News Releases

August 27, 2010

Statement from Vermont Agriculture Secretary Allbee Regarding Visa Process for Seasonal Workers

Montpelier, Vt – “I want to thank Senator Leahy and his staff for taking immediate action to address a critical issue that might have been a detrimental situation for our apple growers who rely on seasonal workers through the H-2A guest worker program.”

“Through Leahy’s efforts – including a personal call to USCIS Director Alejandro Mayorkas – USCIS now is expediting the process for all apple growers with pending H-2A petitions for workers from Jamaica to have their visa applications settled. Leahy’s staff is also helping to expedite submissions to USCIS for agency review of growers’ forms.”

“The apple industry is extremely important to Vermont and New England’s economy as well as our open, working landscape. This year the harvest is early and as Senator Leahy commented “crops don’t wait for paperwork.” Our growers rely on this labor force and without the efforts of Senator Leahy, our apple crops may not have been harvested this year.”

The apple industry in Vermont contributes close to $20 million to the state’s economy and is an important part of our rural communities, tourism, and open landscape.

Source: Agency of Agriculture
Last Updated at: August 27, 2010 08:07:02