The Los Angeles Declaration brings good news for migrant workers

Atlanta, GA – The United States’ illegal immigration problem can be solved only by expanding legal pathways, such as offering more visas for migrant workers. This is one of the main decisions contained in the Los Angeles Declaration adopted at the conclusion of the Ninth Summit of the Americas.

The leaders present at the summit agreed that the high number of illegal immigrants trying to cross the US border constitutes a regional issue and is not just an American problem. Over the past 50 years, attempts to curb illegal immigration through enforcement alone have failed spectacularly. It’s time for a new approach.

One of the options is expanding H-2A and H-2B visa programs, allowing South American citizens to find temporary work in the US, either in agriculture or other domains.

The leaders attending the summit vouched to:

Strengthen and expand temporary labor migration pathways, as feasible, that benefit countries across the region, including through new programs promoting connections between employers and migrant workers, robust safeguards for ethical recruitment, and legal protections for workers’ rights.”

The Biden Administration detailed its plans for the future of migration in a Fact Sheet released by the White House after the regional summit.

$65 million package to support farmers hiring migrant workers

As part of the efforts to curb illegal immigration, the US Department of Agriculture will launch a $65 million program to support American farmers hiring agricultural workers coming to the United States on H-2A visas. President Biden’s American Rescue Plan will provide grants to farmers that hire seasonal workers from Northern Central American countries and additional protections to benefit both U.S. and H-2A workers. 

How to obtain an H-2A visa?

According to the USCIS, the American employer will have to prove there is a shortage of US workers for that particular domain, and hiring foreign nationals won’t affect the local job market. Over the past few years, local farmers have consistently complained of a lack of agricultural workers so bringing in foreigners is the best way to promote the resiliency of the country’s food and agricultural supply chain.

After the USCIS approves Form I-129 Petition for Non-immigrant Workers, foreign nationals interested in such a job must apply for an H-2A visa at their local U.S. Embassy or Consulate.

11,5000 additional H-2B visas for non-agricultural seasonal workers

The White House’s Fact Sheet also states that the United States will provide 11,500 H-2B non-agricultural seasonal worker visas for citizens of Northern Central American countries (El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras) and Haiti. 

Can migrant workers apply for a Green Card?

Both H-2A and H-2B are non-immigrant visas that can be extended for up to 3 years. Temporary worker visas are not a pathway to obtaining legal permanent residency in the US. However, migrant workers may apply for a Green Card under certain circumstances. Much depends on their skills and the willingness of an American employer to offer them a permanent job and sponsor them for a Green Card.

This process is known as EB-3 Green Card Application. It is quite a complicated and lengthy process so it’s best to contact an experienced immigration lawyer to help you out. At the same time, the foreign workers who get married to a US citizen or legal permanent resident can apply for adjustment of status under family-based immigration

If you need help obtaining a temporary migrant worker visa or want to apply for a Green Card in Georgia, schedule an appointment with a trustworthy lawyer at Kuck | Baxter Immigration LLC in Atlanta or their South Georgia office.

Contact info:

Kuck | Baxter Immigration LLC

365 Northridge Road

Suite 300

Atlanta, GA 30350

Tel : (404) 816-8611

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