DOL, DHS to require online advertising for H-2A positions
The Labor Department announced Thursday that it and the Homeland Security Department will propose that employers seeking certifications for temporary foreign laborers, including in the agricultural H-2A visa programs, be required to advertise the jobs online to American citizens for at least 14 days.
The online advertising will “modernize recruitment” and “make it easier for Americans to find and fill open jobs,” DOL said in a news release. The requirement would also apply to employers seeking nonagricultural employees under the H-2B program.
The department determines the availability of American workers, in part, by requiring employer applicants for foreign labor certification to actively recruit American workers.
The Notice of Proposed Rulemaking comment period will end on Dec. 10.
Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue praised the proposed rulemaking.
“When I travel around the country, one of the biggest concerns farmers raise is the shortage of legal farm labor,” Perdue said.
“Our farmers and ranchers are the most productive in the world, and they want to obey immigration law. Where American workers are not available, farmers turn to the H-2A program that is overly bureaucratic and cost prohibitive,” Perdue said.
“Using regulations like this is one way to modernize H-2A to reach more American workers, while providing relief to farmers from one of the high costs of the program. It’s good to see the federal government using 21st Century technology, rather than being limited to placing notices in the want ads.”