U.S. fruit and vegetable producers are preparing for a dramatic impact on their labor force after the U.S. government stated it was canceling visa interviews in Mexico to curb the spread of the coronavirus.
The anticipated constraints on migrant workers come as Americans strip grocery shops bare in preparation for possible orders to quarantine.
Beginning on Wednesday, new applications won’t be processed for the H2A guest employee program and only returning seasonal staff shall be allowed to enter the U.S., growers stated.
The U.S. State Division has capped visa processing in lots of nations as governments attempt to curb contact and curtail the spread of the extremely contagious respiratory illness – COVID-19. Late on Monday, the United States declared restrictions in Mexico.
While the harvesting of grains like wheat and corn is generally automated in the U.S., fruit and vegetable farmers depend on seasonal guest staff to pick their crops.
In 2019, over 77,000 H2A visas had been licensed in March and April – almost 28% of all H2A visas that year, in response to data from the U.S. Division of Labor
Puglia took part in a call U.S. Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue held with U.S. growers Tuesday. Perdue stated Mexicans consulates would continue to process applicants for returning guest employees, who cover 40% of growers’ guest staff needs based on Puglia.