USDA Designates H-2A Visa Program as Essential

Published online: Mar 19, 2020 News
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U.S. senator Jim Risch of Idaho, chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, yesterday released the following statement regarding the State Department’s decision that the H-2A visa program be considered essential despite temporary closures of embassies and consulates abroad due to the spread of COVID-19:

“These are extraordinary times, and in times such as these it is even more critical that the people who put food on every American’s table have the full support of our government. I was very concerned to learn that the H-2A visa program was gravely impacted by the temporary closure of our embassies and consulates around the world, particularly in Mexico, due to the growing coronavirus pandemic. I am glad that in just a matter of hours, the State Department announced that the H-2A visa program is essential to our domestic food supply during this critical time. I will continue to work with Secretary Pompeo and his staff as they work to process H-2A visas expeditiously. Thank you to our farmers and ranchers in Idaho — God bless you for what you do[.] I will continue to do all I can to support your critical work.”