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Abstract

For the first time, H-2 immigration legislation for the temporary employment of foreign workers has been designed especially for agriculture. If passed, part of the pending Immigration Reform and Control Act will force farm employers to hire either American workers or legal foreign workers. Although information is sketchy, it appears that labor-intensive farms, particularly in vegetable- and fruit-growing States such as California and Florida, will be most affected by the law. Vegetable, melon, fruit and tree nut, and horticultural specialty farms accounted for 6.4 percent of all U.S. farms and nearly 10 percent of the value of farms sales in 1978. Some employers, at times dependent on illegal foreign workers, may have difficulty filling seasonal jobs with American workers.

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