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 November 16, 2023

Joe Biden plans to award foreign farm workers rights not given to Americans

A group of 23 attorneys general, including Kansas Attorney General Kris Kobach, urged President Joe Biden's administration to nix a plan that gives foreign farm workers rights not given to their American counterparts, Breitbart reported. The officials called on Biden to reverse these changes to the H-2A visa program.

The Department of Labor proposed a change in September that gave collective bargaining rights to H-2A visa workers. This is a privilege that U.S. citizens would not have under the rule.

Kobach and other GOP attorneys general sent a letter Tuesday to the Department of Labor disputing the rule's merits. "The proposed rule violates the major questions doctrine because Congress did not clearly authorize the Department to grant foreign migrant farmworkers the right to unionize through the rulemaking process," the attorneys general said.

"This rule is not just a violation of the law. It is bad policy," they said.

"It would create a situation where temporary foreign migrant workers receive collective bargaining protections that American farmworkers are statutorily denied. This is not only absurd but wrong," the attorneys general went on.

"The combined effects of high inflation and interest rates have left countless Americans (including farmworkers) behind. Prioritizing the interests of foreign agricultural workers over those of Americans simply adds insult to injury," the letter said.

"The Department must change course to avoid this situation," they added. The letter then called on the Biden administration to abolish the unfair rule.

"For the foregoing reasons, the Department should withdraw the proposed rule insofar as it includes collective bargaining protections for H-2A agricultural workers. It should also withdraw the proposed rule insofar as it provides a right of access to unions on employer property," the attorneys general added.

In a separate statement, Kobach railed against them for giving preferential treatment to non-citizens. "Once again, the Biden administration has placed the interests of foreign nationals over the interests of United States citizens," he said.

Biden has no qualms about such disparate treatment, given the economic advantages of the H-2A visa program.  Agricultural employers can undercut American workers' pay with a steady stream of cheap labor, which keeps costs and prices down.

Perhaps this is why the program has grown exponentially in recent decades. In 1997, about 16,000 H-2A visas were granted to foreign workers, whereas today, that number is as many as 200,000.

The problem mostly impacts people in Republican states, including those in the south and in the heartland. However, the attorneys general representing the newly-minted Democrat stronghold of Virginia also signed on.

Illegal immigration is Biden's political albatross, but now his administration is making enemies for him on the legal side of things. America's farms need to be worked, but cheap foreign labor keeps wages too low to entice American citizens.

In a self-fulfilling prophecy, Democrats insist immigrants do the work Americans won't while giving fewer incentives to keep citizens employed in the industry. Not only do they hire more foreign workers, but now they give them more rights, all in an effort to keep the system rigged.

Written By:
Christine Favocci

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