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Rep. Kind Joins Bipartisan Call on State Department to Ensure Agriculture Worker Visas Get Processed to Protect Food Security During COVID-19

March 20, 2020
Press Release

La Crosse, WI—Yesterday, Rep. Ron Kind signed a bipartisan letter led by Rep. Jimmy Panetta (CA-20) calling on U.S. Department of State Secretary Mike Pompeo to ensure that H-2A agricultural visas get processed during the COVID-19 pandemic.

“We are relying on farmers across the state of Wisconsin to continue providing safe and healthy food to our communities during these uncertain times. Now is not the time to suspend a visa program that ensures our farms have the workers they need to maintain a robust domestic food supply,” said Rep. Ron Kind. “I’m proud to join my colleagues on both sides of the aisle to urge the State Department to give farmers the workforce they need to keep Wisconsin families safe and healthy.”

This letter comes after the Department of State suspended routine nonimmigrant visa processing, including H-2A agricultural visas, due to COVID-19 concerns. Each year, more than 250,000 seasonal farm jobs in the U.S. are filled by H-2A workers. The letter made it clear to Secretary Pompeo that suspending routine nonimmigrant visa processing poses a serious and significant barrier to ensuring our nation’s food security in these trying times.

The letter can be found here.