Delegation Tries Again On Visas For Farmworkers

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The state’s congressional delegation is trying again to get the federal government to expand a visa program that would help dairy farms that rely on foreign workers.

Congressmen Peter Welch and William Owens of New York introduced a bill last week that would let farmers use the H-2A work force program. That program gives some agricultural sectors – but not dairy farms – permission to hire foreign workers.

Senators Patrick Leahy and Bernie Sanders are sponsoring a bipartisan version in the Senate.

The H-2A Improvement Act of 2011 would give foreign workers and sheep and goat herders access to the visa program when domestic help is unavailable.

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