• Public Affairs

    landing-header-public-affairs_37748_17213
  • ACOEM Comments on Agricultural Guestworker Program

    February 25, 2013

    Honorable Trey Gowdy
    Chair
    Judiciary Subcommittee on Immigration and Border Security
    U.S. House of Representatives
    Washington, DC 20515

    Dear Mr. Gowdy:

    The American College of Occupational and Environmental Medicine (ACOEM) submits the attached statement to supplement the record of the February 26, 2013 House Judiciary Subcommittee on Immigration and Border Security hearing on “Agricultural Labor: From H-2A to a Workable Agricultural Guestworker Program.”

    Thank you for your consideration.

    Sincerely,
    Karl Auerbach MD, MS, MBA, FACOEM
    President

    Joseph A. Fortuna, MD
    ACOEM Section on Underserved Occupational Populations

    --------------

    Statement of the American College of Occupational and Environmental MedicineSubmitted to the Immigration and Border Security Subcommittee
    Committee on the Judiciary
    U.S. House of Representatives
    February 26, 2013 Hearing
    “Agricultural Labor: From H-2A to a Workable Agricultural Guestworker Program”

    The American College of Occupational and Environmental Medicine (ACOEM) submits the following comments to supplement the record of the February 26, 2013 House Judiciary Subcommittee on Immigration and Border Security hearing on “Agricultural Labor: From H-2A to a Workable Agricultural Guestworker Program.”

    We write to express our views about the H-2A temporary foreign agricultural worker program, which is the subject of the February 26, 2013 hearing before the House Subcommittee on Immigration and Border Security. We welcome efforts to reform our immigration system but we wish to ensure that agricultural workers and their families are treated fairly and consistently.

    There have been proposals for new agricultural guestworker programs. Any new program should provide strong and equal labor and health protections. U.S. farmworkers should be included in the same labor protections that cover other workers, and guestworkers should be covered by those protections as well. Effective government oversight is necessary to monitor compliance with applicable health and safety requirements in guestworker programs. In addition, all farmworkers, including guest workers, should have appropriate access to health care providers familiar with the health and safety issues of the farm workplace.

    ACOEM, an international society of more than 4,000 occupational and environmental physicians, provides leadership to promote optimal health and safety of workers, workplaces, and environments. Occupational and environmental medicine is the medical specialty devoted to prevention and management of occupational and environmental injury, illness and disability, and promotion of health and productivity of workers, their families, and communities.