Yet in an ironic twist, it turns out that Leach was discriminated against for the one reason she would've never guessed: being an American.
Leach is a member of a growing category of job-seekers denied employment in the agricultural industry: American citizens. Some believe qualified U.S. workers are being passed over for farm laborer jobs in favor of foreign workers willing to work long hours under excruciating conditions for low pay. Under the federal government's H-2A Agricultural Guestworker Program, producers are permitted to temporarily hire non-immigrant foreign workers when qualified American laborers are not available. However, many growers have shown a decided preference for foreign labor, improperly using the program to hire–and ultimately exploit–non-U.S. workers, says Bruce Goldstein, executive director of the Farmworker Justice Fund, a Washington, D.C.-based nonprofit dedicated to improving working conditions for migrant and seasonal farmworkers.