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Kobach leads 17-state coalition in lawsuit over Biden’s temporary farm worker rule

Release Date: Jun 11, 2024
TOPEKA – (June 11, 2024) – Kansas Attorney General Kris Kobach is leading a coalition of 17 states in a lawsuit against a Biden administration rule that allows temporary farm workers in the country on H-2A visas to unionize. Under federal law, American farm workers are prohibited from collective bargaining.
“Once again, Joe Biden is putting America last. He’s giving political benefits to foreign workers while American workers struggle in Biden’s horrible economy. I stand with American workers,” Kobach said.
The complaint, filed June 10 in the Southern District Court of Georgia, argues that the U.S. Department of Labor’s new rule is a rewrite of the National Labor Relations Act. Only Congress has the authority to make changes to the NLRA, according to the lawsuit. Additionally, Kobach argues that the rule creates a situation where hundreds of thousands of temporary foreign-migrant farmworkers would have the right to unionize while millions of American farmworkers do not.
According to the lawsuit, the labor department believes the Immigration Reform and Control Act (IRCA) grants it the authority to create the new rule. However, the coalition of state attorneys general argues that the statute doesn’t give the department the authority to grant H-2A visa workers better working conditions than their American counterparts are statutorily allowed to have.
“The final rule goes above and beyond to provide… rights to H-2A workers. These are rights American farmworkers explicitly do not have under federal law,” the complaint reads. “…The final rule is simply a backdoor so that the agency can achieve a policy goal that requires legislation that it cannot convince Congress to pass.”
Kobach is joined by two private agricultural organizations and attorneys general from Georgia, South Carolina, Arkansas, Florida, Idaho, Indiana, Iowa, Louisiana, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, North Dakota, Oklahoma, Tennessee, Texas, and Virginia in the lawsuit.
Read the full complaint here.

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