Is there really a shortage of farm workers?

12/19/07 Robert Lorei
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As a way to deal with illegal immigration, earlier this year the Bush administration promised to reform the guest worker program by encouraging more temporary foreign workers to replace undocumented immigrants.

To help farmers deal with labor shortages, the U.S. allows farmers to bring in foreign workers under the H2A visa program. The farmers must prove there is a shortage of workers. The numbers of guest workers have grown each year for the past two years.

Last week two farmworker advocacy groups sued the U.S. department of labor contending that the agency has failed to release information on farmers who hire guest workers instead of U.S. workers. They question whether there is an actual shortage of farm workers.

We’re joined now by Bruce Goldstein who is executive director of Farmworker justice in Washington, one of the groups suing the Department of Labor.

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