H-2A Legislation

House passes the Farm Workforce Modernization Act of 2021

US Capitol

The US House of Representatives passed the Farm Workforce Modernization Act of 2021 on March 18, 2021. This bill would provide protections to migrant farmworkers, create a new path to lawful permanent residency, and modify existing work visa programs.

There has been limited immigration relief available to migrant farmworkers in the US since the 1980s, when several substantial programs legalized many individuals who worked in agriculture, generally without lawful status. Known as Special Agricultural Workers, this program provided temporary residence followed by permanent residence to those who did agricultural work and met certain physical presence requirements.

This bill is not a law unless it is passed by the Senate and signed by the President. It is expected that the coming weeks will bring increased debate on the pending immigration bills.