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State senators want change on guest worker program

ATLANTA (AP) -- The Georgia Senate is urging Congress to allow states to administer their own version of the federal visa program that allows employers to bring in foreign workers for seasonal agricultural work.

Senators unanimously approved a resolution Thursday that also asks for year-round workers in the agriculture industry to be considered along with temporary workers. Republicans and Democrats agreed the state's agriculture industry is "in crisis" and that federal intervention on immigration is needed.

The H-2A program is currently run by the Department of Labor, and the resolution argues the program would be better administered under the U.S. Department of Agriculture. Pending legislation on this issue is currently in the U.S. House.

Georgia Agriculture Commissioner Gary Black is in Washington lobbying on the issue.

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Online:

http://www.legis.ga.gov