A SECOND REGIONAL GROWERS EVENT
In September 2012, ImmigrationWorks sponsored a half-day conference in Yuma, Arizona on designing a better agricultural temporary worker program. Following up on a similar gathering in North Carolina in February, this event brought together growers, farm labor contractors, state agricultural officials, Arizona lawmakers and other interested parties from as far away as Washington, DC. Participants discussed how the existing H-2A program could be made more workable and explored possible alternatives, including a more market-based approach and a commuter visa tailored for border regions like Yuma. Attendees agreed: the border region is unique, with its own unique labor needs, but agriculture needs to speak with one voice, pressing Congress to create more usable channels for foreign farm workers to enter the U.S. legally. The Yuma Fresh Vegetable Association and the Arizona Farm Bureau cosponsored the event.