U.S. Senators Johnny Isakson, R-Ga., and David Perdue, R-Ga., along with Representatives Earl L. “Buddy” Carter, Ga.-01, Sanford Bishop, Ga.-02, Lynn Westmoreland, Ga.-03, Hank Johnson, Ga.-04, Rob Woodall, Ga.-07, Austin Scott, Ga.-08, Jody Hice, Ga.-10, Rick Allen, Ga.-12, David Scott, Ga.-13, and Tom Graves, Ga.-14, are calling on the Department of Labor to expedite its backlog of H-2A labor visa applications filed by Georgia farmers before irreparable damage occurs.
The Department of Labor has failed to approve H-2A visa applications submitted by Georgia farmers, leaving farmers across the state without sufficient labor. The specialty crop industry in Georgia relies heavily on the H-2A visa program to grow and harvest more than 20 different types of fruits and vegetables. Without labor through the H-2A visa program, the industry will be unable to operate at full capacity.
In a letter to United States Department of Labor Secretary Thomas Perez, the delegation wrote, “It has come to our attention that the Department of Labor has accumulated a significant backlog of H-2A visa applications. This backlog has placed Georgia’s fruit and vegetable industry, as well as our state’s rural communities, in jeopardy. We ask that necessary steps be taken to expedite these applications so Georgia farmers can continue to provide their products to American consumers.”
The specialty crop industry contributes $4.5 billion in total economic impact and provides over 31,000 jobs throughout the state. Specialty crops in Georgia include Vidalia onions, blueberries and pecans.
Please click here to view the letter sent to Secretary Perez.