OFA discusses immigration with Dave Runsten, CAFF Policy Director and OFA leader

提高良好的干净食物需要大量的劳动力。移民对满足农业劳工需求至关重要。农业劳动力是熟练的劳动力,在过去十年中,农场越来越难以发现植物,杂草,收获,牛奶的可靠劳动力困难,所有关键的支持农场都需要提高健康美味的食物。许多农民都发现当地美国公民在农业工作中不感兴趣,因此法律移民对全国各地的小型和中型有机和家庭农场的劳动需求尤为重要。

Immigration reform is sorely needed and it’s an issue Congress has been working on for the last decade without much success. Organic Farmers Association supports a comprehensive immigration reform that supports the current needs of farmers and farmworkers. This year, Congress is working on streamlining the H2A temporary agricultural program for guestworkers, which would speed up the process of bringing foreign workers into the U.S.. It would allow for more workers to stay in the country year-round rather than for 10 months or less.

为了更好地了解国家的劳动需求以及对有机和家庭农民的潜在变化,我们采访了我们的政策委员会和家庭农民的社区联盟的政策主任(CAFF)的政策委员会成员。乐动体育app下载Caff是一家基于加利福尼亚的非营利组织,旨在实现可持续食品系统和加强家庭农场。

农场劳动力需求是什么以及它如何满足?

“通常是农场工作者在农场长大的情况,”伦捷尔滕说。“在美国的农场中,美国的少数人在农场上长大了 - 美国人口的1%以上的农场 - 我们有很少的人成长为农场工作。因此,我们越来越依赖来自更多人在农场生活的国家的移民。此外,农场劳动者大多被排除在美国劳工法之外,因此缺乏许多其他部门的保护。“这使美国公民感到沮丧进入农业劳动力,特别是历史上低农业工资。

移民,普罗斯滕辩称,已经并将继续对美国农场满足劳动力要求至关重要。仅在加利福尼亚州,大约95%的农业工人是移民。

“Because of the extensive historical reliance on immigrants to perform farm labor and because of the lack of an available domestic workforce, it will not be possible to continue labor-intensive agriculture without immigrants,” he said. “Many studies of the effects of immigrants on U.S. workers have conclusively shown that immigrants are largely complementary to U.S. workers and that the society benefits greatly from their presence.”

How do agricultural labor demands differ across the country?

西海岸雇用了大多数国家的农业劳动力。“劳动力需求的一半是西海岸,其余的是全国各地的蔓延,”官僚们解释说,补充说,农业劳动力需求也取决于该地区的大大变化。与依赖季节性劳动力的国家的其他地区不同,加州和其他温暖的西海岸各国所需的工作更加占外。

More labor-intensive methods of agriculture require more workers as well. This includes organic farming, since it is more labor-intensive than conventional practices, and fruit and vegetable production in general. “Labor-intensive fruit and vegetable production has extensively relied on immigrant workers for most of the past century,” Runsten explained. In addition, many northern dairy states are increasingly dependent on year-round immigrant labor to help with multiple daily milkings and all the labor associated with caring for dairy herds. This labor need is often less visible but increasingly necessary for rural farmers in dairy states.

有机和家庭农民的需要是什么?

“大多数有机农民都不使用H2A程序,因为它对于它们来说太昂贵了,”runsten说。“我们正在使用[在Caff]的家庭农民也不使用它。”H2A雇主必须为其工人提供住房,这一成本通常只有大型操作能够接受。因此,许多有机农场更喜欢雇用美国公民,因为H2A不是他们的可行的财务选择。

“我们在Caff雇用工人的有机农民直接与Caff雇主一起工作,”Runsten说。“他们只是希望更多的工人可用 - 在这里合法的人并想要工作。”According to Runsten, it’s also important to California organic and family farmers to have workers who stay in the U.S. Workers under the H2A program can’t bring their families with them to the U.S. and will periodically go back to their home countries, not participating in the local community as residents. That can lead to a lot of turnover in your labor force. For a small business constant turnover is not efficient nor cost-effective. “In California, most farmworkers are settled, have family, and don’t move around much,” Runsten explained. “We need more people to be farmworkers and to live here.”

What is OFA advocating for?

OFA supports legalizing the existing farm labor force, keeping the current H2A program as is for those who need it, and adding an agriculture work-visa program for workers to receive a green card, if desired, after a certain period of required agricultural work. Relying less on the H2A program and more on legal immigrants would allow for more small and mid-size farms to meet their labor needs at a cost that they can manage. The growth of the uncapped H2A program could be unprecedented, likely exceeding 300,000 placements in 2019, but this will benefit few farms and not address the agricultural labor needs of the majority of small to mid-size organic and family farms.

“目前只有最大的农业经营管理ions are using this program on the West Coast,” Runsten pointed out. “They are using farm labor contractors as intermediaries to recruit and manage the workers on probably fewer than 100 farms.” According to Runsten, expanding H2A “will lead to consolidation of farming and possibly eliminate many diversified family-scale farms.” Runsten also foresees attempts of crop mechanization and moving crops that cannot be mechanized offshore if H2A continues to greatly expand.

扩大H2A也意味着将有更多的农业工人,其雇主附加良好的福利,无法改变工作,并在美国家庭定居。

“我们希望人们成为移民,而不是临时客人,”官僚人说。“我们希望工人希望获得绿卡,加入他们的家庭,并成为社区的一部分。”乐动体育app下载有机农业是关于生态和健康的关心和正义,农场需要一个一致的劳动力,可以继续在农场业务中发展技能和承诺。

“Farmers across the country recognize that the United States needs a rational immigration policy that will allow them to hire the workers they need, and that those workers should be in the country legally and should have a path to legal permanent residency and bringing their families.”

经过adding an additional pathway for workers through an agricultural work visa, the organic community would be better equipped to meet their businesses labor needs and stay in business.

Act Now!

有机消费者:致电或通过电子邮件发送给您的国会和参议员,鼓励他们通过立法,通过为农业工人签证创造一个途径来帮助有机农民能够更好地提供劳动力需求并留下来达成法律商业。众议院一直在努力制定移民法案。

You can find your Representative by going toHouse.gov.并进入您的邮政编码。

您可以找到您的参议员的联系信息Senate.gov.

If you call, ask for the immigration or agriculture legislative assistant. Ask them to support legislation that would legalize the existing farm labor work force by creating a pathway for agricultural work visas to help organic farmers be better equipped to meet their labor needs and stay in business.

If you email, cut and paste the following:

通过立法将通过为农业工人签证创造一个途径来帮助有机农民更好地提供劳动力需求并留在商业方面的途径来使现有的农业劳动力合法化。