FARM WORKFORCE MODERNIZATION ACT OF 2019; Congressional Record Vol. 165, No. 198
(House of Representatives - December 11, 2019)

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                FARM WORKFORCE MODERNIZATION ACT OF 2019

  Mr. NADLER. Mr. Speaker, pursuant to House Resolution 758, I call up 
the bill (H.R. 5038) to amend the Immigration and Nationality Act to 
provide for

[[Page H10045]]

terms and conditions for nonimmigrant workers performing agricultural 
labor or services, and for other purposes, and ask for its immediate 
consideration.
  The Clerk read the title of the bill.
  The SPEAKER pro tempore. Pursuant to House Resolution 758, in lieu of 
the amendment in the nature of a substitute recommended by the 
Committee on the Judiciary printed in the bill, an amendment in the 
nature of a substitute consisting of the text of Rules Committee Print 
116-42, modified by the amendment printed in part C of House Report 
116-334, is adopted, and the bill, as amended, is considered read.
  The text of the bill, as amended, is as follows:

                               H.R. 5038

       Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of 
     the United States of America in Congress assembled,

     SECTION 1. SHORT TITLE; TABLE OF CONTENTS.

       (a) Short Title.--This Act may be cited as the ``Farm 
     Workforce Modernization Act of 2019''.
       (b) Table of Contents.--The table of contents for this Act 
     is as follows:

Sec. 1. Short title; table of contents.

         TITLE I--SECURING THE DOMESTIC AGRICULTURAL WORKFORCE

    Subtitle A--Temporary Status for Certified Agricultural Workers

Sec. 101. Certified agricultural worker status.
Sec. 102. Terms and conditions of certified status.
Sec. 103. Extensions of certified status.
Sec. 104. Determination of continuous presence.
Sec. 105. Employer obligations.
Sec. 106. Administrative and judicial review.

      Subtitle B--Optional Earned Residence for Long-term Workers

Sec. 111. Optional adjustment of status for long-term agricultural 
              workers.
Sec. 112. Payment of taxes.
Sec. 113. Adjudication and decision; review.

                     Subtitle C--General Provisions

Sec. 121. Definitions.
Sec. 122. Rulemaking; Fees.
Sec. 123. Background checks.
Sec. 124. Protection for children.
Sec. 125. Limitation on removal.
Sec. 126. Documentation of agricultural work history.
Sec. 127. Employer protections.
Sec. 128. Correction of social security records.
Sec. 129. Disclosures and privacy.
Sec. 130. Penalties for false statements in applications.
Sec. 131. Dissemination of information.
Sec. 132. Exemption from numerical limitations.
Sec. 133. Reports to Congress.
Sec. 134. Grant program to assist eligible applicants.
Sec. 135. Authorization of appropriations.

      TITLE II--ENSURING AN AGRICULTURAL WORKFORCE FOR THE FUTURE

        Subtitle A--Reforming the H-2A Temporary Worker Program

Sec. 201. Comprehensive and streamlined electronic h-2a platform.
Sec. 202. H-2a program requirements.
Sec. 203. Agency roles and responsibilities.
Sec. 204. Worker protection and compliance.
Sec. 205. Report on wage protections.
Sec. 206. Portable h-2a visa pilot program.
Sec. 207. Improving access to permanent residence.

    Subtitle B--Preservation and Construction of Farmworker Housing

Sec. 220. Short title.
Sec. 221. Permanent establishment of housing preservation and 
              revitalization program.
Sec. 222. Eligibility for rural housing vouchers.
Sec. 223. Amount of voucher assistance.
Sec. 224. Rental assistance contract authority.
Sec. 225. Funding for multifamily technical improvements.
Sec. 226. Plan for preserving affordability of rental projects.
Sec. 227. Covered housing programs.
Sec. 228. New farmworker housing.
Sec. 229. Loan and grant limitations.
Sec. 230. Operating assistance subsidies.
Sec. 231. Eligibility of certified workers.

           Subtitle C--Foreign Labor Recruiter Accountability

Sec. 251. Registration of foreign labor recruiters.
Sec. 252. Enforcement.
Sec. 253. Appropriations.
Sec. 254. Definitions.

      TITLE III--ELECTRONIC VERIFICATION OF EMPLOYMENT ELIGIBILITY

Sec. 301. Electronic employment eligibility verification system.
Sec. 302. Mandatory electronic verification for the agricultural 
              industry.
Sec. 303. Coordination with E-Verify Program.
Sec. 304. Fraud and misuse of documents.
Sec. 305. Technical and conforming amendments.
Sec. 306. Protection of Social Security Administration programs.
Sec. 307. Report on the implementation of the electronic employment 
              verification system.
Sec. 308. Modernizing and streamlining the employment eligibility 
              verification process.
Sec. 309. Rulemaking and Paperwork Reduction Act.

         TITLE I--SECURING THE DOMESTIC AGRICULTURAL WORKFORCE

    Subtitle A--Temporary Status for Certified Agricultural Workers

     SEC. 101. CERTIFIED AGRICULTURAL WORKER STATUS.

       (a) Requirements for Certified Agricultural Worker 
     Status.--
       (1) Principal aliens.--The Secretary may grant certified 
     agricultural worker status to an alien who submits a 
     completed application, including the required processing 
     fees, before the end of the period set forth in subsection 
     (c) and who--
       (A) performed agricultural labor or services in the United 
     States for at least 1,035 hours (or 180 work days) during the 
     2-year period preceding the date of the introduction of this 
     Act;
       (B) on the date of the introduction of this Act--
       (i) is inadmissible or deportable from the United States; 
     or
       (ii) is under a grant of deferred enforced departure or has 
     temporary protected status under section 244 of the 
     Immigration and Nationality Act;
       (C) subject to section 104, has been continuously present 
     in the United States since the date of the introduction of 
     this Act and until the date on which the alien is granted 
     certified agricultural worker status; and
       (D) is not otherwise ineligible for certified agricultural 
     worker status as provided in subsection (b).
       (2) Dependent spouse and children.--The Secretary may grant 
     certified agricultural dependent status to the spouse or 
     child of an alien granted certified agricultural worker 
     status under paragraph (1) if the spouse or child is not 
     ineligible for certified agricultural dependent status as 
     provided in subsection (b).
       (b) Grounds for Ineligibility.--
       (1) Grounds of inadmissibility.--Except as provided in 
     paragraph (3), an alien is ineligible for certified 
     agricultural worker or certified agricultural dependent 
     status if the Secretary determines that the alien is 
     inadmissible under section 212(a) of the Immigration and 
     Nationality Act (8 U.S.C. 1182(a)), except that in 
     determining inadmissibility--
       (A) paragraphs (4), (5), (7), and (9)(B) of such section 
     shall not apply;
       (B) subparagraphs (A), (C), (D), (F), and (G) of such 
     section 212(a)(6) and paragraphs (9)(C) and (10)(B) of such 
     section 212(a) shall not apply unless based on the act of 
     unlawfully entering the United States after the date of 
     introduction of this Act; and
       (C) paragraphs (6)(B) and (9)(A) of such section 212(a) 
     shall not apply unless the relevant conduct began on or after 
     the date of filing of the application for certified 
     agricultural worker status.
       (2) Additional criminal bars.--Except as provided in 
     paragraph (3), an alien is ineligible for certified 
     agricultural worker or certified agricultural dependent 
     status if the Secretary determines that, excluding any 
     offense under State law for which an essential element is the 
     alien's immigration status and any minor traffic offense, the 
     alien has been convicted of--
       (A) any felony offense;
       (B) an aggravated felony (as defined in section 101(a)(43) 
     of the Immigration and Nationality Act (8 U.S.C. 1101(a)(43)) 
     at the time of the conviction);
       (C) two misdemeanor offenses involving moral turpitude, as 
     described in section 212(a)(2)(A)(i)(I) of the Immigration 
     and Nationality Act (8 U.S.C. 1182(a)(2)(A)(i)(I)), unless an 
     offense is waived by the Secretary under paragraph (3)(B); or
       (D) three or more misdemeanor offenses not occurring on the 
     same date, and not arising out of the same act, omission, or 
     scheme of misconduct.
       (3) Waivers for certain grounds of inadmissibility.--For 
     humanitarian purposes, family unity, or if otherwise in the 
     public interest, the Secretary may waive the grounds of 
     inadmissibility under--
       (A) paragraph (1), (6)(E), or (10)(D) of section 212(a) of 
     the Immigration and Nationality Act (8 U.S.C. 1182(a)); or
       (B) subparagraphs (A) and (D) of section 212(a)(2) of the 
     Immigration and Nationality Act (8 U.S.C. 1182(a)(2)), unless 
     inadmissibility is based on a conviction that would otherwise 
     render the alien ineligible under subparagraph (A), (B), or 
     (D) of paragraph (2).
       (c) Application.--
       (1) Application period.--Except as provided in paragraph 
     (2), the Secretary shall accept initial applications for 
     certified agricultural worker status during the 18-month 
     period beginning on the date on which the interim final rule 
     is published in the Federal Register pursuant to section 
     122(a).
       (2) Extension.--If the Secretary determines, during the 
     initial period described in paragraph (1), that additional 
     time is required to process initial applications for 
     certified agricultural worker status or for other good cause, 
     the Secretary may extend the period for accepting 
     applications for up to an additional 12 months.
       (3) Submission of applications.--
       (A) In general.--An alien may file an application with the 
     Secretary under this section with the assistance of an 
     attorney or a nonprofit religious, charitable, social 
     service, or similar organization recognized by the Board of 
     Immigration Appeals under section 292.2 of title 8, Code of 
     Federal Regulations. The Secretary shall also create a 
     procedure for accepting applications filed by qualified 
     designated entities with the consent of the applicant.
       (B) Farm service agency offices.--The Secretary, in 
     consultation with the Secretary of Agriculture, shall 
     establish a process for the filing of applications under this 
     section at Farm Service Agency offices throughout the United 
     States.

[[Page H10046]]

       (4) Evidence of application filing.--As soon as practicable 
     after receiving an application for certified agricultural 
     worker status, the Secretary shall provide the applicant with 
     a document acknowledging the receipt of such application. 
     Such document shall serve as interim proof of the alien's 
     authorization to accept employment in the United States and 
     shall be accepted by an employer as evidence of employment 
     authorization under section 274A(b)(1)(C) of the Immigration 
     and Nationality Act (8 U.S.C. 1324a(b)(1)(C)), if the 
     employer is employing the holder of such document to perform 
     agricultural labor or services, pending a final 
     administrative decision on the application.
       (5) Effect of pending application.--During the period 
     beginning on the date on which an alien applies for certified 
     agricultural worker status under this subtitle, and ending on 
     the date on which the Secretary makes a final administrative 
     decision regarding such application, the alien and any 
     dependents included in the application--
       (A) may apply for advance parole, which shall be granted 
     upon demonstrating a legitimate need to travel outside the 
     United States for a temporary purpose;
       (B) may not be detained by the Secretary or removed from 
     the United States unless the Secretary makes a prima facie 
     determination that such alien is, or has become, ineligible 
     for certified agricultural worker status;
       (C) may not be considered unlawfully present under section 
     212(a)(9)(B) of the Immigration and Nationality Act (8 U.S.C. 
     1182(a)(9)(B)); and
       (D) may not be considered an unauthorized alien (as defined 
     in section 274A(h)(3) of the Immigration and Nationality Act 
     (8 U.S.C. 1324a(h)(3))).
       (6) Withdrawal of application.--The Secretary shall, upon 
     receipt of a request from the applicant to withdraw an 
     application for certified agricultural worker status under 
     this subtitle, cease processing of the application, and close 
     the case. Withdrawal of the application shall not prejudice 
     any future application filed by the applicant for any 
     immigration benefit under this Act or under the Immigration 
     and Nationality Act (8 U.S.C. 1101 et seq.).
       (d) Adjudication and Decision.--
       (1) In general.--Subject to section 123, the Secretary 
     shall render a decision on an application for certified 
     agricultural worker status not later than 180 days after the 
     date the application is filed.
       (2) Notice.--Prior to denying an application for certified 
     agricultural worker status, the Secretary shall provide the 
     alien with--
       (A) written notice that describes the basis for 
     ineligibility or the deficiencies in the evidence submitted; 
     and
       (B) at least 90 days to contest ineligibility or submit 
     additional evidence.
       (3) Amended application.--An alien whose application for 
     certified agricultural worker status is denied under this 
     section may submit an amended application for such status to 
     the Secretary if the amended application is submitted within 
     the application period described in subsection (c) and 
     contains all the required information and fees that were 
     missing from the initial application.
       (e) Alternative h-2a Status.--An alien who has not met the 
     required period of agricultural labor or services under 
     subsection (a)(1)(A), but is otherwise eligible for certified 
     agricultural worker status under such subsection, shall be 
     eligible for classification as a nonimmigrant described in 
     section 101(a)(15)(H)(ii)(a) of the Immigration and 
     Nationality Act (8 U.S.C. 1101(a)(15)(H)(ii)(a)) upon 
     approval of a petition submitted by a sponsoring employer, if 
     the alien has performed at least 575 hours (or 100 work days) 
     of agricultural labor or services during the 3-year period 
     preceding the date of the introduction of this Act. The 
     Secretary shall create a procedure to provide for such 
     classification without requiring the alien to depart the 
     United States and obtain a visa abroad.

     SEC. 102. TERMS AND CONDITIONS OF CERTIFIED STATUS.

       (a) In General.--
       (1) Approval.--Upon approval of an application for 
     certified agricultural worker status, or an extension of such 
     status pursuant to section 103, the Secretary shall issue--
       (A) documentary evidence of such status to the applicant; 
     and
       (B) documentary evidence of certified agricultural 
     dependent status to any qualified dependent included on such 
     application.
       (2) Documentary evidence.--In addition to any other 
     features and information as the Secretary may prescribe, the 
     documentary evidence described in paragraph (1)--
       (A) shall be machine-readable and tamper-resistant;
       (B) shall contain a digitized photograph;
       (C) shall serve as a valid travel and entry document for 
     purposes of applying for admission to the United States; and
       (D) shall be accepted during the period of its validity by 
     an employer as evidence of employment authorization and 
     identity under section 274A(b)(1)(B) of the Immigration and 
     Nationality Act (8 U.S.C. 1324a(b)(1)(B)).
       (3) Validity period.--Certified agricultural worker and 
     certified agricultural dependent status shall be valid for 
     five and one-half years beginning on the date of approval.
       (4) Travel authorization.--An alien with certified 
     agricultural worker or certified agricultural dependent 
     status may--
       (A) travel within and outside of the United States, 
     including commuting to the United States from a residence in 
     a foreign country; and
       (B) be admitted to the United States upon return from 
     travel abroad without first obtaining a visa if the alien is 
     in possession of--
       (i) valid, unexpired documentary evidence of certified 
     agricultural worker or certified agricultural worker 
     dependent status as described in subsection (a); or
       (ii) a travel document that has been approved by the 
     Secretary and was issued to the alien after the alien's 
     original documentary evidence was lost, stolen, or destroyed.
       (b) Ability to Change Status.--
       (1) Change to certified agricultural worker status.--
     Notwithstanding section 101(a), an alien with valid certified 
     agricultural dependent status may apply to change to 
     certified agricultural worker status, at any time, if the 
     alien--
       (A) submits a completed application, including the required 
     processing fees; and
       (B) is not ineligible for certified agricultural worker 
     status under section 101(b).
       (2) Clarification.--Nothing in this title prohibits an 
     alien granted certified agricultural worker or certified 
     agricultural dependent status from changing status to any 
     other nonimmigrant classification for which the alien may be 
     eligible.
       (c) Prohibition on Public Benefits, Tax Benefits, and 
     Health Care Subsidies.--Aliens granted certified agricultural 
     worker or certified agricultural dependent status shall be 
     considered lawfully present in the United States for all 
     purposes for the duration of their status, except that such 
     aliens--
       (1) shall be ineligible for Federal means-tested public 
     benefits to the same extent as other individuals who are not 
     qualified aliens under section 431 of the Personal 
     Responsibility and Work Opportunity Reconciliation Act of 
     1996 (8 U.S.C. 1641);
       (2) are not entitled to the premium assistance tax credit 
     authorized under section 36B of the Internal Revenue Code of 
     1986 (26 U.S.C. 36B), and shall be subject to the rules 
     applicable to individuals who are not lawfully present set 
     forth in subsection (e) of such section;
       (3) shall be subject to the rules applicable to individuals 
     who are not lawfully present set forth in section 1402(e) of 
     the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (42 U.S.C. 
     18071(e)); and
       (4) shall be subject to the rules applicable to individuals 
     not lawfully present set forth in section 5000A(d)(3) of the 
     Internal Revenue Code of 1986 (26 U.S.C. 5000A(d)(3)).
       (d) Revocation of Status.--
       (1) In general.--The Secretary may revoke certified 
     agricultural worker or certified agricultural dependent 
     status if, after providing notice to the alien and the 
     opportunity to provide evidence to contest the proposed 
     revocation, the Secretary determines that the alien no longer 
     meets the eligibility requirements for such status under 
     section 101(b).
       (2) Invalidation of documentation.--Upon the Secretary's 
     final determination to revoke an alien's certified 
     agricultural worker or certified agricultural dependent 
     status, any documentation issued by the Secretary to such 
     alien under subsection (a) shall automatically be rendered 
     invalid for any purpose except for departure from the United 
     States.

     SEC. 103. EXTENSIONS OF CERTIFIED STATUS.

       (a) Requirements for Extensions of Status.--
       (1) Principal aliens.--The Secretary may extend certified 
     agricultural worker status for additional periods of five and 
     one-half years to an alien who submits a completed 
     application, including the required processing fees, within 
     the 120-day period beginning 60 days before the expiration of 
     the fifth year of the immediately preceding grant of 
     certified agricultural worker status, if the alien--
       (A) except as provided in section 126(c), has performed 
     agricultural labor or services in the United States for at 
     least 575 hours (or 100 work days) for each of the prior five 
     years in which the alien held certified agricultural worker 
     status; and
       (B) has not become ineligible for certified agricultural 
     worker status under section 101(b).
       (2) Dependent spouse and children.--The Secretary may grant 
     or extend certified agricultural dependent status to the 
     spouse or child of an alien granted an extension of certified 
     agricultural worker status under paragraph (1) if the spouse 
     or child is not ineligible for certified agricultural 
     dependent status under section 101(b).
       (3) Waiver for late filings.--The Secretary may waive an 
     alien's failure to timely file before the expiration of the 
     120-day period described in paragraph (1) if the alien 
     demonstrates that the delay was due to extraordinary 
     circumstances beyond the alien's control or for other good 
     cause.
       (b) Status for Workers With Pending Applications.--
       (1) In general.--Certified agricultural worker status of an 
     alien who timely files an application to extend such status 
     under subsection (a) (and the status of the alien's 
     dependents) shall be automatically extended through the date 
     on which the Secretary makes a final administrative decision 
     regarding such application.
       (2) Documentation of employment authorization.--As soon as 
     practicable after receipt of an application to extend 
     certified agricultural worker status under subsection (a), 
     the Secretary shall issue a document to the alien 
     acknowledging the receipt of such application. An employer of 
     the worker may not refuse to accept such document as evidence 
     of employment authorization under section 274A(b)(1)(C) of 
     the Immigration and Nationality Act (8 U.S.C. 
     1324a(b)(1)(C)), pending a final administrative decision on 
     the application.
       (c) Notice.--Prior to denying an application to extend 
     certified agricultural worker status, the Secretary shall 
     provide the alien with--
       (1) written notice that describes the basis for 
     ineligibility or the deficiencies of the evidence submitted; 
     and
       (2) at least 90 days to contest ineligibility or submit 
     additional evidence.

[[Page H10047]]

  


     SEC. 104. DETERMINATION OF CONTINUOUS PRESENCE.

       (a) Effect of Notice to Appear.--The continuous presence in 
     the United States of an applicant for certified agricultural 
     worker status under section 101 shall not terminate when the 
     alien is served a notice to appear under section 239(a) of 
     the Immigration and Nationality Act (8 U.S.C. 1229(a)).
       (b) Treatment of Certain Breaks in Presence.--
       (1) In general.--Except as provided in paragraphs (2) and 
     (3), an alien shall be considered to have failed to maintain 
     continuous presence in the United States under this subtitle 
     if the alien departed the United States for any period 
     exceeding 90 days, or for any periods, in the aggregate, 
     exceeding 180 days.
       (2) Extensions for extenuating circumstances.--The 
     Secretary may extend the time periods described in paragraph 
     (1) for an alien who demonstrates that the failure to timely 
     return to the United States was due to extenuating 
     circumstances beyond the alien's control, including the 
     serious illness of the alien, or death or serious illness of 
     a spouse, parent, son or daughter, grandparent, or sibling of 
     the alien.
       (3) Travel authorized by the secretary.--Any period of 
     travel outside of the United States by an alien that was 
     authorized by the Secretary shall not be counted toward any 
     period of departure from the United States under paragraph 
     (1).

     SEC. 105. EMPLOYER OBLIGATIONS.

       (a) Record of Employment.--An employer of an alien in 
     certified agricultural worker status shall provide such alien 
     with a written record of employment each year during which 
     the alien provides agricultural labor or services to such 
     employer as a certified agricultural worker.
       (b) Civil Penalties.--
       (1) In general.--If the Secretary determines, after notice 
     and an opportunity for a hearing, that an employer of an 
     alien with certified agricultural worker status has knowingly 
     failed to provide the record of employment required under 
     subsection (a), or has provided a false statement of material 
     fact in such a record, the employer shall be subject to a 
     civil penalty in an amount not to exceed $500 per violation.
       (2) Limitation.--The penalty under paragraph (1) for 
     failure to provide employment records shall not apply unless 
     the alien has provided the employer with evidence of 
     employment authorization described in section 102 or 103.
       (3) Deposit of civil penalties.--Civil penalties collected 
     under this paragraph shall be deposited into the Immigration 
     Examinations Fee Account under section 286(m) of the 
     Immigration and Nationality Act (8 U.S.C. 1356(m)).

     SEC. 106. ADMINISTRATIVE AND JUDICIAL REVIEW.

       (a) Administrative Review.--The Secretary shall establish a 
     process by which an applicant may seek administrative review 
     of a denial of an application for certified agricultural 
     worker status under this subtitle, an application to extend 
     such status, or a revocation of such status.
       (b) Admissibility in Immigration Court.--Each record of an 
     alien's application for certified agricultural worker status 
     under this subtitle, application to extend such status, 
     revocation of such status, and each record created pursuant 
     to the administrative review process under subsection (a) is 
     admissible in immigration court, and shall be included in the 
     administrative record.
       (c) Judicial Review.--Notwithstanding any other provision 
     of law, judicial review of the Secretary's decision to deny 
     an application for certified agricultural worker status, an 
     application to extend such status, or the decision to revoke 
     such status, shall be limited to the review of an order of 
     removal under section 242 of the Immigration and Nationality 
     Act (8 U.S.C. 1252).

      Subtitle B--Optional Earned Residence for Long-term Workers

     SEC. 111. OPTIONAL ADJUSTMENT OF STATUS FOR LONG-TERM 
                   AGRICULTURAL WORKERS.

       (a) Requirements for Adjustment of Status.--
       (1) Principal aliens.--The Secretary may adjust the status 
     of an alien from that of a certified agricultural worker to 
     that of a lawful permanent resident if the alien submits a 
     completed application, including the required processing and 
     penalty fees, and the Secretary determines that--
       (A) except as provided in section 126(c), the alien 
     performed agricultural labor or services for not less than 
     575 hours (or 100 work days) each year--
       (i) for at least 10 years prior to the date of the 
     enactment of this Act and for at least 4 years in certified 
     agricultural worker status; or
       (ii) for fewer than 10 years prior to the date of the 
     enactment of this Act and for at least 8 years in certified 
     agricultural worker status; and
       (B) the alien has not become ineligible for certified 
     agricultural worker status under section 101(b).
       (2) Dependent aliens.--
       (A) In general.--The spouse and each child of an alien 
     described in paragraph (1) whose status has been adjusted to 
     that of a lawful permanent resident may be granted lawful 
     permanent residence under this subtitle if--
       (i) the qualifying relationship to the principal alien 
     existed on the date on which such alien was granted 
     adjustment of status under this subtitle; and
       (ii) the spouse or child is not ineligible for certified 
     agricultural worker dependent status under section 101(b).
       (B) Protections for spouses and children.--The Secretary of 
     Homeland Security shall establish procedures to allow the 
     spouse or child of a certified agricultural worker to self-
     petition for lawful permanent residence under this subtitle 
     in cases involving--
       (i) the death of the certified agricultural worker, so long 
     as the spouse or child submits a petition not later than 2 
     years after the date of the worker's death; or
       (ii) the spouse or a child being battered or subjected to 
     extreme cruelty by the certified agricultural worker.
       (3) Documentation of work history.--An applicant for 
     adjustment of status under this section shall not be required 
     to resubmit evidence of work history that has been previously 
     submitted to the Secretary in connection with an approved 
     extension of certified agricultural worker status.
       (b) Penalty Fee.--In addition to any processing fee that 
     the Secretary may assess in accordance with section 122(b), a 
     principal alien seeking adjustment of status under this 
     subtitle shall pay a $1,000 penalty fee, which shall be 
     deposited into the Immigration Examinations Fee Account 
     pursuant to section 286(m) of the Immigration and Nationality 
     Act (8 U.S.C.1356(m)).
       (c) Effect of Pending Application.--During the period 
     beginning on the date on which an alien applies for 
     adjustment of status under this subtitle, and ending on the 
     date on which the Secretary makes a final administrative 
     decision regarding such application, the alien and any 
     dependents included on the application--
       (1) may apply for advance parole, which shall be granted 
     upon demonstrating a legitimate need to travel outside the 
     United States for a temporary purpose;
       (2) may not be detained by the Secretary or removed from 
     the United States unless the Secretary makes a prima facie 
     determination that such alien is, or has become, ineligible 
     for adjustment of status under subsection (a);
       (3) may not be considered unlawfully present under section 
     212(a)(9)(B) of the Immigration and Nationality Act (8 U.S.C. 
     1182(a)(9)(B)); and
       (4) may not be considered an unauthorized alien (as defined 
     in section 274A(h)(3) of the Immigration and Nationality Act 
     (8 U.S.C. 1324a(h)(3))).
       (d) Evidence of Application Filing.--As soon as practicable 
     after receiving an application for adjustment of status under 
     this subtitle, the Secretary shall provide the applicant with 
     a document acknowledging the receipt of such application. 
     Such document shall serve as interim proof of the alien's 
     authorization to accept employment in the United States and 
     shall be accepted by an employer as evidence of employment 
     authorization under section 274A(b)(1)(C) of the Immigration 
     and Nationality Act (8 U.S.C. 1324a(b)(1)(C)), pending a 
     final administrative decision on the application.
       (e) Withdrawal of Application.--The Secretary shall, upon 
     receipt of a request to withdraw an application for 
     adjustment of status under this subtitle, cease processing of 
     the application, and close the case. Withdrawal of the 
     application shall not prejudice any future application filed 
     by the applicant for any immigration benefit under this Act 
     or under the Immigration and Nationality Act (8 U.S.C. 1101 
     et seq.).

     SEC. 112. PAYMENT OF TAXES.

       (a) In General.--An alien may not be granted adjustment of 
     status under this subtitle unless the applicant has satisfied 
     any applicable Federal tax liability.
       (b) Compliance.--An alien may demonstrate compliance with 
     subsection (a) by submitting such documentation as the 
     Secretary, in consultation with the Secretary of the 
     Treasury, may require by regulation.

     SEC. 113. ADJUDICATION AND DECISION; REVIEW.

       (a) In General.--Subject to the requirements of section 
     123, the Secretary shall render a decision on an application 
     for adjustment of status under this subtitle not later than 
     180 days after the date on which the application is filed.
       (b) Notice.--Prior to denying an application for adjustment 
     of status under this subtitle, the Secretary shall provide 
     the alien with--
       (1) written notice that describes the basis for 
     ineligibility or the deficiencies of the evidence submitted; 
     and
       (2) at least 90 days to contest ineligibility or submit 
     additional evidence.
       (c) Administrative Review.--The Secretary shall establish a 
     process by which an applicant may seek administrative review 
     of a denial of an application for adjustment of status under 
     this subtitle.
       (d) Judicial Review.--Notwithstanding any other provision 
     of law, an alien may seek judicial review of a denial of an 
     application for adjustment of status under this title in an 
     appropriate United States district court.

                     Subtitle C--General Provisions

     SEC. 121. DEFINITIONS.

       In this title:
       (1) In general.--Except as otherwise provided, any term 
     used in this title that is used in the immigration laws shall 
     have the meaning given such term in the immigration laws (as 
     such term is defined in section 101 of the Immigration and 
     Nationality Act (8 U.S.C. 1101)).
       (2) Agricultural labor or services.--The term 
     ``agricultural labor or services'' means--
       (A) agricultural labor or services as such term is used in 
     section 101(a)(15)(H)(ii) of the Immigration and Nationality 
     Act (8 U.S.C. 1101(a)(15)(H)(ii)), without regard to whether 
     the labor or services are of a seasonal or temporary nature; 
     and
       (B) agricultural employment as such term is defined in 
     section 3 of the Migrant and Seasonal Agricultural Worker 
     Protection Act (29 U.S.C. 1802), without regard to whether 
     the specific service or activity is temporary or seasonal.
       (3) Applicable federal tax liability.--The term 
     ``applicable Federal tax liability'' means

[[Page H10048]]

     all Federal income taxes assessed in accordance with section 
     6203 of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 beginning on the 
     date on which the applicant was authorized to work in the 
     United States as a certified agricultural worker.
       (4) Appropriate united states district court.--The term 
     ``appropriate United States district court'' means the United 
     States District Court for the District of Columbia or the 
     United States district court with jurisdiction over the 
     alien's principal place of residence.
       (5) Child.--The term ``child'' has the meaning given such 
     term in section 101(b)(1) of the Immigration and Nationality 
     Act (8 U.S.C. 1101(b)(1)).
       (6) Convicted or conviction.--The term ``convicted'' or 
     ``conviction'' does not include a judgment that has been 
     expunged or set aside, that resulted in a rehabilitative 
     disposition, or the equivalent.
       (7) Employer.--The term ``employer'' means any person or 
     entity, including any labor contractor or any agricultural 
     association, that employs workers in agricultural labor or 
     services.
       (8) Qualified designated entity.--The term ``qualified 
     designated entity'' means--
       (A) a qualified farm labor organization or an association 
     of employers designated by the Secretary; or
       (B) any other entity that the Secretary designates as 
     having substantial experience, demonstrated competence, and a 
     history of long-term involvement in the preparation and 
     submission of application for adjustment of status under 
     title II of the Immigration and Nationality Act (8 U.S.C. 
     1151 et seq.).
       (9) Secretary.--The term ``Secretary'' means the Secretary 
     of Homeland Security.
       (10) Work day.--The term ``work day'' means any day in 
     which the individual is employed 5.75 or more hours in 
     agricultural labor or services.

     SEC. 122. RULEMAKING; FEES.

       (a) Rulemaking.--Not later than 180 days after the date of 
     the enactment of this Act, the Secretary shall publish in the 
     Federal Register, an interim final rule implementing this 
     title. Notwithstanding section 553 of title 5, United States 
     Code, the rule shall be effective, on an interim basis, 
     immediately upon publication, but may be subject to change 
     and revision after public notice and opportunity for comment. 
     The Secretary shall finalize such rule not later than 1 year 
     after the date of the enactment of this Act.
       (b) Fees.--
       (1) In general.--The Secretary may require an alien 
     applying for any benefit under this title to pay a reasonable 
     fee that is commensurate with the cost of processing the 
     application.
       (2) Fee waiver; installments.--
       (A) In general.--The Secretary shall establish procedures 
     to allow an alien to--
       (i) request a waiver of any fee that the Secretary may 
     assess under this title if the alien demonstrates to the 
     satisfaction of the Secretary that the alien is unable to pay 
     the prescribed fee; or
       (ii) pay any fee or penalty that the Secretary may assess 
     under this title in installments.
       (B) Clarification.--Nothing in this section shall be read 
     to prohibit an employer from paying any fee or penalty that 
     the Secretary may assess under this title on behalf of an 
     alien and the alien's spouse or children.

     SEC. 123. BACKGROUND CHECKS.

       (a) Submission of Biometric and Biographic Data.--The 
     Secretary may not grant or extend certified agricultural 
     worker or certified agricultural dependent status under 
     subtitle A, or grant adjustment of status to that of a lawful 
     permanent resident under subtitle B, unless the alien submits 
     biometric and biographic data, in accordance with procedures 
     established by the Secretary. The Secretary shall provide an 
     alternative procedure for aliens who cannot provide all 
     required biometric or biographic data because of a physical 
     impairment.
       (b) Background Checks.--The Secretary shall use biometric, 
     biographic, and other data that the Secretary determines 
     appropriate to conduct security and law enforcement 
     background checks and to determine whether there is any 
     criminal, national security, or other factor that would 
     render the alien ineligible for status under this title. An 
     alien may not be granted any such status under this title 
     unless security and law enforcement background checks are 
     completed to the satisfaction of the Secretary.

     SEC. 124. PROTECTION FOR CHILDREN.

       (a) In General.--Except as provided in subsection (b), for 
     purposes of eligibility for certified agricultural dependent 
     status or lawful permanent resident status under this title, 
     a determination of whether an alien is a child shall be made 
     using the age of the alien on the date on which the initial 
     application for certified agricultural worker status is filed 
     with the Secretary of Homeland Security.
       (b) Limitation.--Subsection (a) shall apply for no more 
     than 10 years after the date on which the initial application 
     for certified agricultural worker status is filed with the 
     Secretary of Homeland Security.

     SEC. 125. LIMITATION ON REMOVAL.

       (a) In General.--An alien who appears to be prima facie 
     eligible for status under this title shall be given a 
     reasonable opportunity to apply for such status. Such an 
     alien may not be placed in removal proceedings or removed 
     from the United States until a final administrative decision 
     establishing ineligibility for such status is rendered.
       (b) Aliens in Removal Proceedings.--Notwithstanding any 
     other provision of the law, the Attorney General shall (upon 
     motion by the Secretary with the consent of the alien, or 
     motion by the alien) terminate removal proceedings, without 
     prejudice, against an alien who appears to be prima facie 
     eligible for status under this title, and provide such alien 
     a reasonable opportunity to apply for such status.
       (c) Effect of Final Order.--An alien present in the United 
     States who has been ordered removed or has been permitted to 
     depart voluntarily from the United States may, 
     notwithstanding such order or permission to depart, apply for 
     status under this title. Such alien shall not be required to 
     file a separate motion to reopen, reconsider, or vacate the 
     order of removal. If the Secretary approves the application, 
     the Secretary shall notify the Attorney General of such 
     approval, and the Attorney General shall cancel the order of 
     removal. If the Secretary renders a final administrative 
     decision to deny the application, the order of removal or 
     permission to depart shall be effective and enforceable to 
     the same extent as if the application had not been made, only 
     after all available administrative and judicial remedies have 
     been exhausted.
       (d) Effect of Departure.--Section 101(g) of the Immigration 
     and Nationality Act (8 U.S.C. 1101(g)) shall not apply to an 
     alien who departs the United States--
       (1) with advance permission to return to the United States 
     granted by the Secretary under this title; or
       (2) after having been granted certified agricultural worker 
     status or lawful permanent resident status under this title.

     SEC. 126. DOCUMENTATION OF AGRICULTURAL WORK HISTORY.

       (a) Burden of Proof.--An alien applying for certified 
     agricultural worker status under subtitle A or adjustment of 
     status under subtitle B has the burden of proving by a 
     preponderance of the evidence that the alien has worked the 
     requisite number of hours or days required under section 101, 
     103, or 111, as applicable. The Secretary shall establish 
     special procedures to properly credit work in cases in which 
     an alien was employed under an assumed name.
       (b) Evidence.--An alien may meet the burden of proof under 
     subsection (a) by producing sufficient evidence to show the 
     extent of such employment as a matter of just and reasonable 
     inference. Such evidence may include--
       (1) an annual record of certified agricultural worker 
     employment as described in section 105(a), or other 
     employment records from employers;
       (2) employment records maintained by collective bargaining 
     associations;
       (3) tax records or other government records;
       (4) sworn affidavits from individuals who have direct 
     knowledge of the alien's work history; or
       (5) any other documentation designated by the Secretary for 
     such purpose.
       (c) Exception for Extraordinary Circumstances.--
       (1) In general.--In determining whether an alien has met 
     the requirement under section 103(a)(1)(A) or 111(a)(1)(A), 
     the Secretary may credit the alien with not more than 575 
     hours (or 100 work days) of agricultural labor or services in 
     the United States if the alien was unable to perform the 
     required agricultural labor or services due to--
       (A) pregnancy, illness, disease, disabling injury, or 
     physical limitation of the alien;
       (B) injury, illness, disease, or other special needs of the 
     alien's child or spouse;
       (C) severe weather conditions that prevented the alien from 
     engaging in agricultural labor or services; or
       (D) termination from agricultural employment, if the 
     Secretary determines that--
       (i) the termination was without just cause; and
       (ii) the alien was unable to find alternative agricultural 
     employment after a reasonable job search.
       (2) Effect of determination.--A determination under 
     paragraph (1)(D) shall not be conclusive, binding, or 
     admissible in a separate or subsequent judicial or 
     administrative action or proceeding between the alien and a 
     current or prior employer of the alien or any other party.

     SEC. 127. EMPLOYER PROTECTIONS.

       (a) Continuing Employment.--An employer that continues to 
     employ an alien knowing that the alien intends to apply for 
     certified agricultural worker status under subtitle A shall 
     not violate section 274A(a)(2) of the Immigration and 
     Nationality Act (8 U.S.C. 1324a(a)(2)) by continuing to 
     employ the alien for the duration of the application period 
     under section 101(c), and with respect to an alien who 
     applies for certified agricultural status, for the duration 
     of the period during which the alien's application is pending 
     final determination.
       (b) Use of Employment Records.--Copies of employment 
     records or other evidence of employment provided by an alien 
     or by an alien's employer in support of an alien's 
     application for certified agricultural worker or adjustment 
     of status under this title may not be used in a civil or 
     criminal prosecution or investigation of that employer under 
     section 274A of the Immigration and Nationality Act (8 U.S.C. 
     1324a) or the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 for the prior 
     unlawful employment of that alien regardless of the outcome 
     of such application.
       (c) Additional Protections.--Employers that provide 
     unauthorized aliens with copies of employment records or 
     other evidence of employment in support of an application for 
     certified agricultural worker status or adjustment of status 
     under this title shall not be subject to civil and criminal 
     liability pursuant to such section 274A for employing such 
     unauthorized aliens. Records or other evidence of employment 
     provided by employers in response to a request for such 
     records for the purpose of establishing eligibility for 
     status under this title may not be used for any purpose other 
     than establishing such eligibility.
       (d) Limitation on Protection.--The protections for 
     employers under this section shall not apply if the employer 
     provides employment

[[Page H10049]]

     records to the alien that are determined to be fraudulent.

     SEC. 128. CORRECTION OF SOCIAL SECURITY RECORDS; CONFORMING 
                   AMENDMENTS.

       (a) In General.--Section 208(e)(1) of the Social Security 
     Act (42 U.S.C. 408(e)(1)) is amended--
       (1) in subparagraph (B)(ii), by striking ``or'' at the end;
       (2) in subparagraph (C), by inserting ``or'' at the end;
       (3) by inserting after subparagraph (C) the following:
       ``(D) who is granted certified agricultural worker status, 
     certified agricultural dependent status, or lawful permanent 
     resident status under title I of the Farm Work Modernization 
     Act of 2019,''; and
       (4) in the undesignated matter following subparagraph (D), 
     as added by paragraph (3), by striking ``1990.'' and 
     inserting ``1990, or in the case of an alien described in 
     subparagraph (D), if such conduct is alleged to have occurred 
     before the date on which the alien was granted status under 
     title I of the Farm Work Modernization Act of 2019.''.
       (b) Effective Date.--The amendments made by subsection (a) 
     shall take effect on the first day of the seventh month that 
     begins after the date of the enactment of this Act.
       (c) Conforming Amendments.--
       (1) Social security act.--Section 210(a)(1) of the Social 
     Security Act (42 U.S.C. 410(a)(1)) is amended by inserting 
     before the semicolon the following: ``(other than aliens 
     granted certified agricultural worker status or certified 
     agricultural dependent status under title I of the Farm Work 
     Modernization Act of 2019''.
       (2) Internal revenue code of 1986.--Section 3121(b)(1) of 
     the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 is amended by inserting 
     before the semicolon the following: ``(other than aliens 
     granted certified agricultural worker status or certified 
     agricultural dependent status under title I of the Farm Work 
     Modernization Act of 2019''.
       (3) Effective date.--The amendments made by this subsection 
     shall apply with respect to service performed after the date 
     of the enactment of this Act.
       (d) Automated System to Assign Social Security Account 
     Numbers.--Section 205(c)(2)(B) of the Social Security Act (42 
     U.S.C. 405(c)(2)(B)) is amended by adding at the end the 
     following:
       ``(iv) The Commissioner of Social Security shall, to the 
     extent practicable, coordinate with the Secretary of the 
     Department of Homeland Security to implement an automated 
     system for the Commissioner to assign social security account 
     numbers to aliens granted certified agricultural worker 
     status or certified agricultural dependent status under title 
     I of the Farm Work Modernization Act of 2019. An alien who is 
     granted such status, and who was not previously assigned a 
     social security account number, shall request assignment of a 
     social security account number and a social security card 
     from the Commissioner through such system. The Secretary 
     shall collect and provide to the Commissioner such 
     information as the Commissioner deems necessary for the 
     Commissioner to assign a social security account number, 
     which information may be used by the Commissioner for any 
     purpose for which the Commissioner is otherwise authorized 
     under Federal law. The Commissioner may maintain, use, and 
     disclose such information only as permitted by the Privacy 
     Act and other Federal law.''.

     SEC. 129. DISCLOSURES AND PRIVACY.

       (a) In General.--The Secretary may not disclose or use 
     information provided in an application for certified 
     agricultural worker status or adjustment of status under this 
     title (including information provided during administrative 
     or judicial review) for the purpose of immigration 
     enforcement.
       (b) Referrals Prohibited.--The Secretary, based solely on 
     information provided in an application for certified 
     agricultural worker status or adjustment of status under this 
     title (including information provided during administrative 
     or judicial review), may not refer an applicant to U.S. 
     Immigration and Customs Enforcement, U.S. Customs and Border 
     Protection, or any designee of either such entity.
       (c) Exceptions.--Notwithstanding subsections (a) and (b), 
     information provided in an application for certified 
     agricultural worker status or adjustment of status under this 
     title may be shared with Federal security and law enforcement 
     agencies--
       (1) for assistance in the consideration of an application 
     under this title;
       (2) to identify or prevent fraudulent claims or schemes;
       (3) for national security purposes; or
       (4) for the investigation or prosecution of any felony not 
     related to immigration status.
       (d) Penalty.--Any person who knowingly uses, publishes, or 
     permits information to be examined in violation of this 
     section shall be fined not more than $10,000.
       (e) Privacy.--The Secretary shall ensure that appropriate 
     administrative and physical safeguards are in place to 
     protect the security, confidentiality, and integrity of 
     personally identifiable information collected, maintained, 
     and disseminated pursuant to this title.

     SEC. 130. PENALTIES FOR FALSE STATEMENTS IN APPLICATIONS.

       (a) Criminal Penalty.--Any person who--
       (1) files an application for certified agricultural worker 
     status or adjustment of status under this title and knowingly 
     falsifies, conceals, or covers up a material fact or makes 
     any false, fictitious, or fraudulent statements or 
     representations, or makes or uses any false writing or 
     document knowing the same to contain any false, fictitious, 
     or fraudulent statement or entry; or
       (2) creates or supplies a false writing or document for use 
     in making such an application,
     shall be fined in accordance with title 18, United States 
     Code, imprisoned not more than 5 years, or both.
       (b) Inadmissibility.--An alien who is convicted under 
     subsection (a) shall be deemed inadmissible to the United 
     States under section 212(a)(6)(C)(i) of the Immigration and 
     Nationality Act (8 U.S.C. 1182(a)(6)(C)(i)).
       (c) Deposit.--Fines collected under subsection (a) shall be 
     deposited into the Immigration Examinations Fee Account 
     pursuant to section 286(m) of the Immigration and Nationality 
     Act (8 U.S.C. 1356(m)).

     SEC. 131. DISSEMINATION OF INFORMATION.

       (a) In General.--Beginning not later than the first day of 
     the application period described in section 101(c)--
       (1) the Secretary of Homeland Security, in cooperation with 
     qualified designated entities, shall broadly disseminate 
     information described in subsection (b); and
       (2) the Secretary of Agriculture, in consultation with the 
     Secretary of Homeland Security, shall disseminate to 
     agricultural employers a document containing the information 
     described in subsection (b) for posting at employer 
     worksites.
       (b) Information Described.--The information described in 
     this subsection shall include--
       (1) the benefits that aliens may receive under this title; 
     and
       (2) the requirements that an alien must meet to receive 
     such benefits.

     SEC. 132. EXEMPTION FROM NUMERICAL LIMITATIONS.

        The numerical limitations under title II of the 
     Immigration and Nationality Act (8 U.S.C. 1151 et seq.) shall 
     not apply to the adjustment of aliens to lawful permanent 
     resident status under this title, and such aliens shall not 
     be counted toward any such numerical limitation.

     SEC. 133. REPORTS TO CONGRESS.

       Not later than 180 days after the publication of the final 
     rule under section 122(a), and annually thereafter for the 
     following 10 years, the Secretary shall submit a report to 
     Congress that identifies, for the previous fiscal year--
       (1) the number of principal aliens who applied for 
     certified agricultural worker status under subtitle A, and 
     the number of dependent spouses and children included in such 
     applications;
       (2) the number of principal aliens who were granted 
     certified agricultural worker status under subtitle A, and 
     the number of dependent spouses and children who were granted 
     certified agricultural dependent status;
       (3) the number of principal aliens who applied for an 
     extension of their certified agricultural worker status under 
     subtitle A, and the number of dependent spouses and children 
     included in such applications;
       (4) the number of principal aliens who were granted an 
     extension of certified agricultural worker status under 
     subtitle A, and the number of dependent spouses and children 
     who were granted certified agricultural dependent status 
     under such an extension;
       (5) the number of principal aliens who applied for 
     adjustment of status under subtitle B, and the number of 
     dependent spouses and children included in such applications;
       (6) the number of principal aliens who were granted lawful 
     permanent resident status under subtitle B, and the number of 
     spouses and children who were granted such status as 
     dependents;
       (7) the number of principal aliens included in petitions 
     described in section 101(e), and the number of dependent 
     spouses and children included in such applications; and
       (8) the number of principal aliens who were granted H-2A 
     status pursuant to petitions described in section 101(e), and 
     the number of dependent spouses and children who were granted 
     H-4 status.

     SEC. 134. GRANT PROGRAM TO ASSIST ELIGIBLE APPLICANTS.

       (a) Establishment.--The Secretary shall establish a program 
     to award grants, on a competitive basis, to eligible 
     nonprofit organizations to assist eligible applicants under 
     this title by providing them with the services described in 
     subsection (c).
       (b) Eligible Nonprofit Organization.--For purposes of this 
     section, the term ``eligible nonprofit organization'' means 
     an organization described in section 501(c)(3) of the 
     Internal Revenue Code of 1986 (excluding a recipient of funds 
     under title X of the Economic Opportunity Act of 1964 (42 
     U.S.C. 2996 et seq.)) that has demonstrated qualifications, 
     experience, and expertise in providing quality services to 
     farm workers or aliens.
       (c) Use of Funds.--Grant funds awarded under this section 
     may be used for the design and implementation of programs 
     that provide--
       (1) information to the public regarding the eligibility and 
     benefits of certified agricultural worker status authorized 
     under this title; and
       (2) assistance, within the scope of authorized practice of 
     immigration law, to individuals submitting applications for 
     certified agricultural worker status or adjustment of status 
     under this title, including--
       (A) screening prospective applicants to assess their 
     eligibility for such status;
       (B) completing applications, including providing assistance 
     in obtaining necessary documents and supporting evidence; and
       (C) providing any other assistance that the Secretary 
     determines useful to assist aliens in applying for certified 
     agricultural worker status or adjustment of status under this 
     title.
       (d) Source of Funds.--In addition to any funds appropriated 
     to carry out this section, the Secretary may use up to 
     $10,000,000 from the Immigration Examinations Fee Account 
     under section 286(m) of the Immigration and Nationality Act 
     (8 U.S.C. 1356(m)) to carry out this section.

[[Page H10050]]

       (e) Eligibility for Services.--Section 504(a)(11) of Public 
     Law 104-134 (110 Stat. 1321-53 et seq.) shall not be 
     construed to prevent a recipient of funds under title X of 
     the Economic Opportunity Act of 1964 (42 U.S.C. 2996 et seq.) 
     from providing legal assistance directly related to an 
     application for status under this title or to an alien 
     granted such status.

     SEC. 135. AUTHORIZATION OF APPROPRIATIONS.

       There is authorized to be appropriated to the Secretary, 
     such sums as may be necessary to implement this title, 
     including any amounts needed for costs associated with the 
     initiation of such implementation, for each of fiscal years 
     2020 through 2022.

      TITLE II--ENSURING AN AGRICULTURAL WORKFORCE FOR THE FUTURE

        Subtitle A--Reforming the H-2A Temporary Worker Program

     SEC. 201. COMPREHENSIVE AND STREAMLINED ELECTRONIC H-2A 
                   PLATFORM.

       (a) Streamlined h-2a Platform.--
       (1) In general.--Not later than 12 months after the date of 
     the enactment of this Act, the Secretary of Homeland 
     Security, in consultation with the Secretary of Labor, the 
     Secretary of Agriculture, the Secretary of State, and United 
     States Digital Service, shall ensure the establishment of an 
     electronic platform through which a petition for an H-2A 
     worker may be filed. Such platform shall--
       (A) serve as a single point of access for an employer to 
     input all information and supporting documentation required 
     for obtaining labor certification from the Secretary of Labor 
     and the adjudication of the H-2A petition by the Secretary of 
     Homeland Security;
       (B) serve as a single point of access for the Secretary of 
     Homeland Security, the Secretary of Labor, and State 
     workforce agencies to concurrently perform their respective 
     review and adjudicatory responsibilities in the H-2A process;
       (C) facilitate communication between employers and agency 
     adjudicators, including by allowing employers to--
       (i) receive and respond to notices of deficiency and 
     requests for information;
       (ii) submit requests for inspections and licensing;
       (iii) receive notices of approval and denial; and
       (iv) request reconsideration or appeal of agency decisions; 
     and
       (D) provide information to the Secretary of State and U.S. 
     Customs and Border Protection necessary for the efficient and 
     secure processing of H-2A visas and applications for 
     admission.
       (2) Objectives.--In developing the platform described in 
     paragraph (1), the Secretary of Homeland Security, in 
     consultation with the Secretary of Labor, the Secretary of 
     Agriculture, the Secretary of State, and United States 
     Digital Service, shall streamline and improve the H-2A 
     process, including by--
       (A) eliminating the need for employers to submit duplicate 
     information and documentation to multiple agencies;
       (B) eliminating redundant processes, where a single matter 
     in a petition is adjudicated by more than one agency;
       (C) reducing the occurrence of common petition errors, and 
     otherwise improving and expediting the processing of H-2A 
     petitions; and
       (D) ensuring compliance with H-2A program requirements and 
     the protection of the wages and working conditions of 
     workers.
       (b) Online Job Registry.--The Secretary of Labor shall 
     maintain a national, publicly-accessible online job registry 
     and database of all job orders submitted by H-2A employers. 
     The registry and database shall--
       (1) be searchable using relevant criteria, including the 
     types of jobs needed to be filled, the date(s) and 
     location(s) of need, and the employer(s) named in the job 
     order;
       (2) provide an interface for workers in English, Spanish, 
     and any other language that the Secretary of Labor determines 
     to be appropriate; and
       (3) provide for public access of job orders approved under 
     section 218(h)(2) of the Immigration and Nationality Act.

     SEC. 202. H-2A PROGRAM REQUIREMENTS.

       Section 218 of the Immigration and Nationality Act (8 
     U.S.C. 1188) is amended to read as follows:

     ``SEC. 218. ADMISSION OF TEMPORARY H-2A WORKERS.

       ``(a) Labor Certification Conditions.--The Secretary of 
     Homeland Security may not approve a petition to admit an H-2A 
     worker unless the Secretary of Labor has certified that--
       ``(1) there are not sufficient United States workers who 
     are able, willing and qualified, and who will be available at 
     the time and place needed, to perform the agricultural labor 
     or services described in the petition; and
       ``(2) the employment of the H-2A worker in such labor or 
     services will not adversely affect the wages and working 
     conditions of workers in the United States who are similarly 
     employed.
       ``(b) H-2a Petition Requirements.--An employer filing a 
     petition for an H-2A worker to perform agricultural labor or 
     services shall attest to and demonstrate compliance, as and 
     when appropriate, with all applicable requirements under this 
     section, including the following:
       ``(1) Need for labor or services.--The employer has 
     described the need for agricultural labor or services in a 
     job order that includes a description of the nature and 
     location of the work to be performed, the anticipated period 
     or periods (expected start and end dates) for which the 
     workers will be needed, and the number of job opportunities 
     in which the employer seeks to employ the workers.
       ``(2) Nondisplacement of united states workers.--The 
     employer has not and will not displace United States workers 
     employed by the employer during the period of employment of 
     the H-2A worker and during the 60-day period immediately 
     preceding such period of employment in the job for which the 
     employer seeks approval to employ the H-2A worker.
       ``(3) Strike or lockout.--Each place of employment 
     described in the petition is not, at the time of filing the 
     petition and until the petition is approved, subject to a 
     strike or lockout in the course of a labor dispute.
       ``(4) Recruitment of united states workers.--The employer 
     shall engage in the recruitment of United States workers as 
     described in subsection (c) and shall hire such workers who 
     are able, willing and qualified, and who will be available at 
     the time and place needed, to perform the agricultural labor 
     or services described in the petition. The employer may 
     reject a United States worker only for lawful, job-related 
     reasons.
       ``(5) Wages, benefits, and working conditions.--The 
     employer shall offer and provide, at a minimum, the wages, 
     benefits, and working conditions required by this section to 
     the H-2A worker and all workers who are similarly employed. 
     The employer--
       ``(A) shall offer such similarly employed workers not less 
     than the same benefits, wages, and working conditions that 
     the employer is offering or will provide to the H-2A worker; 
     and
       ``(B) may not impose on such similarly employed workers any 
     restrictions or obligations that will not be imposed on the 
     H-2A worker.
       ``(6) Workers' compensation.--If the job opportunity is not 
     covered by or is exempt from the State workers' compensation 
     law, the employer shall provide, at no cost to the worker, 
     insurance covering injury and disease arising out of, and in 
     the course of, the worker's employment which will provide 
     benefits at least equal to those provided under the State 
     workers' compensation law.
       ``(7) Compliance with labor and employment laws.--The 
     employer shall comply with all applicable Federal, State and 
     local employment-related laws and regulations.
       ``(8) Compliance with foreign labor recruitment laws.--The 
     employer shall comply with subtitle C of title II of the Farm 
     Workforce Modernization Act of 2019.
       ``(c) Recruiting Requirements.--
       ``(1) In general.--The employer may satisfy the recruitment 
     requirement described in subsection (b)(4) by satisfying all 
     of the following:
       ``(A) Job order.--As provided in subsection (h)(1), the 
     employer shall complete a job order for posting on the 
     electronic job registry maintained by the Secretary of Labor 
     and for distribution by the appropriate State workforce 
     agency. Such posting shall remain on the job registry as an 
     active job order through the period described in paragraph 
     (2)(B).
       ``(B) Former workers.--At least 45 days before each start 
     date identified in the petition, the employer shall--
       ``(i) make reasonable efforts to contact any United States 
     worker the employer employed in the previous year in the same 
     occupation and area of intended employment for which an H-2A 
     worker is sought (excluding workers who were terminated for 
     cause or abandoned the worksite); and
       ``(ii) post such job opportunity in a conspicuous location 
     or locations at the place of employment.
       ``(C) Positive recruitment.--During the period of 
     recruitment, the employer shall complete any other positive 
     recruitment steps within a multi-State region of traditional 
     or expected labor supply where the Secretary of Labor finds 
     that there are a significant number of qualified United 
     States workers who, if recruited, would be willing to make 
     themselves available for work at the time and place needed.
       ``(2) Period of recruitment.--
       ``(A) In general.--For purposes of this subsection, the 
     period of recruitment begins on the date on which the job 
     order is posted on the online job registry and ends on the 
     date that H-2A workers depart for the employer's place of 
     employment. For a petition involving more than 1 start date 
     under subsection (h)(1)(C), the end of the period of 
     recruitment shall be determined by the date of departure of 
     the H-2A workers for the final start date identified in the 
     petition.
       ``(B) Requirement to hire us workers.--
       ``(i) In general.--Notwithstanding the limitations of 
     subparagraph (A), the employer will provide employment to any 
     qualified United States worker who applies to the employer 
     for any job opportunity included in the petition until the 
     later of--

       ``(I) the date that is 30 days after the date on which work 
     begins; or
       ``(II) the date on which--

       ``(aa) 33 percent of the work contract for the job 
     opportunity has elapsed; or
       ``(bb) if the employer is a labor contractor, 50 percent of 
     the work contract for the job opportunity has elapsed.
       ``(ii) Staggered entry.--For a petition involving more than 
     1 start date under subsection (h)(1)(C), each start date 
     designated in the petition shall establish a separate job 
     opportunity. An employer may not reject a United States 
     worker because the worker is unable or unwilling to fill more 
     than 1 job opportunity included in the petition.
       ``(iii) Exception.--Notwithstanding clause (i), the 
     employer may offer a job opportunity to an H-2A worker 
     instead of an alien granted certified agricultural worker 
     status under title I of the Farm Workforce Modernization Act 
     of 2019 if the H-2A worker was employed by the employer in 
     each of 3 years during the most recent 4-year period.
       ``(3) Recruitment report.--
       ``(A) In general.--The employer shall maintain a 
     recruitment report through the applicable period described in 
     paragraph (2)(B) and submit regular updates through the 
     electronic platform on the results of recruitment. The 
     employer

[[Page H10051]]

     shall retain the recruitment report, and all associated 
     recruitment documentation, for a period of 3 years from the 
     date of certification.
       ``(B) Burden of proof.--If the employer asserts that any 
     eligible individual who has applied or been referred is not 
     able, willing or qualified, the employer bears the burden of 
     proof to establish that the individual is not able, willing 
     or qualified because of a lawful, employment-related reason.
       ``(d) Wage Requirements.--
       ``(1) In general.--Each employer under this section will 
     offer the worker, during the period of authorized employment, 
     wages that are at least the greatest of--
       ``(A) the agreed-upon collective bargaining wage;
       ``(B) the adverse effect wage rate (or any successor wage 
     established under paragraph (7));
       ``(C) the prevailing wage (hourly wage or piece rate); or
       ``(D) the Federal or State minimum wage.
       ``(2) Adverse effect wage rate determinations.--
       ``(A) In general.--Except as provided under subparagraph 
     (B), the applicable adverse effect wage rate for each State 
     and occupational classification for a calendar year shall be 
     as follows:
       ``(i) The annual average hourly wage for the occupational 
     classification in the State or region as reported by the 
     Secretary of Agriculture based on a wage survey conducted by 
     such Secretary.
       ``(ii) If a wage described in clause (i) is not reported, 
     the national annual average hourly wage for the occupational 
     classification as reported by the Secretary of Agriculture 
     based on a wage survey conducted by such Secretary.
       ``(iii) If a wage described in clause (i) or (ii) is not 
     reported, the Statewide annual average hourly wage for the 
     standard occupational classification as reported by the 
     Secretary of Labor based on a wage survey conducted by such 
     Secretary.
       ``(iv) If a wage described in clause (i), (ii), or (iii) is 
     not reported, the national average hourly wage for the 
     occupational classification as reported by the Secretary of 
     Labor based on a wage survey conducted by such Secretary.
       ``(B) Limitations on wage fluctuations.--
       ``(i) Wage freeze for calendar year 2020.--For calendar 
     year 2020, the adverse effect wage rate for each State and 
     occupational classification under this subsection shall be 
     the adverse effect wage rate that was in effect for H-2A 
     workers in the applicable State in calendar year 2019.
       ``(ii) Calendar years 2021 through 2029.--For each of 
     calendar years 2021 through 2029, the adverse effect wage 
     rate for each State and occupational classification under 
     this subsection shall be the wage calculated under 
     subparagraph (A), except that such wage may not--

       ``(I) be more than 1.5 percent lower than the wage in 
     effect for H-2A workers in the applicable State and 
     occupational classification in the immediately preceding 
     calendar year;
       ``(II) except as provided in clause (III), be more than 
     3.25 percent higher than the wage in effect for H-2A workers 
     in the applicable State and occupational classification in 
     the immediately preceding calendar year; and
       ``(III) if the application of clause (II) results in a wage 
     that is lower than 110 percent of the applicable Federal or 
     State minimum wage, be more than 4.25 percent higher than the 
     wage in effect for H-2A workers in the applicable State and 
     occupational classification in the immediately preceding 
     calendar year.

       ``(iii) Calendar years after 2029.--For any calendar year 
     after 2029, the applicable wage rate described in paragraph 
     (1)(B) shall be the wage rate established pursuant to 
     paragraph (7)(D). Until such wage rate is effective, the 
     adverse effect wage rate for each State and occupational 
     classification under this subsection shall be the wage 
     calculated under subparagraph (A), except that such wage may 
     not be more than 1.5 percent lower or 3.25 percent higher 
     than the wage in effect for H-2A workers in the applicable 
     State and occupational classification in the immediately 
     preceding calendar year.
       ``(3) Multiple occupations.--If the primary job duties for 
     the job opportunity described in the petition do not fall 
     within a single occupational classification, the applicable 
     wage rates under subparagraphs (B) and (C) of paragraph (1) 
     for the job opportunity shall be based on the highest such 
     wage rates for all applicable occupational classifications.
       ``(4) Publication; wages in effect.--
       ``(A) Publication.--Prior to the start of each calendar 
     year, the Secretary of Labor shall publish the applicable 
     adverse effect wage rate (or successor wage rate, if any), 
     and prevailing wage if available, for each State and 
     occupational classification through notice in the Federal 
     Register.
       ``(B) Job orders in effect.--Except as provided in 
     subparagraph (C), publication by the Secretary of Labor of an 
     updated adverse effect wage rate or prevailing wage for a 
     State and occupational classification shall not affect the 
     wage rate guaranteed in any approved job order for which 
     recruitment efforts have commenced at the time of 
     publication.
       ``(C) Exception for year-round jobs.--If the Secretary of 
     Labor publishes an updated adverse effect wage rate or 
     prevailing wage for a State and occupational classification 
     concerning a petition described in subsection (i), and the 
     updated wage is higher than the wage rate guaranteed in the 
     work contract, the employer shall pay the updated wage not 
     later than 14 days after publication of the updated wage in 
     the Federal Register.
       ``(5) Workers paid on a piece rate or other incentive 
     basis.--If an employer pays by the piece rate or other 
     incentive method and requires 1 or more minimum productivity 
     standards as a condition of job retention, such standards 
     shall be specified in the job order and shall be no more than 
     those normally required (at the time of the first petition 
     for H-2A workers) by other employers for the activity in the 
     area of intended employment, unless the Secretary of Labor 
     approves a higher minimum standard resulting from material 
     changes in production methods.
       ``(6) Guarantee of employment.--
       ``(A) Offer to worker.--The employer shall guarantee the 
     worker employment for the hourly equivalent of at least 
     three-fourths of the work days of the total period of 
     employment, beginning with the first work day after the 
     arrival of the worker at the place of employment and ending 
     on the date specified in the job offer. For purposes of this 
     subparagraph, the hourly equivalent means the number of hours 
     in the work days as stated in the job offer and shall exclude 
     the worker's Sabbath and Federal holidays. If the employer 
     affords the worker less employment than that required under 
     this paragraph, the employer shall pay the worker the amount 
     which the worker would have earned had the worker, in fact, 
     worked for the guaranteed number of hours.
       ``(B) Failure to work.--Any hours which the worker fails to 
     work, up to a maximum of the number of hours specified in the 
     job offer for a work day, when the worker has been offered an 
     opportunity to do so, and all hours of work actually 
     performed (including voluntary work in excess of the number 
     of hours specified in the job offer in a work day, on the 
     worker's Sabbath, or on Federal holidays) may be counted by 
     the employer in calculating whether the period of guaranteed 
     employment has been met.
       ``(C) Abandonment of employment; termination for cause.--If 
     the worker voluntarily abandons employment without good cause 
     before the end of the contract period, or is terminated for 
     cause, the worker is not entitled to the guarantee of 
     employment described in subparagraph (A).
       ``(D) Contract impossibility.--If, before the expiration of 
     the period of employment specified in the job offer, the 
     services of the worker are no longer required for reasons 
     beyond the control of the employer due to any form of natural 
     disaster before the guarantee in subparagraph (A) is 
     fulfilled, the employer may terminate the worker's 
     employment. In the event of such termination, the employer 
     shall fulfill the employment guarantee in subparagraph (A) 
     for the work days that have elapsed from the first work day 
     after the arrival of the worker to the termination of 
     employment. The employer shall make efforts to transfer a 
     worker to other comparable employment acceptable to the 
     worker. If such transfer is not effected, the employer shall 
     provide the return transportation required in subsection 
     (f)(2).
       ``(7) Wage standards after 2029.--
       ``(A) Study of adverse effect wage rate.--Beginning in 
     fiscal year 2026, the Secretary of Agriculture and Secretary 
     of Labor shall jointly conduct a study that addresses--
       ``(i) whether the employment of H-2A workers has depressed 
     the wages of United States farm workers;
       ``(ii) whether an adverse effect wage rate is necessary to 
     protect the wages of United States farm workers in 
     occupations in which H-2A workers are employed;
       ``(iii) whether alternative wage standards would be 
     sufficient to prevent wages in occupations in which H-2A 
     workers are employed from falling below the wage level that 
     would have prevailed in the absence of H-2A employment;
       ``(iv) whether any changes are warranted in the current 
     methodologies for calculating the adverse effect wage rate 
     and the prevailing wage rate; and
       ``(v) recommendations for future wage protection under this 
     section.
       ``(B) Final report.--Not later than October 1, 2027, the 
     Secretary of Agriculture and Secretary of Labor shall jointly 
     prepare and submit a report to the Congress setting forth the 
     findings of the study conducted under subparagraph (A) and 
     recommendations for future wage protections under this 
     section.
       ``(C) Consultation.--In conducting the study under 
     subparagraph (A) and preparing the report under subparagraph 
     (B), the Secretary of Agriculture and Secretary of Labor 
     shall consult with representatives of agricultural employers 
     and an equal number of representatives of agricultural 
     workers, at the national, State and local level.
       ``(D) Wage determination after 2029.--Upon publication of 
     the report described in subparagraph (B), the Secretary of 
     Labor, in consultation with and the approval of the Secretary 
     of Agriculture, shall make a rule to establish a process for 
     annually determining the wage rate for purposes of paragraph 
     (1)(B) for fiscal years after 2029. Such process shall be 
     designed to ensure that the employment of H-2A workers does 
     not undermine the wages and working conditions of similarly 
     employed United States workers.
       ``(e) Housing Requirements.--Employers shall furnish 
     housing in accordance with regulations established by the 
     Secretary of Labor. Such regulations shall be consistent with 
     the following:
       ``(1) In general.--The employer shall be permitted at the 
     employer's option to provide housing meeting applicable 
     Federal standards for temporary labor camps or to secure 
     housing which meets the local standards for rental and/or 
     public accommodations or other substantially similar class of 
     habitation: Provided, That in the absence of applicable local 
     standards, State standards for rental and/or public 
     accommodations or other substantially similar class of 
     habitation shall be met: Provided further, That in the 
     absence of applicable local or State standards, Federal 
     temporary labor camp standards shall apply.
       ``(2) Family housing.--Except as otherwise provided in 
     subsection (i)(5), the employer shall

[[Page H10052]]

     provide family housing to workers with families who request 
     it when it is the prevailing practice in the area and 
     occupation of intended employment to provide family housing.
       ``(3) United states workers.--Notwithstanding paragraphs 
     (1) and (2), an employer is not required to provide housing 
     to United States workers who are reasonably able to return to 
     their residence within the same day.
       ``(4) Timing of inspection.--
       ``(A) In general.--The Secretary of Labor or designee shall 
     make a determination as to whether the housing furnished by 
     an employer for a worker meets the requirements imposed by 
     this subsection prior to the date on which the Secretary of 
     Labor is required to make a certification with respect to a 
     petition for the admission of such worker.
       ``(B) Timely inspection.--The Secretary of Labor shall 
     provide a process for--
       ``(i) an employer to request inspection of housing up to 60 
     days before the date on which the employer will file a 
     petition under this section; and
       ``(ii) annual inspection of housing for workers who are 
     engaged in agricultural employment that is not of a seasonal 
     or temporary nature.
       ``(f) Transportation Requirements.--
       ``(1) Travel to place of employment.--A worker who 
     completes 50 percent of the period of employment specified in 
     the job order shall be reimbursed by the employer for the 
     cost of the worker's transportation and subsistence from the 
     place from which the worker came to work for the employer (or 
     place of last employment, if the worker traveled from such 
     place) to the place of employment.
       ``(2) Travel from place of employment.--For a worker who 
     completes the period of employment specified in the job order 
     or who is terminated without cause, the employer shall 
     provide or pay for the worker's transportation and 
     subsistence from the place of employment to the place from 
     which the worker, disregarding intervening employment, came 
     to work for the employer, or to the place of next employment, 
     if the worker has contracted with a subsequent employer who 
     has not agreed to provide or pay for the worker's 
     transportation and subsistence to such subsequent employer's 
     place of employment.
       ``(3) Limitation.--
       ``(A) Amount of reimbursement.--Except as provided in 
     subparagraph (B), the amount of reimbursement provided under 
     paragraph (1) or (2) to a worker need not exceed the lesser 
     of--
       ``(i) the actual cost to the worker of the transportation 
     and subsistence involved; or
       ``(ii) the most economical and reasonable common carrier 
     transportation charges and subsistence costs for the distance 
     involved.
       ``(B) Distance traveled.--For travel to or from the 
     worker's home country, if the travel distance between the 
     worker's home and the relevant consulate is 50 miles or less, 
     reimbursement for transportation and subsistence may be based 
     on transportation to or from the consulate.
       ``(g) Heat Illness Prevention Plan.--
       ``(1) In general.--The employer shall maintain a reasonable 
     plan that describes the employer's procedures for the 
     prevention of heat illness, including appropriate training, 
     access to water and shade, the provision of breaks, and the 
     protocols for emergency response. Such plan shall--
       ``(A) be in writing in English and, to the extent 
     necessary, any language common to a significant portion of 
     the workers if they are not fluent in English; and
       ``(B) be posted at a conspicuous location at the worksite 
     and provided to employees prior to the commencement of labor 
     or services.
       ``(2) Clarification.--Nothing in this subsection is 
     intended to limit any other Federal or State authority to 
     promulgate, enforce, or maintain health and safety standards 
     related to heat-related illness.
       ``(h) H-2a Petition Procedures.--
       ``(1) Submission of petition and job order.--
       ``(A) In general.--The employer shall submit information 
     required for the adjudication of the H-2A petition, including 
     a job order, through the electronic platform no more than 75 
     calendar days and no fewer than 60 calendar days before the 
     employer's first date of need specified in the petition.
       ``(B) Filing by agricultural associations.--An association 
     of agricultural producers that use agricultural services may 
     file an H-2A petition under subparagraph (A). If an 
     association is a joint or sole employer of workers who 
     perform agricultural labor or services, H-2A workers may be 
     used for the approved job opportunities of any of the 
     association's producer members and such workers may be 
     transferred among its producer members to perform the 
     agricultural labor or services for which the petition was 
     approved.
       ``(C) Petitions involving staggered entry.--
       ``(i) In general.--Except as provided in clause (ii), an 
     employer may file a petition involving employment in the same 
     occupational classification and same area of intended 
     employment with multiple start dates if--

       ``(I) the petition involves temporary or seasonal 
     employment and no more than 10 start dates;
       ``(II) the multiple start dates share a common end date;
       ``(III) no more than 120 days separate the first start date 
     and the final start date listed in the petition; and
       ``(IV) the need for multiple start dates arises from 
     variations in labor needs associated with the job opportunity 
     identified in the petition.

       ``(ii) Labor contractors.--A labor contractor may not file 
     a petition described in clause (i) unless the labor 
     contractor--

       ``(I) is filing as a joint employer with its contractees, 
     or is operating in a State in which joint employment and 
     liability between the labor contractor and its contractees is 
     otherwise established; or
       ``(II) has posted and is maintaining a premium surety bond 
     as described in subsection (l)(1).

       ``(2) Labor certification.--
       ``(A) Review of job order.--
       ``(i) In general.--The Secretary of Labor, in consultation 
     with the relevant State workforce agency, shall review the 
     job order for compliance with this section and notify the 
     employer through the electronic platform of any deficiencies 
     not later than 7 business days from the date the employer 
     submits the necessary information required under paragraph 
     (1)(A). The employer shall be provided 5 business days to 
     respond to any such notice of deficiency.
       ``(ii) Standard.--The job order must include all material 
     terms and conditions of employment, including the 
     requirements of this section, and must be otherwise 
     consistent with the minimum standards provided under Federal, 
     State or local law. In considering the question of whether a 
     specific qualification is appropriate in a job order, the 
     Secretary of Labor shall apply the normal and accepted 
     qualification required by non-H-2A employers in the same or 
     comparable occupations and crops.
       ``(iii) Emergency procedures.--The Secretary of Labor shall 
     establish emergency procedures for the curing of deficiencies 
     that cannot be resolved during the period described in clause 
     (i).
       ``(B) Approval of job order.--
       ``(i) In general.--Upon approval of the job order, the 
     Secretary of Labor shall immediately place for public 
     examination a copy of the job order on the online job 
     registry, and the State workforce agency serving the area of 
     intended employment shall commence the recruitment of United 
     States workers.
       ``(ii) Referral of united states workers.--The Secretary of 
     Labor and State workforce agency shall keep the job order 
     active until the end of the period described in subsection 
     (c)(2) and shall refer to the employer each United States 
     worker who applies for the job opportunity.
       ``(C) Review of information for deficiencies.--Within 7 
     business days of the approval of the job order, the Secretary 
     of Labor shall review the information necessary to make a 
     labor certification and notify the employer through the 
     electronic platform if such information does not meet the 
     standards for approval. Such notification shall include a 
     description of any deficiency, and the employer shall be 
     provided 5 business days to cure such deficiency.
       ``(D) Certification and authorization of workers.--Not 
     later than 30 days before the date that labor or services are 
     first required to be performed, the Secretary of Labor shall 
     issue the requested labor certification if the Secretary 
     determines that the requirements set forth in this section 
     have been met.
       ``(E) Expedited administrative appeals of certain 
     determinations.--The Secretary of Labor shall by regulation 
     establish a procedure for an employer to request the 
     expedited review of a denial of a labor certification under 
     this section, or the revocation of such a certification. Such 
     procedure shall require the Secretary to expeditiously, but 
     no later than 72 hours after expedited review is requested, 
     issue a de novo determination on a labor certification that 
     was denied in whole or in part because of the availability of 
     able, willing and qualified workers if the employer 
     demonstrates, consistent with subsection (c)(3)(B), that such 
     workers are not actually available at the time or place such 
     labor or services are required.
       ``(3) Petition decision.--
       ``(A) In general.--Not later than 7 business days after the 
     Secretary of Labor issues the certification, the Secretary of 
     Homeland Security shall issue a decision on the petition and 
     shall transmit a notice of action to the petitioner via the 
     electronic platform.
       ``(B) Approval.--Upon approval of a petition under this 
     section, the Secretary of Homeland Security shall ensure that 
     such approval is noted in the electronic platform and is 
     available to the Secretary of State and U.S. Customs and 
     Border Protection, as necessary, to facilitate visa issuance 
     and admission.
       ``(C) Partial approval.--A petition for multiple named 
     beneficiaries may be partially approved with respect to 
     eligible beneficiaries notwithstanding the ineligibility, or 
     potential ineligibility, of one or more other beneficiaries.
       ``(D) Post-certification amendments.--The Secretary of 
     Labor shall provide a process for amending a request for 
     labor certification in conjunction with an H-2A petition, 
     subsequent to certification by the Secretary of Labor, in 
     cases in which the requested amendment does not materially 
     change the petition (including the job order).
       ``(4) Roles of agricultural associations.--
       ``(A) Member's violation does not necessarily disqualify 
     association or other members.--If an individual producer 
     member of a joint employer association is determined to have 
     committed an act that results in the denial of a petition 
     with respect to the member, the denial shall apply only to 
     that member of the association unless the Secretary of Labor 
     determines that the association or other member participated 
     in, had knowledge of, or reason to know of, the violation.
       ``(B) Association's violation does not necessarily 
     disqualify members.--
       ``(i) If an association representing agricultural producers 
     as a joint employer is determined to have committed an act 
     that results in the denial of a petition with respect to the 
     association, the denial shall apply only to the association 
     and does not apply to any individual producer member of the 
     association unless the Secretary of Labor determines that the 
     member participated in, had knowledge of, or reason to know 
     of, the violation.

[[Page H10053]]

       ``(ii) If an association of agricultural producers 
     certified as a sole employer is determined to have committed 
     an act that results in the denial of a petition with respect 
     to the association, no individual producer member of such 
     association may be the beneficiary of the services of H-2A 
     workers in the commodity and occupation in which such aliens 
     were employed by the association which was denied during the 
     period such denial is in force, unless such producer member 
     employs such aliens in the commodity and occupation in 
     question directly or through an association which is a joint 
     employer of such workers with the producer member.
       ``(5) Special procedures.--The Secretary of Labor, in 
     consultation with the Secretary of Agriculture and Secretary 
     of Homeland Security, may by regulation establish alternate 
     procedures that reasonably modify program requirements under 
     this section, when the Secretary determines that such 
     modifications are required due to the unique nature of the 
     work involved.
       ``(6) Construction occupations.--An employer may not file a 
     petition under this section on behalf of a worker if the 
     majority of the worker's duties will fall within a 
     construction or extraction occupational classification.
       ``(i) Non-temporary or -seasonal Needs.--
       ``(1) In general.--Notwithstanding the requirement in 
     section 101(a)(15)(H)(ii)(a) that the agricultural labor or 
     services performed by an H-2A worker be of a temporary or 
     seasonal nature, the Secretary of Homeland Security may, 
     consistent with the provisions of this subsection, approve a 
     petition for an H-2A worker to perform agricultural services 
     or labor that is not of a temporary or seasonal nature.
       ``(2) Numerical limitations.--
       ``(A) First 3 fiscal years.--The total number of aliens who 
     may be issued visas or otherwise provided H-2A nonimmigrant 
     status under paragraph (1) for the first fiscal year during 
     which the first visa is issued under such paragraph and for 
     each of the following two fiscal years may not exceed 20,000.
       ``(B) Fiscal years 4 through 10.--
       ``(i) In general.--The total number of aliens who may be 
     issued visas or otherwise provided H-2A nonimmigrant status 
     under paragraph (1) for the first fiscal year following the 
     fiscal years referred to in subparagraph (A) and for each of 
     the following six fiscal years may not exceed a numerical 
     limitation jointly imposed by the Secretary of Agriculture 
     and Secretary of Labor in accordance with clause (ii).
       ``(ii) Annual adjustments.--For each fiscal year referred 
     to in clause (i), the Secretary of Agriculture and Secretary 
     of Labor, in consultation with the Secretary of Homeland 
     Security, shall establish a numerical limitation for purposes 
     of clause (i). Such numerical limitation may not be lower 
     20,000 and may not vary by more than 12.5 percent compared to 
     the numerical limitation applicable to the immediately 
     preceding fiscal year. In establishing such numerical 
     limitation, the Secretaries shall consider appropriate 
     factors, including--

       ``(I) a demonstrated shortage of agricultural workers;
       ``(II) the level of unemployment and underemployment of 
     agricultural workers during the preceding fiscal year;
       ``(III) the number of H-2A workers sought by employers 
     during the preceding fiscal year to engage in agricultural 
     labor or services not of a temporary or seasonal nature;
       ``(IV) the number of such H-2A workers issued a visa in the 
     most recent fiscal year who remain in the United States in 
     compliance with the terms of such visa;
       ``(V) the estimated number of United States workers, 
     including workers who obtained certified agricultural worker 
     status under title I of the Farm Workforce Modernization Act 
     of 2019, who worked during the preceding fiscal year in 
     agricultural labor or services not of a temporary or seasonal 
     nature;
       ``(VI) the number of such United States workers who 
     accepted jobs offered by employers using the online job 
     registry during the preceding fiscal year;
       ``(VII) any growth or contraction of the United States 
     agricultural industry that has increased or decreased the 
     demand for agricultural workers; and
       ``(VIII) any changes in the real wages paid to agricultural 
     workers in the United States as an indication of a shortage 
     or surplus of agricultural labor.

       ``(C) Subsequent fiscal years.--For each fiscal year 
     following the fiscal years referred to in subparagraph (B), 
     the Secretary of Agriculture and Secretary of Labor shall 
     jointly determine, in consultation with the Secretary of 
     Homeland Security, and after considering appropriate factors, 
     including those factors listed in subclauses (I) through 
     (VIII) of subparagraph (B)(ii), whether to establish a 
     numerical limitation for that fiscal year. If a numerical 
     limitation is so established--
       ``(i) such numerical limitation may not be lower than 
     highest number of aliens admitted under this subsection in 
     any of the three fiscal years immediately preceding the 
     fiscal year for which the numerical limitation is to be 
     established; and
       ``(ii) the total number of aliens who may be issued visas 
     or otherwise provided H-2A nonimmigrant status under 
     paragraph (1) for that fiscal year may not exceed such 
     numerical limitation.
       ``(D) Emergency procedures.--The Secretary of Agriculture 
     and Secretary of Labor, in consultation with the Secretary of 
     Homeland Security, shall jointly establish by regulation 
     procedures for immediately adjusting a numerical limitation 
     imposed under subparagraph (B) or (C) to account for 
     significant labor shortages.
       ``(3) Allocation of visas.--
       ``(A) Bi-annual allocation.--The annual allocation of visas 
     described in paragraph (2) shall be evenly allocated between 
     two halves of the fiscal year unless the Secretary of 
     Homeland Security, in consultation with the Secretary of 
     Agriculture and Secretary of Labor, determines that an 
     alternative allocation would better accommodate demand for 
     visas. Any unused visas in the first half of the fiscal year 
     shall be added to the allocation for the subsequent half of 
     the same fiscal year.
       ``(B) Reserve for dairy labor or services.--
       ``(i) In general.--Of the visa numbers made available in 
     each half of the fiscal year pursuant to subparagraph (A), 50 
     percent of such visas shall be reserved for employers filing 
     petitions seeking H-2A workers to engage in agricultural 
     labor or services in the dairy industry.
       ``(ii) Exception.--If, after four months have elapsed in 
     one half of the fiscal year, the Secretary of Homeland 
     Security determines that application of clause (i) will 
     result in visas going unused during that half of the fiscal 
     year, clause (i) shall not apply to visas under this 
     paragraph during the remainder of such calendar half.
       ``(C) Limited allocation for certain special procedures 
     industries.--
       ``(i) In general.--Notwithstanding the numerical 
     limitations under paragraph (2), up to 500 aliens may be 
     issued visas or otherwise provided H-2A nonimmigrant status 
     under paragraph (1) in a fiscal year for range sheep or goat 
     herding.
       ``(ii) Limitation.--The total number of aliens in the 
     United States in valid H-2A status under clause (i) at any 
     one time may not exceed 500.
       ``(iii) Clarification.--Any visas issued under this 
     subparagraph may not be considered for purposes of the annual 
     adjustments under subparagraphs (B) and (C) of paragraph (2).
       ``(4) Annual round trip home.--
       ``(A) In general.--In addition to the other requirements of 
     this section, an employer shall provide H-2A workers employed 
     under this subsection, at no cost to such workers, with 
     annual round trip travel, including transportation and 
     subsistence during travel, to their homes in their 
     communities of origin. The employer must provide such travel 
     within 14 months of the initiation of the worker's 
     employment, and no more than 14 months can elapse between 
     each required period of travel.
       ``(B) Limitation.--The cost of travel under subparagraph 
     (A) need not exceed the lesser of--
       ``(i) the actual cost to the worker of the transportation 
     and subsistence involved; or
       ``(ii) the most economical and reasonable common carrier 
     transportation charges and subsistence costs for the distance 
     involved.
       ``(5) Family housing.--An employer seeking to employ an H-
     2A worker pursuant to this subsection shall offer family 
     housing to workers with families if such workers are engaged 
     in agricultural employment that is not of a seasonal or 
     temporary nature. The worker may reject such an offer. The 
     employer may not charge the worker for the worker's housing, 
     except that if the worker accepts family housing, a prorated 
     rent based on the fair market value for such housing may be 
     charged for the worker's family members.
       ``(6) Workplace safety plan for dairy employees.--
       ``(A) In general.--If an employer is seeking to employ a 
     worker in agricultural labor or services in the dairy 
     industry pursuant to this subsection, the employer must 
     report incidents consistent with the requirements under 
     section 1904.39 of title 29, Code of Federal Regulations, and 
     maintain an effective worksite safety and compliance plan to 
     prevent workplace accidents and otherwise ensure safety. Such 
     plan shall--
       ``(i) be in writing in English and, to the extent 
     necessary, any language common to a significant portion of 
     the workers if they are not fluent in English; and
       ``(ii) be posted at a conspicuous location at the worksite 
     and provided to employees prior to the commencement of labor 
     or services.
       ``(B) Contents of plan.--The Secretary of Labor, in 
     consultation with the Secretary of Agriculture, shall 
     establish by regulation the minimum requirements for the plan 
     described in subparagraph (A). Such plan shall include 
     measures to--
       ``(i) require workers (other than the employer's family 
     members) whose positions require contact with animals to 
     complete animal care training, including animal handling and 
     job-specific animal care;
       ``(ii) protect against sexual harassment and violence, 
     resolve complaints involving harassment or violence, and 
     protect against retaliation against workers reporting 
     harassment or violence; and
       ``(iii) contain other provisions necessary for ensuring 
     workplace safety, as determined by the Secretary of Labor, in 
     consultation with the Secretary of Agriculture.
       ``(C) Clarification.--Nothing in this paragraph is intended 
     to apply to persons or entities that are not seeking to 
     employ workers under this section. Nothing in this paragraph 
     is intended to limit any other Federal or State authority to 
     promulgate, enforce, or maintain health and safety standards 
     related to the dairy industry.
       ``(j) Eligibility for h-2a Status and Admission to the 
     United States.--
       ``(1) Disqualification.--An alien shall be ineligible for 
     admission to the United States as an H-2A worker pursuant to 
     a petition filed under this section if the alien was admitted 
     to the United States as an H-2A worker within the past 5 
     years of the date the petition was filed and--
       ``(A) violated a material provision of this section, 
     including the requirement to promptly depart the United 
     States when the alien's authorized period of admission has 
     expired, unless the alien has good cause for such failure to 
     depart; or

[[Page H10054]]

       ``(B) otherwise violated a term or condition of admission 
     into the United States as an H-2A worker.
       ``(2) Visa validity.--A visa issued to an H-2A worker shall 
     be valid for three years and shall allow for multiple entries 
     during the approved period of admission.
       ``(3) Period of authorized stay; admission.--
       ``(A) In general.--An alien admissible as an H-2A worker 
     shall be authorized to stay in the United States for the 
     period of employment specified in the petition approved by 
     the Secretary of Homeland Security under this section. The 
     maximum continuous period of authorized stay for an H-2A 
     worker is 36 months.
       ``(B) Requirement to remain outside the united states.--In 
     the case of an H-2A worker whose maximum continuous period of 
     authorized stay (including any extensions) has expired, the 
     alien may not again be eligible for such stay until the alien 
     remains outside the United States for a cumulative period of 
     at least 45 days.
       ``(C) Exceptions.--The Secretary of Homeland Security shall 
     deduct absences from the United States that take place during 
     an H-2A worker's period of authorized stay from the period 
     that the alien is required to remain outside the United 
     States under subparagraph (B), if the alien or the alien's 
     employer requests such a deduction, and provides clear and 
     convincing proof that the alien qualifies for such a 
     deduction. Such proof shall consist of evidence including, 
     but not limited to, arrival and departure records, copies of 
     tax returns, and records of employment abroad.
       ``(D) Admission.--In addition to the maximum continuous 
     period of authorized stay, an H-2A worker's authorized period 
     of admission shall include an additional period of 10 days 
     prior to the beginning of the period of employment for the 
     purpose of traveling to the place of employment and 45 days 
     at the end of the period of employment for the purpose of 
     traveling home or seeking an extension of status based on a 
     subsequent offer of employment if the worker has not reached 
     the maximum continuous period of authorized stay under 
     subparagraph (A) (subject to the exceptions in subparagraph 
     (C)).
       ``(4) Continuing h-2a workers.--
       ``(A) Successive employment.--An H-2A worker is authorized 
     to start new or concurrent employment upon the filing of a 
     nonfrivolous H-2A petition, or as of the requested start 
     date, whichever is later if--
       ``(i) the petition to start new or concurrent employment 
     was filed prior to the expiration of the H-2A worker's period 
     of admission as defined in paragraph (3)(D); and
       ``(ii) the H-2A worker has not been employed without 
     authorization in the United States from the time of last 
     admission to the United States in H-2A status through the 
     filing of the petition for new employment.
       ``(B) Protection due to immigrant visa backlogs.--
     Notwithstanding the limitations on the period of authorized 
     stay described in paragraph (3), any H-2A worker who--
       ``(i) is the beneficiary of an approved petition, filed 
     under section 204(a)(1)(E) or (F) for preference status under 
     section 203(b)(3)(A)(iii); and
       ``(ii) is eligible to be granted such status but for the 
     annual limitations on visas under section 203(b)(3)(A),
     may apply for, and the Secretary of Homeland Security may 
     grant, an extension of such nonimmigrant status until the 
     Secretary of Homeland Security issues a final administrative 
     decision on the alien's application for adjustment of status 
     or the Secretary of State issues a final decision on the 
     alien's application for an immigrant visa.
       ``(5) Abandonment of employment.--
       ``(A) In general.--Except as provided in subparagraph (B), 
     an H-2A worker who abandons the employment which was the 
     basis for the worker's authorized stay, without good cause, 
     shall be considered to have failed to maintain H-2A status 
     and shall depart the United States or be subject to removal 
     under section 237(a)(1)(C)(i).
       ``(B) Grace period to secure new employment.--An H-2A 
     worker shall not be considered to have failed to maintain H-
     2A status solely on the basis of a cessation of the 
     employment on which the alien's classification was based for 
     a period of 45 consecutive days, or until the end of the 
     authorized validity period, whichever is shorter, once during 
     each authorized validity period.
       ``(k) Required Disclosures.--
       ``(1) Disclosure of work contract.--Not later than the time 
     the H-2A worker applies for a visa, the employer shall 
     provide the worker with a copy of the work contract that 
     includes the disclosures and rights under this section (or in 
     the absence of such a contract, a copy of the job order and 
     proof of the certification described in subparagraphs (B) and 
     (D) of subsection (h)(2)). An H-2A worker moving from one H-
     2A employer to a subsequent H-2A employer shall be provided 
     with a copy of the new employment contract no later than the 
     time an offer of employment is made by the subsequent 
     employer.
       ``(2) Hours and earnings statements.--The employer shall 
     furnish to H-2A workers, on or before each payday, in 1 or 
     more written statements--
       ``(A) the worker's total earnings for the pay period;
       ``(B) the worker's hourly rate of pay, piece rate of pay, 
     or both;
       ``(C) the hours of employment offered to the worker and the 
     hours of employment actually worked;
       ``(D) if piece rates of pay are used, the units produced 
     daily;
       ``(E) an itemization of the deductions made from the 
     worker's wages; and
       ``(F) any other information required by Federal, State or 
     local law.
       ``(3) Notice of worker rights.--The employer must post and 
     maintain in a conspicuous location at the place of 
     employment, a poster provided by the Secretary of Labor in 
     English, and, to the extent necessary, any language common to 
     a significant portion of the workers if they are not fluent 
     in English, which sets out the rights and protections for 
     workers employed pursuant to this section.
       ``(l) Labor Contractors; Foreign Labor Recruiters; 
     Prohibition on Fees.--
       ``(1) Labor contractors.--
       ``(A) Surety bond.--An employer that is a labor contractor 
     who seeks to employ H-2A workers shall maintain a surety bond 
     in an amount required under subparagraph (B). Such bond shall 
     be payable to the Secretary of Labor or pursuant to the 
     resolution of a civil or criminal proceeding, for the payment 
     of wages and benefits, including any assessment of interest, 
     owed to an H-2A worker or a similarly employed United States 
     worker, or a United States worker who has been rejected or 
     displaced in violation of this section.
       ``(B) Amount of bond.--The Secretary of Labor shall 
     annually publish in the Federal Register a schedule of 
     required bond amounts that are determined by such Secretary 
     to be sufficient for labor contractors to discharge financial 
     obligations under this section based on the number of workers 
     the labor contractor seeks to employ and the wages such 
     workers are required to be paid.
       ``(C) Premium bond.--A labor contractor seeking to file a 
     petition involving more than 1 start date under subsection 
     (h)(1)(C) shall maintain a surety bond that is at least 15 
     percent higher than the applicable bond amount determined by 
     the Secretary under subparagraph (B).
       ``(D) Use of funds.--Any sums paid to the Secretary under 
     subparagraph (A) that are not paid to a worker because of the 
     inability to do so within a period of 5 years following the 
     date of a violation giving rise to the obligation to pay 
     shall remain available to the Secretary without further 
     appropriation until expended to support the enforcement of 
     this section.
       ``(2) Prohibition against employees paying fees.--Neither 
     the employer nor its agents shall seek or receive payment of 
     any kind from any worker for any activity related to the H-2A 
     process, including payment of the employer's attorneys' fees, 
     application fees, or recruitment costs. An employer and its 
     agents may receive reimbursement for costs that are the 
     responsibility and primarily for the benefit of the worker, 
     such as government-required passport fees.
       ``(3) Third party contracts.--The contract between an 
     employer and any labor contractor or any foreign labor 
     recruiter (or any agent of such labor contractor or foreign 
     labor recruiter) whom the employer engages shall include a 
     term providing for the termination of such contract for cause 
     if the contractor or recruiter, either directly or 
     indirectly, in the placement or recruitment of H-2A workers 
     seeks or receives payments or other compensation from 
     prospective employees. Upon learning that a labor contractor 
     or foreign labor recruiter has sought or collected such 
     payments, the employer shall so terminate any contracts with 
     such contractor or recruiter.
       ``(m) Enforcement Authority.--
       ``(1) In general.--The Secretary of Labor is authorized to 
     take such actions against employers, including imposing 
     appropriate penalties and seeking monetary and injunctive 
     relief and specific performance of contractual obligations, 
     as may be necessary to ensure compliance with the 
     requirements of this section and with the applicable terms 
     and conditions of employment.
       ``(2) Complaint process.--
       ``(A) Process.--The Secretary of Labor shall establish a 
     process for the receipt, investigation, and disposition of 
     complaints alleging failure of an employer to comply with the 
     requirements under this section and with the applicable terms 
     and conditions of employment.
       ``(B) Filing.--A complaint referred to in subparagraph (A) 
     may be filed not later than 2 years after the date of the 
     conduct that is the subject of the complaint.
       ``(C) Complaint not exclusive.--A complaint filed under 
     this paragraph is not an exclusive remedy and the filing of 
     such a complaint does not waive any rights or remedies of the 
     aggrieved party under this law or other laws.
       ``(D) Decision and remedies.--If the Secretary of Labor 
     finds, after notice and opportunity for a hearing, that the 
     employer failed to comply with the requirements of this 
     section or the terms and conditions of employment, the 
     Secretary of Labor may require payment of unpaid wages, 
     unpaid benefits, fees assessed in violation of this section, 
     damages, and civil money penalties. The Secretary is also 
     authorized to impose other administrative remedies, including 
     disqualification of the employer from utilizing the H-2A 
     program for a period of up to 5 years in the event of willful 
     or multiple material violations. The Secretary is authorized 
     to permanently disqualify an employer from utilizing the H-2A 
     program upon a subsequent finding involving willful or 
     multiple material violations.
       ``(E) Disposition of penalties.--Civil penalties collected 
     under this paragraph shall be deposited into the H-2A Labor 
     Certification Fee Account established under section 203 of 
     the Farm Workforce Modernization Act of 2019.
       ``(3) Statutory construction.--Nothing in this subsection 
     may be construed as limiting the authority of the Secretary 
     of Labor to conduct an investigation--
       ``(A) under any other law, including any law affecting 
     migrant and seasonal agricultural workers; or
       ``(B) in the absence of a complaint.
       ``(4) Retaliation prohibited.--It is a violation of this 
     subsection for any person to intimidate, threaten, restrain, 
     coerce, blacklist, discharge, or in any other manner 
     discriminate

[[Page H10055]]

     against, or to cause any person to intimidate, threaten, 
     restrain, coerce, blacklist, or in any manner discriminate 
     against, an employee, including a former employee or an 
     applicant for employment, because the employee--
       ``(A) has disclosed information to the employer, or to any 
     other person, that the employee reasonably believes evidences 
     a violation under this section, or any rule or regulation 
     relating to this section;
       ``(B) has filed a complaint concerning the employer's 
     compliance with the requirements under this section or any 
     rule or regulation pertaining to this section;
       ``(C) cooperates or seeks to cooperate in an investigation 
     or other proceeding concerning the employer's compliance with 
     the requirements under this section or any rule or regulation 
     pertaining to this section; or
       ``(D) has taken steps to exercise or assert any right or 
     protection under the provisions of this section, or any rule 
     or regulation pertaining to this section, or any other 
     relevant Federal, State, or local law.
       ``(5) Interagency communication.--The Secretary of Labor, 
     in consultation with the Secretary of Homeland Security, 
     Secretary of State and the Equal Employment Opportunity 
     Commission, shall establish mechanisms by which the agencies 
     and their components share information, including by public 
     electronic means, regarding complaints, studies, 
     investigations, findings and remedies regarding compliance by 
     employers with the requirements of the H-2A program and other 
     employment-related laws and regulations.
       ``(n) Definitions.--In this section:
       ``(1) Displace.--The term `displace' means to lay off a 
     similarly employed United States worker, other than for 
     lawful job-related reasons, in the occupation and area of 
     intended employment for the job for which H-2A workers are 
     sought.
       ``(2) H-2a worker.--The term `H-2A worker' means a 
     nonimmigrant described in section 101(a)(15)(H)(ii)(a).
       ``(3) Job order.--The term `job order' means the document 
     containing the material terms and conditions of employment, 
     including obligations and assurances required under this 
     section or any other law.
       ``(4) Online job registry.--The term `online job registry' 
     means the online job registry of the Secretary of Labor 
     required under section 201(b) of the Farm Workforce 
     Modernization Act of 2019 (or similar successor registry).
       ``(5) Similarly employed.--The term `similarly employed', 
     in the case of a worker, means a worker in the same 
     occupational classification as the classification or 
     classifications for which the H-2A worker is sought.
       ``(6) United states worker.--The term `United States 
     worker' means any worker who is--
       ``(A) a citizen or national of the United States;
       ``(B) an alien who is lawfully admitted for permanent 
     residence, is admitted as a refugee under section 207, is 
     granted asylum under section 208, or is an immigrant 
     otherwise authorized to be employed in the United States;
       ``(C) an alien granted certified agricultural worker status 
     under title I of the Farm Workforce Modernization Act of 
     2019; or
       ``(D) an individual who is not an unauthorized alien (as 
     defined in section 274A(h)(3)) with respect to the employment 
     in which the worker is engaging.
       ``(o) Fees; Authorization of Appropriations.--
       ``(1) Fees.--
       ``(A) In general.--The Secretary of Homeland Security shall 
     impose a fee to process petitions under this section. Such 
     fee shall be set at a level that is sufficient to recover the 
     reasonable costs of processing the petition, including the 
     reasonable costs of providing labor certification by the 
     Secretary of Labor.
       ``(B) Distribution.--Fees collected under subparagraph (A) 
     shall be deposited as offsetting receipts into the 
     immigration examinations fee account in section 286(m), 
     except that the portion of fees assessed for the Secretary of 
     Labor shall be deposited into the H-2A Labor Certification 
     Fee Account established pursuant to section 203(c) of the 
     Farm Workforce Modernization Act of 2019 .
       ``(2) Appropriations.--There are authorized to be 
     appropriated for each fiscal year such sums as necessary for 
     the purposes of--
       ``(A) recruiting United States workers for labor or 
     services which might otherwise be performed by H-2A workers, 
     including by ensuring that State workforce agencies are 
     sufficiently funded to fulfill their functions under this 
     section;
       ``(B) enabling the Secretary of Labor to make 
     determinations and certifications under this section and 
     under section 212(a)(5)(A)(i);
       ``(C) monitoring the terms and conditions under which H-2A 
     workers (and United States workers employed by the same 
     employers) are employed in the United States; and
       ``(D) enabling the Secretary of Agriculture to carry out 
     the Secretary of Agriculture's duties and responsibilities 
     under this section.''.

     SEC. 203. AGENCY ROLES AND RESPONSIBILITIES.

       (a) Responsibilities of the Secretary of Labor.--With 
     respect to the administration of the H-2A program, the 
     Secretary of Labor shall be responsible for--
       (1) consulting with State workforce agencies to--
       (A) review and process job orders;
       (B) facilitate the recruitment and referral of able, 
     willing and qualified United States workers who will be 
     available at the time and place needed;
       (C) determine prevailing wages and practices; and
       (D) conduct timely inspections to ensure compliance with 
     applicable Federal, State, or local housing standards and 
     Federal regulations for H-2A housing;
       (2) determining whether the employer has met the conditions 
     for approval of the H-2A petition described in section 218 of 
     the Immigration and Nationality Act (8 U.S.C. 1188);
       (3) determining, in consultation with the Secretary of 
     Agriculture, whether a job opportunity is of a seasonal or 
     temporary nature;
       (4) determining whether the employer has complied or will 
     comply with the H-2A program requirements set forth in 
     section 218 of the Immigration and Nationality Act (8 U.S.C. 
     1188);
       (5) processing and investigating complaints consistent with 
     section 218(m) of the Immigration and Nationality Act (8 
     U.S.C. 1188(m));
       (6) referring any matter as appropriate to the Inspector 
     General of the Department of Labor for investigation;
       (7) ensuring that guidance to State workforce agencies to 
     conduct wage surveys is regularly updated; and
       (8) issuing such rules and regulations as are necessary to 
     carry out the Secretary of Labor's responsibilities under 
     section 218 of the Immigration and Nationality Act (8 U.S.C. 
     1188).
       (b) Responsibilities of the Secretary of Homeland 
     Security.--With respect to the administration of the H-2A 
     program, the Secretary of Homeland Security shall be 
     responsible for--
       (1) adjudicating petitions for the admission of H-2A 
     workers, which shall include an assessment as to whether each 
     beneficiary will be employed in accordance with the terms and 
     conditions of the certification and whether any named 
     beneficiaries qualify for such employment;
       (2) transmitting a copy of the final decision on the 
     petition to the employer, and in the case of approved 
     petitions, ensuring that the petition approval is reflected 
     in the electronic platform to facilitate the prompt issuance 
     of a visa by the Department of State (if required) and the 
     admission of the H-2A workers to the United States;
       (3) establishing a reliable and secure method through which 
     H-2A workers can access information about their H-2A visa 
     status, including information on pending, approved, or denied 
     petitions to extend such status;
       (4) investigating and preventing fraud in the program, 
     including the utilization of H-2A workers for other than 
     allowable agricultural labor or services; and
       (5) issuing such rules and regulations as are necessary to 
     carry out the Secretary of Homeland Security's 
     responsibilities under section 218 of the Immigration and 
     Nationality Act (8 U.S.C. 1188).
       (c) Establishment of Account and Use of Funds.--
       (1) Establishment of account.--There is established in the 
     general fund of the Treasury a separate account, which shall 
     be known as the ``H-2A Labor Certification Fee Account''. 
     Notwithstanding any other provisions of law, there shall be 
     deposited as offsetting receipts into the account all 
     amounts--
       (A) collected as a civil penalty under section 
     218(m)(2)(E)of the Immigration and Nationality Act; and
       (B) collected as a fee under section 218(o)(1)(B) of the 
     Immigration and Nationality Act.
       (2) Use of fees.--Amounts deposited into the H-2A Labor 
     Certification Fee Account shall be available (except as 
     otherwise provided in this paragraph) without fiscal year 
     limitation and without the requirement for specification in 
     appropriations Acts to the Secretary of Labor for use, 
     directly or through grants, contracts, or other arrangements, 
     in such amounts as the Secretary of Labor determines are 
     necessary for the costs of Federal and State administration 
     in carrying out activities in connection with labor 
     certification under section 218 of the Immigration and 
     Nationality Act. Such costs may include personnel salaries 
     and benefits, equipment and infrastructure for adjudication 
     and customer service processes, the operation and maintenance 
     of an on-line job registry, and program integrity activities. 
     The Secretary, in determining what amounts to transfer to 
     States for State administration in carrying out activities in 
     connection with labor certification under section 218 of the 
     Immigration and Nationality Act shall consider the number of 
     H-2A workers employed in that State and shall adjust the 
     amount transferred to that State accordingly. In addition, 10 
     percent of the amounts deposited into the H-2A Labor 
     Certification Fee Account shall be available to the Office of 
     Inspector General of the Department of Labor to conduct 
     audits and criminal investigations relating to such foreign 
     labor certification programs.
       (3) Additional funds.--Amounts available under paragraph 
     (1) shall be available in addition to any other funds 
     appropriated or made available to the Department of Labor 
     under other laws, including section 218(o)(2) of the 
     Immigration and Nationality Act.

     SEC. 204. WORKER PROTECTION AND COMPLIANCE.

       (a) Equality of Treatment.--H-2A workers shall not be 
     denied any right or remedy under any Federal, State, or local 
     labor or employment law applicable to United States workers 
     engaged in agricultural employment.
       (b) Applicability of Other Laws.--
       (1) Migrant and seasonal agricultural worker protection 
     act.--H-2A workers shall be considered migrant agricultural 
     workers for purposes of the Migrant and Seasonal Agricultural 
     Worker Protection Act (29 U.S.C. 1801 et seq.).
       (2) Waiver of rights prohibited.--Agreements by H-2A 
     workers to waive or modify any rights or protections under 
     this Act or section 218 of the Immigration and Nationality 
     Act (8 U.S.C. 1188) shall be considered void or contrary to 
     public policy except as provided in a collective bargaining 
     agreement with a bona fide labor organization.

[[Page H10056]]

       (3) Mediation.--
       (A) Free mediation services.--The Federal Mediation and 
     Conciliation Service shall be available to assist in 
     resolving disputes arising under this section between H-2A 
     workers and agricultural employers without charge to the 
     parties.
       (B) Complaint.--If an H-2A worker files a civil lawsuit 
     alleging one or more violations of section 218 of the 
     Immigration and Nationality Act (8 U.S.C. 1188), the Fair 
     Labor Standards Act of 1938 (29 U.S.C. 201 et seq.), or the 
     Migrant and Seasonal Agricultural Worker Protection Act (29 
     U.S.C. 1801 et seq.), not later than 60 days after the filing 
     of proof of service of the complaint, a party to the lawsuit 
     may file a request with the Federal Mediation and 
     Conciliation Service to assist the parties in reaching a 
     satisfactory resolution of all issues involving all parties 
     to the dispute.
       (C) Notice.--Upon filing a request under subparagraph (B) 
     and giving of notice to the parties, the parties shall 
     attempt mediation within the period specified in subparagraph 
     (D), except that nothing in this paragraph shall limit the 
     ability of a court to order preliminary injunctive relief to 
     protect health and safety or to otherwise prevent irreparable 
     harm.
       (D) 90-day limit.--The Federal Mediation and Conciliation 
     Service may conduct mediation or other nonbinding dispute 
     resolution activities for a period not to exceed 90 days 
     beginning on the date on which the Federal Mediation and 
     Conciliation Service receives a request for assistance under 
     subparagraph (B) unless the parties agree to an extension of 
     such period.
       (E) Authorization of appropriations.--
       (i) In general.--Subject to clause (ii), there is 
     authorized to be appropriated to the Federal Mediation and 
     Conciliation Service, such sums as may be necessary for each 
     fiscal year to carry out this subparagraph.
       (ii) Mediation.--Notwithstanding any other provision of 
     law, the Director of the Federal Mediation and Conciliation 
     Service is authorized--

       (I) to conduct the mediation or other dispute resolution 
     activities from any other account containing amounts 
     available to the Director; and
       (II) to reimburse such account with amounts appropriated 
     pursuant to clause (i).

       (F) Private mediation.--If all parties agree, a private 
     mediator may be employed as an alternative to the Federal 
     Mediation and Conciliation Service.
       (c) Farm Labor Contractor Requirements.--
       (1) Surety bonds.--
       (A) Requirement.--Section 101 of the Migrant and Seasonal 
     Agricultural Worker Protection Act (29 U.S.C. 1811), is 
     amended by adding at the end the following:
       ``(e) A farm labor contractor shall maintain a surety bond 
     in an amount determined by the Secretary to be sufficient for 
     ensuring the ability of the farm labor contractor to 
     discharge its financial obligations, including payment of 
     wages and benefits to employees. Such a bond shall be 
     available to satisfy any amounts ordered to be paid by the 
     Secretary or by court order for failure to comply with the 
     obligations of this Act. The Secretary of Labor shall 
     annually publish in the Federal Register a schedule of 
     required bond amounts that are determined by such Secretary 
     to be sufficient for farm labor contractors to discharge 
     financial obligations based on the number of workers to be 
     covered.''.
       (B) Registration determinations.--Section 103(a) of the 
     Migrant and Seasonal Agricultural Worker Protection Act (29 
     U.S.C. 1813(a)), is amended--
       (i) in paragraph (4), by striking ``or'' at the end;
       (ii) in paragraph (5)(B), by striking ``or'' at the end;
       (iii) in paragraph (6), by striking the period at the end 
     and inserting ``;'' ; and
       (iv) by adding at the end the following:
       ``(7) has failed to maintain a surety bond in compliance 
     with section 101(e); or
       ``(8) has been disqualified by the Secretary of Labor from 
     importing nonimmigrants described in section 
     101(a)(15)(H)(ii) of the Immigration and Nationality Act.''.
       (2) Successors in interest.--
       (A) Declaration.--Section 102 of the Migrant and Seasonal 
     Agricultural Worker Protection Act (29 U.S.C. 1812), is 
     amended--
       (i) in paragraph (4), by striking ``and'' at the end;
       (ii) in paragraph (5), by striking the period at the end 
     and inserting ``; and''; and
       (iii) by adding at the end the following:
       ``(6) a declaration, subscribed and sworn to by the 
     applicant, stating whether the applicant has a familial, 
     contractual, or employment relationship with, or shares 
     vehicles, facilities, property, or employees with, a person 
     who has been refused issuance or renewal of a certificate, or 
     has had a certificate suspended or revoked, pursuant to 
     section 103.''.
       (B) Rebuttable presumption.--Section 103 of the Migrant and 
     Seasonal Agricultural Worker Protection Act (29 U.S.C. 1813), 
     as amended by this Act, is further amended by inserting after 
     subsection (a) the following new subsection (and by 
     redesignating the subsequent subsections accordingly):
       ``(b)(1) There shall be a rebuttable presumption that an 
     applicant for issuance or renewal of a certificate is not the 
     real party in interest in the application if the applicant--
       ``(A) is the immediate family member of any person who has 
     been refused issuance or renewal of a certificate, or has had 
     a certificate suspended or revoked; and
       ``(B) identifies a vehicle, facility, or real property 
     under paragraph (2) or (3) of section 102 that has been 
     previously listed by a person who has been refused issuance 
     or renewal of a certificate, or has had a certificate 
     suspended or revoked.
       ``(2) An applicant described in paragraph (1) bears the 
     burden of demonstrating to the Secretary's satisfaction that 
     the applicant is the real party in interest in the 
     application.''.

     SEC. 205. REPORT ON WAGE PROTECTIONS.

       (a) Not later than 3 years after the date of the enactment 
     of this Act, and every 3 years thereafter, the Secretary of 
     Labor and Secretary of Agriculture shall prepare and transmit 
     to the Committees on the Judiciary of the House of 
     Representatives and Senate, a report that addresses--
       (1) whether, and the manner in which, the employment of H-
     2A workers in the United States has impacted the wages, 
     working conditions, or job opportunities of United States 
     farm workers;
       (2) whether, and the manner in which, the adverse effect 
     wage rate increases or decreases wages on United States 
     farms, broken down by geographic region and farm size;
       (3) whether any potential impact of the adverse effect wage 
     rate varies based on the percentage of workers in a 
     geographic region that are H-2A workers;
       (4) the degree to which the adverse effect wage rate is 
     affected by the inclusion in wage surveys of piece rate 
     compensation, bonus payments, and other pay incentives, and 
     whether such forms of incentive compensation should be 
     surveyed and reported separately from hourly base rates;
       (5) whether, and the manner in which, other factors may 
     artificially affect the adverse effect wage rate, including 
     factors that may be specific to a region, State, or region 
     within a State;
       (6) whether, and the manner in which, the H-2A program 
     affects the ability of United States farms to compete with 
     agricultural commodities imported from outside the United 
     States;
       (7) the number and percentage of farmworkers in the United 
     States whose incomes are below the poverty line;
       (8) whether alternative wage standards would be sufficient 
     to prevent wages in occupations in which H-2A workers are 
     employed from falling below the wage level that would have 
     prevailed in the absence of the H-2A program;
       (9) whether any changes are warranted in the current 
     methodologies for calculating the adverse effect wage rate 
     and the prevailing wage; and
       (10) recommendations for future wage protection under this 
     section.
       (b) In preparing the report described in subsection (a), 
     the Secretary of Labor and Secretary of Agriculture shall 
     engage with equal numbers of representatives of agricultural 
     employers and agricultural workers, both locally and 
     nationally.

     SEC. 206. PORTABLE H-2A VISA PILOT PROGRAM.

       (a) Establishment of Pilot Program.--
       (1) In general.--Not later than 18 months after the date of 
     the enactment of this Act, the Secretary of Homeland 
     Security, in consultation with the Secretary of Labor and 
     Secretary of Agriculture, shall establish through regulation 
     a 6-year pilot program to facilitate the free movement and 
     employment of temporary or seasonal H-2A workers to perform 
     agricultural labor or services for agricultural employers 
     registered with the Secretary of Agriculture. Notwithstanding 
     the requirements of section 218 of the Immigration and 
     Nationality Act, such regulation shall establish the 
     requirements for the pilot program, consistent with 
     subsection (b). For purposes of this section, such a worker 
     shall be referred to as a portable H-2A worker, and status as 
     such a worker shall be referred to as portable H-2A status.
       (2) Online platform.--The Secretary of Homeland Security, 
     in consultation with the Secretary of Labor and the Secretary 
     of Agriculture, shall maintain an online electronic platform 
     to connect portable H-2A workers with registered agricultural 
     employers seeking workers to perform temporary or seasonal 
     agricultural labor or services. Employers shall post on the 
     platform available job opportunities, including a description 
     of the nature and location of the work to be performed, the 
     anticipated period or periods of need, and the terms and 
     conditions of employment. Such platform shall allow portable 
     H-2A workers to search for available job opportunities using 
     relevant criteria, including the types of jobs needed to be 
     filled and the dates and locations of need.
       (3) Limitation.--Notwithstanding the issuance of the 
     regulation described in paragraph (1), the Secretary of State 
     may not issue a portable H-2A visa and the Secretary of 
     Homeland Security may not confer portable H-2A status on any 
     alien until the Secretary of Homeland Security, in 
     consultation with the Secretary of Labor and Secretary of 
     Agriculture, has determined that a sufficient number of 
     employers have been designated as registered agricultural 
     employers under subsection (b)(1) and that such employers 
     have sufficient job opportunities to employ a reasonable 
     number of portable H-2A workers to initiate the pilot 
     program.
       (b) Pilot Program Elements.--The pilot program in 
     subsection (a) shall contain the following elements:
       (1) Registered agricultural employers.--
       (A) Designation.--Agricultural employers shall be provided 
     the ability to seek designation as registered agricultural 
     employers. Reasonable fees may be assessed commensurate with 
     the cost of processing applications for designation. A 
     designation shall be valid for a period of up to 3 years 
     unless revoked for failure to comply with program 
     requirements. Registered employers that comply with program 
     requirements may apply to renew such designation for 
     additional periods of up to 3 years for the duration of the 
     pilot program.
       (B) Limitations.--Registered agricultural employers may 
     employ aliens with portable H-2A status without filing a 
     petition. Such employers

[[Page H10057]]

     shall pay such aliens at least the wage required under 
     section 218(d) of the Immigration and Nationality Act (8 
     U.S.C. 1188(d)).
       (C) Workers' compensation.--If a job opportunity is not 
     covered by or is exempt from the State workers' compensation 
     law, a registered agricultural employer shall provide, at no 
     cost to the worker, insurance covering injury and disease 
     arising out of, and in the course of, the worker's 
     employment, which will provide benefits at least equal to 
     those provided under the State workers' compensation law.
       (2) Designated workers.--
       (A) In general.--Individuals who have been previously 
     admitted to the United States in H-2A status, and maintained 
     such status during the period of admission, shall be provided 
     the opportunity to apply for portable H-2A status. Portable 
     H-2A workers shall be subject to the provisions on visa 
     validity and periods of authorized stay and admission for H-
     2A workers described in paragraphs (2) and (3) of section 
     218(j) of the Immigration and Nationality Act (8 U.S.C. 
     1188(j)(2) and (3)).
       (B) Limitations on availability of portable h-2a status.--
       (i) Initial offer of employment required.--No alien may be 
     granted portable H-2A status without an initial valid offer 
     of employment to perform temporary or agricultural labor or 
     services from a registered agricultural employer.
       (ii) Numerical limitations.--The total number of aliens who 
     may hold valid portable H-2A status at any one time may not 
     exceed 10,000. Notwithstanding such limitation, the Secretary 
     of Homeland Security may further limit the number of aliens 
     with valid portable H-2A status if the Secretary determines 
     that there are an insufficient number of registered 
     agricultural employers or job opportunities to support the 
     employment of all such portable H-2A workers.
       (C) Scope of employment.--During the period of admission, a 
     portable H-2A worker may perform temporary or seasonal 
     agricultural labor or services for any employer in the United 
     States that is designated as a registered agricultural 
     employer pursuant to paragraph (1). An employment arrangement 
     under this section may be terminated by either the portable 
     H-2A worker or the registered agricultural employer at any 
     time.
       (D) Transfer to new employment.--At the cessation of 
     employment with a registered agricultural employer, a 
     portable H-2A worker shall have 60 days to secure new 
     employment with a registered agricultural employer.
       (E) Maintenance of status.--A portable H-2A worker who does 
     not secure new employment with a registered agricultural 
     employer within 60 days shall be considered to have failed to 
     maintain such status and shall depart the United States or be 
     subject to removal under section 237(a)(1)(C)(i) of the 
     Immigration and Nationality Act (8 U.S.C. 1188(a)(1)(C)(i)).
       (3) Enforcement.--The Secretary of Labor shall be 
     responsible for conducting investigations and random audits 
     of employers to ensure compliance with the employment-related 
     requirements of this section, consistent with section 218(m) 
     of the Immigration and Nationality Act (8 U.S.C. 1188(m)). 
     The Secretary of Labor shall have the authority to collect 
     reasonable civil penalties for violations, which shall be 
     utilized by the Secretary for the administration and 
     enforcement of the provisions of this section.
       (4) Eligibility for services.--Section 305 of Public Law 
     99-603 (100 Stat. 3434) is amended by striking ``other 
     employment rights as provided in the worker's specific 
     contract under which the nonimmigrant was admitted'' and 
     inserting ``employment-related rights''.
       (c) Report.--Not later than 6 months before the end of the 
     third fiscal year of the pilot program, the Secretary of 
     Homeland Security, in consultation with the Secretary of 
     Labor and the Secretary of Agriculture, shall prepare and 
     submit to the Committees on the Judiciary of the House of 
     Representatives and the Senate, a report that provides--
       (1) the number of employers designated as registered 
     agricultural employers, broken down by geographic region, 
     farm size, and the number of job opportunities offered by 
     such employers;
       (2) the number of employers whose designation as a 
     registered agricultural employer was revoked;
       (3) the number of individuals granted portable H-2A status 
     in each fiscal year, along with the number of such 
     individuals who maintained portable H-2A status during all or 
     a portion of the 3-year period of the pilot program;
       (4) an assessment of the impact of the pilot program on the 
     wages and working conditions of United States farm workers;
       (5) the results of a survey of individuals granted portable 
     H-2A status, detailing their experiences with and feedback on 
     the pilot program;
       (6) the results of a survey of registered agricultural 
     employers, detailing their experiences with and feedback on 
     the pilot program;
       (7) an assessment as to whether the program should be 
     continued and if so, any recommendations for improving the 
     program; and
       (8) findings and recommendations regarding effective 
     recruitment mechanisms, including use of new technology to 
     match workers with employers and ensure compliance with 
     applicable labor and employment laws and regulations.

     SEC. 207. IMPROVING ACCESS TO PERMANENT RESIDENCE.

       (a) Worldwide Level.--Section 201(d)(1)(A) of the 
     Immigration and Nationality Act (8 U.S.C. 1151(d)(1)(A)) is 
     amended by striking ``140,000'' and inserting ``180,000''.
       (b) Visas for Farmworkers.--Section 203(b) of the 
     Immigration and Nationality Act (8 U.S.C. 1153(b)) is 
     amended--
       (1) in paragraph (1) by striking ``28.6 percent of such 
     worldwide level'' and inserting ``40,040'';
       (2) in paragraph (2)(A) by striking ``28.6 percent of such 
     worldwide level'' and inserting ``40,040'';
       (3) in paragraph (3)--
       (A) in subparagraph (A)--
       (i) in the matter before clause (i), by striking ``28.6 
     percent of such worldwide level'' and inserting ``80,040''; 
     and
       (ii) by amending clause (iii) to read as follows:
       ``(iii) Other workers.--Other qualified immigrants who, at 
     the time of petitioning for classification under this 
     paragraph--

       ``(I) are capable of performing unskilled labor, not of a 
     temporary or seasonal nature, for which qualified workers are 
     not available in the United States; or
       ``(II) can demonstrate employment in the United States as 
     an H-2A nonimmigrant worker for at least 100 days in each of 
     at least 10 years.'';

       (B) by amending subparagraph (B) to read as follows:
       ``(B) Visas allocated for other workers.--
       ``(i) In general.--Except as provided in clauses (ii) and 
     (iii), 50,000 of the visas made available under this 
     paragraph shall be reserved for qualified immigrants 
     described in subparagraph (A)(iii).
       ``(ii) Preference for agricultural workers.--Subject to 
     clause (iii), not less than four-fifths of the visas 
     described in clause (i) shall be reserved for--

       ``(I) qualified immigrants described in subparagraph 
     (A)(iii)(I) who will be performing agricultural labor or 
     services in the United States; and
       ``(II) qualified immigrants described in subparagraph 
     (A)(iii)(II).

       ``(iii) Exception.--If because of the application of clause 
     (ii), the total number of visas available under this 
     paragraph for a calendar quarter exceeds the number of 
     qualified immigrants who otherwise may be issued such a visa, 
     clause (ii) shall not apply to visas under this paragraph 
     during the remainder of such calendar quarter.
       ``(iv) No per country limits.--Visas described under clause 
     (ii) shall be issued without regard to the numerical 
     limitation under section 202(a)(2).''; and
       (C) by amending subparagraph (C) by striking ``An immigrant 
     visa'' and inserting ``Except for qualified immigrants 
     petitioning for classification under subparagraph 
     (A)(iii)(II), an immigrant visa'';
       (4) in paragraph (4), by striking ``7.1 percent of such 
     worldwide level'' and inserting ``9,940''; and
       (5) in paragraph (5)(A), in the matter before clause (i), 
     by striking ``7.1 percent of such worldwide level'' and 
     inserting ``9,940''.
       (c) Petitioning Procedure.--Section 204(a)(1)(E) of the 
     Immigration and Nationality Act (8 U.S.C. 1154(a)(1)(E)) is 
     amended by inserting ``or 203(b)(3)(A)(iii)(II)'' after 
     ``203(b)(1)(A)''.
       (d) Dual Intent.--Section 214(b) of the Immigration and 
     Nationality Act (8 U.S.C. 1184(b)) is amended by striking 
     ``section 101(a)(15)(H)(i) except subclause (b1) of such 
     section'' and inserting ``clause (i), except subclause (b1), 
     or (ii)(a) of section 101(a)(15)(H)''.

    Subtitle B--Preservation and Construction of Farmworker Housing

     SEC. 220. SHORT TITLE.

       This subtitle may be cited as the ``Strategy and Investment 
     in Rural Housing Preservation Act of 2019''.

     SEC. 221. PERMANENT ESTABLISHMENT OF HOUSING PRESERVATION AND 
                   REVITALIZATION PROGRAM.

       Title V of the Housing Act of 1949 (42 U.S.C. 1471 et seq.) 
     is amended by adding at the end the following new section:

     ``SEC. 545. HOUSING PRESERVATION AND REVITALIZATION PROGRAM.

       ``(a) Establishment.--The Secretary shall carry out a 
     program under this section for the preservation and 
     revitalization of multifamily rental housing projects 
     financed under section 515 or both sections 514 and 516.
       ``(b) Notice of Maturing Loans.--
       ``(1) To owners.--On an annual basis, the Secretary shall 
     provide written notice to each owner of a property financed 
     under section 515 or both sections 514 and 516 that will 
     mature within the 4-year period beginning upon the provision 
     of such notice, setting forth the options and financial 
     incentives that are available to facilitate the extension of 
     the loan term or the option to decouple a rental assistance 
     contract pursuant to subsection (f).
       ``(2) To tenants.--
       ``(A) In general.--For each property financed under section 
     515 or both sections 514 and 516, not later than the date 
     that is 2 years before the date that such loan will mature, 
     the Secretary shall provide written notice to each household 
     residing in such property that informs them of the date of 
     the loan maturity, the possible actions that may happen with 
     respect to the property upon such maturity, and how to 
     protect their right to reside in Federally assisted housing 
     after such maturity.
       ``(B) Language.--Notice under this paragraph shall be 
     provided in plain English and shall be translated to other 
     languages in the case of any property located in an area in 
     which a significant number of residents speak such other 
     languages.
       ``(c) Loan Restructuring.--Under the program under this 
     section, the Secretary may restructure such existing housing 
     loans, as the Secretary considers appropriate, for the 
     purpose of ensuring that such projects have sufficient 
     resources to preserve the projects to provide safe and 
     affordable housing for low-income residents and farm 
     laborers, by--
       ``(1) reducing or eliminating interest;
       ``(2) deferring loan payments;
       ``(3) subordinating, reducing, or reamortizing loan debt; 
     and

[[Page H10058]]

       ``(4) providing other financial assistance, including 
     advances, payments, and incentives (including the ability of 
     owners to obtain reasonable returns on investment) required 
     by the Secretary.
       ``(d) Renewal of Rental Assistance.--When the Secretary 
     offers to restructure a loan pursuant to subsection (c), the 
     Secretary shall offer to renew the rental assistance contract 
     under section 521(a)(2) for a 20-year term that is subject to 
     annual appropriations, provided that the owner agrees to 
     bring the property up to such standards that will ensure its 
     maintenance as decent, safe, and sanitary housing for the 
     full term of the rental assistance contract.
       ``(e) Restrictive Use Agreements.--
       ``(1) Requirement.--As part of the preservation and 
     revitalization agreement for a project, the Secretary shall 
     obtain a restrictive use agreement that obligates the owner 
     to operate the project in accordance with this title.
       ``(2) Term.--
       ``(A) No extension of rental assistance contract.--Except 
     when the Secretary enters into a 20-year extension of the 
     rental assistance contract for the project, the term of the 
     restrictive use agreement for the project shall be consistent 
     with the term of the restructured loan for the project.
       ``(B) Extension of rental assistance contract.--If the 
     Secretary enters into a 20-year extension of the rental 
     assistance contract for a project, the term of the 
     restrictive use agreement for the project shall be for 20 
     years.
       ``(C) Termination.--The Secretary may terminate the 20-year 
     use restrictive use agreement for a project prior to the end 
     of its term if the 20-year rental assistance contract for the 
     project with the owner is terminated at any time for reasons 
     outside the owner's control.
       ``(f) Decoupling of Rental Assistance.--
       ``(1) Renewal of rental assistance contract.--If the 
     Secretary determines that a maturing loan for a project 
     cannot reasonably be restructured in accordance with 
     subsection (c) and the project was operating with rental 
     assistance under section 521, the Secretary may renew the 
     rental assistance contract, notwithstanding any provision of 
     section 521, for a term, subject to annual appropriations, of 
     at least 10 years but not more than 20 years.
       ``(2) Rents.--Any agreement to extend the term of the 
     rental assistance contract under section 521 for a project 
     shall obligate the owner to continue to maintain the project 
     as decent, safe and sanitary housing and to operate the 
     development in accordance with this title, except that rents 
     shall be based on the lesser of--
       ``(A) the budget-based needs of the project; or
       ``(B) the operating cost adjustment factor as a payment 
     standard as provided under section 524 of the Multifamily 
     Assisted Housing Reform and Affordability Act of 1997 (42 
     U.S.C. 1437 note).
       ``(g) Multifamily Housing Transfer Technical Assistance.--
     Under the program under this section, the Secretary may 
     provide grants to qualified non-profit organizations and 
     public housing agencies to provide technical assistance, 
     including financial and legal services, to borrowers under 
     loans under this title for multifamily housing to facilitate 
     the acquisition of such multifamily housing properties in 
     areas where the Secretary determines there is a risk of loss 
     of affordable housing.
       ``(h) Transfer of Rental Assistance.--After the loan or 
     loans for a rental project originally financed under section 
     515 or both sections 514 and 516 have matured or have been 
     prepaid and the owner has chosen not to restructure the loan 
     pursuant to subsection (c), a tenant residing in such project 
     shall have 18 months prior to loan maturation or prepayment 
     to transfer the rental assistance assigned to the tenant's 
     unit to another rental project originally financed under 
     section 515 or both sections 514 and 516, and the owner of 
     the initial project may rent the tenant's previous unit to a 
     new tenant without income restrictions.
       ``(i) Administrative Expenses.--Of any amounts made 
     available for the program under this section for any fiscal 
     year, the Secretary may use not more than $1,000,000 for 
     administrative expenses for carrying out such program.
       ``(j) Authorization of Appropriations.--There is authorized 
     to be appropriated for the program under this section 
     $200,000,000 for each of fiscal years 2020 through 2024.''.

     SEC. 222. ELIGIBILITY FOR RURAL HOUSING VOUCHERS.

       Section 542 of the Housing Act of 1949 (42 U.S.C. 1490r) is 
     amended by adding at the end the following new subsection:
       ``(c) Eligibility of Households in Sections 514, 515, and 
     516 Projects.--The Secretary may provide rural housing 
     vouchers under this section for any low-income household 
     (including those not receiving rental assistance) residing, 
     for a term longer than the remaining term of their lease in 
     effect just prior to prepayment, in a property financed with 
     a loan made or insured under section 514 or 515 (42 U.S.C. 
     1484, 1485) which has been prepaid without restrictions 
     imposed by the Secretary pursuant to section 
     502(c)(5)(G)(ii)(I) (42 U.S.C. 1472(c)(5)(G)(ii)(I)), has 
     been foreclosed, or has matured after September 30, 2005, or 
     residing in a property assisted under section 514 or 516 that 
     is owned by a nonprofit organization or public agency.''.

     SEC. 223. AMOUNT OF VOUCHER ASSISTANCE.

       Notwithstanding any other provision of law, in the case of 
     any rural housing voucher provided pursuant to section 542 of 
     the Housing Act of 1949 (42 U.S.C. 1490r), the amount of the 
     monthly assistance payment for the household on whose behalf 
     such assistance is provided shall be determined as provided 
     in subsection (a) of such section 542.

     SEC. 224. RENTAL ASSISTANCE CONTRACT AUTHORITY.

       Subsection (d) of section 521 of the Housing Act of 1949 
     (42 U.S.C. 1490a(d)) is amended--
       (1) in paragraph (1), by inserting after subparagraph (A) 
     the following new subparagraph (and by redesignating the 
     subsequent subparagraphs accordingly):
       ``(B) upon request of an owner of a project financed under 
     section 514 or 515, the Secretary is authorized to enter into 
     renewal of such agreements for a period of 20 years or the 
     term of the loan, whichever is shorter, subject to amounts 
     made available in appropriations Acts;''; and
       (2) by adding at the end the following new paragraph:
       ``(3) In the case of any rental assistance contract 
     authority that becomes available because of the termination 
     of assistance on behalf of an assisted family--
       ``(A) at the option of the owner of the rental project, the 
     Secretary shall provide the owner a period of 6 months before 
     such assistance is made available pursuant to subparagraph 
     (B) during which the owner may use such assistance authority 
     to provide assistance of behalf of an eligible unassisted 
     family that--
       ``(i) is residing in the same rental project that the 
     assisted family resided in prior to such termination; or
       ``(ii) newly occupies a dwelling unit in such rental 
     project during such period; and
       ``(B) except for assistance used as provided in 
     subparagraph (A), the Secretary shall use such remaining 
     authority to provide such assistance on behalf of eligible 
     families residing in other rental projects originally 
     financed under section 515 or both sections 514 and 516 of 
     this Act.''.

     SEC. 225. FUNDING FOR MULTIFAMILY TECHNICAL IMPROVEMENTS.

       There is authorized to be appropriated to the Secretary of 
     Agriculture $50,000,000 for fiscal year 2020 for improving 
     the technology of the Department of Agriculture used to 
     process loans for multifamily housing and otherwise managing 
     such housing. Such improvements shall be made within the 5-
     year period beginning upon the appropriation of such amounts 
     and such amount shall remain available until the expiration 
     of such 5-year period.

     SEC. 226. PLAN FOR PRESERVING AFFORDABILITY OF RENTAL 
                   PROJECTS.

       (a) Plan.--The Secretary of Agriculture (in this section 
     referred to as the ``Secretary'') shall submit a written plan 
     to the Congress, not later than the expiration of the 6-month 
     period beginning on the date of the enactment of this Act, 
     for preserving the affordability for low-income families of 
     rental projects for which loans were made under section 515 
     or made to nonprofit or public agencies under section 514 and 
     avoiding the displacement of tenant households, which shall--
       (1) set forth specific performance goals and measures;
       (2) set forth the specific actions and mechanisms by which 
     such goals will be achieved;
       (3) set forth specific measurements by which progress 
     towards achievement of each goal can be measured;
       (4) provide for detailed reporting on outcomes; and
       (5) include any legislative recommendations to assist in 
     achievement of the goals under the plan.
       (b) Advisory Committee.--
       (1) Establishment; purpose.--The Secretary shall establish 
     an advisory committee whose purpose shall be to assist the 
     Secretary in preserving section 515 properties and section 
     514 properties owned by nonprofit or public agencies through 
     the multifamily housing preservation and revitalization 
     program under section 545 and in implementing the plan 
     required under subsection (a).
       (2) Member.--The advisory committee shall consist of 16 
     members, appointed by the Secretary, as follows:
       (A) A State Director of Rural Development for the 
     Department of Agriculture.
       (B) The Administrator for Rural Housing Service of the 
     Department of Agriculture.
       (C) Two representatives of for-profit developers or owners 
     of multifamily rural rental housing.
       (D) Two representatives of non-profit developers or owners 
     of multifamily rural rental housing.
       (E) Two representatives of State housing finance agencies.
       (F) Two representatives of tenants of multifamily rural 
     rental housing.
       (G) One representative of a community development financial 
     institution that is involved in preserving the affordability 
     of housing assisted under sections 514, 515, and 516 of the 
     Housing Act of 1949.
       (H) One representative of a nonprofit organization that 
     operates nationally and has actively participated in the 
     preservation of housing assisted by the Rural Housing Service 
     by conducting research regarding, and providing financing and 
     technical assistance for, preserving the affordability of 
     such housing.
       (I) One representative of low-income housing tax credit 
     investors.
       (J) One representative of regulated financial institutions 
     that finance affordable multifamily rural rental housing 
     developments.
       (K) Two representatives from non-profit organizations 
     representing farmworkers, including one organization 
     representing farmworker women.
       (3) Meetings.--The advisory committee shall meet not less 
     often than once each calendar quarter.
       (4) Functions.--In providing assistance to the Secretary to 
     carry out its purpose, the advisory committee shall carry out 
     the following functions:
       (A) Assisting the Rural Housing Service of the Department 
     of Agriculture to improve estimates of the size, scope, and 
     condition of rental housing portfolio of the Service, 
     including the time frames for maturity of mortgages and costs 
     for preserving the portfolio as affordable housing.

[[Page H10059]]

       (B) Reviewing current policies and procedures of the Rural 
     Housing Service regarding preservation of affordable rental 
     housing financed under sections 514, 515, 516, and 538 of the 
     Housing Act of 1949, the Multifamily Preservation and 
     Revitalization Demonstration program (MPR), and the rental 
     assistance program and making recommendations regarding 
     improvements and modifications to such policies and 
     procedures.
       (C) Providing ongoing review of Rural Housing Service 
     program results.
       (D) Providing reports to the Congress and the public on 
     meetings, recommendations, and other findings of the advisory 
     committee.
       (5) Travel costs.--Any amounts made available for 
     administrative costs of the Department of Agriculture may be 
     used for costs of travel by members of the advisory committee 
     to meetings of the committee.

     SEC. 227. COVERED HOUSING PROGRAMS.

       Paragraph (3) of section 41411(a) of the Violence Against 
     Women Act of 1994 (34 U.S.C. 12491(a)(3)) is amended--
       (1) in subparagraph (I), by striking ``and'' at the end;
       (2) by redesignating subparagraph (J) as subparagraph (K); 
     and
       (3) by inserting after subparagraph (I) the following new 
     subparagraph:
       ``(J) rural development housing voucher assistance provided 
     by the Secretary of Agriculture pursuant to section 542 of 
     the Housing Act of 1949 (42 U.S.C. 1490r), without regard to 
     subsection (b) of such section, and applicable appropriation 
     Acts; and''.

     SEC. 228. NEW FARMWORKER HOUSING.

       Section 513 of the Housing Act of 1949 (42 U.S.C. 1483) is 
     amended by adding at the end the following new subsection:
       ``(f) Funding for Farmworker Housing.--
       ``(1) Section 514 farmworker housing loans.--
       ``(A) Insurance authority.--The Secretary of Agriculture 
     may, to the extent approved in appropriation Acts, insure 
     loans under section 514 (42 U.S.C. 1484) during each of 
     fiscal years 2020 through 2029 in an aggregate amount not to 
     exceed $200,000,000.
       ``(B) Authorization of appropriations for costs.--There is 
     authorized to be appropriated $75,000,000 for each of fiscal 
     years 2020 through 2029 for costs (as such term is defined in 
     section 502 of the Congressional Budget Act of 1974 (2 U.S.C. 
     661a)) of loans insured pursuant the authority under 
     subparagraph (A).
       ``(2) Section 516 grants for farmworker housing.--There is 
     authorized to be appropriated $30,000,000 for each of fiscal 
     years 2020 through 2029 for financial assistance under 
     section 516 (42 U.S.C. 1486).
       ``(3) Section 521 housing assistance.--There is authorized 
     to be appropriated $2,700,000,000 for each of fiscal years 
     2020 through 2029 for rental assistance agreements entered 
     into or renewed pursuant to section 521(a)(2) (42 U.S.C. 
     1490a(a)(2)) or agreements entered into in lieu of debt 
     forgiveness or payments for eligible households as authorized 
     by section 502(c)(5)(D).''.

     SEC. 229. LOAN AND GRANT LIMITATIONS.

       Section 514 of the Housing Act of 1949 (42 U.S.C. 1484) is 
     amended by adding at the end the following:
       ``(j) Per Project Limitations on Assistance.--If the 
     Secretary, in making available assistance in any area under 
     this section or section 516 (42 U.S.C. 1486), establishes a 
     limitation on the amount of assistance available per project, 
     the limitation on a grant or loan award per project shall not 
     be less than $5 million.''.

     SEC. 230. OPERATING ASSISTANCE SUBSIDIES.

       Subsection (a)(5) of section 521 of the Housing Act of 1949 
     (42 U.S.C. 1490a(a)(5)) is amended--
       (1) in subparagraph (A) by inserting ``or domestic farm 
     labor legally admitted to the United States and authorized to 
     work in agriculture'' after ``migrant farmworkers'';
       (2) in subparagraph (B)--
       (A) by striking ``Amount.--In any fiscal year'' and 
     inserting ``Amount.--
       ``(i) Housing for migrant farmworkers.--In any fiscal 
     year'';
       (B) by inserting ``providing housing for migrant 
     farmworkers'' after ``any project''; and
       (C) by inserting at the end the following:
       ``(ii) Housing for other farm labor.--In any fiscal year, 
     the assistance provided under this paragraph for any project 
     providing housing for domestic farm labor legally admitted to 
     the United States and authorized to work in agriculture shall 
     not exceed an amount equal to 50 percent of the operating 
     costs for the project for the year, as determined by the 
     Secretary. The owner of such project shall not qualify for 
     operating assistance unless the Secretary certifies that the 
     project was unoccupied or underutilized before making units 
     available to such farm labor, and that a grant under this 
     section will not displace any farm worker who is a United 
     States worker.''; and
       (3) in subparagraph (D), by adding at the end the 
     following:
       ``(iii) The term `domestic farm labor' has the same meaning 
     given such term in section 514(f)(3) (42 U.S.C. 1484(f)(3)), 
     except that subparagraph (A) of such section shall not apply 
     for purposes this section.''.

     SEC. 231. ELIGIBILITY OF CERTIFIED WORKERS.

       Subsection (a) of section 214 of the Housing and Community 
     Development Act of 1980 (42 U.S.C. 1436a) is amended--
       (1) in paragraph (6), by striking ``or'' at the end;
       (2) by redesignating paragraph (7) as paragraph (8); and
       (3) by inserting after paragraph (6) the following:
       ``(7) an alien granted certified agricultural worker or 
     certified agricultural dependent status under title I of the 
     Farm Workforce Modernization Act of 2019, but solely for 
     financial assistance made available pursuant to section 521 
     or 542 of the Housing Act of 1949 (42 U.S.C. 1490a, 1490r); 
     or''.

           Subtitle C--Foreign Labor Recruiter Accountability

     SEC. 251. REGISTRATION OF FOREIGN LABOR RECRUITERS.

       (a) In General.--Not later than 1 year after the date of 
     the enactment of this Act, the Secretary of Labor, in 
     consultation with the Secretary of State and the Secretary of 
     Homeland Security, shall establish procedures for the 
     electronic registration of foreign labor recruiters engaged 
     in the recruitment of nonimmigrant workers described in 
     section 101(a)(15)(H)(ii)(a) of the Immigration and 
     Nationality Act (8 U.S.C. 1101(a)(15)(H)(ii)(a)) to perform 
     agricultural labor or services in the United States.
       (b) Procedural Requirements.--The procedures described in 
     subsection (a) shall--
       (1) require the applicant to submit a sworn declaration--
       (A) stating the applicant's permanent place of residence or 
     principal place of business, as applicable;
       (B) describing the foreign labor recruiting activities in 
     which the applicant is engaged; and
       (C) including such other relevant information as the 
     Secretary of Labor and the Secretary of State may require;
       (2) include an expeditious means to update and renew 
     registrations;
       (3) include a process, which shall include the placement of 
     personnel at each United States diplomatic mission in 
     accordance with subsection (g)(2), to receive information 
     from the public regarding foreign labor recruiters who have 
     allegedly engaged in a foreign labor recruiting activity that 
     is prohibited under this subtitle;
       (4) include procedures for the receipt and processing of 
     complaints against foreign labor recruiters and for remedies, 
     including the revocation of a registration or the assessment 
     of fines upon a determination by the Secretary of Labor that 
     the foreign labor recruiter has violated the requirements of 
     this subtitle;
       (5) require the applicant to post a bond in an amount 
     sufficient to ensure the ability of the applicant to 
     discharge its responsibilities and ensure protection of 
     workers, including payment of wages; and
       (6) allow the Secretary of Labor and the Secretary of State 
     to consult with other appropriate Federal agencies to 
     determine whether any reason exists to deny registration to a 
     foreign labor recruiter or revoke such registration.
       (c) Attestations.--Foreign labor recruiters registering 
     under this subtitle shall attest and agree to abide by the 
     following requirements:
       (1) Prohibited fees.--The foreign labor recruiter, 
     including any agent or employee of such foreign labor 
     recruiter, shall not assess any recruitment fees on a worker 
     for any foreign labor recruiting activity.
       (2) Prohibition on false and misleading information.--The 
     foreign labor recruiter shall not knowingly provide 
     materially false or misleading information to any worker 
     concerning any matter required to be disclosed under this 
     subtitle.
       (3) Required disclosures.--The foreign labor recruiter 
     shall ascertain and disclose to the worker in writing in 
     English and in the primary language of the worker at the time 
     of the worker's recruitment, the following information:
       (A) The identity and address of the employer and the 
     identity and address of the person conducting the recruiting 
     on behalf of the employer, including each subcontractor or 
     agent involved in such recruiting.
       (B) A copy of the approved job order or work contract under 
     section 218 of the Immigration and Nationality Act, including 
     all assurances and terms and conditions of employment.
       (C) A statement, in a form specified by the Secretary--
       (i) describing the general terms and conditions associated 
     with obtaining an H-2A visa and maintaining H-2A status;
       (ii) affirming the prohibition on the assessment of fees 
     described in paragraph (1), and explaining that such fees, if 
     paid by the employer, may not be passed on to the worker;
       (iii) describing the protections afforded the worker under 
     this subtitle, including procedures for reporting violations 
     to the Secretary of State, filing a complaint with the 
     Secretary of Labor, or filing a civil action; and
       (iv) describing the protections afforded the worker by 
     section 202 of the William Wilberforce Trafficking Victims 
     Protection Reauthorization Act of 2008 (8 U.S.C. 1375b), 
     including the telephone number for the national human 
     trafficking resource center hotline number.
       (4) Bond.--The foreign labor recruiter shall agree to 
     maintain a bond sufficient to ensure the ability of the 
     foreign labor recruiter to discharge its responsibilities and 
     ensure protection of workers, and to forfeit such bond in an 
     amount determined by the Secretary under subsections 
     (b)(1)(C)(ii) or (c)(2)(C) of section 252 for failure to 
     comply with the provisions of this subtitle.
       (5) Cooperation in investigation.--The foreign labor 
     recruiter shall agree to cooperate in any investigation under 
     section 252 of this subtitle by the Secretary or other 
     appropriate authorities.
       (6) No retaliation.--The foreign labor recruiter shall 
     agree to refrain from intimidating, threatening, restraining, 
     coercing, discharging, blacklisting or in any other manner 
     discriminating or retaliating against any worker or their 
     family members (including a former worker or an applicant for 
     employment) because such worker disclosed information to any 
     person based on a reason to believe that the foreign labor 
     recruiter, or any agent or subcontractee of such foreign 
     labor recruiter, is engaging or has engaged in a foreign 
     labor recruiting activity that does not comply with this 
     subtitle.

[[Page H10060]]

       (7) Employees, agents, and subcontractees.--The foreign 
     labor recruiter shall consent to be liable for the conduct of 
     any agents or subcontractees of any level in relation to the 
     foreign labor recruiting activity of the agent or 
     subcontractee to the same extent as if the foreign labor 
     recruiter had engaged in such conduct.
       (8) Enforcement.--If the foreign labor recruiter is 
     conducting foreign labor recruiting activity wholly outside 
     the United States, such foreign labor recruiter shall 
     establish a registered agent in the United States who is 
     authorized to accept service of process on behalf of the 
     foreign labor recruiter for the purpose of any administrative 
     proceeding under this title or any Federal court civil 
     action, if such service is made in accordance with the 
     appropriate Federal rules for service of process.
       (d) Term of Registration.--Unless suspended or revoked, a 
     registration under this section shall be valid for 2 years.
       (e) Application Fee.--The Secretary shall require a foreign 
     labor recruiter that submits an application for registration 
     under this section to pay a reasonable fee, sufficient to 
     cover the full costs of carrying out the registration 
     activities under this subtitle.
       (f) Notification.--
       (1) Employer notification.--
       (A) In general.--Not less frequently than once every year, 
     an employer of H-2A workers shall provide the Secretary with 
     the names and addresses of all foreign labor recruiters 
     engaged to perform foreign labor recruiting activity on 
     behalf of the employer, whether the foreign labor recruiter 
     is to receive any economic compensation for such services, 
     and, if so, the identity of the person or entity who is 
     paying for the services.
       (B) Agreement to cooperate.--In addition to the 
     requirements of subparagraph (A), the employer shall--
       (i) provide to the Secretary the identity of any foreign 
     labor recruiter whom the employer has reason to believe is 
     engaging in foreign labor recruiting activities that do not 
     comply with this subtitle; and
       (ii) promptly respond to any request by the Secretary for 
     information regarding the identity of a foreign labor 
     recruiter with whom the employer has a contract or other 
     agreement.
       (2) Foreign labor recruiter notification.--A registered 
     foreign labor recruiter shall notify the Secretary, not less 
     frequently than once every year, of the identity of any 
     subcontractee, agent, or foreign labor recruiter employee 
     involved in any foreign labor recruiting activity for, or on 
     behalf of, the foreign labor recruiter.
       (g) Additional Responsibilities of the Secretary of 
     State.--
       (1) Lists.--The Secretary of State, in consultation with 
     the Secretary of Labor shall maintain and make publicly 
     available in written form and on the websites of United 
     States embassies in the official language of that country, 
     and on websites maintained by the Secretary of Labor, 
     regularly updated lists--
       (A) of foreign labor recruiters who hold valid 
     registrations under this section, including--
       (i) the name and address of the foreign labor recruiter;
       (ii) the countries in which such recruiters conduct 
     recruitment;
       (iii) the employers for whom recruiting is conducted;
       (iv) the occupations that are the subject of recruitment;
       (v) the States where recruited workers are employed; and
       (vi) the name and address of the registered agent in the 
     United States who is authorized to accept service of process 
     on behalf of the foreign labor recruiter; and
       (B) of foreign labor recruiters whose registration the 
     Secretary has revoked.
       (2) Personnel.--The Secretary of State shall ensure that 
     each United States diplomatic mission is staffed with a 
     person who shall be responsible for receiving information 
     from members of the public regarding potential violations of 
     the requirements applicable to registered foreign labor 
     recruiters and ensuring that such information is conveyed to 
     the Secretary of Labor for evaluation and initiation of an 
     enforcement action, if appropriate.
       (3) Visa application procedures.--The Secretary shall 
     ensure that consular officers issuing visas to nonimmigrants 
     under section 101(a)(1)(H)(ii)(a) of the Immigration and 
     Nationality Act (8 U.S.C. 11001(a)(1)(H)(ii)(a))--
       (A) provide to and review with the applicant, in the 
     applicant's language (or a language the applicant 
     understands), a copy of the information and resources 
     pamphlet required by section 202 of the William Wilberforce 
     Trafficking Victims Protection Reauthorization Act of 2008 (8 
     U.S.C. 1375b);
       (B) ensure that the applicant has a copy of the approved 
     job offer or work contract;
       (C) note in the visa application file whether the foreign 
     labor recruiter has a valid registration under this section; 
     and
       (D) if the foreign labor recruiter holds a valid 
     registration, review and include in the visa application 
     file, the foreign labor recruiter's disclosures required by 
     subsection (c)(3).
       (4) Data.--The Secretary of State shall make publicly 
     available online, on an annual basis, data disclosing the 
     gender, country of origin (and State, county, or province, if 
     available), age, wage, level of training, and occupational 
     classification, disaggregated by State, of nonimmigrant 
     workers described in section 101(a)(15)(H)(ii)(a) of the 
     Immigration and Nationality Act.

     SEC. 252. ENFORCEMENT.

       (a) Denial or Revocation of Registration.--
       (1) Grounds for denial or revocation.--The Secretary shall 
     deny an application for registration, or revoke a 
     registration, if the Secretary determines that the foreign 
     labor recruiter, or any agent or subcontractee of such 
     foreign labor recruiter--
       (A) knowingly made a material misrepresentation in the 
     registration application;
       (B) materially failed to comply with one or more of the 
     attestations provided under section 251(c); or
       (C) is not the real party in interest.
       (2) Notice.--Prior to denying an application for 
     registration or revoking a registration under this 
     subsection, the Secretary shall provide written notice of the 
     intent to deny or revoke the registration to the foreign 
     labor recruiter. Such notice shall--
       (A) articulate with specificity all grounds for denial or 
     revocation; and
       (B) provide the foreign labor recruiter with not less than 
     60 days to respond.
       (3) Re-registration.--A foreign labor recruiter whose 
     registration was revoked under subsection (a) may re-register 
     if the foreign labor recruiter demonstrates to the 
     Secretary's satisfaction that the foreign labor recruiter has 
     not violated this subtitle in the 5 years preceding the date 
     an application for registration is filed and has taken 
     sufficient steps to prevent future violations of this 
     subtitle.
       (b) Administrative Enforcement.--
       (1) Complaint process.--
       (A) Filing.--A complaint may be filed with the Secretary of 
     Labor, in accordance with the procedures established under 
     section 251(b)(4) not later than 2 years after the earlier 
     of--
       (i) the date of the last action which constituted the 
     conduct that is the subject of the complaint took place; or
       (ii) the date on which the aggrieved party had actual 
     knowledge of such conduct.
       (B) Decision and penalties.--If the Secretary of Labor 
     finds, after notice and an opportunity for a hearing, that a 
     foreign labor recruiter failed to comply with any of the 
     requirements of this subtitle, the Secretary of Labor may--
       (i) levy a fine against the foreign labor recruiter in an 
     amount not more than--

       (I) $10,000 per violation; and
       (II) $25,000 per violation, upon the third violation;

       (ii) order the forfeiture (or partial forfeiture) of the 
     bond and release of as much of the bond as the Secretary 
     determines is necessary for the worker to recover prohibited 
     recruitment fees;
       (iii) refuse to issue or renew a registration, or revoke a 
     registration; or
       (iv) disqualify the foreign labor recruiter from 
     registration for a period of up to 5 years, or in the case of 
     a subsequent finding involving willful or multiple material 
     violations, permanently disqualify the foreign labor 
     recruiter from registration.
       (2) Authority to ensure compliance.--The Secretary of Labor 
     is authorized to take other such actions, including issuing 
     subpoenas and seeking appropriate injunctive relief, as may 
     be necessary to assure compliance with the terms and 
     conditions of this subtitle.
       (3) Statutory construction.--Nothing in this subsection may 
     be construed as limiting the authority of the Secretary of 
     Labor to conduct an investigation--
       (A) under any other law, including any law affecting 
     migrant and seasonal agricultural workers; or
       (B) in the absence of a complaint.
       (c) Civil Action.--
       (1) In general.--The Secretary of Labor or any person 
     aggrieved by a violation of this subtitle may bring a civil 
     action against any foreign labor recruiter, or any employer 
     that does not meet the requirements under subsection (d)(1), 
     in any court of competent jurisdiction--
       (A) to seek remedial action, including injunctive relief; 
     and
       (B) for damages in accordance with the provisions of this 
     subsection.
       (2) Award for civil action filed by an individual.--
       (A) In general.--If the court finds in a civil action filed 
     by an individual under this section that the defendant has 
     violated any provision of this subtitle, the court may 
     award--
       (i) damages, up to and including an amount equal to the 
     amount of actual damages, and statutory damages of up to 
     $1,000 per plaintiff per violation, or other equitable 
     relief, except that with respect to statutory damages--

       (I) multiple infractions of a single provision of this 
     subtitle (or of a regulation under this subtitle) shall 
     constitute only 1 violation for purposes of this subsection 
     to determine the amount of statutory damages due a plaintiff; 
     and
       (II) if such complaint is certified as a class action the 
     court may award--

       (aa) damages up to an amount equal to the amount of actual 
     damages; and
       (bb) statutory damages of not more than the lesser of up to 
     $1,000 per class member per violation, or up to $500,000; and 
     other equitable relief;
       (ii) reasonable attorneys' fees and costs; and
       (iii) such other and further relief as necessary to 
     effectuate the purposes of this subtitle.
       (B) Criteria.--In determining the amount of statutory 
     damages to be awarded under subparagraph (A), the court is 
     authorized to consider whether an attempt was made to resolve 
     the issues in dispute before the resort to litigation.
       (C) Bond.--To satisfy the damages, fees, and costs found 
     owing under this paragraph, the Secretary shall release as 
     much of the bond held pursuant to section 251(c)(4) as 
     necessary.
       (3) Sums recovered in actions by the secretary of labor.--
       (A) Establishment of account.--There is established in the 
     general fund of the Treasury a separate account, which shall 
     be known as the ``H-2A Foreign Labor Recruiter Compensation

[[Page H10061]]

     Account''. Notwithstanding any other provisions of law, there 
     shall be deposited as offsetting receipts into the account, 
     all sums recovered in an action by the Secretary of Labor 
     under this subsection.
       (B) Use of funds.--Amounts deposited into the H-2A Foreign 
     Labor Recruiter Compensation Account and shall be paid 
     directly to each worker affected. Any such sums not paid to a 
     worker because of inability to do so within a period of 5 
     years following the date such funds are deposited into the 
     account shall remain available to the Secretary until 
     expended. The Secretary may transfer all or a portion of such 
     remaining sums to appropriate agencies to support the 
     enforcement of the laws prohibiting the trafficking and 
     exploitation of persons or programs that aid trafficking 
     victims.
       (d) Employer Safe Harbor.--
       (1) In general.--An employer that hires workers referred by 
     a foreign labor recruiter with a valid registration at the 
     time of hiring shall not be held jointly liable for a 
     violation committed solely by a foreign labor recruiter under 
     this subtitle--
       (A) in any administrative action initiated by the Secretary 
     concerning such violation; or
       (B) in any Federal or State civil court action filed 
     against the foreign labor recruiter by or on behalf of such 
     workers or other aggrieved party under this subtitle.
       (2) Clarification.--Nothing in this subtitle shall be 
     construed to prohibit an aggrieved party or parties from 
     bringing a civil action for violations of this subtitle or 
     any other Federal or State law against any employer who hired 
     workers referred by a foreign labor recruiter--
       (A) without a valid registration at the time of hire; or
       (B) with a valid registration if the employer knew or 
     learned of the violation and failed to report such violation 
     to the Secretary.
       (e) Parole to Pursue Relief.--If other immigration relief 
     is not available, the Secretary of Homeland Security may 
     grant parole to permit an individual to remain legally in the 
     United States for time sufficient to fully and effectively 
     participate in all legal proceedings related to any action 
     taken pursuant to subsection (b) or (c).
       (f) Waiver of Rights.--Agreements by employees purporting 
     to waive or to modify their rights under this subtitle shall 
     be void as contrary to public policy.
       (g) Liability for Agents.--Foreign labor recruiters shall 
     be subject to the provisions of this section for violations 
     committed by the foreign labor recruiter's agents or 
     subcontractees of any level in relation to their foreign 
     labor recruiting activity to the same extent as if the 
     foreign labor recruiter had committed the violation.

     SEC. 253. APPROPRIATIONS.

       There is authorized to be appropriated such sums as may be 
     necessary for the Secretary of Labor and Secretary of State 
     to carry out the provisions of this subtitle.

     SEC. 254. DEFINITIONS.

       For purposes of this subtitle:
       (1) Foreign labor recruiter.--The term ``foreign labor 
     recruiter'' means any person who performs foreign labor 
     recruiting activity in exchange for money or other valuable 
     consideration paid or promised to be paid, to recruit 
     individuals to work as nonimmigrant workers described in 
     section 101(a)(15)(H)(ii)(a) of the Immigration and 
     Nationality Act (8 U.S.C. 1101(a)(15)(H)(ii)(a)), including 
     any person who performs foreign labor recruiting activity 
     wholly outside of the United States. Such term does not 
     include any entity of the United States Government or an 
     employer, or employee of an employer, who engages in foreign 
     labor recruiting activity solely to find employees for that 
     employer's own use, and without the participation of any 
     other foreign labor recruiter.
       (2) Foreign labor recruiting activity.--The term ``foreign 
     labor recruiting activity'' means recruiting, soliciting, or 
     related activities with respect to an individual who resides 
     outside of the United States in furtherance of employment in 
     the United States, including when such activity occurs wholly 
     outside of the United States.
       (3) Recruitment fees.--The term ``recruitment fees'' has 
     the meaning given to such term under section 22.1702 of title 
     22 of the Code of Federal Regulations, as in effect on the 
     date of enactment of this Act.
       (4) Person.--The term ``person'' means any natural person 
     or any corporation, company, firm, partnership, joint stock 
     company or association or other organization or entity 
     (whether organized under law or not), including municipal 
     corporations.

      TITLE III--ELECTRONIC VERIFICATION OF EMPLOYMENT ELIGIBILITY

     SEC. 301. ELECTRONIC EMPLOYMENT ELIGIBILITY VERIFICATION 
                   SYSTEM.

       (a) In General.--Chapter 8 of title II of the Immigration 
     and Nationality Act (8 U.S.C. 1321 et seq.) is amended by 
     inserting after section 274D the following:

     ``SEC. 274E. REQUIREMENTS FOR THE ELECTRONIC VERIFICATION OF 
                   EMPLOYMENT ELIGIBILITY.

       ``(a) Employment Eligibility Verification System.--
       ``(1) In general.--The Secretary of Homeland Security 
     (referred to in this section as the `Secretary') shall 
     establish and administer an electronic verification system 
     (referred to in this section as the `System'), patterned on 
     the E-Verify Program described in section 403(a) of the 
     Illegal Immigration Reform and Immigrant Responsibility Act 
     of 1996 (8 U.S.C. 1324a note) (as in effect on the day before 
     the effective date described in section 303(a)(4) of the Farm 
     Workforce Modernization Act of 2019), and using the 
     employment eligibility confirmation system established under 
     section 404 of such Act (8 U.S.C. 1324a note) (as so in 
     effect) as a foundation, through which the Secretary shall--
       ``(A) respond to inquiries made by persons or entities 
     seeking to verify the identity and employment authorization 
     of individuals that such persons or entities seek to hire, or 
     to recruit or refer for a fee, for employment in the United 
     States; and
       ``(B) maintain records of the inquiries that were made, and 
     of verifications provided (or not provided) to such persons 
     or entities as evidence of compliance with the requirements 
     of this section.
       ``(2) Initial response deadline.--The System shall provide 
     confirmation or a tentative nonconfirmation of an 
     individual's identity and employment authorization as soon as 
     practicable, but not later than 3 calendar days after the 
     initial inquiry.
       ``(3) General design and operation of system.--The 
     Secretary shall design and operate the System--
       ``(A) using responsive web design and other technologies to 
     maximize its ease of use and accessibility for users on a 
     variety of electronic devices and screen sizes, and in remote 
     locations;
       ``(B) to maximize the accuracy of responses to inquiries 
     submitted by persons or entities;
       ``(C) to maximize the reliability of the System and to 
     register each instance when the System is unable to receive 
     inquiries;
       ``(D) to protect the privacy and security of the personally 
     identifiable information maintained by or submitted to the 
     System;
       ``(E) to provide direct notification of an inquiry to an 
     individual with respect to whom the inquiry is made, 
     including the results of such inquiry, and information 
     related to the process for challenging the results, in cases 
     in which the individual has established a user account as 
     described in paragraph (4)(B) or an electronic mail address 
     for the individual is submitted by the person or entity at 
     the time the inquiry is made; and
       ``(F) to maintain appropriate administrative, technical, 
     and physical safeguards to prevent misuse of the System and 
     unfair immigration-related employment practices.
       ``(4) Measures to prevent identity theft and other forms of 
     fraud.--To prevent identity theft and other forms of fraud, 
     the Secretary shall design and operate the System with the 
     following attributes:
       ``(A) Photo matching tool.--The System shall display the 
     digital photograph of the individual, if any, that 
     corresponds to the document presented by an individual to 
     establish identity and employment authorization so that the 
     person or entity that makes an inquiry can compare the 
     photograph displayed by the System to the photograph on the 
     document presented by the individual.
       ``(B) Individual monitoring and suspension of identifying 
     information.--The System shall enable individuals to 
     establish user accounts, after authentication of an 
     individual's identity, that would allow an individual to--
       ``(i) confirm the individual's own employment 
     authorization;
       ``(ii) receive electronic notification when the 
     individual's social security account number or other 
     personally identifying information has been submitted to the 
     System;
       ``(iii) monitor the use history of the individual's 
     personally identifying information in the System, including 
     the identities of all persons or entities that have submitted 
     such identifying information to the System, the date of each 
     query run, and the System response for each query run;
       ``(iv) suspend or limit the use of the individual's social 
     security account number or other personally identifying 
     information for purposes of the System; and
       ``(v) provide notice to the Department of Homeland Security 
     of any suspected identity fraud or other improper use of 
     personally identifying information.
       ``(C) Blocking misused social security account numbers.--
       ``(i) In general.--The Secretary, in consultation with the 
     Commissioner of Social Security (referred to in this section 
     as the `Commissioner'), shall develop, after publication in 
     the Federal Register and an opportunity for public comment, a 
     process in which social security account numbers that have 
     been identified to be subject to unusual multiple use in the 
     System or that are otherwise suspected or determined to have 
     been compromised by identity fraud or other misuse, shall be 
     blocked from use in the System unless the individual using 
     such number is able to establish, through secure and fair 
     procedures, that the individual is the legitimate holder of 
     the number.
       ``(ii) Notice.--If the Secretary blocks or suspends a 
     social security account number under this subparagraph, the 
     Secretary shall provide notice to the persons or entities 
     that have made inquiries to the System using such account 
     number that the identity and employment authorization of the 
     individual who provided such account number must be re-
     verified.
       ``(D) Additional identity authentication tool.--The 
     Secretary shall develop, after publication in the Federal 
     Register and an opportunity for public comment, additional 
     security measures to adequately verify the identity of an 
     individual whose identity may not be verified using the photo 
     tool described in subparagraph (A). Such additional security 
     measures--
       ``(i) shall be kept up-to-date with technological advances; 
     and
       ``(ii) shall be designed to provide a high level of 
     certainty with respect to identity authentication.
       ``(E) Child-lock pilot program.--The Secretary, in 
     consultation with the Commissioner, shall establish a 
     reliable, secure program through which parents or legal 
     guardians may suspend or limit the use of the social security 
     account number or other personally identifying

[[Page H10062]]

     information of a minor under their care for purposes of the 
     System. The Secretary may implement the program on a limited 
     pilot basis before making it fully available to all 
     individuals.
       ``(5) Responsibilities of the commissioner of social 
     security.--The Commissioner, in consultation with the 
     Secretary, shall establish a reliable, secure method, which, 
     within the time periods specified in paragraph (2) and 
     subsection (b)(4)(D)(i)(II), compares the name and social 
     security account number provided in an inquiry against such 
     information maintained by the Commissioner in order to 
     validate (or not validate) the information provided by the 
     person or entity with respect to an individual whose identity 
     and employment authorization the person or entity seeks to 
     confirm, the correspondence of the name and number, and 
     whether the individual has presented a social security 
     account number that is not valid for employment. The 
     Commissioner shall not disclose or release social security 
     information (other than such confirmation or nonconfirmation) 
     under the System except as provided under this section.
       ``(6) Responsibilities of the secretary of homeland 
     security.--
       ``(A) In general.--The Secretary of Homeland Security shall 
     establish a reliable, secure method, which, within the time 
     periods specified in paragraph (2) and subsection 
     (b)(4)(D)(i)(II), compares the name and identification or 
     other authorization number (or any other information 
     determined relevant by the Secretary) which are provided in 
     an inquiry against such information maintained or accessed by 
     the Secretary in order to validate (or not validate) the 
     information provided, the correspondence of the name and 
     number, and whether the individual is authorized to be 
     employed in the United States.
       ``(B) Training.--The Secretary shall provide and regularly 
     update training materials on the use of the System for 
     persons and entities making inquiries.
       ``(C) Audit.--The Secretary shall provide for periodic 
     auditing of the System to detect and prevent misuse, 
     discrimination, fraud, and identity theft, to protect privacy 
     and assess System accuracy, and to preserve the integrity and 
     security of the information in the System.
       ``(D) Notice of system changes.--The Secretary shall 
     provide appropriate notification to persons and entities 
     registered in the System of any change made by the Secretary 
     or the Commissioner related to permitted and prohibited 
     documents, and use of the System.
       ``(7) Responsibilities of the secretary of state.--As part 
     of the System, the Secretary of State shall provide to the 
     Secretary of Homeland Security access to passport and visa 
     information as needed to confirm that a passport or passport 
     card presented under subsection (b)(3)(A)(i) confirms the 
     employment authorization and identity of the individual 
     presenting such document, and that a passport, passport card, 
     or visa photograph matches the Secretary of State's records, 
     and shall provide such assistance as the Secretary of 
     Homeland Security may request in order to resolve tentative 
     nonconfirmations or final nonconfirmations relating to such 
     information.
       ``(8) Updating information.--The Commissioner, the 
     Secretary of Homeland Security, and the Secretary of State 
     shall update records in their custody in a manner that 
     promotes maximum accuracy of the System and shall provide a 
     process for the prompt correction of erroneous information, 
     including instances in which it is brought to their attention 
     through the tentative nonconfirmation review process under 
     subsection (b)(4)(D).
       ``(9) Mandatory and voluntary system uses.--
       ``(A) Mandatory users.--Except as otherwise provided under 
     Federal or State law, such as sections 302 and 303 of the 
     Farm Workforce Modernization Act of 2019, nothing in this 
     section shall be construed as requiring the use of the System 
     by any person or entity hiring, recruiting, or referring for 
     a fee, an individual for employment in the United States.
       ``(B) Voluntary users.--Beginning after the date that is 30 
     days after the date on which final rules are published under 
     section 309(a) of the Farm Workforce Modernization Act of 
     2019, a person or entity may use the System on a voluntary 
     basis to seek verification of the identity and employment 
     authorization of individuals the person or entity is hiring, 
     recruiting, or referring for a fee for employment in the 
     United States
       ``(C) Process for non-users.--The employment verification 
     process for any person or entity hiring, recruiting, or 
     referring for a fee, an individual for employment in the 
     United States shall be governed by section 274A(b) unless the 
     person or entity--
       ``(i) is required by Federal or State law to use the 
     System; or
       ``(ii) has opted to use the System voluntarily in 
     accordance with subparagraph (B).
       ``(10) No fee for use.--The Secretary may not charge a fee 
     to an individual, person, or entity related to the use of the 
     System.
       ``(b) New Hires, Recruitment, and Referral.--
     Notwithstanding section 274A(b), the requirements referred to 
     in paragraphs (1)(B) and (3) of section 274A(a) are, in the 
     case of a person or entity that uses the System for the 
     hiring, recruiting, or referring for a fee, an individual for 
     employment in the United States, the following:
       ``(1) Individual attestation of employment authorization.--
     During the period beginning on the date on which an offer of 
     employment is accepted and ending on the date of hire, the 
     individual shall attest, under penalty of perjury on a form 
     designated by the Secretary, that the individual is 
     authorized to be employed in the United States by providing 
     on such form--
       ``(A) the individual's name and date of birth;
       ``(B) the individual's social security account number 
     (unless the individual has applied for and not yet been 
     issued such a number);
       ``(C) whether the individual is--
       ``(i) a citizen or national of the United States;
       ``(ii) an alien lawfully admitted for permanent residence; 
     or
       ``(iii) an alien who is otherwise authorized by the 
     Secretary to be hired, recruited, or referred for employment 
     in the United States; and
       ``(D) if the individual does not attest to United States 
     citizenship or nationality, such identification or other 
     authorization number established by the Department of 
     Homeland Security for the alien as the Secretary may specify.
       ``(2) Employer attestation after examination of 
     documents.--Not later than 3 business days after the date of 
     hire, the person or entity shall attest, under penalty of 
     perjury on the form designated by the Secretary for purposes 
     of paragraph (1), that it has verified that the individual is 
     not an unauthorized alien by--
       ``(A) obtaining from the individual the information 
     described in paragraph (1) and recording such information on 
     the form;
       ``(B) examining--
       ``(i) a document described in paragraph (3)(A); or
       ``(ii) a document described in paragraph (3)(B) and a 
     document described in paragraph (3)(C); and
       ``(C) attesting that the information recorded on the form 
     is consistent with the documents examined.
       ``(3) Acceptable documents.--
       ``(A) Documents establishing employment authorization and 
     identity.--A document described in this subparagraph is an 
     individual's--
       ``(i) United States passport or passport card;
       ``(ii) permanent resident card that contains a photograph;
       ``(iii) foreign passport containing temporary evidence of 
     lawful permanent residence in the form of an official I-551 
     (or successor) stamp from the Department of Homeland Security 
     or a printed notation on a machine-readable immigrant visa;
       ``(iv) unexpired employment authorization card that 
     contains a photograph;
       ``(v) in the case of a nonimmigrant alien authorized to 
     engage in employment for a specific employer incident to 
     status, a foreign passport with Form I-94, Form I-94A, or 
     other documentation as designated by the Secretary specifying 
     the alien's nonimmigrant status as long as such status has 
     not yet expired and the proposed employment is not in 
     conflict with any restrictions or limitations identified in 
     the documentation;
       ``(vi) passport from the Federated States of Micronesia or 
     the Republic of the Marshall Islands with Form I-94, Form I-
     94A, or other documentation as designated by the Secretary, 
     indicating nonimmigrant admission under the Compact of Free 
     Association Between the United States and the Federated 
     States of Micronesia or the Republic of the Marshall Islands; 
     or
       ``(vii) other document designated by the Secretary, by 
     notice published in the Federal Register, if the document--

       ``(I) contains a photograph of the individual, biometric 
     identification data, and other personal identifying 
     information relating to the individual;
       ``(II) is evidence of authorization for employment in the 
     United States; and
       ``(III) contains security features to make it resistant to 
     tampering, counterfeiting, and fraudulent use.

       ``(B) Documents establishing employment authorization.--A 
     document described in this subparagraph is--
       ``(i) an individual's social security account number card 
     (other than such a card which specifies on the face that the 
     issuance of the card does not authorize employment in the 
     United States); or
       ``(ii) a document establishing employment authorization 
     that the Secretary determines, by notice published in the 
     Federal Register, to be acceptable for purposes of this 
     subparagraph, provided that such documentation contains 
     security features to make it resistant to tampering, 
     counterfeiting, and fraudulent use.
       ``(C) Documents establishing identity.--A document 
     described in this subparagraph is--
       ``(i) an individual's driver's license or identification 
     card if it was issued by a State or one of the outlying 
     possessions of the United States and contains a photograph 
     and personal identifying information relating to the 
     individual;
       ``(ii) an individual's unexpired United States military 
     identification card;
       ``(iii) an individual's unexpired Native American tribal 
     identification document issued by a tribal entity recognized 
     by the Bureau of Indian Affairs;
       ``(iv) in the case of an individual under 18 years of age, 
     a parent or legal guardian's attestation under penalty of law 
     as to the identity and age of the individual; or
       ``(v) a document establishing identity that the Secretary 
     determines, by notice published in the Federal Register, to 
     be acceptable for purposes of this subparagraph, if such 
     documentation contains a photograph of the individual, 
     biometric identification data, and other personal identifying 
     information relating to the individual, and security features 
     to make it resistant to tampering, counterfeiting, and 
     fraudulent use.
       ``(D) Authority to prohibit use of certain documents.--If 
     the Secretary finds that any document or class of documents 
     described in subparagraph (A), (B), or (C) does not reliably 
     establish identity or employment authorization or is being 
     used fraudulently to an unacceptable degree, the Secretary 
     may, by notice published in the Federal Register, prohibit or 
     place conditions on the use of such document or class of 
     documents for purposes of this section.
       ``(4) Use of the system to screen identity and employment 
     authorization.--
       ``(A) In general.--In the case of a person or entity that 
     uses the System for the hiring, recruiting, or referring for 
     a fee an individual for

[[Page H10063]]

     employment in the United States, during the period described 
     in subparagraph (B), the person or entity shall submit an 
     inquiry through the System described in subsection (a) to 
     seek verification of the identity and employment 
     authorization of the individual.
       ``(B) Verification period.--
       ``(i) In general.--Except as provided in clause (ii), and 
     subject to subsection (d), the verification period shall 
     begin on the date of hire and end on the date that is 3 
     business days after the date of hire, or such other 
     reasonable period as the Secretary may prescribe.
       ``(ii) Special rule.--In the case of an alien who is 
     authorized to be employed in the United States and who 
     provides evidence from the Social Security Administration 
     that the alien has applied for a social security account 
     number, the verification period shall end 3 business days 
     after the alien receives the social security account number.
       ``(C) Confirmation.--If a person or entity receives 
     confirmation of an individual's identity and employment 
     authorization, the person or entity shall record such 
     confirmation on the form designated by the Secretary for 
     purposes of paragraph (1).
       ``(D) Tentative nonconfirmation.--
       ``(i) In general.--In cases of tentative nonconfirmation, 
     the Secretary shall provide, in consultation with the 
     Commissioner, a process for--

       ``(I) an individual to contest the tentative 
     nonconfirmation not later than 10 business days after the 
     date of the receipt of the notice described in clause (ii); 
     and
       ``(II) the Secretary to issue a confirmation or final 
     nonconfirmation of an individual's identity and employment 
     authorization not later than 30 calendar days after the 
     Secretary receives notice from the individual contesting a 
     tentative nonconfirmation.

       ``(ii) Notice.--If a person or entity receives a tentative 
     nonconfirmation of an individual's identity or employment 
     authorization, the person or entity shall, not later than 3 
     business days after receipt, notify such individual in 
     writing in a language understood by the individual and on a 
     form designated by the Secretary, that shall include a 
     description of the individual's right to contest the 
     tentative nonconfirmation. The person or entity shall attest, 
     under penalty of perjury, that the person or entity provided 
     (or attempted to provide) such notice to the individual, and 
     the individual shall acknowledge receipt of such notice in a 
     manner specified by the Secretary.
       ``(iii) No contest.--

       ``(I) In general.--A tentative nonconfirmation shall become 
     final if, upon receiving the notice described in clause (ii), 
     the individual--

       ``(aa) refuses to acknowledge receipt of such notice;
       ``(bb) acknowledges in writing, in a manner specified by 
     the Secretary, that the individual will not contest the 
     tentative nonconfirmation; or
       ``(cc) fails to contest the tentative nonconfirmation 
     within the 10-business-day period beginning on the date the 
     individual received such notice.

       ``(II) Record of no contest.--The person or entity shall 
     indicate in the System that the individual did not contest 
     the tentative nonconfirmation and shall specify the reason 
     the tentative nonconfirmation became final under subclause 
     (I).
       ``(III) Effect of failure to contest.--An individual's 
     failure to contest a tentative nonconfirmation shall not be 
     considered an admission of any fact with respect to any 
     violation of this Act or any other provision of law.

       ``(iv) Contest.--

       ``(I) In general.--An individual may contest a tentative 
     nonconfirmation by using the tentative nonconfirmation review 
     process under clause (i), not later than 10 business days 
     after receiving the notice described in clause (ii). Except 
     as provided in clause (iii), the nonconfirmation shall remain 
     tentative until a confirmation or final nonconfirmation is 
     provided by the System.
       ``(II) Prohibition on termination.--In no case shall a 
     person or entity terminate employment or take any adverse 
     employment action against an individual for failure to obtain 
     confirmation of the individual's identity and employment 
     authorization until the person or entity receives a notice of 
     final nonconfirmation from the System. Nothing in this 
     subclause shall prohibit an employer from terminating the 
     employment of the individual for any other lawful reason.
       ``(III) Confirmation or final nonconfirmation.--The 
     Secretary, in consultation with the Commissioner, shall issue 
     notice of a confirmation or final nonconfirmation of the 
     individual's identity and employment authorization not later 
     than 30 calendar days after the date the Secretary receives 
     notice from the individual contesting the tentative 
     nonconfirmation.

       ``(E) Final nonconfirmation.--
       ``(i) Notice.--If a person or entity receives a final 
     nonconfirmation of an individual's identity or employment 
     authorization, the person or entity shall, not later than 3 
     business days after receipt, notify such individual of the 
     final nonconfirmation in writing, on a form designated by the 
     Secretary, which shall include information regarding the 
     individual's right to appeal the final nonconfirmation as 
     provided under subparagraph (F). The person or entity shall 
     attest, under penalty of perjury, that the person or entity 
     provided (or attempted to provide) the notice to the 
     individual, and the individual shall acknowledge receipt of 
     such notice in a manner designated by the Secretary.
       ``(ii) Termination or notification of continued 
     employment.--If a person or entity receives a final 
     nonconfirmation regarding an individual, the person or entity 
     may terminate employment of the individual. If the person or 
     entity does not terminate such employment pending appeal of 
     the final nonconfirmation, the person or entity shall notify 
     the Secretary of such fact through the System. Failure to 
     notify the Secretary in accordance with this clause shall be 
     deemed a violation of section 274A(a)(1)(A).
       ``(iii) Presumption of violation for continued 
     employment.--If a person or entity continues to employ an 
     individual after receipt of a final nonconfirmation, there 
     shall be a rebuttable presumption that the person or entity 
     has violated paragraphs (1)(A) and (a)(2) of section 274A(a).
       ``(F) Appeal of final nonconfirmation.--
       ``(i) Administrative appeal.--The Secretary, in 
     consultation with the Commissioner, shall develop a process 
     by which an individual may seek administrative review of a 
     final nonconfirmation. Such process shall--

       ``(I) permit the individual to submit additional evidence 
     establishing identity or employment authorization;
       ``(II) ensure prompt resolution of an appeal (but in no 
     event shall there be a failure to respond to an appeal within 
     30 days); and
       ``(III) permit the Secretary to impose a civil money 
     penalty (not to exceed $500) on an individual upon finding 
     that an appeal was frivolous or filed for purposes of delay.

       ``(ii) Compensation for lost wages resulting from 
     government error or omission.--

       ``(I) In general.--If, upon consideration of an appeal of a 
     final nonconfirmation, the Secretary determines that the 
     final nonconfirmation was issued in error, the Secretary 
     shall further determine whether the final nonconfirmation was 
     the result of government error or omission. If the Secretary 
     determines that the final nonconfirmation was solely the 
     result of government error or omission and the individual was 
     terminated from employment, the Secretary shall compensate 
     the individual for lost wages.
       ``(II) Calculation of lost wages.--Lost wages shall be 
     calculated based on the wage rate and work schedule that were 
     in effect prior to the individual's termination. The 
     individual shall be compensated for lost wages beginning on 
     the first scheduled work day after employment was terminated 
     and ending 90 days after completion of the administrative 
     review process described in this subparagraph or the day the 
     individual is reinstated or obtains other employment, 
     whichever occurs first.
       ``(III) Limitation on compensation.--No compensation for 
     lost wages shall be awarded for any period during which the 
     individual was not authorized for employment in the United 
     States.
       ``(IV) Source of funds.--There is established in the 
     general fund of the Treasury, a separate account which shall 
     be known as the `Electronic Verification Compensation 
     Account'. Fees collected under subsections (f) and (g) shall 
     be deposited in the Electronic Verification Compensation 
     Account and shall remain available for purposes of providing 
     compensation for lost wages under this subclause.

       ``(iii) Judicial review.--Not later than 30 days after the 
     dismissal of an appeal under this subparagraph, an individual 
     may seek judicial review of such dismissal in the United 
     States District Court in the jurisdiction in which the 
     employer resides or conducts business.
       ``(5) Retention of verification records.--
       ``(A) In general.--After completing the form designated by 
     the Secretary in accordance with paragraphs (1) and (2), the 
     person or entity shall retain the form in paper, microfiche, 
     microfilm, electronic, or other format deemed acceptable by 
     the Secretary, and make it available for inspection by 
     officers of the Department of Homeland Security, the 
     Department of Justice, or the Department of Labor during the 
     period beginning on the date the verification is completed 
     and ending on the later of--
       ``(i) the date that is 3 years after the date of hire; or
       ``(ii) the date that is 1 year after the date on which the 
     individual's employment is terminated.
       ``(B) Copying of documentation permitted.--Notwithstanding 
     any other provision of law, a person or entity may copy a 
     document presented by an individual pursuant to this section 
     and may retain the copy, but only for the purpose of 
     complying with the requirements of this section.
       ``(c) Reverification of Previously Hired Individuals.--
       ``(1) Mandatory reverification.--In the case of a person or 
     entity that uses the System for the hiring, recruiting, or 
     referring for a fee an individual for employment in the 
     United States, the person or entity shall submit an inquiry 
     using the System to verify the identity and employment 
     authorization of--
       ``(A) an individual with a limited period of employment 
     authorization, within 3 business days before the date on 
     which such employment authorization expires; and
       ``(B) an individual, not later than 10 days after receiving 
     a notification from the Secretary requiring the verification 
     of such individual pursuant to subsection (a)(4)(C).
       ``(2) Reverification procedures.--The verification 
     procedures under subsection (b) shall apply to 
     reverifications under this subsection, except that employers 
     shall--
       ``(A) use a form designated by the Secretary for purposes 
     of this paragraph; and
       ``(B) retain the form in paper, microfiche, microfilm, 
     electronic, or other format deemed acceptable by the 
     Secretary, and make it available for inspection by officers 
     of the Department of Homeland Security, the Department of 
     Justice, or the Department of Labor during the period 
     beginning on the date the reverification commences and ending 
     on the later of--
       ``(i) the date that is 3 years after the date of 
     reverification; or
       ``(ii) the date that is 1 year after the date on which the 
     individual's employment is terminated.

[[Page H10064]]

       ``(3) Limitation on reverification.--Except as provided in 
     paragraph (1), a person or entity may not otherwise reverify 
     the identity and employment authorization of a current 
     employee, including an employee continuing in employment.
       ``(d) Good Faith Compliance.--
       ``(1) In general.--Except as otherwise provided in this 
     subsection, a person or entity that uses the System is 
     considered to have complied with the requirements of this 
     section notwithstanding a technical failure of the System, or 
     other technical or procedural failure to meet such 
     requirement if there was a good faith attempt to comply with 
     the requirement.
       ``(2) Exception for failure to correct after notice.--
     Paragraph (1) shall not apply if--
       ``(A) the failure is not de minimis;
       ``(B) the Secretary has provided notice to the person or 
     entity of the failure, including an explanation as to why it 
     is not de minimis;
       ``(C) the person or entity has been provided a period of 
     not less than 30 days (beginning after the date of the 
     notice) to correct the failure; and
       ``(D) the person or entity has not corrected the failure 
     voluntarily within such period.
       ``(3) Exception for pattern or practice violators.--
     Paragraph (1) shall not apply to a person or entity that has 
     engaged or is engaging in a pattern or practice of violations 
     of paragraph (1)(A) or (2) of section 274A(a).
       ``(4) Defense.--In the case of a person or entity that uses 
     the System for the hiring, recruiting, or referring for a fee 
     an individual for employment in the United States, the person 
     or entity shall not be liable to a job applicant, an 
     employee, the Federal Government, or a State or local 
     government, under Federal, State, or local criminal or civil 
     law, for any employment-related action taken with respect to 
     an employee in good-faith reliance on information provided by 
     the System. Such person or entity shall be deemed to have 
     established compliance with its obligations under this 
     section, absent a showing by the Secretary, by clear and 
     convincing evidence, that the employer had knowledge that an 
     employee is an unauthorized alien.
       ``(e) Limitations.--
       ``(1) No national identification card.--Nothing in this 
     section shall be construed to authorize, directly or 
     indirectly, the issuance or use of national identification 
     cards or the establishment of a national identification card.
       ``(2) Use of records.--Notwithstanding any other provision 
     of law, nothing in this section shall be construed to permit 
     or allow any department, bureau, or other agency of the 
     United States Government to utilize any information, 
     database, or other records assembled under this section for 
     any purpose other than the verification of identity and 
     employment authorization of an individual or to ensure the 
     secure, appropriate, and non-discriminatory use of the 
     System.
       ``(f) Penalties.--
       ``(1) In general.--Except as provided in this subsection, 
     the provisions of subsections (e) through (g) of section 274A 
     shall apply with respect to compliance with the provisions of 
     this section and penalties for non-compliance for persons or 
     entitles that use the System.
       ``(2) Cease and desist order with civil money penalties for 
     hiring, recruiting, and referral violations.--Notwithstanding 
     the civil money penalties set forth in section 274A(e)(4), 
     with respect to a violation of paragraph (1)(A) or (2) of 
     section 274A(a) by a person or entity that has hired, 
     recruited, or referred for a fee, an individual for 
     employment in the United States, a cease and desist order--
       ``(A) shall require the person or entity to pay a civil 
     penalty in an amount, subject to subsection (d), of--
       ``(i) not less than $2,500 and not more than $5,000 for 
     each unauthorized alien with respect to whom a violation of 
     either such subsection occurred;
       ``(ii) not less than $5,000 and not more than $10,000 for 
     each such alien in the case of a person or entity previously 
     subject to one order under this paragraph; or
       ``(iii) not less than $10,000 and not more than $25,000 for 
     each such alien in the case of a person or entity previously 
     subject to more than one order under this paragraph; and
       ``(B) may require the person or entity to take such other 
     remedial action as appropriate.
       ``(3) Order for civil money penalty for violations.--With 
     respect to a violation of section 274A(a)(1)(B), the order 
     under this paragraph shall require the person or entity to 
     pay a civil penalty in an amount, subject to paragraphs (4), 
     (5), and (6), of not less than $1,000 and not more than 
     $25,000 for each individual with respect to whom such 
     violation occurred. Failure by a person or entity to utilize 
     the System as required by law or providing information to the 
     System that the person or entity knows or reasonably believes 
     to be false, shall be treated as a violation of section 
     274A(a)(1)(A).
       ``(4) Exemption from penalty for good faith violation.--
       ``(A) In general.--A person or entity that uses the System 
     is presumed to have acted with knowledge for purposes of 
     paragraphs (1)(A) and (2) of section 274A(a) if the person or 
     entity fails to make an inquiry to verify the identity and 
     employment authorization of the individual through the 
     System.
       ``(B) Good faith exemption.--In the case of imposition of a 
     civil penalty under paragraph (2)(A) with respect to a 
     violation of paragraph (1)(A) or (2) of section 274A(a) for 
     hiring or continuation of employment or recruitment or 
     referral by a person or entity, and in the case of imposition 
     of a civil penalty under paragraph (3) for a violation of 
     section 274A(a)(1)(B) for hiring or recruitment or referral 
     by a person or entity, the penalty otherwise imposed may be 
     waived or reduced if the person or entity establishes that 
     the person or entity acted in good faith.
       ``(5) Mitigation elements.--For purposes of paragraphs 
     (2)(A) and (3), when assessing the level of civil money 
     penalties, in addition to the good faith of the person or 
     entity being charged, due consideration shall be given to the 
     size of the business, the seriousness of the violation, 
     whether or not the individual was an unauthorized alien, and 
     the history of previous violations.
       ``(6) Criminal penalty.--Notwithstanding section 274A(f)(1) 
     and the provisions of any other Federal law relating to fine 
     levels, any person or entity that is required to comply with 
     the provisions of this section and that engages in a pattern 
     or practice of violations of paragraph (1) or (2) of section 
     274A(a), shall be fined not more than $5,000 for each 
     unauthorized alien with respect to whom such a violation 
     occurs, imprisoned for not more than 18 months, or both.
       ``(7) Electronic verification compensation account.--Civil 
     money penalties collected under this subsection shall be 
     deposited in the Electronic Verification Compensation Account 
     for the purpose of compensating individuals for lost wages as 
     a result of a final nonconfirmation issued by the System that 
     was based on government error or omission, as set forth in 
     subsection (b)(4)(F)(ii)(IV).
       ``(8) Debarment.--
       ``(A) In general.--If a person or entity is determined by 
     the Secretary to be a repeat violator of paragraph (1)(A) or 
     (2) of section 274A(a) or is convicted of a crime under 
     section 274A, such person or entity may be considered for 
     debarment from the receipt of Federal contracts, grants, or 
     cooperative agreements in accordance with the debarment 
     standards and pursuant to the debarment procedures set forth 
     in the Federal Acquisition Regulation.
       ``(B) No contract, grant, agreement.--If the Secretary or 
     the Attorney General wishes to have a person or entity 
     considered for debarment in accordance with this paragraph, 
     and such a person or entity does not hold a Federal contract, 
     grant or cooperative agreement, the Secretary or Attorney 
     General shall refer the matter to the Administrator of 
     General Services to determine whether to list the person or 
     entity on the List of Parties Excluded from Federal 
     Procurement, and if so, for what duration and under what 
     scope.
       ``(C) Contract, grant, agreement.--If the Secretary or the 
     Attorney General wishes to have a person or entity considered 
     for debarment in accordance with this paragraph, and such 
     person or entity holds a Federal contract, grant, or 
     cooperative agreement, the Secretary or Attorney General 
     shall advise all agencies or departments holding a contract, 
     grant, or cooperative agreement with the person or entity of 
     the Government's interest in having the person or entity 
     considered for debarment, and after soliciting and 
     considering the views of all such agencies and departments, 
     the Secretary or Attorney General may refer the matter to the 
     appropriate lead agency to determine whether to list the 
     person or entity on the List of Parties Excluded from Federal 
     Procurement, and if so, for what duration and under what 
     scope.
       ``(D) Review.--Any decision to debar a person or entity in 
     accordance with this subsection shall be reviewable pursuant 
     to part 9.4 of the Federal Acquisition Regulation.
       ``(9) Preemption.--The provisions of this section preempt 
     any State or local law, ordinance, policy, or rule, including 
     any criminal or civil fine or penalty structure, relating to 
     the hiring, continued employment, or status verification for 
     employment eligibility purposes, of unauthorized aliens, 
     except that a State, locality, municipality, or political 
     subdivision may exercise its authority over business 
     licensing and similar laws as a penalty for failure to use 
     the System as required under this section.
       ``(g) Unfair Immigration-related Employment Practices and 
     the System.--
       ``(1) In general.--In addition to the prohibitions on 
     discrimination set forth in section 274B, it is an unfair 
     immigration-related employment practice for a person or 
     entity, in the course of utilizing the System--
       ``(A) to use the System for screening an applicant prior to 
     the date of hire;
       ``(B) to terminate the employment of an individual or take 
     any adverse employment action with respect to that individual 
     due to a tentative nonconfirmation issued by the System;
       ``(C) to use the System to screen any individual for any 
     purpose other than confirmation of identity and employment 
     authorization as provided in this section;
       ``(D) to use the System to verify the identity and 
     employment authorization of a current employee, including an 
     employee continuing in employment, other than reverification 
     authorized under subsection (c);
       ``(E) to use the System to discriminate based on national 
     origin or citizenship status;
       ``(F) to willfully fail to provide an individual with any 
     notice required under this title;
       ``(G) to require an individual to make an inquiry under the 
     self-verification procedures described in subsection 
     (a)(4)(B) or to provide the results of such an inquiry as a 
     condition of employment, or hiring, recruiting, or referring; 
     or
       ``(H) to terminate the employment of an individual or take 
     any adverse employment action with respect to that individual 
     based upon the need to verify the identity and employment 
     authorization of the individual as required by subsection 
     (b).
       ``(2) Preemployment screening and background check.--
     Nothing in paragraph (1)(A) shall be construed to preclude a 
     preemployment screening or background check that is required 
     or permitted under any other provision of law.
       ``(3) Civil money penalties for discriminatory conduct.--
     Notwithstanding section 274B(g)(2)(B)(iv), the penalties that 
     may be imposed by an administrative law judge with respect to 
     a finding that a person or entity has

[[Page H10065]]

     engaged in an unfair immigration-related employment practice 
     described in paragraph (1) are--
       ``(A) not less than $1,000 and not more than $4,000 for 
     each individual discriminated against;
       ``(B) in the case of a person or entity previously subject 
     to a single order under this paragraph, not less than $4,000 
     and not more than $10,000 for each individual discriminated 
     against; and
       ``(C) in the case of a person or entity previously subject 
     to more than one order under this paragraph, not less than 
     $6,000 and not more than $20,000 for each individual 
     discriminated against.
       ``(4) Electronic verification compensation account.--Civil 
     money penalties collected under this subsection shall be 
     deposited in the Electronic Verification Compensation Account 
     for the purpose of compensating individuals for lost wages as 
     a result of a final nonconfirmation issued by the System that 
     was based on government error or omission, as set forth in 
     subsection (b)(4)(F)(ii)(IV).
       ``(h) Clarification.--All rights and remedies provided 
     under any Federal, State, or local law relating to workplace 
     rights, including but not limited to back pay, are available 
     to an employee despite--
       ``(1) the employee's status as an unauthorized alien during 
     or after the period of employment; or
       ``(2) the employer's or employee's failure to comply with 
     the requirements of this section.
       ``(i) Definition.--In this section, the term `date of hire' 
     means the date on which employment for pay or other 
     remuneration commences.''.
       (b) Conforming Amendment.--The table of contents for the 
     Immigration and Nationality Act is amended by inserting after 
     the item relating to section 274D the following:

``Sec. 274E. Requirements for the electronic verification of employment 
              eligibility.''.

     SEC. 302. MANDATORY ELECTRONIC VERIFICATION FOR THE 
                   AGRICULTURAL INDUSTRY.

       (a) In General.--The requirements for the electronic 
     verification of identity and employment authorization 
     described in section 274E of the Immigration and Nationality 
     Act, as inserted by section 301 of this Act, shall apply to a 
     person or entity hiring, recruiting, or referring for a fee 
     an individual for agricultural employment in the United 
     States in accordance with the effective dates set forth in 
     subsection (b).
       (b) Effective Dates.--
       (1) Hiring.--Subsection (a) shall apply to a person or 
     entity hiring an individual for agricultural employment in 
     the United States as follows:
       (A) With respect to employers having 500 or more employees 
     in the United States on the date of the enactment of this 
     Act, on the date that is 6 months after completion of the 
     application period described in section 101(c).
       (B) With respect to employers having 100 or more employees 
     in the United States (but less than 500 such employees) on 
     the date of the enactment of this Act, on the date that is 9 
     months after completion of the application period described 
     in section 101(c).
       (C) With respect to employers having 20 or more employees 
     in the United States (but less than 100 such employees) on 
     the date of the enactment of this Act, on the date that is 12 
     months after completion of the application period described 
     in section 101(c).
       (D) With respect to employers having 1 or more employees in 
     the United States, (but less than 20 such employees) on the 
     date of the enactment of this Act, on the date that is 15 
     months after completion of the application period described 
     in section 101(c).
       (2) Recruiting and referring for a fee.--Subsection (a) 
     shall apply to a person or entity recruiting or referring for 
     a fee an individual for agricultural employment in the United 
     States on the date that is 12 months after completion of the 
     application period described in section 101(c).
       (3) Transition rule.--Except as required under subtitle A 
     of title IV of the Illegal Immigration Reform and Immigrant 
     Responsibility Act of 1996 (8 U.S.C. 1324a note) (as in 
     effect on the day before the effective date described in 
     section 303(a)(4)), Executive Order 13465 (8 U.S.C. 1324a 
     note; relating to Government procurement), or any State law 
     requiring persons or entities to use the E-Verify Program 
     described in section 403(a) of the Illegal Immigration Reform 
     and Immigrant Responsibility Act of 1996 (8 U.S.C. 1324a 
     note) (as in effect on the day before the effective date 
     described in section 303(a)(4)), sections 274A and 274B of 
     the Immigration and Nationality Act (8 U.S.C. 1324a and 
     1324b) shall apply to a person or entity hiring, recruiting, 
     or referring an individual for employment in the United 
     States until the applicable effective date under this 
     subsection.
       (4) E-Verify voluntary users and others desiring early 
     compliance.--Nothing in this subsection shall be construed to 
     prohibit persons or entities, including persons or entities 
     that have voluntarily elected to participate in the E-Verify 
     Program described in section 403(a) of the Illegal 
     Immigration Reform and Immigrant Responsibility Act of 1996 
     (8 U.S.C. 1324a note) (as in effect on the day before the 
     effective date described in section 303(a)(4)), from seeking 
     early compliance on a voluntary basis.
       (c) Rural Access to Assistance for Tentative 
     Nonconfirmation Review Process.--
       (1) In general.--The Secretary of Homeland Security shall 
     coordinate with the Secretary of Agriculture, in consultation 
     with the Commissioner of Social Security, to create a process 
     for individuals to seek assistance in contesting a tentative 
     nonconfirmation as described in section 274E(b)(4)(D) of the 
     Immigration and Nationality Act, as inserted by section 301 
     of this Act, at local offices or service centers of the U.S. 
     Department of Agriculture.
       (2) Staffing and resources.--The Secretary of Homeland 
     Security and Secretary of Agriculture shall ensure that local 
     offices and service centers of the U.S. Department of 
     Agriculture are staffed appropriately and have the resources 
     necessary to provide information and support to individuals 
     seeking the assistance described in paragraph (1), including 
     by facilitating communication between such individuals and 
     the Department of Homeland Security or the Social Security 
     Administration.
       (3) Clarification.--Nothing in this subsection shall be 
     construed to delegate authority or transfer responsibility 
     for reviewing and resolving tentative nonconfirmations from 
     the Secretary of Homeland Security and the Commissioner of 
     Social Security to the Secretary of Agriculture.
       (d) Document Establishing Employment Authorization and 
     Identity.--In accordance with section 274E(b)(3)(A)(vii) of 
     the Immigration and Nationality Act, as inserted by section 
     301 of this Act, and not later than 12 months after the 
     completion of the application period described in section 
     101(c) of this Act, the Secretary of Homeland Security shall 
     recognize documentary evidence of certified agricultural 
     worker status described in section 102(a)(2) of this Act as 
     valid proof of employment authorization and identity for 
     purposes of section 274E(b)(3)(A) of the Immigration and 
     Nationality Act, as inserted by section 301 of this Act.
       (e) Agricultural Employment.--For purposes of this section, 
     the term ``agricultural employment'' means agricultural labor 
     or services, as defined by section 101(a)(15)(H)(ii) of the 
     Immigration and Nationality Act (8 U.S.C. 
     1101(a)(15)(H)(ii)), as amended by this Act.

     SEC. 303. COORDINATION WITH E-VERIFY PROGRAM.

       (a) Repeal.--
       (1) In general.--Subtitle A of title IV of the Illegal 
     Immigration Reform and Immigrant Responsibility Act of 1996 
     (8 U.S.C. 1324a note) is repealed.
       (2) Clerical amendment.--The table of sections, in section 
     1(d) of the Illegal Immigration Reform and Immigrant 
     Responsibility Act of 1996, is amended by striking the items 
     relating to subtitle A of title IV.
       (3) References.--Any reference in any Federal, State, or 
     local law, Executive order, rule, regulation, or delegation 
     of authority, or any document of, or pertaining to, the 
     Department of Homeland Security, Department of Justice, or 
     the Social Security Administration, to the E-Verify Program 
     described in section 403(a) of the Illegal Immigration Reform 
     and Immigrant Responsibility Act of 1996 (8 U.S.C. 1324a 
     note), or to the employment eligibility confirmation system 
     established under section 404 of the Illegal Immigration 
     Reform and Immigrant Responsibility Act of 1996 (8 U.S.C. 
     1324a note), is deemed to refer to the employment eligibility 
     confirmation system established under section 274E of the 
     Immigration and Nationality Act, as inserted by section 301 
     of this Act.
       (4) Effective date.--This subsection, and the amendments 
     made by this subsection, shall take effect on the date that 
     is 30 days after the date on which final rules are published 
     under section 309(a).
       (b) Former E-Verify Mandatory Users, Including Federal 
     Contractors.--Beginning on the effective date in subsection 
     (a)(4), the Secretary of Homeland Security shall require 
     employers required to participate in the E-Verify Program 
     described in section 403(a) of the Illegal Immigration Reform 
     and Immigrant Responsibility Act of 1996 (8 U.S.C. 1324a 
     note) by reason of any Federal, State, or local law, 
     Executive order, rule, regulation, or delegation of 
     authority, including employers required to participate in 
     such program by reason of Federal acquisition laws (and 
     regulations promulgated under those laws, including the 
     Federal Acquisition Regulation), to comply with the 
     requirements of section 274E of the Immigration and 
     Nationality Act, as inserted by section 301 of this Act (and 
     any additional requirements of such Federal acquisition laws 
     and regulation) in lieu of any requirement to participate in 
     the E-Verify Program.
       (c) Former E-Verify Voluntary Users.--Beginning on the 
     effective date in subsection (a)(4), the Secretary of 
     Homeland Security shall provide for the voluntary compliance 
     with the requirements of section 274E of the Immigration and 
     Nationality Act, as inserted by section 301 of this Act, by 
     employers voluntarily electing to participate in the E-Verify 
     Program described in section 403(a) of the Illegal 
     Immigration Reform and Immigrant Responsibility Act of 1996 
     (8 U.S.C. 1324a note) before such date.

     SEC. 304. FRAUD AND MISUSE OF DOCUMENTS.

       Section 1546(b) of title 18, United States Code, is 
     amended--
       (1) in paragraph (1), by striking ``identification 
     document,'' and inserting ``identification document or 
     document meant to establish employment authorization,'';
       (2) in paragraph (2), by striking ``identification 
     document'' and inserting ``identification document or 
     document meant to establish employment authorization,''; and
       (3) in the matter following paragraph (3) by inserting ``or 
     section 274E(b)'' after ``section 274A(b)''.

     SEC. 305. TECHNICAL AND CONFORMING AMENDMENTS.

       (a) Unlawful Employment of Aliens.--Section 274A of the 
     Immigration and Nationality Act (8 U.S.C. 1324a) is amended--
       (1) in paragraph (1)(B)(ii) of subsection (a), by striking 
     ``subsection (b).'' and inserting ``section 274B.''; and
       (2) in the matter preceding paragraph (1) of subsection 
     (b), by striking ``The requirements referred'' and inserting 
     ``Except as provided in section 274E, the requirements 
     referred''.

[[Page H10066]]

       (b) Unfair Immigration-related Employment Practices.--
     Section 274B(a)(1) of the Immigration and Nationality Act (8 
     U.S.C. 1324b(a)(1)) is amended in the matter preceding 
     subparagraph (A), by inserting ``including misuse of the 
     verification system as described in section 274E(g)'' after 
     ``referral for a fee,''.

     SEC. 306. PROTECTION OF SOCIAL SECURITY ADMINISTRATION 
                   PROGRAMS.

       (a) Funding Under Agreement.--Effective for fiscal years 
     beginning on or after October 1, 2019, the Commissioner and 
     the Secretary shall ensure that an agreement is in place 
     which shall--
       (1) provide funds to the Commissioner for the full costs of 
     the responsibilities of the Commissioner with respect to 
     employment eligibility verification, including under this 
     title and the amendments made by this title, and including--
       (A) acquiring, installing, and maintaining technological 
     equipment and systems necessary for the fulfillment of such 
     responsibilities, but only that portion of such costs that 
     are attributable exclusively to such responsibilities; and
       (B) responding to individuals who contest a tentative 
     nonconfirmation or administratively appeal a final 
     nonconfirmation provided with respect to employment 
     eligibility verification;
       (2) provide such funds annually in advance of the 
     applicable quarter based on an estimating methodology agreed 
     to by the Commissioner and the Secretary (except in such 
     instances where the delayed enactment of an annual 
     appropriation may preclude such quarterly payments); and
       (3) require an annual accounting and reconciliation of the 
     actual costs incurred and the funds provided under the 
     agreement, which shall be reviewed by the Inspectors General 
     of the Social Security Administration and the Department of 
     Homeland Security.
       (b) Continuation of Employment Verification in Absence of 
     Timely Agreement.--In any case in which the agreement 
     required under subsection (a) for any fiscal year beginning 
     on or after October 1, 2019, has not been reached as of 
     October 1 of such fiscal year, the latest agreement described 
     in such subsection shall be deemed in effect on an interim 
     basis for such fiscal year until such time as an agreement 
     required under subsection (a) is subsequently reached, except 
     that the terms of such interim agreement shall be modified to 
     adjust for inflation and any increase or decrease in the 
     volume of requests under the employment eligibility 
     verification system. In any case in which an interim 
     agreement applies for any fiscal year under this subsection, 
     the Commissioner and the Secretary shall, not later than 
     October 1 of such fiscal year, notify the Committee on Ways 
     and Means, the Committee on the Judiciary, and the Committee 
     on Appropriations of the House of Representatives and the 
     Committee on Finance, the Committee on the Judiciary, and the 
     Committee on Appropriations of the Senate of the failure to 
     reach the agreement required under subsection (a) for such 
     fiscal year. Until such time as the agreement required under 
     subsection (a) has been reached for such fiscal year, the 
     Commissioner and the Secretary shall, not later than the end 
     of each 90-day period after October 1 of such fiscal year, 
     notify such Committees of the status of negotiations between 
     the Commissioner and the Secretary in order to reach such an 
     agreement.

     SEC. 307. REPORT ON THE IMPLEMENTATION OF THE ELECTRONIC 
                   EMPLOYMENT VERIFICATION SYSTEM.

       Not later than 24 months after the date on which final 
     rules are published under section 309(a), and annually 
     thereafter, the Secretary shall submit to Congress a report 
     that includes the following:
       (1) An assessment of the accuracy rates of the responses of 
     the electronic employment verification system established 
     under section 274E of the Immigration and Nationality Act, as 
     inserted by section 301 of this Act (referred to in this 
     section as the ``System''), including tentative and final 
     nonconfirmation notices issued to employment-authorized 
     individuals and confirmation notices issued to individuals 
     who are not employment-authorized.
       (2) An assessment of any challenges faced by persons or 
     entities (including small employers) in utilizing the System.
       (3) An assessment of any challenges faced by employment-
     authorized individuals who are issued tentative or final 
     nonconfirmation notices.
       (4) An assessment of the incidence of unfair immigration-
     related employment practices, as described in section 274E(g) 
     of the Immigration and Nationality Act, as inserted by 
     section 301 of this Act, related to the use of the System.
       (5) An assessment of the photo matching and other identity 
     authentication tools, as described in section 274E(a)(4) of 
     the Immigration and Nationality Act, as inserted by section 
     301 of this Act, including--
       (A) an assessment of the accuracy rates of such tools;
       (B) an assessment of the effectiveness of such tools at 
     preventing identity fraud and other misuse of identifying 
     information;
       (C) an assessment of any challenges faced by persons, 
     entities, or individuals utilizing such tools; and
       (D) an assessment of operation and maintenance costs 
     associated with such tools.
       (6) A summary of the activities and findings of the U.S. 
     Citizenship and Immigrations Services E-Verify Monitoring and 
     Compliance Branch, or any successor office, including--
       (A) the number, types and outcomes of audits, 
     investigations, and other compliance activities initiated by 
     the Branch in the previous year;
       (B) the capacity of the Branch to detect and prevent 
     violations of section 274E(g) of the Immigration and 
     Nationality Act, as inserted by this Act; and
       (C) an assessment of the degree to which persons and 
     entities misuse the System, including--
       (i) use of the System before an individual's date of hire;
       (ii) failure to provide required notifications to 
     individuals;
       (iii) use of the System to interfere with or otherwise 
     impede individuals' assertions of their rights under other 
     laws; and
       (iv) use of the System for unauthorized purposes; and
       (7) An assessment of the impact of implementation of the 
     System in the agricultural industry and the use of the 
     verification system in agricultural industry hiring and 
     business practices.

     SEC. 308. MODERNIZING AND STREAMLINING THE EMPLOYMENT 
                   ELIGIBILITY VERIFICATION PROCESS.

       Not later than 12 months after the date of the enactment of 
     this Act, the Secretary, in consultation with the 
     Commissioner, shall submit to Congress a plan to modernize 
     and streamline the employment eligibility verification 
     process that shall include--
       (1) procedures to allow persons and entities to verify the 
     identity and employment authorization of newly hired 
     individuals where the in-person, physical examination of 
     identity and employment authorization documents is not 
     practicable;
       (2) a proposal to create a simplified employment 
     verification process that allows employers that utilize the 
     employment eligibility verification system established under 
     section 274E of the Immigration and Nationality Act, as 
     inserted by section 301 of this Act, to verify the identity 
     and employment authorization of individuals without also 
     having to complete and retain Form I-9, Employment 
     Eligibility Verification, or any subsequent replacement form; 
     and
       (3) any other proposal that the Secretary determines would 
     simplify the employment eligibility verification process 
     without compromising the integrity or security of the system.

     SEC. 309. RULEMAKING AND PAPERWORK REDUCTION ACT.

       (a) In General.--Not later than 180 days prior to the end 
     of the application period defined in section 101(c) of this 
     Act, the Secretary shall publish in the Federal Register 
     proposed rules implementing this title and the amendments 
     made by this title. The Secretary shall finalize such rules 
     not later than 180 days after the date of publication.
       (b) Paperwork Reduction Act.--
       (1) In general.--The requirements under chapter 35 of title 
     44, United States Code, (commonly known as the ``Paperwork 
     Reduction Act'') shall apply to any action to implement this 
     title or the amendments made by this title.
       (2) Electronic forms.--All forms designated or established 
     by the Secretary that are necessary to implement this title 
     and the amendments made by this title shall be made available 
     in paper and electronic formats, and shall be designed in 
     such a manner to facilitate electronic completion, storage, 
     and transmittal.
       (3) Limitation on use of forms.--All forms designated or 
     established by the Secretary that are necessary to implement 
     this title, and the amendments made by this title, and any 
     information contained in or appended to such forms, may not 
     be used for purposes other than for enforcement of this Act 
     and any other provision of Federal criminal law.

  The SPEAKER pro tempore. The bill, as amended, shall be debatable for 
1 hour equally divided and controlled by the chair and ranking minority 
member of the Committee on the Judiciary.
  The gentleman from New York (Mr. Nadler) and the gentleman from 
Colorado (Mr. Buck) each will control 30 minutes.
  The Chair recognizes the gentleman from New York.


                             General Leave

  Mr. NADLER. Mr. Speaker, I ask unanimous consent that all Members may 
have 5 legislative days in which to revise and extend their remarks and 
insert extraneous material on H.R. 5038.
  The SPEAKER pro tempore. Is there objection to the request of the 
gentleman from New York?
  There was no objection.
  Mr. NADLER. Mr. Speaker, I yield myself 3 minutes.
  Mr. Speaker, H.R. 5038, the Farm Workforce Modernization Act, is 
vital legislation that will address an issue of critical national 
importance: the growing labor challenges damaging the American 
agricultural sector.
  Solving this issue is crucial not only from an economic standpoint, 
but, also, it is a matter of national security. The less we grow our 
own food, the more dependent we become on food imports and the more 
vulnerable we become to food contamination, epidemics, fluctuating 
market prices, and increased national debt.
  Today, food imports account for approximately 32 percent of the fresh 
vegetables and 55 percent of the fresh fruit that we consume.

                              {time}  1445

  Systemic labor challenges are one of the main reasons for this 
increase in agricultural imports.
  The United States has seen a continuing decline in the number of 
family farmworkers and fewer U.S. workers

[[Page H10067]]

are turning to farm work as their chosen pursuit. As a result, most of 
today's hired farm laborers are foreign-born.
  Unfortunately, our immigration laws have not been updated to reflect 
the needs of our 21st century economy. Due in large part to these 
outdated laws, undocumented workers now comprise about half of the farm 
workforce, but they are living and working in a state of uncertainty 
and fear, which contributes to the destabilization of farms across the 
Nation.
  H.R. 5038 addresses these challenges head-on. The bill provides 
temporary status to current farmworkers with an optional path to a 
green card for those who continue to work in agriculture. The bill also 
addresses the Nation's future labor needs by modernizing the H-2A 
temporary visa program while ensuring fair wages and workplace 
conditions for all farmworkers.
  We have seen many attempts to solve this issue through legislation 
while I have been in Congress. I am pleased that today, we finally have 
a bipartisan, balanced solution, one that we should all be able to 
support.
  This bill is a victory for farmers who have struggled with persistent 
labor challenges for decades. It is also a victory for farmworkers, who 
have worked tirelessly to grow and harvest food for our Nation without 
proper labor protections or any guarantee that they can remain in this 
country. No acceptable solution can fail to deal with this reality.
  That is why H.R. 5038 is the right solution. I hope my colleagues 
will find the courage to vote today in favor of providing a seat at 
America's table for those who are responsible for providing the food 
that we serve on all our tables.
  I thank the gentlewoman from California (Ms. Lofgren), my friend and 
colleague, and the chair of the Immigration Subcommittee, for her 
leadership and steadfast commitment to the bipartisan process that led 
to today's vote on the Farm Workforce Modernization Act, and I urge all 
of my colleagues to do what is right and to support this bill.
  Mr. Speaker, I reserve the balance of my time.
                                         House of Representatives,


                                  Committee on Ways and Means,

                                 Washington, DC, December 9, 2019.
     Hon. Jerrold Nadler,
     Chairman, Committee on the Judiciary,
     Washington, DC.
       Dear Chairman Nadler: In recognition of the desire to 
     expedite consideration of H.R. 5038, the ``Farm Workforce 
     Modernization Act of 2019,'' the Committee on Ways and Means 
     agrees to waive formal consideration of the bill as to 
     provisions that fall within the rule X jurisdiction of the 
     Committee on Ways and Means.
       The Committee on Ways and Means takes this action with the 
     mutual understanding that we do not waive any jurisdiction 
     over the subject matter contained in this or similar 
     legislation, and the Committee will be appropriately 
     consulted and involved as the bill or similar legislation 
     moves forward so that we may address any remaining issues 
     within our jurisdiction. The Committee also reserves the 
     right to seek appointment of an appropriate number of 
     conferees to any House-Senate conference involving this or 
     similar legislation.
       Finally, I would appreciate your response to this letter 
     confirming this understanding and would ask that a copy of 
     our exchange of letter on this matter be included in the 
     Congressional Record during floor consideration of H.R. 5038.
           Sincerely,
                                                  Richard E. Neal,
     Chairman.
                                  ____

                                         House of Representatives,


                                   Committee on the Judiciary,

                                Washington, DC, December 10, 2019.
     Hon. Richard Neal,
     Chairman, Committee on Ways and Means,
     House of Representatives, Washington, DC.
       Dear Chairman Neal: I am writing to acknowledge your letter 
     dated December 9, 2019 responding to our request to your 
     Committee that it waive any jurisdictional claims over the 
     matters contained in H.R. 5038, the ``Farm Workforce 
     Modernization Act of 2019,'' that fall within your 
     Committee's Rule X jurisdiction. The Committee on the 
     Judiciary confirms our mutual understanding that your 
     Committee does not waive any jurisdiction over the subject 
     matter contained in this or similar legislation, and your 
     Committee will be appropriately consulted and involved as the 
     bill or similar legislation moves forward so that we may 
     address any remaining issues within your Committee's 
     jurisdiction.
       I will ensure that this exchange of letters is included in 
     the Congressional Record during floor consideration of the 
     bill. I appreciate your cooperation regarding this 
     legislation and look forward to continuing to work with you 
     as this measure moves through the legislative process.
           Sincerely,
                                                   Jerrold Nadler,
     Chairman.
                                  ____

                                         House of Representatives,


                              Committee on Financial Services,

                                 Washington, DC, December 9, 2019.
     Hon. Jerrold Nadler,
     Chairman, Committee on the Judiciary,
     Washington, DC.
       Dear Mr. Chairman: I am writing concerning H.R. 5038, the 
     ``Farm Workforce Modernization Act of 2019.'' After reviewing 
     the provisions in H.R. 5038 that fall within the Committee's 
     jurisdiction, I agree to forgo formal consideration of the 
     bill so that it may proceed expeditiously to the House Floor.
       The Committee on Financial Services takes this action to 
     forego formal consideration of H.R. 5038 with our mutual 
     understanding that, by foregoing formal consideration of H.R. 
     5038 at this time, the Committee does not waive any 
     jurisdiction over the subject matter contained in this or 
     similar legislation, and that our Committee will be 
     appropriately consulted and involved as this, or similar, 
     legislation moves forward. Our Committee also reserves the 
     right to seek appointment of an appropriate number of 
     conferees to any House-Senate conference involving this, or 
     similar, legislation and request your support for any such 
     request.
       I would appreciate your response to this letter confirming 
     this understanding, and, I would also ask that a copy of our 
     exchange of letters on this matter be included in the 
     Congressional Record during Floor consideration of H.R. 5038.
           Sincerely,
                                                    Maxine Waters,
     Chairwoman.
                                  ____

                                         House of Representatives,


                                   Committee on the Judiciary,

                                Washington, DC, December 10, 2019.
     Hon. Maxine Waters,
     Chairwoman, Committee on Financial Services,
     House of Representatives, Washington, DC.
       Dear Chairwoman Waters: I am writing to acknowledge your 
     letter dated December 9, 2019 responding to our request to 
     your Committee that it waive any jurisdictional claims over 
     the matters contained in H.R. 5038, the ``Farm Workforce 
     Modernization Act of 2019,'' that fall within your 
     Committee's Rule X jurisdiction. The Committee on the 
     Judiciary confirms our mutual understanding that your 
     Committee does not waive any jurisdiction over the subject 
     matter contained in this or similar legislation, and your 
     Committee will be appropriately consulted and involved as the 
     bill or similar legislation moves forward so that we may 
     address any remaining issues within your Committee's 
     jurisdiction.
       I will ensure that this exchange of letters is included in 
     the Congressional Record during floor consideration of the 
     bill. I appreciate your cooperation regarding this 
     legislation and look forward to continuing to work with you 
     as this measure moves through the legislative process.
           Sincerely,
                                                   Jerrold Nadler,
                                                         Chairman.

  Mr. NADLER. Mr. Speaker, I ask for unanimous consent that the 
gentlewoman from California (Ms. Lofgren) control the remainder of the 
time on the majority side.
  The SPEAKER pro tempore (Mr. Costa). Is there objection to the 
request of the gentleman from New York?
  There was no objection.
  Mr. BUCK. Mr. Speaker, I yield myself such time as I may consume.
  I rise to discuss the Farm Workforce Modernization Act this 
afternoon.
  As I said during last month's Committee on the Judiciary markup, this 
is an issue that is of great importance to me and to my district in 
eastern Colorado. Colorado is home to one of the largest agricultural 
economies in the country. I like to remind my colleagues, we have some 
of the best melons in the world in southeast Colorado, and no one 
bypasses a good Colorado steak, but to get this food to the table, our 
farmers and ranchers need help.
  I have heard countless times how our farmers struggle to find 
reliable workers to plant and harvest crops. As we said during our 
committee markup, my Republican colleagues and I are committed to 
crafting a solution that ensures our Nation's agricultural employers 
have a stable labor supply.
  I appreciate my friends' work to solve a clear problem, especially 
Chairperson Lofgren, Representative Newhouse, Representative Panetta, 
Representative LaMalfa, and many other Members. I appreciate their 
efforts to craft a solution that gives our agricultural employers the 
labor, supply, and resources they need to keep America the world's 
breadbasket. But this bill before us today is not the answer.
  My colleagues will tell you how they have taken our concerns to heart 
and

[[Page H10068]]

have worked to make the bill better, but this bill is still the same 
fundamentally flawed bill that came before us in the Committee on the 
Judiciary a few weeks ago. What is worse is that House leadership put 
this bill on the floor under a closed rule without an amendment 
process. There are a number of problems with the bill that a rigorous 
debate and thoughtful amendments could address, but that will not be 
happening today.
  Most notably, we don't have the slightest idea of how many 
individuals this bill will put on a pathway to citizenship. And while I 
would like to think that all of our agricultural workers are 
trustworthy, good people, we don't have any way to verify that before 
granting certified agricultural work status.
  The chairperson will assert that aliens seeking status under the bill 
will need to have a clean record in order to be put on a pathway to 
citizenship, but this simply is not true. H.R. 5038 allows an illegal 
alien to receive certified agricultural worker status and get on a 
pathway to citizenship even if they have been convicted of two crimes 
involving moral turpitude, controlled substance violations, or if they 
were involved in prostitution or trafficking. The bill also permits an 
individual to receive status after being convicted of two misdemeanors 
with a third conviction pending.
  We saw the Democrats vote down an amendment from Representative 
Chabot that would have made an alien ineligible for amnesty if they are 
charged with two DUI's or one DUI with an injury. You can't tell me 
that you are serious about ensuring only people with clean records take 
advantage of this system if you reject amendments that bar criminals 
from taking advantage of our system.
  Additionally, H.R. 5038 allows individuals to apply for legal status 
and a work permit, which is not limited to agricultural industries, 
with little more than an affidavit claiming that the individual worked 
unlawfully in this country for 1,035 hours or 180 workdays over the 
past 2 years. This means applicants will have worked less than 6 hours 
per day for less than 4 months over a 2-year period.
  I appreciate that my colleagues heard my concerns and changed the 
overall standard for petitioning to a higher standard preponderance of 
evidence; however, the underlying provisions haven't changed. The bill 
still allows an individual petitioning for status to meet that 
preponderance burden by providing documents, including their own 
affidavit of work history as long as those documents meet a just and 
reasonable inference standard.
  Let me remind everyone here that existing case law finds that just 
and reasonable inference standard essentially requires adjudicators to 
accept a petition based on nothing more than an individual's word. This 
is the same evidentiary standard unsuccessfully used in the 1986 
special agricultural worker legalization bill, which led to widespread 
fraud, and even amnesty, for one of the World Trade Center bombers. He 
wasn't an agricultural worker at all, but a taxi driver in New York 
City.
  Unfortunately, while I appreciate the chairperson's effort to work 
with me here, this change won't solve these problems. My friends on the 
other side of the aisle also rejected Representative Armstrong's 
amendment that would specify that certified agricultural workers would 
only be eligible to work in agriculture. While the individual may 
receive status as an agricultural worker, there is no guarantee that 
they won't immediately find a job in another industry as soon as 
possible.
  Additionally, the bill does nothing to stop potential Social Security 
fraud. Individuals who have been fraudulently using a valid Social 
Security number, sometimes for many years, to obtain a work status and 
benefits, will get off without even so much as a slap on the wrist.
  Furthermore, this bill fails our adjudicators at USCIS by preventing 
them from accessing the most comprehensive background check databases 
when determining whether an applicant for certified agricultural worker 
status poses a public safety risk. We need to ensure our investigators 
have all the information they need to ensure that we are not allowing 
felons and violent individuals to remain in the country.
  The bill also provides a handout to the trial attorneys and presents 
an increased risk of litigation for agricultural employers by giving H-
2A workers a Federal private right of action. This provision ignores 
the current H-2A program's existing administrative process to address 
employment claims and fails to provide employers the opportunity to 
cure violations before a suit may go forward. This is fundamentally 
unfair to the hardworking farmers, growers, and ranchers who care about 
their employees.
  I ask my colleagues: Would you prefer having the problem fixed or you 
just want to give trial attorneys another opportunity to sue?
  Finally, the bill fails to achieve the desired results on a number of 
provisions that have the potential to truly help our agricultural 
employers. The authors promised to streamline the application process, 
address wage problems, and provide year-round industries a lasting 
labor solution. The bill streamlines data entry for H-2A applications 
but does nothing to encourage concurrent agency review of H-2A 
applications. This essentially speeds up data entry but keeps the 
adjudication process exactly the same.
  I appreciate that my colleagues codified H-2A procedures and included 
a pool of 20,000 visas for year-round industries, including dairy 
farmers and sheep and goat herders, but this falls far short of 
industry's needs and fails to fix the problematic version of existing 
law.
  Once again, I am glad that my colleagues are trying to solve this 
problem. I truly want to support the farmers, growers, dairymen, and 
ranchers in my district and throughout the country. We need to find a 
solution that ensures our agricultural employers have a reliable labor 
pool. My colleagues and I want to strike an Ag labor agreement; 
unfortunately, this bill is fatally flawed, and I must oppose it in its 
current form.
  Mr. Speaker, I reserve the balance of my time.
  Ms. LOFGREN. Mr. Speaker, I yield myself 3 minutes.
  Mr. Speaker, I rise in strong support of this bill today. I am proud 
of the bipartisan work that was done to get us to this point. 
Representatives Newhouse, Simpson, LaMalfa, Diaz-Balart, Upton--so many 
others on the Republican side--here: Panetta, Peterson, Carbajal, Cox, 
Harder, Correa, Costa, Escobar--I better stop because there are more 
people who toiled on this legislation for almost a year.
  Now, it is not always easy to find common ground even when you have a 
common goal, but if you listen to each other, if you work hard, you can 
get it done. We have been several decades in failing to accomplish 
anything in this arena. This is a chance to solve a problem for America 
that needs a solution.
  It is the product of bipartisan negotiation, and I will say, also 
amongst stakeholders. We have the United Farm Workers Union meeting and 
discussing points of concern with growers and farmers all across the 
United States.
  You know, I grew up in a union household, and I was taught to respect 
collective bargaining. And when it comes to wages, hours, and working 
conditions, the union and all those employers had a robust discussion, 
and our bipartisan group decided to respect the work that they put into 
it.
  This bill is a compromise. It is not exactly what I would have 
written, but it does stabilize the workforce. We have farmworkers who 
have been here for a very long time without their papers, living in 
fear, and in some cases, being arrested and deported. We need to allow 
them to get an agricultural worker visa that is temporary and renewable 
so they can do the work we need them to do and that their employers 
need them to do.
  We also need to stabilize the H-2A program, which this bill does. It 
simplifies and it also stabilizes wages. It is a good solution and one 
of the things we have always said--those of us who think the 
immigration laws ought to be reformed--is when you have a workable 
system, you ought to be willing to enforce that system.
  And so what we have in this bill is when these agricultural reforms 
are implemented, we will institute the E-Verify program on the 
agricultural sector. And I think that is the right thing to do.

  Now, the ranking member of the subcommittee has raised a couple of

[[Page H10069]]

issues, and I want to deal with them just briefly. You know, we have 
robust protections against criminality in this bill. And I would like 
to note, that the bars that we have put into this bill are 
substantially more than was in the bill proposed by Representative 
Goodlatte that most Republicans voted for in the last Congress. He 
didn't have anything additional. We do. We have security bars; we have 
criminal bars that are additional.
  The SPEAKER pro tempore. The time of the gentlewoman has expired.
  Ms. LOFGREN. Mr. Speaker, I yield myself an additional 15 seconds.
  Mr. Speaker, any felony conviction, any aggravated felony conviction, 
more than two misdemeanors of any kind, we have the ability in the 
Department of Homeland Security to simply deny the visa if there is any 
concern about the conduct of the applicant.
  Mr. Speaker, this is a good bill. We should support it, and I reserve 
the balance of my time.
  Mr. BUCK. Mr. Speaker, I yield 3 minutes to the gentleman from 
California (Mr. McClintock), my friend.
  Mr. McCLINTOCK. Mr. Speaker, I thank the gentleman for yielding.
  Mr. Speaker, history warns us that nations which either cannot or 
will not secure their borders simply aren't around very long. And if we 
will not enforce our immigration laws, our borders mean nothing. 
America ceases to become a unique nation and simply becomes a vast 
international territory between Canada and Mexico.
  Now, I understand agriculture's need for labor, especially in so 
tight a labor market as our blossoming Trump economy has created. Years 
ago, the Bracero program provided a means for seasonal laborers to come 
to America, be protected under our laws, and provided with a powerful 
incentive to return in the form of a significant financial deposit when 
the season ended, but that program can only work when our immigration 
laws are being uniformly enforced.
  Instead, this bill ignores enforcement and rewards anyone who has 
illegally crossed our borders, both with amnesty and a special path to 
citizenship, as long as they claim to have worked part-time in the 
agriculture sector for the last 2 years.

                              {time}  1500

  It then rewards them with a pathway to citizenship, allowing them to 
cut in line in front of every legal immigrant who has obeyed our laws, 
waited patiently in line, and done everything our country has asked.
  As a practical matter, we can expect claimants will have very little 
or even no scrutiny to the veracity of their claims. We can expect 
that, once achieving amnesty, they will then leave the fields for 
higher-paid employment in direct competition with American workers. And 
we can expect a new wave of illegal immigrants coming here to take 
their places with the full expectation that they too will ultimately be 
rewarded with amnesty and citizenship.
  There is a much better way to resolve this issue. Secure our borders, 
uniformly enforce our immigration laws, and provide foreign seasonal 
labor with the opportunity to work and the incentive to return to their 
countries when that work is done. And if they wish to become American 
citizens, we ask that they follow the law, as millions of legal 
immigrants have done throughout our history.
  Ms. LOFGREN. Mr. Speaker, I would just note that we write the laws, 
and we get to decide who can come and who can't come, and that is what 
this bill does.
  I yield 1 minute to the gentlewoman from Texas (Ms. Jackson Lee), a 
member of the Judiciary Committee.
  Ms. JACKSON LEE. Mr. Speaker, I thank the gentlewoman for her 
leadership. And having been the ranking member of the Immigration and 
Citizenship Subcommittee over the years, I understand the momentous 
task and the excellent work that has been done.
  This bill does what Republicans have always asked: For immigrants to 
work, for people to seek status; it provides status to hardworking 
agricultural workers. It provides them a certified agricultural worker 
status.
  They undergo background checks and pass strict criminal and national 
security bars. They have the opportunity to access the line to 
citizenship. They don't get in front of others. They are protected from 
reckless deportation.
  The industry is protected, the farm industry, the production of food 
is protected.
  I am delighted that my amendment regarding temporary protected status 
that impacts Hondurans, Haitians, and others--and also, as I attempt to 
work on TPS for our Guatemalan friends, this bill ensures the fair way 
to deal with farmworkers.
  It stops the outrage of deportation. It stops the outrage of threat, 
and it does what Cesar Chavez says, that we cannot have achievement and 
forget our progress and prosperity for our community. It honors their 
work.
  I ask my colleagues to support H.R. 5038.
  Mr. Speaker, I rise in strong support of H.R. 5038, the Agricultural 
Worker Program Act.
  This legislation will stabilize the agricultural sector and preserve 
our rural heritage by ensuring that farmers can meet their labor needs 
well into the future.
  First, the bill establishes a program for agricultural workers in the 
United States (and their spouses and minor children) to earn legal 
status through continued agricultural employment.
  Specifically, the bill creates a process for farm workers to seek 
Certified Agricultural Worker status--a temporary status for those who 
have worked at least 180 days in agriculture over the prior 2-year 
period.
  Certified Agricultural Worker status can be renewed indefinitely with 
continued farm work (at least 100 days per year).
  Applicants must undergo background checks and pass strict criminal 
and national security bars.
  Dependent status is available for spouses and minor children.
  The bill does not require workers to do or apply for anything else in 
order to stay and work in the United States.
  But long-term workers who want to stay have the option of earning a 
path to lawful permanent residence by paying a $1,000 fine and engaging 
additional agricultural work, as follows:
  Workers with 10 years of agricultural work prior to the date of 
enactment must complete 4 additional years of such work.
  Workers with less than 10 years of agricultural work prior to the 
date of enactment must complete 8 additional years of such work.
  The Farmworkers movement in this country was started and led by a 
great leader, Cesar Chavez who said, ``We cannot seek achievement for 
ourselves and forget about progress and prosperity for our community. 
Our ambitions must be broad enough to include the aspirations and needs 
of others, for their sakes and for our own.''
  The Texas Farm Workers Union (``TFWU'') was established by Antonio 
Orendain and farmworker leaders of the Rio Grande Valley active with 
the United Farm Workers after a disagreement with UFW leadership over 
direction of a melon strike in south McAllen, TX in 1975.
  In August 1975, nearly ten years after he began organizing farm 
workers for the United Farm Workers in the Rio Grande Valley of South 
Texas.
  Orendain worked for Cesar Chavez in the Chicago UFW national grape 
and lettuce boycott office.
  Farmworkers undertake some of the toughest jobs in America.
  They have earned the opportunity to build their lives without the 
fear of being uprooted from their families and their communities.
  The bipartisan Farm Workforce Modernization Act empowers the economic 
and physical well-being of immigrant families while providing much-
needed labor security for our nation's farms.
  The agricultural industry relies on the labor of 2.4 million 
farmworkers--about half of whom are undocumented.
  This bill would protect thousands of families from deportation.
  With over 60 Democratic and Republican cosponsors, the bill has 
garnered significant bipartisan support.
  This is a big step in making our immigration system more humane and 
more efficient.
  I know the farming and agricultural communities in the state of Texas 
farm and my district borders communities that farm.
  What we are doing here is the right thing and attempting to reinforce 
the breadbasket that the United States happens to be to the world.
  I have heard the clamoring of farm workers for a very long time but I 
have also heard the need for fairness and the improvement of conditions 
that they are working in with adequate compensation.
  This bill regularizes people who want to be regularized and who want 
to contribute to helping the agricultural industry in this great 
nation.
  My amendment which I believe is a positive addition to this 
legislation, to ensure that individuals with Temporary Protected Status

[[Page H10070]]

(TPS) & Deferred Enforced Departure (DED) who are farmworkers are 
eligible to qualify for Certified Agricultural Worker status, and the 
path to legalization and citizenship that is created by the bill.


 AMENDMENT TO THE AMENDMENT IN THE NATURE OF A SUBSTITUTE TO H.R. 5038 
                  OFFERED BY MS. JACKSON LEE OF TEXAS

       Page 3, strike lines 19 through 21 and insert the 
     following:
       (B) on the date of the introduction of this Act--
       (i) is inadmissible or deportable from the United States; 
     or
       (ii) is under a grant of deferred enforced departure or has 
     temporary protected status under section 244 of the 
     Immigration and Nationality Act.

  I would like to thank Congresswoman Lofgren and her team for working 
with our office to insure that this would be a positive way of making 
the point that individuals who are around farming areas can continue to 
do great work.
  I would like to thank the organizations involved in the assisting in 
crafting this amendment, the United Farm Workers, UFW Foundation and 
Farmworker Justice.
  My amendment, and this bill, are about doing the right thing. One 
important goal of this legislation is to recognize the contributions of 
farmworkers to our nation's agricultural success.
  Individuals with TPS, from Haitian workers in Florida to Honduran 
workers in California, and those with DED, including UFW members in 
Washington, are a key part of our nation's farmworkers.
  We must afford those individuals with TPS and DED the same 
opportunity to earn a more secure temporary status and lawful permanent 
residency as will be given to many of our nation's other farmworkers.
  Many of these individuals have been living in the U.S. for years and 
have U.S. citizen children.
  All they wanted to do was to get a pathway to citizenship in a myriad 
of directions but in particular, to do it legally.
  Ensuring that farmworkers who have TPS and DED are eligible to 
participate in the Farm Workforce Modernization Act's legalization 
program is important to provide needed stability to this workforce.
  Moreover, it necessary to further the legislation's intent to 
stabilize the current agricultural labor supply and to ensure that 
farmworkers are able to join more fully the society that they are 
helping to feed.
  I would like to thank the Judiciary Committee, my colleagues, both 
Republican and Democrat, and in particular, Chairman Nadler and Ms. 
Lofgren, who emphasized a very important point that this has been a 
year of working together.
  I am reminded of our tenure here on the Judiciary Committee and I 
think we have attempted to be fair and bipartisan on immigration reform 
for at least 2 decades.
  I am also reminded of the legislation that came from the Senate, led 
by the late Senator John McCain that was a bipartisan bill that 
attempted to respond to the issues of undocumented persons.

 United Farm Workers Support for the Farm Workforce Modernization Act 
                          (H.R. 5038--Lofgren)

       The United Farm Workers of America supports the bipartisan 
     Farm Workforce Modernization Act (H.R. 5038). We were proud 
     to join the bipartisan group of members of Congress and the 
     major grower associations to develop and support H.R. 5038. 
     It is cruelly ironic that the people who feed the United 
     States live in a deep, all-encompassing fear that they 
     themselves cannot provide food for their families. The human 
     cost and stress for farm workers and their families as they 
     live in fear of deportation and harassment due to our broken 
     immigration system threatens our nation's food supply and is 
     a source of great shame for our nation. The compromise 
     legislation authored by Representatives Lofgren, cosponsored 
     by a bipartisan, diverse group of over 50 members of the 
     House, and endorsed by the Congressional Hispanic Caucus will 
     go a long way towards improving the lives of farm workers 
     today and in the future, and our broken immigration system.
       We support H.R. 5038 for a simple reason--it will make the 
     lives of all farm workers better. H.R. 5038 meets the 
     following basic principles:
       1. Equality of Treatment--the new agricultural visa program 
     will allow farm workers and their families to have the same 
     rights and protections as current U.S. farm workers.
       2. No Discrimination--the program does not create major 
     incentives to discriminate against U.S. workers (including 
     newly legalized workers).
       3. Fairness in pay--the pay rates protect U.S. workers and 
     supports predictable pay increases.
       4. Eligibility to earn permanent residence--no one that 
     works to feed our country should be condemned to permanent 
     second class status. H.R. 5038 changes our current immoral 
     system.
       You have the ability to pass H.R. 5038. If H.R. 5038 
     becomes law, agricultural workers will have stability for 
     themselves, and their families and the agricultural industry. 
     Please vote YES on H.R. 5038.

  Mr. BUCK. Mr. Speaker, I yield 3 minutes to the gentleman from 
Washington (Mr. Newhouse).
  Mr. NEWHOUSE. Mr. Speaker, I want to thank my good friend from 
Colorado for yielding me time.
  Mr. Speaker, if you talk to any farmer in this country, one of the 
biggest issues that they will raise and something they are concerned 
with, is their labor force, a secure and legal labor force. And that is 
what brought together a bipartisan group of Members of Congress, 
representatives from agricultural groups around the country, as well as 
agricultural labor groups around the country, to come up with a bill to 
deal with the labor situation that we have in this country, to provide 
a certain legal labor force; something that is simple in saying that, 
but very, very complex in order to get to the solution.
  So this has three titles. Number one deals with the current 
workforce. We have come up with something that the President has asked 
for, a merit-based system to provide legality to our current workforce 
that requires a history of ag labor; it requires fines because people 
broke the law to get here; and it requires people to stay engaged in 
the agricultural industry.
  Title two simply is to reform the H-2A program, something that we 
desperately need. It makes it more responsive, more efficient. It will 
cap the ever-skyrocketing wage growth in this country of the AEWR to 
3.25 percent per year. Some States next year are facing a 9\1/2\ 
percent increase.
  On top of that, it will allow full-time employers, like dairies, to 
be able to take advantage and utilize the H-2A program.
  And third, it will require a phase-in of the E-Verify system, 
something that Republicans have wanted for a long time, and something 
that I think will remove an incentive for people to illegally cross the 
border and will do a lot to improve the security of our country.
  This bill provides certainty for farmers and farmworkers.
  Mr. Speaker, I include in the Record some letters of support from the 
National Association of Counties, the Chamber of Commerce of the United 
States of America, the Americans for Prosperity, the National 
Association of State Departments of Agriculture, the Committee on 
Migration, and included in a letter to leadership, a list of over 300 
agricultural organizations across this great country in support of this 
legislation.
                                                November 18, 2019.
     Hon. Nancy Pelosi,
     Speaker, House of Representatives,
     Washington, DC.
     Hon. Kevin McCarthy,
     Minority Leader, House of Representatives,
     Washington, DC.
       Dear Speaker Pelosi and Minority Leader McCarthy: The 
     undersigned groups, representing a broad cross-section of 
     agriculture and its allies, urge you to advance the Farm 
     Workforce Modernization Act (H.R. 5038) through the House to 
     address the labor crisis facing American agriculture. A 
     stable, legal workforce is needed to ensure farmers and 
     ranchers have the ability to continue producing an abundant, 
     safe, and affordable food supply.
       The effects of agriculture's critical shortage of labor 
     reach far beyond the farm gate, negatively impacting our 
     economic competitiveness, local economies, and jobs. 
     Economists have found that every farm worker engaged in high-
     value, labor-intensive crop and livestock production sustains 
     two to three off-farm jobs. As foreign producers take 
     advantage of our labor shortage and gain market share, 
     America will export not only our food production but also 
     thousands of these farm-dependent jobs. Securing a reliable 
     and skilled workforce is essential, not only for the 
     agricultural industry but for the U.S. economy as a whole.
       The House must pass legislation that preserves 
     agriculture's experienced workforce by allowing current farm 
     workers to earn legal status. For future needs, legislation 
     must include an agricultural worker visa program that 
     provides access to a legal and reliable workforce moving 
     forward. This visa program needs to be more accessible, 
     predictable, and flexible to meet the needs of producers, 
     including those with year-round labor needs, such as dairy 
     and livestock which currently do not have meaningful access 
     to any program.
       While the bill does include a few provisions that raise 
     significant concerns for the agricultural community, we are 
     committed to working together throughout the legislative 
     process to fully address these issues. It is vital to move 
     the Farm Workforce Modernization Act (H.R. 5038) through the 
     House as a significant step in working to meet the

[[Page H10071]]

     labor needs of agriculture, both now and in the future.
           Sincerely,
       African-American Farmers of California; AgCountry Farm 
     Credit Services; AgriBank FCB; Agribusiness Henderson County 
     (AgHC); Agricultural Council of California; Agri-Mark, Inc.; 
     Alabama Farmers Cooperative; Alabama Nursery & Landscape 
     Association; Almond Alliance of California; Amalgamated Sugar 
     Company LLC; American AgCredit; American Agri-Women; American 
     Beekeeping Federation; American Mushroom Institute; American 
     Pistachio Growers; American Seed Trade Association; 
     AmericanHort; Arizona Cattle Feeders' Association; Arizona 
     Landscape Contractors Association; Arizona Nursery 
     Association.
       Arkansas Rice Growers Association; Associated Milk 
     Producers Inc.; Association of Virginia Potato and Vegetable 
     Growers; Aurora Organic Dairy; AZ Farm & Ranch Group; 
     Battlefield Farms, Inc.; Bipartisan Policy Center Action; 
     Bongards' Creameries; Butte County Farm Bureau; California Ag 
     Irrigation Association; California Alfalfa and Forage 
     Association; California Apple Commission; California Avocado 
     Commission; California Bean Shippers Association; California 
     Blueberry Commission; California Canning Peach Association; 
     California Cherry Growers and Industry Association; 
     California Citrus Mutual; California Dairies, Inc.; 
     California Farm Bureau Federation.
       California Fig Advisory Board; California Fresh Fruit 
     Association; California Grain and Feed Association; 
     California League of Food Producers; California Pear Growers; 
     California Prune Board; California Seed Association; 
     California State Beekeepers Association; California State 
     Floral Association; California Sweet Potato Council; 
     California Tomato Growers Association; California Walnut 
     Commission; California Warehouse Association; California 
     Wheat Growers Association; California Women for Agriculture; 
     Cayuga Milk Ingredients; Central Valley Ag; Cherry Marketing 
     Institute; Chobani; Clif Bar & Company.
       CoBank; Colorado Dairy Farmers; Colorado Nursery & 
     Greenhouse Association; Colorado Potato Legislative 
     Association; Compeer Financial; Cooperative Milk Producers 
     Association; Cooperative Network; Dairy Farmers of America, 
     Inc.; Dairy Producers of New Mexico; Dairy Producers of Utah; 
     Del Mar Food Products, Corp.; Driscoll's; Edge Dairy Farmer 
     Cooperative; Ellsworth Cooperative Creamery; Empire State 
     Potato Growers; Far West Agribusiness Association; Farm 
     Credit East; Farm Credit Illinois; Farm Credit Services of 
     America; Farm Credit West; FarmFirst Dairy Cooperative.
       First District Association; Florida Agri-Women; Florida 
     Blueberry Growers Association; Florida Citrus Mutual; Florida 
     Fruit & Vegetable Association; Florida Nursery, Growers, and 
     Landscape Association; Florida Strawberry Growers 
     Association; Florida Tomato Exchange; Food Northwest; Food 
     Producers of Idaho; Foremost Farms USA; Fresno County Farm 
     Bureau; Frontier Farm Credit; Fruit Growers Marketing 
     Association; Fruit Growers Supply; Georgia Green Industry 
     Association; Glanbia Nutritionals; Grapeman Farms; GreenStone 
     Farm Credit Services; Grower-Shipper Association of Central 
     California.
       GROWMARK; Gulf Citrus Growers Association; Hop Growers of 
     Washington; Idaho Alfalfa & Clover Seed Commission; Idaho 
     Alfalfa & Clover Seed Growers Association; Idaho Apple 
     Commission; Idaho Association of Commerce and Industry; Idaho 
     Association of Highway Districts; Idaho Association of Soil 
     Conservation Districts; Idaho Bankers Association; Idaho 
     Cattleman's Association; Idaho Chamber Alliance; Idaho 
     Dairymen's Association; Idaho Eastern Oregon Seed 
     Association; Idaho Grain Producers Association; Idaho Grower 
     Shipper Association; Idaho Hop Growers; Idaho Milk Products; 
     Idaho Mint Growers Association; Idaho Noxious Weed Control 
     Association.
       Idaho Nursery & Landscape Association; Idaho Onion Growers 
     Association; Idaho Potato Commission; Idaho State Grange; 
     Idaho Sugarbeet Growers Association; Idaho Water Users 
     Association; Idaho Wool Growers; Idahoan Foods LLC; Idaho-
     Oregon Fruit and Vegetable Association; Illinois Green 
     Industry Association; International Dairy Food Association; 
     Iowa Institute for Cooperatives; Iowa State Dairy 
     Association; J.R. Simplot Company; Kansas Cooperative 
     Council; Kansas Dairy Association; Kanza Cooperative 
     Associaton; Kings County Farm Bureau; Land O'Lakes, Inc.; 
     Lone Star Milk Producers.
       Madera County Farm Bureau; Maine Landscape and Nursery 
     Association; Maine Potato Board; Maryland & Virginia Milk 
     Producers Cooperative Association; Maryland Nursery, 
     Landscape, & Greenhouse Association; Massachusetts Nursery 
     and Landscape Association, Inc.; MBG Marketing; Mendocino 
     County Farm Bureau; Merced County Farm Bureau; Michigan Agri-
     Business Association; Michigan Apple Association; Michigan 
     Asparagus Advisory Board; Michigan Bean Shippers; Michigan 
     Cider Association; Michigan Greenhouse Grower Council; 
     Michigan Milk Producers Association; Michigan Nursery & 
     Landscape Association; Michigan State Horticultural Society; 
     Midwest Dairy Coalition; Mid-West Dairymen's Company; Milk 
     Producers Council.
       Milk Producers of Idaho; Minnesota Area II Potato Council; 
     Minnesota Milk Producers Association; Minnesota Nursery & 
     Landscape Association; Missouri Rice Research and 
     Merchandising Council; Montana Nursery & Landscape 
     Association; Monterey County (CA) Farm Bureau; Mount Joy 
     Farmers Cooperative Association; Napa County Farm Bureau; 
     National All-Jersey; National Association of Produce Market 
     Managers; National Council of Agricultural Employers; 
     National Council of Farmer Cooperatives; National Farmers 
     Union; National Grange; National Immigration Forum; National 
     Milk Producers Federation; National Onion Association; 
     National Potato Council; National Watermelon Association; 
     Nebraska State Dairy Association.
       New American Economy; New England Apple Council; New 
     England Farmers Union; New York Apple Association; New York 
     Farm Bureau Federation; New York State Berry Growers 
     Association; New York State Flower Industries; New York State 
     Vegetable Growers Association; Nezperce Prairie Grass Growers 
     Association; Nisei Farmers League; North American Blueberry 
     Council; North Carolina Nursery & Landscape Association; 
     North Carolina Potato Association; Northeast Dairy Farmers 
     Cooperatives; Northeast Dairy Foods Association, Inc.; 
     Northeast Dairy Producers Association; Northern Plains Potato 
     Growers Association; Northern Virginia Nursery & Landscape 
     Association; Northwest Ag Co-op Council; Northwest Dairy 
     Association/Darigold; Northwest Farm Credit Services; 
     Northwest Horticultural Council.
       Ohio Apple Marketing Program; Ohio Dairy Producers 
     Association; Ohio Nursery & Landscape Association; Olive 
     Growers Council of California; Oneida-Madison Milk Producers 
     Cooperative Association; Orange County Farm Bureau; Oregon 
     Association of Nurseries; Oregon Dairy Farmers Association; 
     Oregon Potato Commission; Pacific Coast Producers; Pacific 
     Egg and Poultry Association; Pacific Seed Association; 
     Pennsylvania Co-operative Potato Growers; Pennsylvania 
     Landscape & Nursery Association; Plant California Alliance; 
     POM Wonderful; Porterville Citrus; Potato Growers of America; 
     Potato Growers of Idaho; Potato Growers of Michigan; Prairie 
     Farms Dairy, Inc.
       Premier Milk Inc.; Produce Marketing Association; 
     Professional Dairy Managers of Pennsylvania; RBI Packing LLC; 
     Reiter Affiliated Companies; Richard Bagdasarian, Inc.; 
     Riverside County Farm Bureau; Rocky Mountain Farmers Union; 
     San Diego County Farm Bureau; San Mateo County Farm Bureau; 
     Santa Clara County Farm Bureau; Santa Cruz County Farm 
     Bureau; Scioto Cooperative Milk Producers' Association; 
     Select Milk Producers, Inc.; Seneca Foods Corporation; Sierra 
     Citrus Association; Snake River Sugar Company; Solano County 
     Farm Bureau; Sonoma County Farm Bureau; South Dakota 
     Association of Cooperatives.
       South Dakota Dairy Producers; South East Dairy Farmers 
     Association; Southeast Milk Inc.; Southern States 
     Cooperative; St. Albans Cooperative Creamery, Inc.; 
     Stanislaus County Farm Bureau; State Horticultural 
     Association of Pennsylvania; Summer Prize Frozen Foods; 
     Sunkist Growers; Sun-Maid Growers of California; Sunsweet 
     Growers, Inc.; Tennessee Nursery & Landscape Association; 
     Texas Agricultural Cooperative Council; Texas Association of 
     Dairymen; Texas Citrus Mutual; Texas International Produce 
     Association; Texas Nursery & Landscape Association; The 
     National Association of State Departments of Agriculture; The 
     SF Market and San Francisco Produce Association; Tillamook 
     County Creamery Association; Tree Top, Inc.
       Tulare County Farm Bureau; U.S. Apple Association; U.S. 
     Rice Producers Association; United Ag; United Dairymen of 
     Arizona; United Egg Producers; United Fresh Produce 
     Association; United Onions, USA; United Potato Growers of 
     America; Upstate Niagara Cooperative, Inc.; Utah Farmers 
     Union; Utah Horticulture Society; Valley Fig Growers; Ventura 
     County Agricultural Association; Ventura Pacific; Vermont 
     Dairy Producers Alliance; Virginia Apple Growers Association; 
     Virginia Nursery & Landscape Association; Virginia State 
     Dairymen's Association; Visalia Citrus Packing Group, Inc.
       WA Wine Institute; Washington Growers League; Washington 
     State Dairy Federation; Washington State Nursery & Landscape 
     Association; Washington State Potato Commission; Washington 
     State Tree Fruit Association; Wawona Frozen Foods; West 
     Virginia Nursery & Landscape Association; Western Growers 
     Association; Western States Dairy Producers Association; 
     Western United Dairies; Wine Institute; WineAmerica; 
     Wisconsin Dairy Business Association; Wisconsin Potato & 
     Vegetable Growers Association; Wonderful Citrus; Wonderful 
     Orchards; Yuma Fresh Vegetable Association.
                                  ____



                             National Association of Counties,

                                                December 11, 2019.
     Hon. Nancy Pelosi,
     Speaker, House of Representatives,
     Washington, DC.
     Hon. Kevin McCarthy,
     Minority Leader, House of Representatives,
     Washington, DC.
       Dear Speaker Pelosi and Minority Leader McCarthy: On behalf 
     of the National Association of Counties and the 3,069 county 
     governments we represent, we are writing in support of the 
     Farm Workforce Modernization Act (H.R. 5038). This bill would 
     preserve, expand and improve on the processes and resources 
     aimed at helping counties bolster our local agricultural 
     economy.
       County governments across the country face many challenges 
     to providing quality

[[Page H10072]]

     and affordable housing options for rural families and farm 
     laborers. Unfortunately, federal regulations often are 
     inflexible and too restrictive to address the unique needs of 
     our rural communities. Much of our nation's existing farm 
     labor housing has also aged past its useful life with severe 
     physical problems, including inadequate heating, plumbing and 
     space.
       Additionally, we are encouraged by efforts in this bill to 
     modernize and simplify the H-2A process and ensure that a 
     reliable and capable workforce is available for the nation's 
     farmers and ranchers. This bill would provide stability and 
     consistency in our farm labor force and create a realistic 
     path for migrant and seasonal farm workers to contribute to 
     the national economy.
       We ask that you join us in support of the Farm Work 
     Modernization Act and help strengthen our nation's local 
     agricultural economies. Thank you for your time and 
     consideration on this important matter.
           Sincerely,
     Hon. Mary Ann Borgeson,
       Commissioner, Douglas County, Nebraska, President, National 
     Association of Counties.
     Hon. Melissa McKinlay,
       Commissioner, Palm Beach County, Florida, Chair, NACo's 
     Agriculture and Rural Affairs Steering Committee.
                                  ____

                                        Chamber of Commerce of the


                                     United States of America,

                                                 October 30, 2019.
                                                   Washington, DC,
       To the Members of the House of Representatives: The U.S. 
     Chamber of Commerce supports the Farm Workforce Modernization 
     Act, which would take important steps to address the growing 
     struggle of agricultural employers to meet their workforce 
     needs.
       The inability of American farmers to effectively meet their 
     workforce needs does not affect the agricultural industry in 
     a vacuum. When crops rot in a field because farmers do not 
     have enough workers for the harvest, this does not only harm 
     the interests of that farmer. These situations also 
     negatively affect the shipping company that would have 
     transported those products, and the retailers that would have 
     sold them.
       Furthermore, the uncertainty caused by the insufficient 
     quantity of agricultural workers in the U.S. has enabled 
     foreign agricultural producers to take advantage of this 
     situation and gain market share. American agricultural 
     producers will only become less competitive in the global 
     marketplace if these workforce problems persist.
       The Farm Workforce Modernization Act seeks to provide 
     workforce stability for agricultural workers by allowing 
     unauthorized farm workers to earn legal status in the U.S. 
     This legislation also would address future agricultural 
     workforce needs by updating the temporary agricultural worker 
     program, most notably providing eligibility to employers who 
     have year-round labor needs, which is critical for dairy and 
     livestock. Furthermore, the bill would enhance domestic 
     security by making the use of E-Verify mandatory for 
     employers seeking to hire temporary agricultural workers.
       This bill could benefit from further refinement. The 
     proposed prevailing wage levels for temporary agricultural 
     workers, as well as the new annual visa quotas for year-round 
     agricultural employment, should be more responsive to market 
     needs. In addition, the transition period for agricultural 
     employers to utilize the E-Verify system should be extended 
     in order for employers to better adjust to the new compliance 
     burdens being foisted upon them. We are committed to working 
     with members of both parties to address these and other 
     issues to improve the bill as it proceeds through the 
     legislative process.
           Sincerely,

                                              Neil L. Bradley,

     Executive Vice President and Chief Policy Officer.
                                  ____

                                         Americans for Prosperity,


                                         The Libre Initiative,

                                                November 19, 2019.
       Dear Representative: On behalf of our organizations and the 
     millions of activists we represent, we applaud the bipartisan 
     efforts from lawmakers in the House of Representatives on the 
     Farm Workforce Modernization Act of 2019. This bill 
     represents a step in the right direction by modernizing 
     components of our guest worker program and legal immigration 
     system. It will also help our country better meet the needs 
     of employers and guest workers in the agricultural sector.
       We are encouraged by lawmakers' efforts to streamline 
     components of the H-2A program aimed at reducing some of the 
     burdens imposed on employers and workers, in addition to 
     considerable reforms that create new legal channels which 
     currently are not available.
       While the legislation is not perfect, the bill represents 
     an important step forward to improve the way we issue 
     temporary visas for guest workers and green cards for 
     aspiring immigrants. We look forward to working with members 
     to improve this bill by further reducing unnecessary barriers 
     that impede upon the ability for employers and employees to 
     freely contract in a mutually beneficial manner.
       With only a few legislative days remaining, we urge 
     lawmakers to continue working together to modernize and 
     improve our guest worker program and stand ready to partner 
     with lawmakers to accomplish this goal.
           Sincerely,
     Brent Gardner,
       Chief Government Affairs Officer, Americans for Prosperity.
     Daniel Garza,
       President, The LIBRE Initiative.
                                  ____

                                     National Association of State


                                   Departments of Agriculture,

                                  Arlington, VA, October 25, 2019.
     Hon. Zoe Lofgren,
     Chairwoman, Subcommittee on Immigration and Citizenship, 
         House Committee on the Judiciary, House of 
         Representatives, Washington, DC.
     Hon. Dan Newhouse,
     House of Representatives, Washington, DC.
     Re Support for the Farm Workforce Modernization Act.

       Dear Chairwoman Lofgren and Congressman Newhouse: The Farm 
     Workforce Modernization Act (FWMA) is a crucial step forward 
     towards solving agriculture's need for labor. NASDA thanks 
     you for your hard work negotiating and finding compromises on 
     a bipartisan bill that will successfully increase access to 
     farm labor across the country. Foreign-born workers are an 
     essential part of the U.S. agriculture workforce and an 
     estimated half of U.S. farm workers are currently foreign 
     born. For years, the agriculture industry has struggled to 
     access sufficient labor in sectors ranging from produce to 
     animal handling. This is only compounded by the current low 
     unemployment in the United States. These factors are why the 
     National Association of State Departments of Agriculture 
     urges Congress to pass the FWMA.
       NASDA represents the Commissioners, Secretaries, and 
     Directors of the state departments of agriculture in all 
     fifty states and four U.S. territories. NASDA members 
     represent all agriculture in their states and finding 
     practical solutions for the agriculture labor shortage is a 
     top priority for NASDA members.
       Agriculture labor reform is crucial for ensuring that U.S. 
     farmers and ranchers have a reliable and skilled workforce. 
     This bill will, for the first time, make year-round visas 
     available. This is crucial for the dairy industry and other 
     industries that rely on temporary labor. Further, NASDA 
     supports the bill maintaining the H-2A program while also 
     creating a new, certified agricultural worker status. This 
     status and its renewable visas will increase certainty for 
     farmers, ranchers and the farm workers who we rely upon for 
     the safe harvesting and handling of crops and livestock.
       NASDA acknowledges that a multi-faceted effort is needed to 
     fix the challenges with agriculture labor, so any progress 
     made on this front is a step in the right direction. We look 
     forward to advancing solutions to agriculture's labor 
     shortage with Congress.
           Sincerely,
           Doug Goehring,
                                                  NASDA President,
     North Dakota Agriculture Commissioner.
                                  ____

         Committee on Migration, Committee on Domestic Justice and 
           Human Development,
                                November 12, 2019, Washington, DC,
     House of Representatives,
     Washington, DC.
       Dear Representative: On behalf of the Committee on 
     Migration and the Committee on Domestic Justice and Human 
     Development for the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, we 
     write to urge you to support H.R. 5038, the Farm Workforce 
     Modernization Act. This bipartisan legislation, introduced on 
     October 30, 2019, by Representative Zoe Lofgren (D-CA) and 
     several Republican and Democratic sponsors, would create an 
     earned legal status program for agricultural workers and 
     would improve the existing H-2A system.
       Recognizing the dignity of work of farmworkers and their 
     families is a central concern of the Catholic Church. In his 
     1981 encyclical, Laborem Exercems, Pope John Paul II spoke of 
     the importance of agricultural workers and the need to 
     protect those working in the fields. Farmworkers produce the 
     food that we eat and contribute to the care of our community. 
     Regarding immigrant farmworkers, the bishops in the U.S. have 
     long advocated for reforms of the existing system, including 
     a ``legalization program that would help stabilize the 
     workforce, protect migrant workers, and their families from 
     discrimination and exploitation and ensure that these workers 
     are able to continue to make contributions to society.''
       H.R. 5038 proposes a meaningful way for migrant 
     agricultural workers to earn legal status through continued 
     agricultural employment and contributions to the U.S. 
     agricultural economy. It also improves labor protections 
     while producing employment flexibility that is needed to aid 
     our agricultural industries. H.R. 5038 creates more 
     accessible and predictable worker programs while ensuring 
     more worker protections, such as improving the availability 
     of farmworker housing and providing better health 
     protections.
       As currently written, H.R. 5038 is a step in the right 
     direction and reflects genuine bipartisan engagement. We 
     encourage you to

[[Page H10073]]

     consider co-sponsoring this current version of the bill and 
     to move it forward to help ensure a more stable workforce for 
     our farming economy, as well as a tailored earned 
     legalization program and greater worker protections.
           Sincerely,
     Most Reverend Joe Vasquez,
       Bishop of Austin, Chairman, USCCB Committee on Migration.
     Most Reverend Frank J. Dewane,
       Bishop of Venice, Chairman, USCCB Committee on Domestic 
     Justice and Human Development.
  Mr. NEWHOUSE. Mr. Speaker, I urge my colleagues to take the step and 
do what we can to improve the labor situation for farmers and ranchers 
across this country.
  Ms. LOFGREN. Mr. Speaker, I yield 1 minute to the gentleman from 
California (Mr. Costa), who has worked so very hard on this bill and 
represents an area where agriculture is king.
  Mr. COSTA. Mr. Speaker, today is a monumental and historical day. 
This bipartisan Farm Workforce Modernization Act of 2019 will truly 
help people throughout the country.
  I want to thank Chairperson Zoe Lofgren and Dan Newhouse for their 
hard work over the last 9 months in bringing all the parties to the 
table.
  Earlier this year, in September, Chairperson Lofgren, with 
Congressmen Panetta, Cox, and myself, held a workshop where all the 
organizations from farm country, as well as the UFW, and others, 
presented what needed to be done. And, lo and behold, it has happened.
  My colleagues ask, Why do we need to have the urgency of this bill?
  Well, last month I visited with United Farmworkers in Madera, 
California, and told them the promise of this legislation. I saw in 
their eyes, and their children who were there, I saw hope; a hope to 
become free of fear and the fear of deportation; hope for the American 
Dream, and all that that entails, that all immigrants past and present 
have shared, in this legislation.
  Mr. Speaker, I urge my colleagues to pass this bill today. The Senate 
must pass it, and the President should sign it into law. This is the 
right thing to do.
  Mr. BUCK. Mr. Speaker, I yield 3 minutes to the gentleman from 
Florida (Mr. Yoho).
  Mr. YOHO. Mr. Speaker, I would like to commend my colleagues, Mr. 
Buck and Ms. Lofgren, for attempting to do something to solve a problem 
that has gone on for a long time that has not been solved. 
Unfortunately, this bill will not solve that problem.
  This bill will create the same situation we have had since 1986, 
because this bill focuses on amnesty, not on a guest worker program 
that our producers need.
  I appreciate their efforts, but, again, I have worked around 
agriculture since I was 15, picking vegetables, loading vegetables, 
talking to farmers. And as a veterinarian, working for 30 years in that 
profession, I know the dairy situation.
  I have talked to the migrant, and I have talked producer. This bill 
will not fulfill that need.
  This bill will allow people to get amnesty. They will leave 
agriculture and they will go into another industry. Therefore, they are 
not going to solve the labor shortage of this country.
  That is why there are alternatives out there. We have got a bill that 
we worked on in a bipartisan manner, that we have got strong support in 
industry, and it solves this problem. It creates a dedicated workforce 
for agriculture.
  As you go through this bill, you see amnesty after amnesty. And, 
again, it does not solve the problem.
  Our bill allows people to enter the country legally. They are 
automatically enrolled in the E-Verify system. This bill promises to 
put the E-Verify system in place once it is implemented. We have heard 
that rhetoric out of Washington before. Once it is implemented, we will 
fix it.
  This is the wrong way to go because this bill, again, will not create 
a predictable, certain, and reliable workforce for our agricultural 
producers. And I hear over and over again, the biggest challenge to our 
producers is a labor shortage.
  We are getting to a point in this country where the next generation 
will not farm because of the unpredictability that this body has 
created, and this bill will not solve that.
  And we are getting to a point where either we are going to import our 
labor, or we are going to import our produce. A nation that imports its 
produce is not a secure nation. This bill will not fix it. This will 
make it worse.
  Ms. LOFGREN. Mr. Speaker, Representative Sylvia Garcia, a member of 
the Judiciary Committee, and a former cotton picker, will submit a 
statement in support of this bill.
  And I would just note, for the prior speaker, that the Florida Agri-
Women, the Florida Blueberry Growers Association, the Florida Citrus 
Mutual, Florida Fruit & Vegetable Association, Florida Nursery, Florida 
Strawberry, and Florida Tomato Exchange think this bill will work.
  Mr. Speaker, I yield 1 minute to the gentleman from Texas (Mr. 
Castro).
  Mr. CASTRO of Texas. Mr. Speaker, I rise today in support of H.R. 
5038, the Farm Workforce Modernization Act of 2019.
  I am very proud to support Congresswoman Lofgren, members of the 
Hispanic Caucus, and my colleagues on both sides of the aisle who 
helped make this bill possible today.
  There are, in the United States, four or five major industries that 
would not exist the way they do but for immigrant labor, documented, 
and undocumented. One of those industries is the agriculture industry.
  This bill would recognize the important work that undocumented 
workers do in our agriculture industry. It would recognize that their 
work deserves respect; that it is dignified; that it has a place in our 
country; and that they have a place in our country. It would do so by 
allowing for a path to legal status for these workers.
  For 2 million folks, it would mean that they would no longer face the 
threat of deportation; that they and their families could rest assured 
that in the middle of the night they would not be taken away from their 
children.
  This legislation is important to our country, and I hope that all of 
my colleagues, Republican and Democrat, will support it today.
  Mr. BUCK. Mr. Speaker, I yield 2\1/2\ minutes to the gentleman from 
Michigan (Mr. Upton).
  Mr. UPTON. Mr. Speaker, earlier this year, the President, speaking at 
the National Farm Bureau Convention, called for legislation regarding 
agriculture immigration. And he acknowledged that the ag community, in 
his words, ``needs people to help with the farms.'' That is what this 
bill does.

  As much as most of us would like to wave a magic wand and fix a very 
broken system, you know, what? We have failed. But it is not for the 
lack of trying. We simply haven't had the votes; whether it is more or 
less border security; whether it is too comprehensive or too less. We 
can't even fix the Dreamer issue. Come on.
  This ag bill is going to pass, thank goodness. And I want to thank   
Jimmy Panetta,   Dan Newhouse and other members of the bipartisan 
Problem Solvers Caucus, particularly Chair Lofgren, who helped deliver 
legislation here to the House floor this afternoon.
  Would I like to do more? You bet. But, you know, at the moment, this 
is the only step that we can do on a bipartisan basis this year. Let's 
just face it.
  If we can't pass a narrow bill, when is it going to happen? This is 
the first step, so let's get it done.
  This bill is going to provide a long overdue and desperately needed 
overhaul to the H-2A program, and it builds on the July 2019 DOL's 
proposal for H-2A reforms.
  Key provisions include a freeze on the Adverse Effect Wage, which has 
led directly to dozens of farm closures in my district in Michigan; a 
streamlined and modernized application process to encourage more 
widespread adoption; creating a year-round H-2A visa program, allowing 
all of agriculture to utilize the program.
  Now is the time, finally, to at least boldly act to pass a real ag 
labor reform to ensure that our ag community has the workforce that it 
needs to remain the envy of the world. I would urge all of my 
colleagues to support this.

[[Page H10074]]

  

  Ms. LOFGREN. Mr. Speaker, it is really a great honor to yield 1 
minute to the gentlewoman from Washington (Ms. Schrier), a freshman 
Member, but a person who has worked very hard behind the scenes to help 
advance this bill.

                              {time}  1515

  Ms. SCHRIER. Mr. Speaker, I thank the gentlewoman for yielding.
  I thank my colleagues, Representative Lofgren and Representative 
Newhouse, for their very hard work on this bipartisan bill.
  The critical needs of our farmers and farmworkers have gone too long 
without being addressed by Congress. As the sole Member in the entire 
Northwest on the House Agriculture Committee, I am proud to represent 
the apple capital of the world, Wenatchee, as well as farmers and 
growers on both sides of the Cascades, and I can say that they are 
hurting.
  What I hear from the farmers and orchardists across my State is that 
a stable workforce is critical to their ability to put food on our 
tables. As the domestic workforce is dwindling, more and more growers 
have been forced to turn to the burdensome and bureaucratic H-2A 
program for the workers they need to grow and harvest their crops.
  Farmworkers are critical. If the cherries ripen and there is no one 
to pick them, our farms and our farmers will fail. Crops don't wait, 
and millions of dollars and futures are at stake.
  This important bill will provide a stable workforce for our farmers 
and a path to legal status for farmworkers and their families. This is 
the kind of winning bipartisan legislation that is exactly what our 
country needs. I encourage my colleagues to vote ``yes.''
  Mr. BUCK. Mr. Speaker, I yield 3 minutes to the gentleman from Idaho 
(Mr. Simpson).
  Mr. SIMPSON. Mr. Speaker, I thank the gentleman for yielding.
  I rise today in favor of H.R. 5038, the Farm Workforce Modernization 
Act, and I thank Chairwoman Lofgren, her staff, the committee staff, 
and the personal staff of all the Members who have been working on this 
bill for, I don't know, 8 or 9 months.
  We all want the same thing, and we are here today addressing 
agriculture's number one issue, and that is their labor force.
  We will hear a lot during this debate, and we already have, about how 
this is amnesty and indentured servitude. It is neither of those 
things. In fact, those are contradictory terms, so the argument at best 
is insincere.
  Let me say what this bill does. It legalizes the current workforce so 
long as workers get right with the law, have a clean criminal record, 
and can demonstrate the same work experiences our former colleague Bob 
Goodlatte said they must have to qualify. If they want to access 
further legal status, they work 4 to 8 more years in agriculture and 
then pay a fine and get in line while they continue to work in 
agriculture. That doesn't sound like amnesty to me.
  For my farmers back home who desperately need this, the bill 
streamlines the H-2A program to make it more affordable. It doesn't do 
everything we want, but it makes it better than what we have today, in 
fact, much better than what we have today.
  It brings wages under control by freezing them for 1 year and then 
capping future growth. There will be a single online portal for farmers 
to access workers. It will also set up a year-round program for our 
dairymen, which they don't currently have.
  Some people have said this is a great bill for dairymen, but not the 
rest of agriculture. That is not true. This streamlines the H-2A 
program for all of agriculture, so it is a good bill for all of 
agriculture.
  Finally, and again to my friends on my side of the aisle, almost all 
of us support E-Verify, and here it is. We have E-Verify in this bill.
  Agriculture is the backbone of Idaho's economy. Without this bill, 
how can we pretend to say that we care about rural America?
  This bill has the support of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, Americans 
for Prosperity, Cato Institute, and over 300 agricultural groups, which 
have already been entered into the Record.
  This is the voice of rural America saying they need this. I urge a 
``yes'' vote on this bill, and I look forward to working with all of my 
colleagues to keep moving this bill forward so that it can ultimately 
be signed into law and solve a critical problem in America.
  Ms. LOFGREN. Madam Speaker, I yield 1 minute to the gentleman from 
Oregon (Mr. Schrader), someone who has done a great deal of work and 
helped us get here today.
  Mr. SCHRADER. Madam Speaker, I thank the gentlewoman for yielding.
  I rise today in strong support of H.R. 5038, the Farm Workforce 
Modernization Act. This compromise bill represents the kind of 
legislation this body can put together and pass with broad bipartisan 
support when Members put aside ideological differences and choose to 
work together to solve a very serious and difficult issue.
  With this legislation, we will finally begin to address the labor 
crisis that has been plaguing American agriculture by providing a 
stable and legal workforce so they can continue to grow the best food 
and fiber in the world.
  In my home State of Oregon, we are a specialty crop State. We rely on 
manual labor for nearly every crop we grow. The labor shortage is the 
number one issue my farmers face. In many of our ag industries, like 
nursery crops or the dairy industry we just heard referenced, the labor 
is needed year-round.
  H.R. 5038 is a critical step forward in not only providing workforce 
stability for our farmers but also in providing a path to lawful 
permanent residency for hardworking farmworkers and their family 
members.
  I am also very proud of the work that PCUN in Oregon has done to help 
make this legislation a reality.
  I hope our colleagues in the Senate are paying close attention and 
move this bill in short order. I urge all Members to support this bill 
today.
  Mr. BUCK. Madam Speaker, I yield 2 minutes to the gentleman from 
Florida (Mr. Diaz-Balart).
  Mr. DIAZ-BALART. Madam Speaker, I thank the gentleman from Colorado 
for yielding. I rise today to strongly support this bipartisan bill.

  You have heard today that, for decades, Congress has been talking 
about the broken H-2A system, the system that our farmers use to get 
the workforce that they need to grow our food. We have been talking 
about it for decades.
  It is broken and not only creates an economic issue for our farmers 
and for the country, but it also creates a national security issue. 
Imagine if we were forced to start having to import our food.
  Isn't it time to kind of just stop talking and start working to bring 
forward real bipartisan solutions? That is what this bill does. Is it 
perfect? No, but that is what this bill does. This bill helps our 
farmers, finally brings help to our farmers. It also regularizes our 
farming workforce, which helps our farmers, helps our communities, 
helps our economy, and helps our national security.
  Again, this is crucial for those folks who work hard every single day 
and who are tired of hearing from Congress just words of how broken the 
system is. We finally have a bipartisan bill that does what we have 
been talking about for so many years. That is why I am proud to support 
this bill.
  Ms. LOFGREN. Madam Speaker, I yield 1 minute to the gentleman from 
Colorado (Mr. Crow), a freshman Member who has worked behind the scenes 
to help bring us here today.
  Mr. CROW. Madam Speaker, I thank the gentlewoman for yielding.
  I am proud to stand here with my colleagues to support the Farm 
Workforce Modernization Act on behalf of farmers and farmworkers in 
Colorado. Colorado farms are doing all they can to move forward, 
despite the administration's trade war, which has led to a 15 percent 
reduction in Colorado agricultural exports in 2019. It has also stifled 
the migrant seasonal farmworker program when farmers need it the most.
  Throughout this year, I have met with farmers in my district, 
including Robert Sakata of Sakata Farms in Brighton, Colorado, which 
was started in 1945 by his father. To Robert and other Western growers, 
modernizing the guest worker program is crucial to their success as a 
family farm and their contribution to our local economy.

[[Page H10075]]

  This important piece of bipartisan legislation will do just that. The 
bill will establish a program for Colorado farmworkers to earn legal 
status, improve the H-2A program by ensuring critical protections for 
workers, and establish a mandatory nationwide E-Verify system for all 
farmworkers.
  I thank my colleague Representative Lofgren and all those who have 
worked across the aisle to get this very important bill done.
  Mr. BUCK. Madam Speaker, I yield 3 minutes to the gentleman from 
California (Mr. LaMalfa).
  Mr. LaMALFA. Madam Speaker, I thank the gentleman for yielding.
  Something needs to be underlined here. In this area here of a divided 
Congress, a divided country, this has been a unique opportunity to have 
a true bipartisan solution to a longtime, decades-old problem. I am 
proud of the work. Many of us have been able to get in the room as 
Members and as staff over many months and come to an agreement that is 
a pretty darn good solution for an ongoing problem.
  This isn't a border bill. This isn't a DACA bill. It is not a fence 
bill or an amnesty bill. This is a narrow bill having to do with having 
a stable workforce for agriculture in this country.
  I come from California, and many of the crops are very labor 
intensive. I am farmer myself, but I don't benefit from this bill. I 
don't need that kind of labor, but just so it is disclosed.
  But so many crops that come from California and others like the truck 
crops, the intensely labor needful crops, would disappear. We will end 
up importing them from somewhere else if we don't have this workforce 
continue.
  This bill makes for a legal workforce, a documented workforce. Why 
wouldn't we want that?
  But heaven knows, you say the word ``amnesty,'' people go running for 
the hills, running for cover. This is not an amnesty bill. How could it 
be when it has benchmarks for the certified ag workers to come in to be 
vetted before they get that certification and to have benchmarks to 
become a legal permanent resident? Yes, at the very far end, there is 
an opportunity for citizenship. The way the process works, it would 
probably take 18 to 20 years to accomplish.
  For those who are really concerned about it being a handout for 
citizenship or whatever, it still is a steep hill. Also, by and large, 
most American people would look at these ag workers as pretty good 
people. They are not perfect. There are issues here and there. But they 
are providing a needed service that I don't see a lot of Americans 
willing to do, not in this age of Xbox and all these other things where 
nobody is willing to go outside.
  I have worked a lot of years myself in the heat and the Sun, and it 
is not even as tough as some of the other crops. But for what we are 
talking about, we really need to move forward.
  This will help our dairies, which need year-round labor. We are 
losing our dairies in California. We are going to lose dairies in our 
country.
  Let's talk about the workers themselves for a moment. How humane is 
it, the process by which they have to come across the border, pay these 
people horrendous amounts of money, with the issues that they are 
subject to in coming across? No, we don't want that.
  We don't want them coming across illegally. We want them coming 
across with a certificate that they have been vetted.
  This bill has E-Verify in it. How big of a thing is that for 
Republicans, for conservatives, for people across the country? When 
this is phased in, we will have a very good process for verifying who 
it is that is coming in to do this work. We desperately need the labor.
  It has been a long process. It will be a long process to continue to 
bring the labor force in.
  I think if we want to be here 10 years from now still dealing with 
this, then let's vote ``no'' on this bill. But if we want to make a 
solution, this is one that we can get right now in this atmosphere in 
D.C.
  Ms. LOFGREN. Madam Speaker, I yield 1 minute to the gentlewoman from 
California (Ms. Pelosi), the Speaker of the House.
  Ms. PELOSI. Madam Speaker, I thank the gentlewoman for yielding.
  I commend Congresswoman Lofgren for her tremendous leadership on this 
important legislation, the Farm Workforce Modernization Act.
  I join with Mr. LaMalfa, my friend, my Italian America colleague from 
California, in his strong remarks for this bill.
  It is bipartisan, and it is important for us to pass it.
  I proudly join all of my colleagues on both sides of the aisle to 
support this bill, a historic victory for farmworkers and for growers, 
which ensures that America can continue to feed the world.
  I salute, again, Chair Zoe Lofgren for her months of tough, 
relentless leadership without which this bill would not be possible.
  I commend the leadership of the United Farm Workers. Arturo Rodriguez 
has been working on this bill for almost a generation, 17 years. Arturo 
Rodriguez and Teresa Romero have sent a statement of support for the 
legislation, which very clearly points out the need and the answer that 
this bill is about.
  I submit for the Record the United Farm Workers statement of support 
for the Farm Workforce Modernization Act.

 United Farm Workers Support for the Farm Workforce Modernization Act 
                          (H.R. 5038--Lofgren)

       The United Farm Workers of America supports the bipartisan 
     Farm Workforce Modernization Act (H.R. 5038). We were proud 
     to join the bipartisan group of members of Congress and the 
     major grower associations to develop and support H.R. 5038. 
     It is cruelly ironic that the people who feed the United 
     States live in a deep, all-encompassing fear that they 
     themselves cannot provide food for their families. The human 
     cost and stress for farm workers and their families as they 
     live in fear of deportation and harassment due to our broken 
     immigration system threatens our nation's food supply and is 
     a source of great shame for our nation. The compromise 
     legislation authored by Representatives Lofgren, cosponsored 
     by a bipartisan, diverse group of over 50 members of the 
     House, and endorsed by the Congressional Hispanic Caucus will 
     go a long way towards improving the lives of farm workers 
     today and in the future, and our broken immigration system.
       We support H.R. 5038 for a simple reason--it will make the 
     lives of all farm workers better. H.R. 5038 meets the 
     following basic principles:
       1. Equality of Treatment--the new agricultural visa program 
     will allow farm workers and their families to have the same 
     rights and protections as current U.S. farm workers.
       2. No Discrimination--the program does not create major 
     incentives to discriminate against U.S. workers (including 
     newly legalized workers).
       3. Fairness in pay--the pay rates protect U.S. workers and 
     supports predictable pay increases.
       4. Eligibility to earn permanent residence--no one that 
     works to feed our country should be condemned to permanent 
     second class status. H.R. 5038 changes our current immoral 
     system.
       You have the ability to pass H.R. 5038. If H.R. 5038 
     becomes law, agricultural workers will have stability for 
     themselves, and their families and the agricultural industry. 
     Please vote YES on H.R. 5038.
     Teresa Romero,
       President, United Farm Workers.
     Arturo S. Rodriguez,
       President Emeritus and former Board Chair, United Farm 
     Workers and UFW Foundation.
  Ms. PELOSI. So many Members brought their vision, their voices, their 
values to this process. I thank all of you for strengthening the bill 
we have on the floor today. I thank our friends from the groups for 
doing the outside organizing that makes our inside maneuvering 
successful. We have all been inspired by the immortal words of our 
beloved Dolores Huerta: ``Si, se puede.''
  This legislation honors workers' dignity and supports the farm 
economy with strong, smart reforms. The bill provides a path for 
legalization, as Mr. LaMalfa referenced, for currently undocumented 
farmworkers. No one who works to feed our country should be condemned 
to permanent second-class status.
  The bill secures the agricultural workforce of the future by 
updating, expanding, and strengthening the H-2A initiative to ensure 
that farms have stable, secure workforces.
  Critically, it demands fair, humane treatment for farmworkers, 
following the lead of legislation in California by securing fairness in 
pay, improving access to quality housing, and ensuring robust safety 
and heat illness protections.

                              {time}  1530

  Many in this Chamber, particularly, I know firsthand, from 
California, have

[[Page H10076]]

helped lead the fight for farmworkers for decades.
  This fight is not only about ensuring fair wages and fair treatment, 
but about honoring the spark of divinity within each person, which 
makes us all worthy of dignity and respect.
  This bill honors the 2 million farmworkers who are the backbone of 
our economy and country, powering our farm economy, and producing the 
food on our tables, even as they persevere through harsh working 
conditions and low wages.
  As the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops wrote last month 
in support of this bill: ``The dignity of work of farmworkers and their 
families is a central concern. . . . Farmworkers produce the food that 
we eat and contribute to the care of our community.''
  This legislation is a critical step forward for workers, for growers, 
and for the farm economy, but our work is not done. Led by Chair Zoe 
Lofgren and Members from every corner of the country, we will continue 
to work to stabilize the farm economy, protect workers and their 
families, and maintain America's proud agricultural preeminence in the 
world.
  As we do so, remember the words of the late Cesar Chavez. He said 
this: ``To make a great dream come true, the first requirement is a 
great capacity to dream; the second is persistence.''
  Madam Speaker, I thank Chair Lofgren for her persistence, and I thank 
Mr. Rodriguez for his help.
  I am pleased with the bipartisanship of this bill. I thank our 
Members for their persistence on this legislation, for which I urge a 
strong bipartisan vote.
  Madam Speaker, I thank Mr. Buck for his leadership on this as well.
  Mr. BUCK. Madam Speaker, I yield 3 minutes to the gentleman from 
Arizona (Mr. Biggs), my friend, who was a leader in Arizona in the 
legislature on these issues and others and is known throughout our 
caucus for his common sense and leadership, and I anxiously await his 
remarks.
  Mr. BIGGS. Madam Speaker, I thank the gentleman for yielding time to 
me.
  Many of us have heard from farmers and agricultural suppliers around 
the country about their need for labor to ensure their products can be 
harvested, processed, and sold. I have heard time and time again from 
business owners who prioritize hiring American workers but repeatedly 
find themselves without the labor necessary.
  This problem is worthy of a broader conversation in Congress, 
including how we address the root of the problem and any relation to 
the welfare state that we have created here.
  My main concerns today, however, go beyond addressing true labor 
shortages and, instead, focus on the rewards this legislation provides 
to employers who have chosen to use illegal labor and to aliens who 
have chosen to work illegally in the United States.
  This bill creates a new pathway to legal status for illegal aliens 
who have been working in the agricultural industry in the United 
States. Any alien who merely applies for legal status under the 
program, whether truly eligible, immediately receives work 
authorization, protection from removal, and the ability to travel 
outside the United States. Those who meet the requirements will be 
rewarded with a pathway to lawful, permanent resident status and, 
ultimately, citizenship.
  Foreign nationals around the world wait years and spend thousands of 
dollars to receive those same benefits. This legislation is an 
unacceptable slap in the face to all those who follow our immigration 
laws.
  Worse still, this legislation does little to root out fraud, instead, 
blatantly incentivizing it.
  The ability to receive work authorization and other benefits upon 
application will likely lead many individuals to submit applications 
even if they are not eligible, but they will have no fear of doing so 
because there are no penalties attached. Aliens can withdraw their 
fraudulent application without prejudice to any further application.
  This legislation also condones and turns a blind eye to instances of 
immigration fraud by waiving inadmissibility for aliens who previously 
tried to fraudulently gain legal status or falsely claimed to be U.S. 
citizens.
  There are several other concerning provisions with this legislation:
  It creates a new grant program to assist eligible applicants--illegal 
aliens--in applying for this newly created immigration status.
  It prohibits use of E-Verify to check a new hire's employment 
eligibility until that person is actually hired and requires use of the 
program in a way that demonstrates a fundamental misunderstanding of 
the mechanics of the E-Verify system.
  It allows aliens to prove work history with only a sworn affidavit 
from someone who ostensibly has direct knowledge of their work history.
  It fails to impose any real penalty for months and years of illegal 
work, and it fails to impose any real penalty on employers who 
knowingly violated U.S. law for their own benefit.
  At a time when our immigration system is rampant with illegality, 
when we have little control over our southern border and there are 
crisis levels of individuals trying to illegally immigrate, we should 
not be promoting legislation that rewards years of illegal behavior.
  Madam Speaker, for these reasons, I oppose this legislation and urge 
my colleagues to do the same.
  Ms. LOFGREN. Madam Speaker, I yield 1 minute to the gentlewoman from 
Ohio (Ms. Kaptur), someone who has been through a lot. She is a senior 
Member of the House and the most senior woman in the House, has served 
the most time.
  Ms. KAPTUR. Madam Speaker, I thank so very much Madam Chair for 
yielding to me and for her distinguished leadership on behalf of the 
American producers and farmworkers who are the subject of this 
important bill. I have a sense of how long she has worked on this.
  For too long, I have borne painful witness to the plight of our 
continent's migrant farmworkers, as well as the problems our growers 
are having. These hardworking migrant workers endure harsh working 
conditions at jobs that the American people simply are not interested 
in and won't do. These workers endure very harsh conditions to make 
sure that food gets to our tables, from farm to table. We could not 
feed this country without these workers.
  Many of these workers leave their families and journey to the United 
States in hopes of finding decent work at a respectable wage, yet far 
too often are subjugated to exploitative serfdom. That is why I stand 
heartened that the Farm Workforce Modernization Act has been brought 
forth to this House floor.
  This bill has strengths, as others have talked about: It regularizes 
the workforce; it addresses very serious issues.
  The SPEAKER pro tempore (Ms. DeGette). The time of the gentlewoman 
has expired.
  Ms. LOFGREN. Madam Speaker, I yield the gentlewoman from Ohio an 
additional 15 seconds.
  Ms. KAPTUR. Madam Speaker, this bill regularizes the workforce, 
addresses the very serious issues of heat illness prevention and decent 
lodging, and also has other necessary provisions that demand our 
support.
  We must address the conditions of these workers. They cannot be 
preyed upon. I look forward to continuing to work with my colleagues to 
improve conditions not addressed in this bill.
  Madam Speaker, I want to thank the chairwoman for her fantastic work, 
speaking up for some of America's most forgotten workers.
  Mr. BUCK. Madam Speaker, I have no further witnesses and am prepared 
to close.
  I reserve the balance of my time.
  Ms. LOFGREN. Madam Speaker, may I inquire how much time remains on 
each side.
  The SPEAKER pro tempore. The gentlewoman from California has 15\1/4\ 
minutes remaining. The gentleman from Colorado has 4\1/2\ minutes 
remaining.
  Ms. LOFGREN. Madam Speaker, I yield myself such time as I may 
consume.
  Madam Speaker, I would like to first make a comment in lieu of the 
testimony that was going to be given by Representative Clay from 
Missouri. Unfortunately--or fortunately; I don't know what they are 
voting on--the Financial Services Committee is meeting, and he has been 
detained there voting in that committee.

[[Page H10077]]

  Mr. Clay was here to talk about an important thing that the Financial 
Services Committee helped us with in the drafting of this bill, and 
that is the improvement in the availability of farmworker housing while 
lowering employer costs as it relates to housing, and that is a win. We 
need to make sure that H-2A workers who come to the United States have 
a decent place to live while they are here working.
  Now, preserving the existing housing stock, including by adopting 
H.R. 3620, the Strategy and Investment in Rural Housing Preservation 
Act, which authorizes $1 billion to rehabilitate housing that is aging 
out of the USDA incentives program, is included in this bill.
  Incentivizing new housing by tripling funding for USDA section 514 
and 516 rural housing loan and grant programs and doubling funding for 
section 512 rental assistance programs, increasing the USDA per project 
loan limitation, and granting operating subsidies to 514, 516 property 
owners who house H-2A workers is going to be a real important boost to 
rural America. Not only will it increase the amount of housing and the 
quality of housing, but it will also inject new economic activity in 
rural America. And we all know that, economically, rural America is 
suffering in terms of jobs more than other parts of the country.
  So this is a win-win-win. It is a win for farmers by lowering their 
costs; it is a win for H-2A migrant workers so they can have a decent 
place to live; and it is a win for people who live in rural America who 
are going to be building these facilities, who will see an injection of 
funds to improve their economy.
  So Mr. Clay could not be here to talk about his bill, but I am 
talking about it on his behalf.
  Madam Speaker, I yield 3 minutes to the gentleman from California 
(Mr. Panetta), the Representative for Salinas Valley, someone who has 
worked on this bill for a huge amount of time--not only he, but his 
staff.
  Mr. PANETTA. Madam Speaker, I thank Chairwoman Lofgren for her 
amazing leadership on this bill. It is an honor to have her as a 
colleague. It is an honor to have her as my direct neighbor to the 
north in California.
  Madam Speaker, let me also take this time to thank Representative   
Dan Newhouse for his courage, his willingness to be bold on this bill 
was phenomenal.
  Let me thank both of their staffs for the amazing amount of work that 
they did on this bill.
  Madam Speaker, let me thank all of my colleagues on both sides of the 
aisle who have worked on this bill, especially Fred Upton and the 
Problem Solvers Caucus, who are supporting this bill.
  This bill, the Farm Workforce Modernization Act, is a step in the 
right direction for our agriculture, for immigration reform, and, yes, 
even this Congress.
  This bill would protect our existing ag workers, and it promotes an 
enduring ag workforce. This bill does that by allowing those who have 
worked in ag to stay working in ag and the opportunity to earn a 
pathway here in this country.
  It does that by modernizing an outdated system for temporary workers 
and adding 3-year visas for year-round workers. It does that by 
ensuring a number of visas, fair wages, a supply of housing, and safe 
working conditions.
  By passing this bill, finally, farmers will have access to a 
dependable and experienced workforce, and farmworkers will not get just 
the legality, but the dignity that they deserve.
  I am not only proud of the product in this bill, but all of us here 
in the House of Representatives should be extremely proud of the 
process behind the formulation of this bill.

  For the past 9 months out of this year, farmers and farmworkers, 
Democrats and Republicans, came to the table, sat at the table, and 
stayed at the table to grind out the details in this bill.
  Now, yes, it is not a perfect bill, but it really is a darn good 
bill, a bill which is the result of a compromise. That is why this bill 
is a huge step in the right direction for farmers, for farmworkers, for 
our agricultural communities, for our country, for Democrats and 
Republicans in this Congress, and for who we are as a democracy, built 
on a nation of immigrants.
  Mr. BUCK. Madam Speaker, I yield myself such time as I may consume.
  Madam Speaker, I include in the Record Ranking Member Collins' 
statement.
  Once again, I appreciate my colleagues' desire to fix this problem 
and provide our farmers and ranchers with a long-term solution to the 
labor supply problems in this country; however, this bill only masks 
the existing problems and creates a whole host of new issues that we 
will have to revisit in a few years, and it polarizes Americans 
further.
  My colleagues and I can agree that we need to fix this problem. 
Potentially allowing criminals a pathway to citizenship isn't the way. 
Allowing possible Social Security fraud isn't the way. Preventing our 
employers from curing problems and giving trial attorneys a handout 
isn't the way.
  Madam Speaker, I truly want to help all of our farmers and ranchers, 
but this bill is wrong, and I cannot support it. I urge my colleagues 
to vote against the bill.
  Madam Speaker, I yield back the balance of my time.
  Ms. LOFGREN. Madam Speaker, I yield myself such time as I may 
consume.
  Madam Speaker, this is the time to act. For many years, under the 
leadership of different Speakers with different majorities, we have 
talked about dealing with this issue, and that is all we did: we 
talked.
  You know, there is never a perfect piece of legislation, but as Mr. 
Panetta said, this is a darn good piece of legislation.

                              {time}  1545

  It was the one that was crafted together, and a lot of people across 
America might be surprised that Republicans and Democrats sat down in a 
room, along with stakeholders who often don't agree with each other, 
and we worked things out. We came up with a plan that will work.
  We know it will work because we have a list of close to 300 
agricultural entities, farmers all across the United States, who are 
asking us to please pass this bill. They know it will work.
  Madam Speaker, I include in the Record that list.
                                                November 18, 2019.
     Hon. Nancy Pelosi,
     Speaker, House of Representatives,
     Washington, DC.
     Hon. Kevin McCarthy,
     Minority Leader, House of Representatives,
     Washington, DC.
       Dear Speaker Pelosi and Minority Leader McCarthy: The 
     undersigned groups, representing a broad cross-section of 
     agriculture and its allies, urge you to advance the Farm 
     Workforce Modernization Act (H.R. 5038) through the House to 
     address the labor crisis facing American agriculture. A 
     stable, legal workforce is needed to ensure farmers and 
     ranchers have the ability to continue producing an abundant, 
     safe, and affordable food supply.
       The effects of agriculture's critical shortage of labor 
     reach far beyond the farm gate, negatively impacting our 
     economic competitiveness, local economies, and jobs. 
     Economists have found that every farm worker engaged in high-
     value, labor-intensive crop and livestock production sustains 
     two to three off-farm jobs. As foreign producers take 
     advantage of our labor shortage and gain market share, 
     America will export not only our food production but also 
     thousands of these farm-dependent jobs. Securing a reliable 
     and skilled workforce is essential, not only for the 
     agricultural industry but for the U.S. economy as a whole.
       The House must pass legislation that preserves 
     agriculture's experienced workforce by allowing current farm 
     workers to earn legal status. For future needs, legislation 
     must include an agricultural worker visa program that 
     provides access to a legal and reliable workforce moving 
     forward. This visa program needs to be more accessible, 
     predictable, and flexible to meet the needs of producers, 
     including those with year-round labor needs, such as dairy 
     and livestock which currently do not have meaningful access 
     to any program.
       While the bill does include a few provisions that raise 
     significant concerns for the agricultural community, we are 
     committed to working together throughout the legislative 
     process to fully address these issues. It is vital to move 
     the Farm Workforce Modernization Act (H.R. 5038) through the 
     House as a significant step in working to meet the labor 
     needs of agriculture, both now and in the future.
           Sincerely,
       African-American Farmers of California; AgCountry Farm 
     Credit Services; AgriBank FCB; Agribusiness Henderson County 
     (AgHC); Agricultural Council of California Agri-Mark, Inc.; 
     Alabama Farmers Cooperative; Alabama Nursery & Landscape 
     Association; Almond Alliance of California; Amalgamated Sugar 
     Company LLC; American

[[Page H10078]]

     AgCredit; American Agri-Women; American Beekeeping 
     Federation; American Mushroom Institute; American Pistachio 
     Growers; American Seed Trade Association AmericanHort.
       Arizona Cattle Feeders' Association; Arizona Landscape 
     Contractors Association; Arizona Nursery Association; 
     Arkansas Rice Growers Association; Associated Milk Producers 
     Inc.; Association of Virginia Potato and Vegetable Growers; 
     Aurora Organic Dairy; AZ Farm & Ranch Group; Battlefield 
     Farms, Inc.; Bipartisan Policy Center Action; Bongards' 
     Creameries; Butte County Farm Bureau; California Ag 
     Irrigation Association; California Alfalfa and Forage 
     Association; California Apple Commission.
       California Avocado Commission; California Bean Shippers 
     Association; California Blueberry Commission; California 
     Canning Peach Association; California Cherry Growers and 
     Industry Association; California Citrus Mutual California 
     Dairies, Inc.; California Farm Bureau Federation; California 
     Fig Advisory Board; California Fresh Fruit Association; 
     California Grain and Feed Association; California League of 
     Food Producers; California Pear Growers; California Prune 
     Board; California Seed Association; California State 
     Beekeepers Association.
       California State Floral Association; California Sweet 
     Potato Council; California Tomato Growers Association; 
     California Walnut Commission; California Warehouse 
     Association; California Wheat Growers Association; California 
     Women for Agriculture; Cayuga Milk Ingredients; Central 
     Valley Ag; Cherry Marketing Institute; Chobani; Clif Bar & 
     Company; CoBank; Colorado Dairy Farmers; Colorado Nursery & 
     Greenhouse Association.
       Colorado Potato Legislative Association; Compeer Financial; 
     Cooperative Milk Producers Association; Cooperative Network 
     Dairy Farmers of America, Inc.; Dairy Producers of New 
     Mexico; Dairy Producers of Utah; Del Mar Food Products, 
     Corp.; Driscoll's; Edge Dairy Farmer Cooperative; Ellsworth 
     Cooperative Creamery; Empire State Potato Growers; Far West 
     Agribusiness Association; Farm Credit East; Farm Credit 
     Illinois; Farm Credit Services of America; Farm Credit West.
       FarmFirst Dairy Cooperative; First District Association; 
     Florida Agri-Women; Florida Blueberry Growers Association; 
     Florida Citrus Mutual; Florida Fruit & Vegetable Association; 
     Florida Nursery, Growers, and Landscape Association; Florida 
     Strawberry Growers Association; Florida Tomato Exchange; Food 
     Northwest; Food Producers of Idaho; Foremost Farms USA; 
     Fresno County Farm Bureau; Frontier Farm Credit; Fruit 
     Growers Marketing Association.
       Fruit Growers Supply; Georgia Green Industry Association; 
     Glanbia Nutritionals; Grapeman Farms; GreenStone Farm Credit 
     Services; Grower-Shipper Association of Central California; 
     GROWMARK; Gulf Citrus Growers Association; Hop Growers of 
     Washington; Idaho Alfalfa & Clover Seed Commission; Idaho 
     Alfalfa & Clover Seed Growers Association; Idaho Apple 
     Commission; Idaho Association of Commerce and Industry; Idaho 
     Association of Highway Districts; Idaho Association of Soil 
     Conservation Districts.
       Idaho Bankers Association; Idaho Cattleman's Association; 
     Idaho Chamber Alliance; Idaho Dairymen's Association; Idaho 
     Eastern Oregon Seed Association; Idaho Grain Producers 
     Association; Idaho Grower Shipper Association; Idaho Hop 
     Growers; Idaho Milk Products; Idaho Mint Growers Association; 
     Idaho Noxious Weed Control Association; Idaho Nursery & 
     Landscape Association; Idaho Onion Growers Association; Idaho 
     Potato Commission; Idaho State Grange; Idaho Sugarbeet 
     Growers Association; Idaho Water Users Association; Idaho 
     Wool Growers.
       Idahoan Foods LLC; Idaho-Oregon Fruit and Vegetable 
     Association; Illinois Green Industry Association; 
     International Dairy Food Association; Iowa Institute for 
     Cooperatives; Iowa State Dairy Association; J.R. Simplot 
     Company; Kansas Cooperative Council; Kansas Dairy 
     Association; Kanza Cooperative Associaton; Kings County Farm 
     Bureau; Land O'Lakes, Inc.; Lone Star Milk Producers; Madera 
     County Farm Bureau; Maine Landscape and Nursery Association.
       Maine Potato Board; Maryland & Virginia Milk Producers 
     Cooperative Association; Maryland Nursery, Landscape, & 
     Greenhouse Association; Massachusetts Nursery and Landscape 
     Association, Inc.; MBG Marketing; Mendocino County Farm 
     Bureau; Merced County Farm Bureau; Michigan Agri-Business 
     Association; Michigan Apple Association; Michigan Asparagus 
     Advisory Board; Michigan Bean Shippers; Michigan Cider 
     Association; Michigan Greenhouse Grower Council; Michigan 
     Milk Producers Association; Michigan Nursery & Landscape 
     Association.
       Michigan State Horticultural Society; Midwest Dairy 
     Coalition; Mid-West Dairymen's Company; Milk Producers 
     Council; Milk Producers of Idaho; Minnesota Area II Potato 
     Council; Minnesota Milk Producers Association; Minnesota 
     Nursery & Landscape Association; Missouri Rice Research and 
     Merchandising Council; Montana Nursery & Landscape 
     Association; Monterey County (CA) Farm Bureau; Mount Joy 
     Farmers Cooperative Association; Napa County Farm Bureau; 
     National All-Jersey; National Association of Produce Market 
     Managers.
       National Council of Agricultural Employers; National 
     Council of Farmer Cooperatives; National Farmers Union; 
     National Grange; National Immigration Forum; National Milk 
     Producers Federation; National Onion Association; National 
     Potato Council; National Watermelon Association; Nebraska 
     State Dairy Association; New American Economy; New England 
     Apple Council; New England Farmers Union; New York Apple 
     Association; New York Farm Bureau Federation.
       New York State Berry Growers Association; New York State 
     Flower Industries; New York State Vegetable Growers 
     Association; Nezperce Prairie Grass Growers Association; 
     Nisei Farmers League; North American Blueberry Council; North 
     Carolina Nursery & Landscape Association; North Carolina 
     Potato Association; Northeast Dairy Farmers Cooperatives; 
     Northeast Dairy Foods Association, Inc.; Northeast Dairy 
     Producers Association; Northern Plains Potato Growers 
     Association; Northern Virginia Nursery & Landscape 
     Association; Northwest Ag Co-op Council; Northwest Dairy 
     Association/Darigold.
       Northwest Farm Credit Services; Northwest Horticultural 
     Council; Ohio Apple Marketing Program; Ohio Dairy Producers 
     Association; Ohio Nursery & Landscape Association; Olive 
     Growers Council of California; Oneida-Madison Milk Producers 
     Cooperative Association; Orange County Farm Bureau; Oregon 
     Association of Nurseries; Oregon Dairy Farmers Association; 
     Oregon Potato Commission; Pacific Coast Producers; Pacific 
     Egg and Poultry Association; Pacific Seed Association; 
     Pennsylvania Co-operative Potato Growers.
       Pennsylvania Landscape & Nursery Association; Plant 
     California Alliance; POM Wonderful; Porterville Citrus; 
     Potato Growers of America; Potato Growers of Idaho; Potato 
     Growers of Michigan; Prairie Farms Dairy, Inc.; Premier Milk 
     Inc.; Produce Marketing Association; Professional Dairy 
     Managers of Pennsylvania; RBI Packing LLC; Reiter Affiliated 
     Companies; Richard Bagdasarian, Inc.; Riverside County Farm 
     Bureau.
       Rocky Mountain Farmers Union; San Diego County Farm Bureau; 
     San Mateo County Farm Bureau; Santa Clara County Farm Bureau; 
     Santa Cruz County Farm Bureau; Scioto Cooperative Milk 
     Producers' Association; Select Milk Producers, Inc.; Seneca 
     Foods Corporation; Sierra Citrus Association; Snake River 
     Sugar Company; Solano County Farm Bureau; Sonoma County Farm 
     Bureau; South Dakota Association of Cooperatives; South 
     Dakota Dairy Producers; South East Dairy Farmers Association.
       Southeast Milk Inc.; Southern States Cooperative; St. 
     Albans Cooperative Creamery, Inc.; Stanislaus County Farm 
     Bureau; State Horticultural Association of Pennsylvania; 
     Summer Prize Frozen Foods; Sunkist Growers; Sun-Maid Growers 
     of California; Sunsweet Growers, Inc.; Tennessee Nursery & 
     Landscape Association; Texas Agricultural Cooperative 
     Council; Texas Association of Dairymen; Texas Citrus Mutual; 
     Texas International Produce Association; Texas Nursery & 
     Landscape Association.
       The National Association of State Departments of 
     Agriculture; The SF Market and San Francisco Produce 
     Association; Tillamook County Creamery Association; Tree Top 
     Inc.; Tulare County Farm Bureau; U.S. Apple Association; U.S. 
     Rice Producers Association; United Ag; United Dairymen of 
     Arizona; United Egg Producers; United Fresh Produce 
     Association; United Onions, USA; United Potato Growers of 
     America; Upstate Niagara Cooperative, Inc., Utah Farmers 
     Union.
       Utah Horticulture Society; Valley Fig Growers; Ventura 
     County Agricultural Association; Ventura Pacific; Vermont 
     Dairy Producers Alliance; Virginia Apple Growers Association; 
     Virginia Nursery & Landscape Association; Virginia State 
     Dairymen's Association; Visalia Citrus Packing Group, Inc.; 
     WA Wine Institute; Washington Growers League; Washington 
     State Dairy Federation; Washington State Nursery & Landscape 
     Association; Washington State Potato Commission; Washington 
     State Tree Fruit Association.
       Wawona Frozen Foods; West Virginia Nursery & Landscape 
     Association; Western Growers Association; Western States 
     Dairy Producers Association; Western United Dairies; Wine 
     Institute; WineAmerica; Wisconsin Dairy Business Association; 
     Wisconsin Potato & Vegetable Growers Association; Wonderful 
     Citrus; Wonderful Orchards; Yuma Fresh Vegetable Association.
  Ms. LOFGREN. Madam Speaker, I also include in the Record a list of 
those who care about immigrants who are also asking us to pass this 
bill: Farmworker Justice, Justice for Migrant Women, the National 
Domestic Workers Alliance, the Forest Worker Center, the Service 
Employees International Union.
                                                November 19, 2019.
       Dear Member of Congress: We write to urge you to support 
     the Farm Workforce Modernization Act of 2019, HR 5038. The 
     bill is a bipartisan compromise representing the culmination 
     of hard fought negotiations to address the needs of 
     farmworkers and our agriculture system in the context of our 
     broken immigration system. Importantly, this bill recognizes 
     the valuable role of farmworkers in our food system by 
     providing an earned path to legal immigration status and 
     citizenship to farmworkers and their families.
       If enacted, the Farm Workforce Modernization Act would 
     provide an opportunity for experienced agricultural workers 
     to apply

[[Page H10079]]

     for legal status if they show employment in U.S. agriculture 
     and meet other criteria. At least half of the nation's 
     roughly 2.4 million farmworkers are undocumented immigrants 
     and immigration relief is urgently needed to address the 
     constant fear of deportation many farmworkers and their 
     children experience. The ability to obtain immigration status 
     and a path to citizenship is key to enabling farmworkers to 
     bargain for better working and living conditions and to 
     challenge serious labor abuses. This legislation would result 
     in a more stable farm labor force and greater food safety and 
     security to the benefit of employers, workers, and consumers.
       The bill also would revise the existing H-2A visa program 
     to address concerns of both farmworkers and agricultural 
     employers. The compromise includes concessions made by all 
     sides in this debate and includes both important new 
     protections for farmworkers, such as new protections against 
     trafficking, as well as provisions sought by employers. 
     Importantly, for the first time, the bill would recognize the 
     humanity of those working here under temporary visas by 
     providing a path to permanent status for those who satisfy 
     the specified work requirements.
       The Farm Workforce Modernization Act of 2019 is an 
     important step forward and sends a clear signal that there 
     are leaders in Congress ready to engage constructively on 
     immigration and reach across the aisle to develop sensible 
     policies. We encourage you to support this legislation and 
     join this important effort to protect farmworkers and our 
     nation's agricultural system.
           Sincerely,
       Advocates for Basic Legal Equality, Inc.; AirGo; America's 
     Voice; Association of Farmworker Opportunity Programs; Bread 
     for the World; California Human Development; California Rural 
     Legal Assistance Foundation, Inc.; CaliforniaHealth+ 
     Advocates; Carolina Family Health Center; CASA.
       Casa de Esperanza: National [email protected] Network for Healthy 
     Families and Communities; CASA of Oregon; Central Valley 
     Opportunity Center; Centro De Los Derechos Del Migrante, Inc. 
     (CDM); Chicago's Legal Aid Society; Child Labor Coalition; 
     Chillinois Young Farmers Coalition; Coalition for Humane 
     Immigrant Rights--CHIRLA; Coalition of Florida Farmworker 
     Organizations; Coalition on Human Needs.
       Coalition to Abolish Slavery & Trafficking (CAST) 
     Community; Council of Idaho, Inc.; Community Farm Alliance; 
     CREDO; CRLA Foundation; Equal Justice Center; Farmworker and 
     Landscaper Advocacy Project (FLAP); Farmworker Justice; 
     Finger Lakes Community Health; Florida Legal Services, Inc.; 
     Food Policy Action; Freedom Network USA; Greater New York 
     Labor Religion Coalition; Hand in Hand Mano en Mano; Hispanic 
     Affairs Project; Hispanic Federation; Hispanics in 
     Philanthropy; Human Agenda; Immigration Hub; Inter University 
     Program on Latino Research.
       Interfaith Center on Corporate Responsibility; Jobs With 
     Justice Education Fund; Justice at Work; Justice for Migrant 
     Women; Justice in Motion; Kentucky Equal Justice Center; La 
     Cooperativa Campesina de California; La Union del Pueblo 
     Entero (LUPE); LatinoJustice PRLDEF; League of United Latin 
     American Citizens (LULAC).
       Logan Square Farmers Market; MAFO, Inc.; Maine Immigrants 
     Rights Coalition; MALDEF (Mexican American Legal Defense and 
     Educational Fund); Maryland Wineries Association; Mexican 
     American Council; Mississippi Delta Council for Farmworkers 
     Opportunities, Inc.; National Consumers League; National 
     Domestic Workers Alliance (NDWA); National Hispanic Medical 
     Association.
       National Latinx Psychological Association; National Migrant 
     and Seasonal Head Start Association; National Partnership for 
     New Americans; NETWORK Lobby for Catholic Social Justice; 
     Northwest Forest Worker Center; Northwest Regional Primary 
     Care Association; Northwest Workers' Justice Project; 
     Operation Access; Oregon Human Development Corporation; Oxfam 
     America.
       PathStone Corporation, Pesticide Action Network, Pineros y 
     Campesinos Unidos del Noroeste (Northwest Treeplanters and 
     Farmworkers United), Proteus Inc.; Public Justice Center; 
     Roots and Culture Kombucha; Rural and Migrant Ministry; SER 
     Jobs for Progress National Inc.; Service Employees 
     International Union (SEIU).
       Southeast Community Health Systems; Telamon Corporation; 
     UFW Foundation; U.S. Committee for Refugees and Immigrants 
     (USCRI); UnidosUS; United Farm Workers (UFW); United Migrant 
     Opportunity Services/UMOS Inc.; United States Hispanic 
     Leadership Institute; Voto Latino; Wayne Action for Racial 
     Equality.
  Ms. LOFGREN. Madam Speaker, there is a letter here from Farmworker 
Justice that I include in the Record explaining why this is an 
important thing to do.

                           Farmworker Justice


   Judiciary Committee, House of Representatives, Farmworker Justice 
        Statement on House Agricultural Immigration Reform Bill

       Farmworker Justice supports the Farm Workforce 
     Modernization Act of 2019, H.R. 5038, which is under 
     consideration by the Judiciary Committee of the House of 
     Representatives. The FWMA should be approved by the Judiciary 
     Committee and passed by the full House.
       The bipartisan bill resulted from lengthy, complex 
     negotiations led by Rep. Lofgren (D-CA), Chair of the 
     Subcommittee on Immigration and Citizenship, and Rep. 
     Newhouse (R-WA), a farmer and former Director of Washington 
     State's Department of Agriculture, and additional colleagues. 
     To help reach agreement, Members of Congress involved 
     farmworker advocates, including the United Farm Workers, UFW 
     Foundation, and Farmworker Justice, and agricultural employer 
     trade associations. Farmworker Justice appreciates the 
     scheduling of the markup of the FWMA by the Chair of the 
     Judiciary Committee, Rep. Nadler.
       Of utmost importance, the supporters of this legislation 
     recognize the important contributions of farmworkers to our 
     nation's food and agriculture systems. An estimated 2.4 
     million people labor on our farms and ranches to provide us 
     with fruits, vegetables, milk and other food. This 
     legislation addresses the fundamentally unfair conditions 
     experienced by many farmworkers due to our nation's broken 
     immigration system. The large majority of the nation's 
     farmworkers are immigrants, and a majority lack authorized 
     immigration status. Undocumented farmworkers and their family 
     members live in fear of arrest, deportation and the breakup 
     of their families. In these circumstances, many farmworkers 
     are reluctant to challenge illegal or unfair treatment in 
     their workplaces and their communities. At times, they cannot 
     go to work due to the presence of immigration enforcement 
     agents. The country's farms and our food system depend on 
     immigrants, both documented and undocumented.
       The Farm Workforce Modernization Act bill provides a path 
     to lawful permanent residency for undocumented farmworkers 
     and their family members. It would eliminate the constant 
     fear of deportation and family breakup that is so stressful 
     for many farmworker families. Removing the threat of 
     immigration enforcement also would reduce disruptions of 
     farming businesses. With legal status and a path to 
     citizenship, farmworkers would be better able to improve 
     their wages and working conditions and seek enforcement of 
     their labor protections. These improvements would result in a 
     more stable farm labor force and greater food safety and 
     security to the benefit of employers, workers, and consumers. 
     The earned legalization program's requirements are more 
     rigorous and expensive than we would have preferred, but are 
     acceptable in the effort to reach a realistic compromise.
       The bill also would revise the existing H-2A agricultural 
     guestworker program to address farmworker and employer 
     concerns with the program. Farmworker advocates have pressed 
     for reforms to reduce widespread abuses under this flawed 
     program, while agricultural employers have lobbied heavily to 
     remove most of its modest labor protections, claiming that 
     the program is unduly expensive and bureaucratic. The bill's 
     lengthy provisions include important new protections for 
     farmworkers, as well as changes to address agricultural 
     employers' concerns. Compromise was necessary to achieve 
     legislation that could become law and address serious harms 
     imposed on farmworker families by our broken immigration 
     system.
       Farmworker Justice supports the Farm Workforce 
     Modernization Act of 2019 because the bill, if passed, would 
     enable hundreds of thousands of farmworker families to 
     improve significantly their living and working conditions and 
     their participation in our economy and democracy.
       Farmworker Justice, based in Washington, D.C., is a 
     national advocacy organization for farmworkers with over 
     thirty-five years of experience serving the farmworker 
     community regarding immigration and labor policy. FJ's 
     website contains extensive information about farmworkers, 
     immigration policy, labor conditions and the H-2A 
     agricultural guestworker program. www.farmworkerjusice.
 Ms. LOFGREN. Madam Speaker, there have been some who have suggested 
privately, or even in public--the ranking member of the full committee 
in the Rules Committee last night said, Well, we should be covering 
chicken processing plants.
  We did just one thing in this bill, and that was to deal with 
agriculture. We didn't expand the definition of agriculture. There may 
be issues in other parts of the American economy, but we decided to 
focus on just this one thing: agriculture--not processing, not 
trucking, not forestry, just agriculture.
  The Laborers International Union has sent a letter in support, which 
I include in the Record, endorsing this bill and noting that this bill 
works in the agricultural sector and they hope that we will vote for 
it.


                                                       LiUNA!,

                                                 December 9, 2019.
     House of Representatives,
     Washington, DC.
       Dear Representative: On behalf of the more than 500,000 
     members of the Laborers' International Union of North America 
     (LIUNA), I want to express our support for H.R. 5038, the 
     bipartisan Farm Workforce Modernization Act.
       Workers in agricultural industries, like those in all other 
     industries, must have a

[[Page H10080]]

     path to legal immigration status and citizenship. H.R. 5038 
     does just that, providing security for millions of farm 
     workers and their families. This in turn will lead to better 
     wages and working conditions for a group of workers who have 
     historically been subject to horrific abuses.
       H.R. 5038 also specifies that employers who try to misuse 
     the H-2A program in industries covered by a different guest 
     worker visa program (H-2B), including construction and 
     landscape, cannot do so. Specifically, LIUNA is pleased that 
     the House included language to the H-2.A program requirements 
     to investigate and prevent fraud in the H-2A program, as well 
     as to ensure that employers cannot use H-2A workers if the 
     majority of the worker's duties are related to Construction.
       While LIUNA is supporting H.R. 5038, we want to be clear 
     that while many of these reforms may make sense in the 
     agricultural industry, it does not mean that all of the 
     bill's provisions are necessary or helpful for other guest 
     worker visa programs or workers in other industries. 
     Historically, agricultural workers have been treated under 
     different rules and laws than those in other industries, both 
     permanent and guest workers. All of the reforms in H.R. 5038 
     for the H-2A program may not work for the H-2B program, for 
     example. The H-2B guest worker program is commonly abused by 
     employers in the landscape and construction industries to 
     deny workers already in the U.S. access to jobs and to 
     exploit workers both in and out of the U.S. The H-2B program 
     must be significantly reformed in ways that will address the 
     specific abuses of our union's construction and landscape 
     members and foreign workers alike. LIUNA looks forward to 
     working with Congress on H-2B reform in the near future.
       For decades, LIUNA has fought for comprehensive immigration 
     reform, which remains our goal. While we work toward that 
     end, LIUNA supports efforts including H.R. 5038 to give 
     vulnerable workers and their families who have suffered 
     historic exploitation a path to security and citizenship. 
     LIUNA asks that you vote for H.R. 5038, the Farm Workforce 
     Modernization Act.
       With kind regards, I am
           Sincerely yours,
                                                 Terry O'Sullivan,
                                                General President.
  Ms. LOFGREN. There may be other issues when you come to other parts 
of the economy. We should address those issues as well, but we are 
going to have to do that by sitting down, just as we did in this case, 
with the unions, with the employers, with the stakeholders to see what 
the issues are and how can we craft a bipartisan solution that makes 
America strong, that makes our economy work.
  I am confident we will have a chance to do that.
  Now, I just want to say, some of the comments made, although I am 
sure made in good faith, about the bill are incorrect.
  The elements, the suggestion that this will be riddled with fraud is 
just simply incorrect. These antifraud measures are the same that were 
included and, in fact, in some cases are tougher than were included in 
the Goodlatte bill that Members supported in the last Congress.
  The criminal national security bars are stronger than were included 
in the Goodlatte bill in the last Congress.
  And I have heard also that these farmworkers, who have worked in the 
fields, who have allowed us to eat vegetables and to have a salad, that 
they should get in line.
  I will tell you a sad thing: There is no line for them. There is no 
line. So we are creating a line with this bill. We are allowing them to 
get right with the law and live lawfully, pay taxes, and do the jobs 
that we need them to do, that their employers need them to do, with 
dignity and without fear.
  I cannot forget going out and talking to farmworkers who are so 
afraid because of enforcement. They are afraid to leave their homes to 
go to church on Sunday morning. That is not the kind of situation we 
want to have in America.
  We write the laws. We can make sure that these individuals comply 
with the law. We have E-Verify in this bill. We have a system that will 
work for farmers, for farmworkers, and for America.
  We have done it over a period of months. We have done it bipartisan. 
We have the support of American agriculture, and I hope we have the 
support of a broad, bipartisan group when this bill comes to a vote 
today.
  Let's not disappoint the people who are counting on us. Let's stand 
up and get something done, finally, on this measure that we have failed 
on over and over again.
  Madam Speaker, I yield back the balance of my time.
  Mr. SCOTT of Virginia. Madam Speaker, farmworkers toil under 
difficult and dangerous conditions for long hours and low pay to ensure 
America has a safe and plentiful food supply.
  Because of the scarcity of domestic farm labor, for decades, the 
agricultural sector has depended largely on the labor of migrant 
workers. The vast majority of crop workers in the United States were 
not born here and are undocumented or here on guest visas. Though these 
workers perform incredibly difficult work under hazardous conditions, 
they are often unable to seek recourse when their rights are violated. 
A pathway to citizenship, when accompanied by appropriate oversight 
measures, could help reduce these dedicated workers' justifiable fear 
of reprisal for asserting their rights. Farmworkers are integral to our 
communities and our economy. Creating a pathway to citizenship for 
these individuals--who work to feed us and our country year after 
year--as well as their families is both an economic and humanitarian 
necessity.
  I support legalization of vulnerable, undocumented workers and a path 
to citizenship. However, in exchange for legalization for some 
undocumented farmworkers, this bill would depress labor standards for 
H-2A workers. Because weakened labor standards for H-2A workers could 
adversely impact the domestic workforce, this bill could negatively 
impact the economic security of all farmworkers.
  Wage cuts for many H-2A workers in turn would depress wages for all 
farmworkers, The adverse effect wage rate (AEWR), which is often the 
binding wage paid to H-2A workers, is designed to ensure that wages 
paid to H-2A workers do not depress wages for U.S. farmworkers. This 
means the AEWR must be high enough to reflect wages paid in the local 
labor market. This bill would change the way the AEWR is currently 
calculated over the first ten years to reflect average wages paid to 
farmworkers in the region according to their specific occupation, 
rather than the average wage paid to farmworkers across all 
occupations. However, the bill fails to require the use of data that 
actually reflects local wage conditions. Additionally, while setting 
limitations on how much AEWR wages can decrease after an initial one-
year freeze, the bill imposes caps on wage increases from year to year, 
limiting whether AEWR can truly reflect wages paid in the local labor 
market.
  As a result of these changes to the AEWR, the majority of H-2A 
workers would see their wages actually go down, albeit modestly, while 
others would see the growth in their wages capped. I have opposed 
similar efforts proposed by the Trump Administration that would depress 
wages.
  This year, I was pleased to lead the House passage of H.R. 582, the 
Raise the Wage Act, which would boost wages for millions of lower-wage 
workers. I am confident that in the next ten years, we will enact a 
meaningful increase in the federal minimum wage, boosting wages for 
workers across our nation including farmworkers. However, I am 
concerned that H.R. 5038 will create artificial barriers to wage 
growth, or worse, lead to wage cuts, continuing to leave farmworkers 
relegated to low pay and economic insecurity.
  Our country's wage and hour laws are designed to ensure that workers 
are guaranteed a fair day's pay for a fair day's work. But this right 
is only as strong as a worker's ability to hold employers accountable, 
especially in court. Unfortunately, this bill creates obstacles that 
may delay farmworkers' ability to access their day in court, when they 
have been victims of wage theft. While I welcome extending coverage of 
the the Migrant and Seasonal Agricultural Worker Protection Act (MSPA) 
to H-2A workers, adding a mediation requirement to both the MSPA and 
the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) is problematic. This bill enables 
employers to impose three months of mandatory mediation when an H-2A 
worker brings a civil suit under these laws, even if the worker does 
not consent to the mediation and wants his or her day in court. This 
undermines the voluntary nature of mediation and provides bad actors 
with an avenue for delaying or denying wage recovery. This delay could 
prove significant for farmworkers who may be in this country for a 
limited amount of time to participate in litigation. This is especially 
fraught given that, in contrast to MSPA, the FLSA provides for recovery 
of unpaid wages and liquated, or double, damages and recovery of 
attorney's fees, plus costs. This provision may also pull domestic 
farmworkers or other visa classifications of workers into required 
mediation where there are collective or class actions, thereby 
undermining incentives for other workers to join with H-2A workers to 
seek redress.
  This September, I supported the passage of H.R. 1423, the FAIR Act, 
to ban forced arbitration in many areas, including employment, because 
it could delay or totally block workers' access to courts. We should 
promote legislation that protects workers' fundamental right to have 
their day in court, not delay it.
  This bill denies newly legalized farmworkers and their families 
access to key social safety

[[Page H10081]]

net programs, such as Medicaid and subsidies under the Affordable Care 
Act. Denial of benefits that can promote economic stability, coupled 
with the bill's wage suppressing provisions, threatens to create a 
long-term pool of economically vulnerable workers. While most of these 
individuals do not currently have access to these benefits due to their 
immigration status, leaving immigrant workers who are granted legal 
status under this legislation without access to social safety net 
programs establishes a dangerous precedent that access to health care 
and other basic necessities can be traded away for a path to legal 
status.
  This legislation weakens the current recruitment and hiring standards 
for U.S. farmworkers. A reduction in employers' obligations to hire 
U.S. workers under this bill will undermine one of the core principles 
of the H-2A program: that H-2A workers should fill in gaps in the farm 
workforce that U.S. employers are truly unable to fill, rather than 
merely replacing U.S. workers that employers could attract with 
reasonable efforts. I raised concerns with similar efforts to modify 
recruitment standards by the Trump Administration earlier this year.
  Agricultural work is hazardous, and workers in this sector have few 
legal health and safety protections. Ensuring that H-2A workers and all 
farmworkers have safe, healthy working conditions is critical. I am 
pleased that this bill requires H-2A employers to maintain heat illness 
prevention plans and requires H-2A employers in the dairy industry to 
maintain workplace safety plans. However, as presently written, some 
provisions are ambiguous and would be difficult to enforce; other 
provisions have weak minimum requirements that would limit their value. 
As this legislation moves forward, I would urge the inclusions of 
stronger health and safety standards.
  Strong labor protections are vital to protect both H-2A workers, who 
are vulnerable given their temporary status, and domestic farmworkers, 
whose employers may be disincentivized to provide employment. This is 
especially true given that farmworkers have historically been carved 
out of labor and employment laws, leaving these workers with fewer wage 
protections and rights to bargain for better working conditions.
  While this bill does make some improvements in immigration law, I 
look forward to supporting a version of this bill that more accurately 
reflects strong labor standards.
  Ms. JOHNSON of Texas. Madam Speaker, I rise today in support of H.R. 
5038, the Farm Workforce Modernization Act. This bipartisan piece of 
legislation will go a long way in addressing the shortage of labor in 
our agriculture sector. This bill will also provide a pathway to 
citizenship for agricultural workers who have spent many years working 
in the fields helping to ensure we have a safe and affordable food 
supply.
  Thanks to the leadership of Chairwoman Lofgren and Congressman 
Newhouse, we have finally started to look at immigration as a solution 
to some of our labor shortages. Farmers and ranchers rely on foreign 
seasonal agricultural workers largely because it's difficult to find a 
reliable source of labor domestically for this sector. It's a fair 
compromise that these workers be offered a pathway to citizenship so 
that they can one day live the American dream just like the rest of us.
  It is my hope that this bill can serve as a blueprint for other 
sectors of our economy where labor shortages persist. Construction is a 
prime example of this. My district, along with the rest of North Texas 
is in the process of seeing rapid population growth. This means 
construction workers are in high demand to build new homes, schools, 
roads, and hospitals for the thousands of people moving to the region 
every month. Similar reforms in the construction industry would help in 
making sure the economy in North Texas can continue to prosper.
  Madam Speaker, we have a unique opportunity here today to pass 
legislation that would benefit both farmers and the agricultural 
workers they employ. I urge my colleagues to vote in support of this 
bill.
  Ms. SANCHEZ. Madam Speaker, I rise today in support of H.R. 5038, the 
Farm Workforce Modernization Act of 2019. I would like to thank 
Congresswoman Lofgren and Congressman Newhouse for convening 
agriculture and labor stakeholders to develop this historic piece of 
legislation.
  This bill represents true bipartisan efforts to help stabilize our 
nation's agriculture crisis. New workplace and legal protections for 
farmworkers, including gender-based protections and heat safety 
standards, are established under this bill.
  Farmworkers have fought long and hard for these reforms. By voting to 
strengthen health and safety standards and provide legal status to 
agricultural workers, we do right by the hardworking men and women who 
put food on our table.
  This bill also modernizes the agricultural guest worker program in 
order to address the nation's agricultural labor shortage. After months 
of negotiations, I believe we have developed a commonsense solution 
that will help both farmworkers and farmers.
  I am proud to have worked with my colleagues to make this bill a 
reality.
  Mr. COLLINS of Georgia. Madam Speaker, Georgia is home to a vast 
agriculture industry with hardworking farmers, ranchers, growers and 
processors who contribute to America's economy every day. In the 
northeast corner where my district is located, more than 10,000 farm 
operators grow everything from peaches to cattle, chickens to 
strawberries.
  There is no doubt that not enough American workers want to work in 
agriculture to fulfill the needs of the industry. Most farmers are 
offering competitive wages to attract workers, while at the same time 
being conscious of the reality that, when production costs get too high 
and they can no longer sell their crops at a competitive rate, they 
could be out of business.
  Growers are increasingly turning to the H-2A visa program to get the 
temporary labor they need, but the program needs reform. The 
agricultural industry wants and deserves a streamlined program that 
provides more certainty as to the temporary labor needed to sustain 
their businesses.
  H-2A users have asked Congress for many reforms of the H-2A program. 
Unfortunately, despite its proponents' claims, H.R. 5038 doesn't fix 
many of the issues with the program, and, in some cases, the bill makes 
the problems worse.
  Growers have requested permanent, long-term wage rate relief instead 
of the unpredictable adverse effect wage rate that H-2A users are 
currently required to pay. This change would help farmers plan for the 
next growing season without facing increases of 6.2 percent like they 
did for fiscal year 2019. H.R. 5038 fails to provide long-term 
stability in wage determinations.
  H-2A users have asked for litigation reform that protects against 
frivolous lawsuits but provides an efficient way to resolve workers' 
legitimate issues. H.R. 5038 does exactly the opposite--it subjects H-
2A users to a private right of action in federal court.
  Those who use the H-2A program have requested that control of the 
program be placed with the cabinet agency that understand growers, 
their needs, and their processes. H.R. 5038 doesn't do that.
  The agricultural industry has asked that Congress provide access to 
the H-2A program for all sectors of agriculture.
  H.R. 5038, however, covers the dairy industry, but leaves out other 
important sectors like meat and poultry processing, forestry and 
aquaculture. Of course, as someone who represents a district where the 
poultry industry employs over 16,000 people and is a vital part of our 
economy, the fact that meat and poultry processors are left out 
represents an enormous problem.
  H-2A users have asked for no cap on the program. Where H.R. 5038 does 
provide some visas for year-round work, it caps the number initially at 
the low rate of 20,000 per year and then reserves half of those for 
dairies. So, a measly 10,000 visas per year are provided for all other 
year-round agriculture needs. After that, the bill caps any increase at 
12.5 percent--yet still reserves half for dairy.
  While the 227 pages of H.R. 5038 make many more changes to the H-2A 
program--some good and some bad--one need look no further than the 
first few pages to figure out the real point of this bill: A path to 
citizenship for an unknown number of illegal immigrants who do some 
work in agriculture, along with their families.
  Of course, we have no idea how many people will take advantage of 
this amnesty. Estimates from groups like Farmworker Justice put the 
number of farm workers in the U.S. at 2.4 million, while other 
estimates reach as high as 2.7 million. Even at the very conservative 
estimate that 50 percent of farm workers are here illegally, well over 
a million and a half people will get a path to citizenship, and, 
because that 50 percent number is from a self-reported survey, we can 
expect the number of illegal workers is even higher than that.
  What are some other concerns with H.R. 5038? The bill promotes 
fraudulent applications through its extremely low document standards 
and the ability to withdraw a knowingly false application without 
prejudice. The bill allows aliens with multiple DUI convictions and 
charges, as well as many other misdemeanor convictions or charges, to 
get amnesty. It forgives Social Security fraud and rewards aliens who 
engage in such fraud with a path to U.S. citizenship.
  The bill defines a ``work day'' as only 5.75 hours long and only 
requires 100 of those each year in order to get a path to citizenship. 
Better yet, an alien can be exempt from one year of work if they are a 
caretaker or are pregnant. The bill doesn't require the alien to pay 
back taxes. H.R. 5038 rewards with amnesty those who failed to attend 
removal proceedings and those who were removed and illegally reentered 
America. The bill even authorizes U.S. taxpayer money to help illegal

[[Page H10082]]

immigrants apply for amnesty and permits DHS to loot up to $10 million 
from the fees paid by those seeking legal immigration benefits--such as 
naturalization.
  There are many more provisions of this bill that concern me. During 
the markup, my Judiciary colleagues and I offered amendments aimed at 
fixing some of these problems. Our amendments were defeated on party 
line votes.
  At the outset of this Congress, I expressed to the subcommittee chair 
my desire to work together on an agricultural labor reform bill that 
has a chance to be enacted. Unfortunately, that didn't happen. My offer 
was ignored, and the bill before us is not something I can support.
  I urge my colleagues to oppose this bill.
  Ms. GARCIA of Texas. Madam Speaker, I stand as an original cosponsor 
of the Farm Workforce Modernization Act.
  Agricultural workers are crucial to our economy and this bill would 
establish a legal and reliable farm workforce.
  I support this bill because it recognizes the humanity of farmworkers 
and their families.
  This is personal to me.
  I grew up poor picking cotton in the fields of South Texas.
  I can testify firsthand about the incredibly hard, back breaking work 
farm workers do, especially in the heart of South Texas.
  Not much has changed since I worked in the fields.
  This bill is long overdue and would provide farm workers with 
important worker protections and legal rights that they desperately 
need.
  Texas is home to nearly 250,000 farms and the need for a strong 
agricultural workforce is vital.
  The SPEAKER pro tempore. All time for debate has expired.
  Pursuant to House Resolution 758, the previous question is ordered on 
the bill, as amended.
  The question is on the engrossment and third reading of the bill.
  The bill was ordered to be engrossed and read a third time, and was 
read the third time.
  The SPEAKER pro tempore. Pursuant to clause 1(c) of rule XIX, further 
consideration of H.R. 5038 is postponed.

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