The Trump administration announced in September it was suspending the Farm Labor Survey, which provides the base wage estimates for all workers directly hired by U.S. farms and ranches. The "Adverse Effect Wage Rate" establishes the minimum rate for more than 200,000 migrant farm workers on H–2A visas to avoid undercutting the wages of domestic farm workers.
"This lawsuit is critical. The wage loss could amount to thousands of dollars to workers who are barely making both ends meet. These wage decreases will create a ripple effect, ultimately resulting in many US farm workers being paid less. And the fact that they are trying to cut the wages of these essential workers in the middle of a pandemic is outrageous," said the United Farm Workers in a statement accompanied by a petition.
In the official notice, the USDA said it "has determined the public can access other data sources for the data collected in the Agricultural Labor Survey.” Changing America has contacted the agency for comment.
In April, when NPR first reported the potential change, an unnamed White House official told NPR, "The administration is considering all policy options during this unprecedented crisis to ensure our great farmers are protected, and President Trump has done and will do everything he can to support their vital mission."