Farms rely on immigrant labor to help plant, tend, and harvest the fruits and vegetables that are grown in the US. These are low-paying low skill jobs that historically US citizens have been hesitant to take. To help meet the needs of farmers, the US government has a temporary worker program known as the H-2A temporary foreign agricultural worker program. However, demand far outweighs the availability of these visas. There are three million agricultural jobs that are available each year. Yet in 2007 the Department of State issued 50,791 H-2A visas. The very limited number of visas available for immigrants and farms means that increasingly many, some say up to 70%, farm workers are undocumented. By the late 1990s 40-50% of farm laborers were undocumented, this was up from 10% in 1990.

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