H.R. 1773 – The Agricultural Guestworker Act (Updated 4/9/14)

H.R. 1773 creates a new temporary agricultural guest worker program by replacing the current H-2A program with an H-2C visa for temporary agricultural workers. The new program would allow employers to bring in 500,000 agricultural guestworkers per year in addition to those undocumented workers who return to their country of origin and return to the U.S. on guestworker visas. A major shortcoming of this bill is that neither current undocumented farmworkers nor future H-2C guestworkers would have the opportunity to earn permanent legal status (green cards). Also, a process requiring current undocumented farmworkers to leave within two years of enactment and return later would be unrealistic and unworkable.