Feds fast track foreign farm workers’ return

SALEM, Ore. (AP) — Farmers and orchard owners nationwide are breathing a little easier because as of this week more H-2A workers will be able to cross the Mexican border. The Capital Press reports the U.S. State Department on Thursday expanded the number of foreign agricultural workers whose visa applications can be processed without an in-person interview. After suspending “non-essential” visa processing in Mexico due to the coronavirus outbreak, the agency said it would prioritize processing for returning H2A workers whose visas expired within the last year by giving them an interview waiver. It also broadened those waivers to include new workers and returning workers whose visas had expired in the past 24 months.