers advertise for domestic workers to work the fields and harvest their crops but when the calls go unanswered the farmer has to rely on foreign workers. Currently America has only a 10-month seasonal program called the H2A program, but it has many shortcomings and does not fulfill the needs of year-round agriculture such as dairy, timber, poultry and other entities.
“I along with my colleagues have introduced the “Labor Certainty for Food Security Act” this week. This bill creates a commonsense solution to the labor shortages our farmers face. Our bill provides a legal, reliable, and predictable workforce. Also, it brings certainty for the producer by creating this dedicated workforce for the agriculture sector both in the H2A, 10-month temporary program, and the 3-year year-round program dedicated to agriculture. It removes the jurisdiction of agriculture labor from the Department of Labor to the USDA. It removes the arbitrary Department of Labor wage rates known as AEWR (Adverse Effective Wage Rate) and replaces it with a commonsense rate. It allows workers to apply prior to entering the United States so they do not have to enter illegally into our country.
This program allows for people that have entered the country illegally to enter these programs after paying a fine. It does not provide a pathway to citizenship, yet it does not prevent one from applying for citizenship once they become enrolled into the program.
“The bipartisan “Labor Certainty for Food Security Act,” is the right answer to a complex problem. A problem that is overdue for a solution and should not be overlooked any longer. As our efforts gain momentum, it is important to remember that this is not a partisan issue. When Republicans and Democrats come together to provide our Ag producers with the workforce they need, everyone benefits.”
For more information visit our website, https://yoho.house.gov/legislation/agricultural-guest-worker-reform-legislation