Exclusive: GOP, Democrat Congressmen to Lobby Biden for Cheaper Foreign Farmworkers on Behalf of Donors

Mexican farm workers harvest celery in a field of Brawley, California, in the Imperial Valley, on January 31, 2017. Many of the farm workers expressed fears that they would not be able to continue working in the United States under the President Trump's administration.
Sandy Huffaker/AFP/Getty Images

Two congressmen, a Republican and a Democrat, are currently whipping up support for a lobbying effort that urges President Joe Biden’s top officials to make foreign farmworkers cheaper to hire for American farms, Breitbart News has exclusively learned.

Reps. Scott Franklin (R-FL) and Salud Carbajal (D-CA) have drafted a letter, obtained by Breitbart News, that asks Secretary of State Antony Blinken and Labor Secretary Marty Walsh to ditch plans that increase fees U.S. farms must pay to import foreign workers.

Currently, U.S. farms must pay a $190 fee per foreign H-2A visa worker that they import. A regulatory rule change, proposed in December 2021, would increase that fee to $310.

Franklin and Carbajal are asking House Republicans and Democrats, behind the scenes, to sign onto their letter that boasts of the H-2A visa program as “a crucial tool for U.S. employers to sponsor foreign laborers to work in the U.S. agricultural industry if employers verify there were no U.S. workers ‘who are able, willing, qualified, and available to do the temporary work.'”

The congressmen’s letter is being backed by the Florida Citrus Mutual (FCM), the California Citrus Mutual (CCM), and the Florida Fruits and Vegetables Association (FFVA), among others.

FCM’s political action committee (PAC) has already donated $1,000 to Franklin this election cycle and gave $2,500 to his campaign in 2020. Similarly, FFVA’s PAC has donated $1,000 to Franklin this year and $1,000 to him in 2020.

Meanwhile, Carbajal raked in $5,000 worth of donations in 2020 from the California Farm Bureau, which is closely linked to CCM.

The H-2A program, which remains limitless, has been used to replace Americans.

Black Americans, who previously worked on farms along the Mississippi Delta, filed a lawsuit late last year alleging that they had been fired and replaced by imported farmworkers from South Africa via the H-2A visa program.

Likewise, a federal indictment last year detailed allegations that accused a transnational criminal network of operating a “modern-day slavery” scheme that used the H-2A visa program to traffic foreign nationals into U.S. farm jobs — raping, kidnapping, and threatening them in the process.

In 1997, a little more than 16,000 foreign H-2A visa workers were imported to take American agriculture jobs. By 2021, that number had exploded to more than 258,000.

About 93 percent of all H-2A visas go to Mexican nationals.

The H-2A visa program, much like the H-2B visa program for non-agricultural work, has been proven to undercut working class Americans who rely on manual labor jobs but who are forced to compete against a growing number of cheaper, foreign workers.

Center for Immigration Studies

Center for Immigration Studies

John Binder is a reporter for Breitbart News. Email him at jbinder@breitbart.com. Follow him on Twitter here.

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