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Bob Larson Fee Hikes for H-2A Pt 3
by Bob Larson, click here for bio

Program: Fruit Grower Report
Date: February 05, 2019

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With today’s Fruit Grower Report, I’m Bob Larson. There are many reasons to oppose a pair of bills in Olympia that would charge farmers additional fees, with no set limits, in order to hire H-2A visa workers.

Washington Policy Center’s Initiative on Agriculture director, Pam Lewison says everyone who uses the H-2A program would feel the impact.

She says this legislation could destroy many workplace relationships that have been built over many years …

LEWISON … “I think retention on both sides, whether you’re a worker or an employer, is still at the forefront for a lot of those folks and their interest is in doing something that they’ve done well for a long period of time and getting paid a good living doing it.”

Best case scenario?

LEWISON … “Best case scenario, we don’t even get to a point where legislators are voting on it. With any luck, it’ll die in committee. Then we just have to make sure we get through the biennium without it being revived.”

And, if that doesn’t happen?

LEWISON … “The next best case is that if it does come to a vote, legislators see that the real impact will be on the workers. Because if you can’t afford to hire H-2A visa workers because of the prohibitive costs, those are people that lose out on the opportunity to come here and do well for themselves and their families.”

Lewison says H-2A can be good for all …

LEWISON … “The beauty of the H-2A program is that it does provide that protection both for the worker and the employer.”

Lewison says study up on this legislation and then call your state Representatives and Senators to let them know how you feel.

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