Cornell University

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Migrations Forum: How to Proceed with the H-2A Program?

Thursday, March 3, 2022 at 11:00am

Virtual Event

Against a US backdrop of an agricultural ‘labor shortage’, available data by the Office for Foreign Labor Certification shows that the number of received applications increased between 2019 and 2020 by 8% from 13,081 to 14,131 which translates into an increase from 257,667 to 275,430 certified positions. Despite growers, farmers and contractors’ increasing reliance on agricultural temporary foreign workers, the paper makes the argument for the abandonment of the H-2A program. Such a bold move is necessary to address the ‘recognition gap’ experienced by farmworkers generally speaking which is supported by a range of processes such as ‘legal liminality’ as well as ‘structural violence’ and to rethink the value of agricultural work more generally and the human costs it entails. 

Johanna K. Schenner is a visiting fellow at the Industrial Labor Relations School. Her previous work has appeared in Transfer: European Review of Labour and Research, Global Policy and The Political Quarterly

Matthew Fischer-Daly is a scholar of employment relations, inequities in society, and strategies to mitigate them. Experiences growing up in metropolitan Detroit and advocating for labor rights in multiple countries motivate his interest in inequities in the distribution of resources in the modern international economy and strategies for mitigating them. His international and comparative research focuses on labor standards, global commodity chains, agriculture and food systems, and divisions of labor across gender, race, and national states. In the classroom, his teaching aims to empower students with the theoretical and methodological tools to critically analyze social relations.

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