This just in:
WASHINGTON [March 20, 2012]—U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) announced today that it extended an accommodation for H-2A workers in the sheepherding industry to transition to the three-year limitation of stay requirements. USCIS will require H-2A sheepherders who have reached their maximum three-year period of stay to depart the United States by Aug. 16, 2012, and remain outside the country for at least three months before petitioning for H-2A classification again.
Translation: The Feds – who decreed that foreign sheepherders (a.k.a. shepherds) get 3-year work permits because the USA has a shepherd shortage – require those shepherds to leave the USA by August 16, and remain outside the country for at least three months before even asking the Feds to start the paperwork for their return!
We need them. We import them. Then we force them to leave. But we still need them! HUH?
We’re not talking big numbers here. For example, Colorado, a leading sheep state, has only about 300 shepherds. Yet ranchers can’t find unemployed American shepherds. Read this and understand.
Maybe ranchers can import replacement shepherds. But why should they hire them according to the Feds’ schedule? The Feds should worry more about the shepherds’ working conditions, and less about putting limits on individual shepherds’ stay.
While the experienced shepherds wait abroad to reapply, will the coyotes postpone lunch?
Add this anecdote to those in our “Immigration Snapshot” series of 2011.
And don’t tell me that our immigration laws make sense.