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Rep. Bill Owens
Rep. Bill Owens

Owens pushes guest worker program

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Congressman Bill Owens says he supports a guest worker program for farms. And he thinks it should be separated from the broader debate over immigration. The Democrat from Plattsburgh toured North Country farms last week, hearing from farmers that the federal government's H2A work visa program is slow and bureaucratic. Dairy farmers, who need year-round workers, not seasonal ones, can't even use the program. Owens believes the Ag Jobs bill needs to be separated from more contentious issues, like Arizona's immigration law and a path to citizenship for illegal immigrants. As a part of our series, Story 2.0, we'll hear from Malone vegetable farmer Ralph Child about why the H2A program is a hassle.

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David Sommerstein
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