The Department of Labor is accusing an Arizona farm company of abusing the terms of the H-2A visa, where foreign workers are brought over for farm jobs.
Labor Secretary Alexander Acosta confirmed in a news release that his agency has acquired a preliminary injunction against G Farms, based in Arizona, for its alleged abuse of the H-2A foreign guest worker visa:
In addition, work has already begun on promoting the hiring of Americans and safeguarding working conditions in the U.S. The department has begun to prioritize and publicize the investigation and prosecution of entities in violation of visa programs. For example, in the first successful legal action of its kind by the department, the department obtained a preliminary injunction under the H-2A visa program from the U.S. District Court for Arizona against G Farms for illegal and life-threatening housing provided to agricultural workers. The department continues to investigate the violations at G Farms and has also been in contact with the [Office of Inspector General (OIG)] on this matter.
The department’s OIG has focused substantial investigative resources towards combating visa-related fraud schemes. Their sustained efforts have led to significant results, including convictions of attorneys, employers, recruiters, corrupt government employees and labor brokers.
The accusations against G Farms are in line with what critics of the H-2A visa say. According to the Labor Department, the agriculture company housed foreign workers in trailers and old buses that did not have windows.
H-2A workers are brought to the U.S. to take low-skilled agriculture jobs, which critics say American workers would do if the conditions and housing provided were better. Federal law mandates that any agriculture company using H-2A help must properly house them with at least 50 square feet of sleeping space for every person.
Acosta’s announcement that this is the first preliminary injunction of its kind shows the department’s potential for increased scrutiny and skepticism of foreign worker visas.
John Binder is a reporter for Breitbart Texas. Follow him on Twitter at @JxhnBinder.