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Perdue Praises DOL Cutting Newspaper Ads for H-2A Visa
USAgNet - 11/09/2018

U.S. Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue praised proposed rulemaking by the U.S. Department of Labor, which could help farmers advertise job openings to domestic workers as required under the H-2A visa program. The DOL rulemaking would require that employers seeking to hire temporary workers post the employment opportunities online, rather than in expensive newspaper advertisements reaching a limited audience.

However, the rulemaking does not specifically address H-2A visas for agricultural workers. Rather, it addresses all employers seeking to hire any type of temporary worker.

Yet Perdue on Thursday said the DOL action was an early step in H-2A regulatory reforms as promised in May in a joint statement of the secretaries of Agriculture, Labor, State, and Homeland Security. The May statement was made as a follow-up to President Trump's promise to the American Farm Bureau Federation annual meeting in January 2018 to work everyday for farmers.

"When I travel around the country, one of the biggest concerns farmers raise is the shortage of legal farm labor," Perdue said. "Our farmers and ranchers are the most productive in the world, and they want to obey immigration law. Where American workers are not available, farmers turn to the H-2A program that is overly bureaucratic and cost prohibitive. Using regulations like this is one way to modernize H-2A to reach more American workers, while providing relief to farmers from one of the high costs of the program."

To make it easier for Americans to find and fill open jobs, the U.S. Department of Labor announced a proposal for employers seeking temporary labor certifications through the H-2B and H-2A visa programs to advertise jobs online.

In a separate announcement, DOL explained that, under current rules, an employer advertising a job for which it seeks a temporary labor certification must publish two print advertisements in a newspaper of general circulation in the area of intended employment. To modernize this recruitment and make job opportunities more readily available to Americans, the Department of Labor and the U.S. Department of Homeland Security are proposing a rule that would require employers seeking temporary labor certifications through the H-2B visa program to post job advertisements online for at least 14 days.

DOL is simultaneously proposing a similar rule for temporary labor certifications through the H-2A visa program for agricultural workers.

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