Labor Mobility Partnerships (LaMP) applauds the Biden administration’s guidance on fair recruitment practices for temporary workers coming to the United States. At LaMP, we believe that when the H-2 seasonal worker visa programs work well, they can help U.S. employers fill persistent labor shortages and provide migrant workers and their communities with life-changing job opportunities. We echo the administration’s emphasis on the importance of building a responsible recruitment environment for the successful expansion of access to the H-2 visa programs. This guidance is an important step in shaping an environment which encourages responsible practices in the marketplace, and thus promotes the protection of migrant’s rights and dignity.
The guidance outlines a clear process for fair recruitment infrastructure, protection of fundamental rights for workers, and ensuring transparency and access to redress for workers and job applicants. Importantly, it translates international principles into tangible indicators and recommendations relevant to governments, recruiters, retailers, and other supply chain actors. It highlights and promotes best practices such as:
- Clear and transparent recruitment process, and compliance of this enforced by governments
- The design of systems and measures that license or certify legitimate recruiters
- Taking appropriate measures against abusive and fraudulent recruitment
- Trained and resourced labor inspectorates to monitor all labor recruiters
To complement this important step in the right direction, LaMP recommends concrete actions to further operationalize these guidelines with recruiters and suppliers. For example, a simple mechanism that verifies responsible practices at the “first-mile” (early stages) of labor recruitment would bring transparency and oversight to one of the least regulated stages of the recruitment process. Preventing poor practices at the “first-mile” (such as soliciting money in return for employment contracts) can help ensure both workers and employers have a safe and successful H-2 experience. Put simply, a robust responsible recruitment ecosystem is necessary for a well-functioning H-2 program, and a well-functioning H-2 program keeps food on American tables, helps our farmers thrive, and provides job opportunities to migrant workers that can bring enormous benefit to their families and communities.
LaMP is pleased to support this guidance document and continues to collaborate with the administration and industry stakeholders on concrete solutions that help governments, employers, and recruiters further translate these concepts into practice.