U.S. to allow South African H-2 guest workers during Biden travel ban
The U.S. State Department has made an exception to President Biden’s foreign travel ban for some agricultural workers.
Biden blocked entry to the U.S. from South Africa, Brazil, Ireland, and the United Kingdom January 25th because of their high coronavirus infection rates. American Farm Bureau Federation responded, urging the administration to allow nearly five thousand South African workers with unique skillsets.
The State Department said Thursday they intend to continue processing H-2 applications from South Africa for essential food workers, saying the H-2A and H-2B programs are essential to the economy and food security of the United States, and are a national security priority.
The department says seafood processors, fish cutters, farm equipment mechanics, and agriculture equipment operators from South Africa will be considered for access.
The department has not made exceptions for workers from other restricted countries.