Kris Kobach Leads 17 States in Suit Against Biden Administration’s Farm Worker Rule


Kansas Attorney General Kris Kobach is leading 17 states in suing President Joe Biden’s Department of Labor for a federal rule that gives collective bargaining rights to foreign farm workers while American farm workers are excluded.

As part of the rule, finalized in April 2024, foreign H-2A visa workers would get collective bargaining rights not afforded to American farm workers.

Kansas Attorney General Kris Kobach (AP Photo/John Hanna, File)

“Once again, Joe Biden is putting America last,” Kobach said in a statement. “He’s giving political benefits to foreign workers while American workers struggle in Biden’s horrible economy. I stand with American workers.”

The lawsuit states:

The Final Rule is not in accordance with federal law. Congress has already clearly spoken on whether agricultural workers have collective bargaining rights and has concluded that they do not. Only Congress can rewrite the NLRA. The Defendants cannot do it through the rulemaking process. … The Final Rule effectively provides NLRA rights to H-2A workers. These are rights that American farmworkers explicitly do not have under federal law. Yet the Final Rule claims that providing these rights for H-2A workers — which similarly situated Americans lack — will somehow prevent adverse effects of American wages. [Emphasis added]

The lawsuit asks a federal court to prevent the Labor Department from enforcing the rule, finding it in violation of federal law.

The program is often used to replace Americans and preserve the low cost of agricultural labor.

In 1997, more than 16,000 foreign H-2A visa workers were imported to take American agriculture jobs. The latest data from Fiscal Year 2022 shows that U.S. farms imported nearly 300,000 foreign H-2A visa workers to fill American jobs.

The lawsuit is Kansas v. U.S. Department of Labor in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Georgia.

John Binder
John Binder
John Binder is an immigration and fashion journalist. He focuses on national issues in the United States and writes for various platforms. He is a proud son, husband, father, and USMC Vet.

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