Screwing the Poor as He Leaves

Just days after losing the election, the Trump administration has come up with a new way to f%$# immigrants.

They froze the wages of H2A agricultural workers on November 5:

After the last polls closed, but before the final votes had been tallied, Donald Trump’s administration quietly issued a rule to help corporate interests deny pay hikes to frontline farmworkers who help maintain America’s food supply. The rule follows a Trump administration report forecasting a steep rise in agribusiness profits.

On Nov. 5, the Department of Labor (DOL) published a rule to freeze wages for farmworkers who are working under H-2A visas until 2023. The H-2A visa program allows foreign farmworkers to access temporary visas to work in the United States for approved employers.

The American Farm Bureau Federation, the agriculture industry’s major lobbying group, welcomed the new rule, saying it provides “stability during the uncertainty created by the pandemic and trade imbalances.”

Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue praised the wage freezes in a press release: “This rule shows once again President Trump’s commitment to America’s farmers by delivering lower costs when they need it the most.” He added that, “Over the past several years farm wages have increased at a higher pace than other industries, which is why this DOL rule could not come at a better time.”

The move to slash workers’ wages follows Perdue’s department in September reporting that “net farm income, a broad measure of profits, is forecast to increase $19 billion (22.7 percent) from 2019 to $102.7 billion in 2020.”

Perdue is personally invested in agribusiness, and watchdog groups recently demanded the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) inspector general investigate whether Perdue violated the ethics agreement he signed when he joined the Trump administration.

For them, it’s a double win:  They get to hurt immigrants and the poors at the same time. 

I cannot wait for January 20.

Leave a Reply