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U.S. reviewing H-2A guest worker program rules


September 29, 2009
By By Sam Hananel The Associated Press

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NEWS HIGHLIGHT

U.S. reviewing H-2A guest worker program rules
The U.S.
Labor Department is trying again to roll back a Bush administration regulation
that made it easier for farmers to hire temporary foreign farm workers.


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Sept. 3, 2009, Washington — The U.S.
Labor Department is trying again to roll back a Bush administration regulation
that made it easier for farmers to hire temporary foreign farm workers.

The agency is proposing a rule that
would boost wages and increase safeguards for thousands of seasonal workers
brought in annually to help farmers harvest their crops.

If the proposed rule were to be
adopted, it would largely reverse a regulation put in force shortly before
President George W. Bush left office in January. The Labor Department tried to
suspend the Bush rule early this year, but farm groups successfully challenged
the decision in federal court.

Farm growers say the changes to the H-2A guest worker program will make
it more cumbersome and expensive to hire foreign workers for field jobs that
many Americans eschew.


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