How the H-2A visa program failed two farmworkers from Mexico

In 2021, Vicente Gomez Hernandez and Humberto Feliciano Gomez, cousins from a poor village in Oaxaca, joined the hundreds of thousands of men and women from Mexico who come to the U.S. each year on an H-2A seasonal visa to work on farms around the country. The visa is meant to be a safe and efficient alternative to illegal border crossings, a win for farmers, who need the labor, and for workers, who get much higher wages than they can earn at home. It did not turn out that way for the two cousins.

With community opposition, foreign workers struggle to find housing

Guest farmworkers recruited to the U.S. under the H-2A visa program are guaranteed a free place to stay, with the costs covered by their employer. But many towns in California don’t want to see non-native workers living in their midst, fearful that the newcomers will bring crime and traffic and lower property rates, says Los Angeles Times.

Rural housing, a silent crisis

Affordable housing often is a debate heard amid gentrifying neighborhoods or high-cost cities, notes the Atlantic. "But cities aren’t the only places that are lacking when it comes to adequate housing at affordable prices.

Home loan volume in small towns, rural areas remain low

Loans to purchase homes in small towns and in rural America are running far below pre-recession totals, says the Housing Assistance Council in a story on Daily Yonder.