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Bipartisan Push to Halt Farmworker Wage Hikes Sparks Debate in Congress

Bipartisan Effort Led by Michigan Representative Aims to Halt Minimum Wage Hikes for Seasonal Farmworkers

Urgency Mounts as Lawmakers Seek Freeze on AEWR to Alleviate Farming Industry Concerns

According to DetroitNews, A group of 120 members of the U.S. House, led by Michigan’s Bill Huizenga, wants to stop the minimum wages for seasonal farmworkers from going up. They say these increases, ordered by the U.S. Department of Labor, are hurting farms a lot. Farmers worry about being able to keep their businesses running, especially with the H-2A visa program growing fast. This program brings in migrant farmworkers, and their wages are going up even faster, making things harder for farmers.

This move, supported by both Democrats and Republicans, shows how urgent the problem is. They want to freeze the “adverse effect wage rate” (AEWR), a minimum wage for seasonal workers, to prevent farms from paying immigrants less. The lawmakers say the U.S. wage rates are much higher than in other countries like Canada and Mexico. Even though many House members agree, it’s not clear if the Senate will approve the freeze, showing that there’s still a lot of debate about how to fix the problem in the farming industry.

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Debate Ensues Over Wage Freeze Impact on Farmworkers and Industry Stability

Some people think stopping the wage increase is necessary to protect seasonal jobs and help farms stay in business. But others worry that freezing wages could harm farmworkers. Gonzalo Peralta, from the Michigan Immigration Rights Center, says farmworkers already face tough conditions and sometimes don’t get paid fairly. As Congress talks about what to do, farmers and workers are trying to figure out how to make sure everyone is treated fairly while keeping farms running smoothly.

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