Together with co-counsel from Texas RioGrande Legal Aid, we represented three South Texas farmworkers who intervened as defendants in a lawsuit filed by growers seeking to circumvent wage rules that protect American agricultural employees from cheaper foreign labor. The lawsuit was filed by Peri & Sons Farms, Inc., a Nevada onion grower, and the National Council of Agricultural Employers to block implementation of the 2019 adverse effect wage rate (AEWR). The AEWR is the minimum amount employers seeking to import temporary foreign agricultural workers under the H-2A program typically must offer their employees.
On January 28, 2019, the court granted our motion to intervene and we filed our opposition to plaintiffs’ motion for a preliminary injunction. The parties agreed to consolidate that motion with the merits. On March 18, 2019, the court dismissed the case, agreeing with our argument that the growers’ claims were time-barred. The court’s rejection of the growers’ attempt to stop implementation of the AEWR will keep at least $123 million in the pockets of H-2A workers, and will benefit U.S. laborers who compete with or work alongside the foreign farmworkers.