Manufactured Homes House Migrant Workers

Using the H-2A visa foreign guestworker program to harvest fruit crops in Washington state requires the growers to provide housing for the workers. In 2013 there were 6,221 employees under the program, many living in manufactured homes, 12 to a home, that accompany the fields of the larger growers. This year that number is expected to rise to 7,000 to 7,500 according to what the Washington Farm Labor Association (WFLA) tells Neighboring Oregon has not developed the H-2A program, resulting in last year’s strawberry crop going unpicked because there were not sufficient numbers of domestic workers for whom housing is not required. Oregon growers were hoping immigration reform would provide field workers this year, but with that not coming out of the U. S. Congress, has learned the growers are looking at the H-2A program.

(Photo credit: Dan Wheat/–new manufactured homes for Washington state workers)

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