Ag groups want to exempt foreign workers from travel restrictions
More than 60 ag organizations are requesting the Biden administration exempt South African and other ag workers from travel restrictions.
The groups, including the American Farm Bureau Federation, want flexibility from the Proclamation on Suspension of Entry as Immigrants and Nonimmigrants of Certain Additional Persons Who Pose a Risk of Transmitting Coronavirus Disease 2019 which prohibits travel for individuals from several countries because of concerns over the omicron variant.
Almost 7,000 H-2A guest workers originate from South Africa with the majority arriving in the U.S. in February, March, and April.
Ag groups are asking the State Department and Department of Homeland Security ensure workers can arrive on time and be granted a National Interest Exception.
They say recent travel safety measures for testing within a day of travel should allow workers to safely enter the U.S. and be vaccinated with a CDC-approved vaccine, protecting the ag workforce and a functioning supply chain.