As you know, FRA has been working on legislation to include the entire forest sector in a new H-2C visa program replacing H-2A. Chairman Goodlatte (R-VA) has been leading this effort with his Agricultural Guestworker Act (AG Act), which passed the House Judiciary Committee in October. The AG Act creates a new streamlined visa program to replace H-2A and includes forestry-related work that is currently in the H-2B program.
This week President Trump held a bipartisan immigration meeting, calling on Congress to pass legislation that would include Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA), funding for a Border Wall, and changes to the process for awarding green cards. This spurred action and fast-tracked the introduction of legislation in the House. FRA was there working to make sure the changes we sought to our classification were included in the new bill. While we don’t have a timeline for a vote on H.R. 4760 we do know that the DACA program expires the first week of March and action must be taken before then.
On Wednesday Chairman Goodlatte (R-VA), Rep. Labrador (R-ID), Rep. McCaul (R-TX), Rep. McSally (R-AZ) introduced H.R.4760 - Securing America's Future Act of 2018. While this legislation has a narrow scope on immigration, FRA has worked with those putting together legislation in the House, and we were able to make sure the Agricultural Guestworker Act was included.
- In H.R. 4760, SEC. 2102. H–2C TEMPORARY AGRICULTURAL WORK VISA PROGRAM. A provision for “(E) forestry-related activities;” as it pertains to the new H-2C program.
- This would bring all of forestry under one classification, instead of dividing portions between H-2A and H-2B.
- FRA’s one-pager on the new H-2C program
- H.R. 4760 one-pager: https://judiciary.house.gov/wp-content/uploads/2018/01/011018-Securing-Americas-Future-Act-Final.pdf