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Immigrant Workers are Vital for Food Production

July 30, 2022
  • Individual Immigration


There are more than 90,000 workers in the United States who dedicate themselves to the raising and care of animals on farms, ranches, corrals, and animal confinement facilities, and 1 in 5 of these workers is an immigrant.

Washington – The immigrant workers play a vital role in food production in the United States, especially in the meat and dairy sectors. The workers alleviate the labor shortage and contribute to price stabilization, this according to a report that was published this Wednesday by the American Immigration Council (AIC).

There are more than 90,000 workers in the United States who dedicate themselves to the raising and care of animals. Their work takes place on farms, ranches, corrals, and animal confinement facilities. 1 in every 5 workers is an immigrant.

Andrew Lim, director of the AIC said, “Employers in the meat and dairy industries depend on the H-2A and H-2B visa programs to fill their positions, which they would not be able to fill with U.S. workers.”

He then added, “When workers retire and leave the work force, the meant and dairy industries will have increasing difficulties in finding enough workers.”

Pay Increase

The AIC study found that  in the last three years, the average salary offered to workers in the meat and dairy processing industries has increased 33.7 percent. The hourly pay increased from $14.95 an hour to $20 an hour.

The metropolitan areas with the highest demand for workers in these industries include Houston, San Antonio, and Austin in Texas, as well as Omaha, Nebraska and Los Angeles, California.

The states that have had the highest number of job listings in these industries are Texas, California, Iowa, and North Carolina.

Immigrant Workers with a Temporary Visa

In the 2021 fiscal period, businesses in the meat and dairy industries applied for 34,245 immigrant workers.

They applied for temporary H-2A and H2-B temporary visas, and the Employment Department certified 32,081 of these workers, added the AIC.

More than 93.8% of these certified employees work in the meat processing industry on tasks that range from caring for cattle to maintaining the equipment and buildings on the farms.

“If the United States is going to stabilize its labor force and food prices, it must require the expansion of temporary visa programs,” said Lim.

Additionally, they should use “other long-term immigration reforms along with employment reforms,” he added.

“The includes a path to citizenship for millions of rural, undocumented workers in order to meet the labor needs of the meat and dairy industries, and the agriculture sector in general,” added Lim.

Fuente: Gómez, W. (2022, 23 julio). Trabajadores inmigrantes ‘vital’ para la producción de alimentos. Enlace Latino NC. https://enlacelatinonc.org/trabajadores-inmigrantes-vital-para-la-produccion-de-alimentos/


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