United Farm Workers President Teresa Romero and UFW Foundation Executive Director Diana Tellefson Torres issued the following statement after release of the Trump administration’s proposed changes in the H-2A agricultural guest workers program:
“Donald Trump tries to paint his 489 pages of proposed changes in the H-2A agricultural guest worker program as protecting U.S. workers. Yet Trump is setting a new low of hypocrisy, racism and self-dealing, even for him.
Trump’s rhetoric and policy towards immigrants and people of color can be simply summed up as go home to the countries from which you came—even if they come from the United States. Yet his H-2A rules-changing scheme would make it easier to deny jobs to domestic farm workers so growers can hire more temporary foreign agricultural guest workers and pay them less, thereby depressing pay for domestic workers. The federal government indicates more than half of farm workers are U.S. citizens or legal permanent residents; the proposed changes will negatively impact most of these farm workers.
Like so many other Trump policies, this one is about self-dealing and self-enrichment. H-2A workers toil in Trump’s Virginia vineyards. He would personally gain from changing the rules so he can hire more foreign guest workers more cheaply and make it harder for domestic farm workers to get those jobs. Because their visas only let them labor at Trump vineyards, the right of H-2A workers to remain in this country is totally at Trump’s mercy; they can be shipped back to their home countries at Trump’s whim simply for complaining about abuse or mistreatment.”