The Assembly October 13, 2023: Shepherds of the FLOC

Shepherds of the FLOC by Tina Vasquez, The Assembly: October 13, 2023

“As Eli Porras Carmona boarded a bus on August 22 headed for the U.S. Consulate General in Monterrey, Mexico, it was hard not to think of the money he would typically have made by then. For nearly 20 years, he’s harvested many different North Carolina crops: cabbage, broccoli, sweet potatoes, cucumbers, bell peppers, and tobacco. 

“But everything has gone to hell,” Porras Carmona said. 

The H-2A Temporary Agricultural Program allowed American employers to bring in about 372,000 seasonal workers last year. Most years, it operated like clockwork: Longtime H-2A workers like Porras Carmona would know their employer and U.S. location by early spring. He’d have a date to appear at the consulate in Monterrey, where he’d obtain his visa and hop on a bus headed for the United States.”