Congress should abolish the nonimmigrant visa for farmworkers because of its inherently abusive and unjust nature. The visa allows abuse of farmworkers to flourish because guest workers, who live in the United States only for a short period of time, have no hope of becoming permanent residents. The workers constantly fear deportation and are unlikely to assert their rights in court. Because guest workers, by nature of their visas, may only work for one employer and the consequence for quitting is deportation, the workers may be forced to endure abusive treatment. Legal coercion prevents agricultural guest workers from leaving their employers, and so they labor in a state of involuntary servitude. Guest workers do not receive the same statutory protections as other farmworkers, and courts and the Department of Labor have been reluctant to enforce the few rights guest workers do have. The guest worker visa for farmworkers should be discontinued because the availability of cheap foreign workers who cannot choose their employer, negotiate their wages or hours, or even quit, causes overall lower wages and inferior conditions for all farmworkers, and the loss of jobs for U.S. workers.
Farmworkers, Nonimmigration Policy, Involuntary Servitude, and a Look at the Sheepherding Industry,
Chi.-Kent L. Rev.
Available at: https://scholarship.kentlaw.iit.edu/cklawreview/vol76/iss2/19