ANALYZING THE AGRICULTURAL DEMAND OF H-2A FARM WORKERS IN LABOR-INTENSIVE SPECIALTY CROPS
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PublisherThe University of Arizona.
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AbstractThe United States has a long history of relying on foreign farm labor to sustain and support its agricultural industry. In 1942, the first agricultural guest worker program was initiated and named the Bracero Program, which implemented the means of temporarily importing workers from Mexico to fill labor shortages in the United States during World War II. In 1952, the Immigration and Nationality Act established the H-2 Non-Immigrant Visa Program, which allowed foreign workers to be admitted into the United States to fill seasonal and temporary employment. The H-2A agricultural worker visa is a guest program that allows employers in the agricultural sector to bring foreign nationals to the United States to fill temporary agricultural jobs. Today, the H-2A program continues to be in high demand and is the best source for legal and reliable farm labor in the United States. This project uses bivariate analysis to explore agricultural demand of H-2A farm workers in vegetables, fruits and tree nut commodities throughout the United States. Bivariate analysis identified Monterey County, California as the largest producer of vegetables and had the second highest demand of H-2A workers in the United States. Maps also revealed, Moore County, North Carolina as both the number one requestor and employer of H-2A workers in the United States with over ten thousand by North Carolina Grower's Association, Inc. This project contributes and further strengthens the reality there is an increasing demand of H-2A workers in agriculture, especially those sectors producing vegetables, fruits and tree nut commodities.