H-2A

Tyler Shaw, Unsplash

An anthropologist pursuing his Ph.D. at Brown University spent the past few months researching the H-2A guest worker program in Florida’s citrus industry. He heads to Mexico this summer to spend time with those workers in their own communities.

Farmworker's Association of Florida

Florida farmers face acute needs for labor when the harvest comes, and in recent years they've relied on guest workers from other countries under the H-2A visa program to pick their crops. The visa locks the guest worker into a contract with their employer, who has to meet an array of obligations to those workers as they live and work in the U.S. Some see it as a model program, while others call it a program of last resort.

John Davis / WGCU

Florida U.S. Senator Marco Rubio met with Southwest Florida citrus growers Friday in Immokalee to discuss challenges facing the industry and how the federal government can help.  The bacterial disease, citrus greening, has decimated the industry over the past decade, reducing crop yields by 70 percent compared to where they stood twenty years ago.