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How farms cope with a closed border

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With winter lettuce season starting in November, farms and the agriculture industry are rushing to find workers for harvest. A difficult task, made more difficult with the anti-immigration rhetoric coming from the current administration. For Arizona, the stakes are high, especially for the Yuma area, where roughly 90 percent of national lettuce and leafy greens are produced in winter. With the immigrant labor supply already drying up in the United States, farm operators have had to turn to controversial H2-A visas to import and employ temporary agriculture workers. A program that, as it stands, is not popular. “The farmworkers, especially H2-A guest workers, generally don’t have any bargaining power to demand a better wage,” said Bruce Goldstein, president of Farmworker Justice, a nonprofit migrant worker rights group based in Washington D.C. “If they want to come back in a...

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