Rep. Raúl Grijalva helps farms seeking Mexican labor in Yuma area
YUMA - Farming groups in Yuma have enlisted Rep. Raúl Grijalva to push for a special guest-worker program they are proposing for the winter vegetable season.
The pilot program would exempt local employers from a requirement to provide housing for Mexicans who hold special visas issued when farmers can’t find enough workers in the U.S.
That is something local agriculture employers have been seeking for years, said Sonny Rodriguez, president of The Growers Company, a farm labor contractor.
If approved, it would make it easier and less expensive for agriculture employers in the area to hire workers who live in Mexico and cross the border each morning to work in the vegetable fields and coolers. Many prefer to go home each night, and farm contractors often bus them from the border to the fields and back again each day.
Grijalva said he hopes to persuade the Department of Labor to approve the program as an administrative act. That’s because any congressional action is considered impossible because of the impasse on immigration.