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Letter: Quit the scary talk regarding guest workers

To the editor:

Letter writers continue to deceive about Sen. Mike Goggin's bill to help H2A visa guest workers make more money. It's clear these writers seem more interested in scary headlines than an honest discussion about the bill.

Had they read the bill or watched any of the hearings, they would understand that the bill applies only to a small number of workers on a specific visa — the H2A visa. It was only recently determined overtime laws apply to these visas, causing costs to skyrocket. As a consequence, workers had hours cut — in fact, a farmer testified that his employees would like to work as much as 75 hours per week, but because of the costs of the overtime law, they had to limit their employees to 48 hours per week. The overtime rule has caused the labor force to dry up as these guest workers find employment in other states.

Goggin's worker-friendly bill will attract more of these visa holders to Minnesota, it will allow those workers to make more money, and help our fresh and local industry produce more fruits and vegetables. It's a win for everyone; it seems like the only folks who are opposed to it are those who have no involvement with our agriculture community or with guest workers, and are only interested in frightening headlines.

Merle Larson

Cannon Falls