A delay in processing H2-A visa applications for immigrant farm workers during the 16-day government shutdown may leave some fruits rotting on the trees if the government doesn't move to expedite the process, said Mike Carlton, director of labor relations for the Florida Fruit & Vegetable Association. About 8,000 applications for the H2-A program, which brought 65,000 workers to the U.S. last year, were frozen during the shutdown. The Department of Homeland Security has agreed to temporarily accept copies of visa applications from the Labor Department instead of requiring those with original signatures.

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