The High Cost of Bringing Farm Workers Into U.S.

H2A Visa Program brings workers from Mexico and elsewhere but farmers say they pay a price

A program to help U-S farmers find summer workers appears to be working but Michigan farmers say the “H2A Program” comes at a huge cost. The program provides temporary work visas for foreign agricultural workers who have an offer for seasonal work in the US. Fred Leitz  is a partner in his family farm near Benton Harbor. He tells WDET’s Amy Miller he employs about 200 workers for the summer months. Leitz says he’s been forced to use the H2A program for the last three years because he’s been unable to find enough workers.  

“In 2014 I think my wages were like $9.50/hr. In 2015 the government wages for Michigan for H2A program was $11.56/hr. This year, two years later, it’s $12.75 and hour” -Fred Leitz

Click on the audio link above to hear the entire conversation



  • Amy Miller
    Amy has been working in public and commercial radio for the last 30 yrs. She is an award winning reporter and news anchor, born and raised in Detroit.