Senator expressed support for modernization of work permit visas – easing costs and labor shortages that hurt Arizona workers, consumers, and industries
WASHINGTON – Arizona senior Senator Kyrsten Sinema discussed labor shortages and immigration challenges with the Arizona Crop Protection Association and the Arizona Nursery Association, and how these challenges impact their industries and the services Arizonans receive.
“We’re identifying real solutions with local and federal partners – including employers like Arizona farmers, producers, and nursery owners – to address labor shortages in our state, so Arizonans can continue to rely on the low-cost services and goods they need,” said Sinema.
Sinema spoke with the Arizona Nursery Association and the Arizona Crop Protection Association about how the significant labor shortage is impacting their industries, and expressed support to the H-2A and H-2B visa programs that would help ease these challenges. H-2A visas are for agricultural workers and H-2B visas are for non-agricultural seasonal/guest workers, such as landscapers, groundkeepers, etc.
Last year, Sinema called on the Administration to release an additional 35,000 H-2B visas for the second half of fiscal year 2022 and more than 64,000 additional visas for fiscal year 2023. This action allowed Arizona employers who depend on seasonal workers, including growers in Yuma, to have necessary staffing levels for their peak seasons.
Sinema recently met with the Arizona Farm Bureau, where she had conversations with Arizona farmers, ranchers, and agricultural leaders about the challenges and opportunities facing their industry – including Arizona’s water supply and future, the current border and immigration system, and labor shortages. Last year, the Arizona Farm Bureau presented Sinema with the “Friend of the Farm Bureau” award – a distinction she has now earned three times for her work supporting Arizona’s agriculture and, most recently, securing historic investments for drought resilience.