September 25, 2009

Crapo Encourages Input On H-2A Program Rules

Says interested parties should comment on the ag guest worker program

Washington, DC - Idaho Senator Mike Crapo is encouraging Idahoans to submit comments regarding the U.S. Department of Labor's H-2A agricultural guest worker program. Earlier this month, the Department of Labor proposed changes to the program through a proposed new rule and has invited written comments on the proposed rule to be received on or before October 5, 2009. The proposed rule and information regarding the process for submitting comments can be obtained through the following link on Crapo's website: http://crapo.senate.gov/issues/ag/documents/H_2A_Rule.pdf.

"This program is very significant to Idaho agriculture producers, and we need to reform it to make it more accessible to employers and workers," said Crapo. "Some Idahoans have let me know about the impact of the Administration's proposed changes, but there are probably many others who are interested in this issue. I encourage those who have a stake in this matter to make certain that they share with the Administration their concerns over the considerable changes being proposed."

Crapo said he remains committed to sound immigration reform that addresses the needs of the agriculture community. He recognizes that a need exists among employers for a feasible guest worker program through which foreign workers can be employed. As reforms and legislation are considered in Congress, he will continue to press for an immigration policy that commits the resources necessary to have the strongest border enforcement realistically possible, does not grant amnesty to those who enter our country illegally, assures that American citizens have the first right to access available jobs, and enables an efficient and workable guest worker program.

"Public input plays an important role in making sound improvements to our nation's immigration policy, and I want Idahoans to have every opportunity to be a part of the process," Crapo said.

Comments can be sent to : Thomas Dowd, Administrator, Office of Policy Development and Research, Employment and Training Administration, U.S. Department of Labor, 200 Constitution Avenue, NW., Room N-5641, Washington, DC, 20210. Instructions for submitting comments online can be found through the following link: www.regulations.gov.