From Hochul.House.gov, 28 Nov 2011.
After Earlier Meeting, Labor Department Plans to Accept Paperwork Online
BATAVIA, N.Y. – Today, after meeting with representatives of the Upstate Niagara Dairy Cooperative, Congresswoman Kathy Hochul sent a letter to United States Labor Secretary Hilda Solis, urging her to swiftly modernize the H-2A visa program to allow farmers to submit application paperwork online and asked for a timeline for implementation of the program.
“I have heard firsthand from farmers who suffered severe economic losses when red tape delayed the approval of their H-2A applications. Tragically, such bureaucracy has led to unharvested crops being left to rot in the fields,” said Congresswoman Hochul. “This summer, I was shocked to learn that a farm in Genesee County mailed almost twenty pounds of paperwork to your Department when applying for H-2A visas. In a country as innovative as ours, there must be a better way of administering this program. As our farmers compete in the 21st century economy, they expect a 21st century government that will help, not hinder, their business.”
Earlier this summer, Congresswoman Hochul, along with Congresswoman Slaughter, met with Deputy Labor Secretary Seth Harris and farmers throughout Western New York to discuss the need to modernize the H-2A application process. During the meeting, Congresswoman Hochul raised the need for the Labor Department to accept online applications for the H-2A visa program.
A copy of the letter Congresswoman Hochul sent Secretary Solis can be found on Congresswoman Hochul’s website, right here.
In October, Congresswoman Hochul and Congressman Richard Hanna (R-NY) joined together to introduce bipartisan legislation that would allow dairy farmers to apply for H-2A visas, just like other farmers. Dairy workers are currently unable to participate in the H-2A program because dairy is a year-round industry. A copy of that announcement can be found on Congresswoman Hochul’s website, right here.