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Processing of H-2A visas resumes in Mexico

by Joan Murphy | May 12, 2009
Processing of H-2A visas for workers in Mexico resumed May 12 as Mexico eased restrictions in the wake of the H1N1 flu outbreak, but the disruption in seasonal workers may cause some businesses to rethink the cumbersome H- 2A program, said Frank Gasperini, president of the National Council of Agricultural Employers. "We've heard theres a week or two" of backlogged visas, Mr. Gasperini told The Produce News May 13. The U.S. embassies shut down when the Mexican government announced measures to limit large congregations to prevent the spread of the virus. There were growers that did not get promised workers and it cost them in terms of fulfilling their contracts, Mr. Gasperini said. As a result, large and small businesses may be reluctant to rely on the H-2A program or may source from different countries, which will only add to an already costly and complicated filing system, he said. People who were thinking about using H-2A may not now, he added. Its just one more reason why we need AgJobs.