What To Do If H2-A Denials or Delays Occur

There are at least a few2 reasons why the possibility of H2-A contracts are not fulfilled on time, partially or at all.  The reasons vary from the lack of follow-ups, visa denials, improper paperwork, and more.   According to our friends in the industry that handle thousands upon thousands of H2-A workers and petitions annually, the typical time frame from the submission of petitions to the arrival time of workers is ‘normally’ two weeks.  If that time frame is delayed, what should you do.

Delays can be for a variety of reasons, while we wait for the arrival of needed workers to do the work at hand.  If a delay or lack of response occurs, we suggest that you follow the steps below:

  • SEND AN EMAIL to the NWA so that we can collect & document the issue.  We will disguise all names and details and only use the over-arching issue with Washington to try to improve the process.
  • IMMEDIATELY CONTACT YOUR U.S. House Representative ‘every time’ you have an issue with the H2-A program.  Your elected representative has direct contacts; they will open up a case to look into a solution for you; and they can help.       
  • Any issues with USCIS or other sources related to the U.S. Government:  log on to this LINK and report the issue to USDA.  USDA Secretary Sonny Perdue has set up the website to learn about issues related to worker needs, and to get involved to solve the issues.  
  • Additionally, you can send an email to [email protected]

Proof of Employment helps H2-A workers

With the recent and on-going developments resulting from the coronoavirus pandemic, the Mexican Consulate has only been allowing ‘returning workers’ into the country with approved worker visas.   However, with numerous law enforcement agencies watching border locations and states closer than normal due to the virus and the implications that have been the results, some workers have been approached or apprehended.  The way to minimize or eliminate that from occurring is to provide each worker with Proof of Employment.There have been a few reported cases of approved workers being stopped and questioned by U.S. authorities.  It is highly recommended that each worker (including green card holders) be provided PROOF OF EMPLOYMENT as farmworkers from the labor contractor or the employer.  Click below to access the recommended versions in English and Spanish languages. 

Also, a similar situation may be reasonably expected from truck drivers crossing the border.  Click below to access the recommended version in English and Spanish languages.


So Many Thanks to Offer

Words cannot express how grateful and blessed that we are from all of the support that was offered during the most recent national convention hosted by Disney at the Yacht & Beach Clubs Resort in Central Florida.  From start to finish the convention exceeded our expectations, with visits from the main Disney Cast (Mickey, Minnie, Goofy, Donald Duck and Cinderella), our military honorees (Major Ed Pulido, Kris Morgan & his service dog Andi, and Russell Previck), Jeremy James – our master of ceremonies, and the performance by repercussion was a show-stopper!  

Each and every year, our show - our success is due to the generosity of our sponsors that allow us to hold a convention such as we do.  Please …. When you come across them during the season, please extend a hand and thank them for their support.  They give us the ability to keep your registration fees at a produce industry low while we create a show (it’s not just a convention anymore) that attracts the largest attendance numbers that we have ever seen.  In fact, the convention at Disney World set an all-time attendance record of 611!    

Thanks to our exhibitors who enjoyed one of the best positions that we have ever had for the exhibit center.  Congratulations to all of the award winners and honorees.  And many thanks to the contributors to our philanthropy efforts with the Moffitt Cancer Center (Tampa, Florida) and the $100,000 military donation to the Warriors for Freedom and Folds of Honor Foundations.   

Certainly important to this effort, many thanks to our team of staff and volunteers for your excellent work.  It takes a small village to pull off all that we do to create a show that brings hundreds of people together each year.  Monica, Kelli, Tami, Eleanor, Kerri, Katie, Lori, Michelle, Linda, Rob, Rusty, Pam, our President (John Gee), our auctioneers (Ray & Jonah), Barbara, committee Chairs (John Lapide, Hami and Jordan), and more that I know chipped in – helped out – and deserve our thanks.  And finally, thank all of you that make the trip to attend our annual family reunion and make it as great as it was.  Enjoy the pictures HERE.  See you next February at Caesars Palace in Las Vegas, Nevada.    


A Message From Our Executive Director

During this pandemic crisis we have all been affected in more ways than even a Hollywood producer might imagine, and the timing is not the best.  The harvest in the deep south is beginning; there are thousands of H2-A workers in line to get visas and cross the border, and there is a great deal of work yet to be done for the new season (harvest).  But this time, while trying to many of us, will be an experience that we will learn from, overcome, and get the job done.  

A fundamental mission of associations is to support its members, and be the calm & sound voice of the industry in good times (and in bad).  It is the bad times when the need is usually greatest.  This industry has been through bad times before, and we’ve seen it come out on the other side – sometimes the better.  We are being tested, albeit with an enemy (COVID-19) that is setting a minefield of challenges that we have never experienced before.

Please be assured …… the National Watermelon Association is on the job working diligently on the issues while staying on top of the business and focused on the higher priorities.  Maybe we should feel sorry for those that have chosen to not join the NWA – for they do not have the support that you do.  That is your advantage.  And finally, it is our honor to serve you and be of service each and every day.  I truly believe that we will get through this period and anxiously look forward to watching as we begin to see the creation of whatever the new NORM may become.   Be safe, and be blessed.

Bob Morrissey, Executive Director


 NEW Public Charge Rule about to take effect 

The Trump administration's "public charge" rule,which allows the government to deny green cards or visas to legal immigrants who are deemed likely to use public assistance programs like food stamps, will go into force at the end of next month following this week's Supreme Court decision on the issue.  The public charge regulations will be enforced in every state but Illinois, where a federal appeals court has upheld a state-wide injunction.

Under the controversial policy, the government's ability to refuse green cards or visas for legal immigrants determined to be a "public charge," or dependent on public assistance, would be expanded. Those using or likely to use Medicaid, food stamps and other safety net programs would face greater scrutiny from immigration officials. The policy was finalized in August and originally slated to take effect in October.

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