Document Type


Publication Date

May 2011

First Page



INTRODUCTION: Each year, as spring and summer arrive, Americans partake in range of seasonal traditions: beautifying their lawns and gardens; enjoying harvests of fresh fruits, vegetables, and seafood; and attending local fairs and festivals. Although these rituals have become part of the American cultural fabric, few know that they are supported by thousands of temporary guest workers who enter the United States each year under the H-2 visa program.' The H-a program allows U.S employers to petition for seasonal agricultural workers (via the H-2A program) and seasonal nonagricultural workers (via the H-2B program) to work in this country on a temporary basis.' In recent years worker advocates and government representatives have drawn attention to the H- B program's deficiencies that contribute to the isolation and exploitation of migrant workers.' Indeed, the systemic flaws of the H-2B program, inconsistent wage and hour protections, and limited access to legal services have conspired to render H-:B workers especially vulnerable to mistreatment.