After the US government removed Haitians from the H2A visa list, Florida has been left distraught. The Florida farming industry has had its share of illegal workers from Haiti, El Salvador, and other countries. Haitians enter the US legally using the H2A visa but overstay it. So what is the H2A visa? It is a temporary agriculture visa that lets the holder live in the US for ten months. It doesn’t lead to permanent residency, and visa holders have to leave after the picking season ends. Most of these workers come from Central America or Mexico, but it is the Haitians that violate the rules. The agriculture industry of Florida is worth $8 billion and has always depended on H2A holders to do the agricultural work since they can’t find domestic workers. Steve Johnson, the owner of harvesting company, Wauchula, Tampa, said that they would be out of business because their work depends on them. Most number of H2A visas allocated to foreign temporary workers in the Florida region. According to the Department of Labor, 15.9 percent visas out of the 97,285 went to Florida, 13.2 percent to Georgia, and 9.8 percent to North Carolina. John-Walt Boatright, national affairs coordinator, Florida Farm Bureau Federation, said that the H2A will continue to grow because it has become a need for agricultural companies. But the best way to get these workers is legal.

Challenge to the agricultural business

Reducing the number of approvals will be a challenge for the agricultural industry as it will become challenging to find workers. The US government should improvise the visa system, so the guest workers are treated better. They should also be able to travel easily and at low costs between the US and their home countries, so that are encouraged to go back and come to the US again.

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