Minnesota Farm Bureau President Kevin Papp said the White House has clarified that President Donald Trump's executive order on immigration would not affect seasonal farmworkers on H-2A visas, which help drive one of the state’s largest industries.
Initially, Papp said, everyone was concerned, but it looks like the order announced Tuesday will not have a big effect on agriculture, he said.
“Immigrant farmworkers play a vital role in feeding all Americans,” Papp said. “They’re a hard-working, experienced workforce that we need to make sure we’ve got access to.”
While a hard stop on immigration would normally affect millions of people, much of the immigration system has already ground to a halt. Almost all visa processing by the State Department has been suspended for weeks. Travel to the U.S. has been restricted. And Trump has used the virus to effectively end asylum at U.S. borders.
“It’s not immediately clear what this order would change about the current reality of immigration processing in the United States — it’s already paused,” said St. Paul immigration attorney Graham Ojala-Barbour, chairman of the local chapter of the American Immigration Lawyers Association.
This report includes material from the Associated Press