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S 852

112th CONGRESS
1st Session

S. 852

To improve the H-2A agricultural worker program for use by dairy workers, sheepherders, and goat herders, and for other purposes.

IN THE SENATE OF THE UNITED STATES

April 14, 2011

Mr. LEAHY (for himself, Mr. ENZI, Mr. SANDERS, Mr. KOHL, Mr. SCHUMER, and Mrs. GILLIBRAND) introduced the following bill; which was read twice and referred to the Committee on the Judiciary


A BILL

To improve the H-2A agricultural worker program for use by dairy workers, sheepherders, and goat herders, and for other purposes.

    Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled,

SECTION 1. SHORT TITLE.

    This Act may be cited as the `H-2A Improvement Act'.

SEC. 2. NONIMMIGRANT STATUS FOR DAIRY WORKERS, SHEEPHERDERS, AND GOAT HERDERS.

    Section 101(a)(15)(H)(ii)(a) of the Immigration and Nationality Act (8 U.S.C. 1101(a)(15)(H)(ii)(a)) is amended by inserting `who is coming temporarily to the United States to perform agricultural labor or services as a dairy worker, sheepherder, or goat herder, or' after `abandoning'.

SEC. 3. SPECIAL RULES FOR ALIENS EMPLOYED AS DAIRY WORKERS, SHEEPHERDERS, OR GOAT HERDERS.

    Section 218 of the Immigration and Nationality Act (8 U.S.C. 1188) is amended--

      (1) by redesignating subsections (h) and (i) as subsections (i) and (j), respectively; and

      (2) by inserting after subsection (g) the following:

    `(h) Special Rules for Aliens Employed as Dairy Workers, Sheepherders, or Goat Herders-

      `(1) IN GENERAL- Notwithstanding any other provision of this Act, an alien admitted as a nonimmigrant under section 101(a)(15)(H)(ii)(a) for employment as a dairy worker, sheepherder, or goat herder--

        `(A) may be admitted for an initial period of 3 years; and

        `(B) subject to paragraph (3)(E), may have such initial period of admission extended for an additional period of up to 3 years.

      `(2) EXEMPTION FROM TEMPORARY OR SEASONAL REQUIREMENT- Not withstanding section 101(a)(15)(H)(ii)(a), an employer filing a petition to employ H-2A workers in positions as dairy workers, sheepherders, or goat herders shall not be required to show that such positions are of a seasonal or temporary nature.

      `(3) ADJUSTMENT TO LAWFUL PERMANENT RESIDENT STATUS-

        `(A) ELIGIBLE ALIEN- In this paragraph, the term `eligible alien' means an alien who--

          `(i) has H-2A worker status based on employment as a dairy worker, sheepherder, or goat herder;

          `(ii) has maintained such status in the United States for a not fewer than 33 of the preceding 36 months; and

          `(iii) is seeking to receive an immigrant visa under section 203(b)(3)(A)(iii).

        `(B) CLASSIFICATION PETITION- A petition under section 204 for classification of an eligible alien under section 203(b)(3)(A)(iii) may be filed by--

          `(i) the alien's employer on behalf of the eligible alien; or

          `(ii) the eligible alien.

        `(C) NO LABOR CERTIFICATION REQUIRED- Notwithstanding section 203(b)(3)(C), no determination under section 212(a)(5)(A) is required with respect to an immigrant visa under section 203(b)(3)(A)(iii) for an eligible alien.

        `(D) EFFECT OF PETITION- The filing of a petition described in subparagraph (B) or an application for adjustment of status based on a petition described in subparagraph (B) shall not be a basis for denying--

          `(i) another petition to employ H-2A workers;

          `(ii) an extension of nonimmigrant status for a H-2A worker;

          `(iii) admission of an alien as an H-2A worker;

          `(iv) a request for a visa for an H-2A worker;

          `(v) a request from an alien to modify the alien's immigration status to or from status as an H-2A worker; or

          `(vi) a request made for an H-2A worker to extend such worker's stay in the United States.

        `(E) EXTENSION OF STAY- The Secretary of Homeland Security shall extend the stay of an eligible alien having a pending or approved petition described in subparagraph (B) in 1-year increments until a final determination is made on the alien's eligibility for adjustment of status to that of an alien lawfully admitted for permanent residence.

        `(F) CONSTRUCTION- Nothing in this paragraph may be construed to prevent an eligible alien from seeking adjustment of status in accordance with any other provision of law.'.

END