The International Labor Recruitment Transparency Project

Welcome! The International Labor Recruitment Transparency Project is an interactive tool visually representing information about employers, recruitment agencies, and recruiters involved in the H-2 visa programs. By viewing or contributing information to the Project, you are agreeing to the Project’s Terms of Use and Privacy Policy.

About This Site

About this Project
The International Labor Recruitment Transparency Project (“the Project”) provides access to information about the actors and processes that support the employment of Mexicans for temporary work on H-2A and H-2B visas in the United States. Additionally, the Project allows users to contribute information about actors in the recruitment chain, such as recruiters, recruiter agencies, staffing agencies, and employers.

The international recruitment of workers is difficult to monitor. Since labor certifications and visas are issued by varying U.S. federal agencies, monitoring efforts are not centralized, and the sparse information that is available to the public is often inaccessible and difficult to analyze.

This Project draws available information into one location so that users can visualize the relationships between actors in the chain of recruitment. Additionally, the Project allows users to contribute information from other sources.

About the H-2A and H-2B temporary work visas
The International Labor Recruitment Transparency Project currently includes information specific to the recruitment of Mexican workers to the U.S. to work on H-2A and H-2B temporary work visas. Over 100,000 workers come to the United States each year on H-2A and H-2B temporary work visas. Historically, the great majority of these workers have been Mexican. In 2012, for example, nearly 85% of H-2 workers were from Mexico. The H-2A and H-2B visas, sometimes collectively referred to as the “guestworker programs,” allow U.S. employers to hire temporary migrant workers for certain temporary positions. The H-2A visa permits employers to hire migrant workers for the agricultural industry, and the H-2B visa allows employers to hire for positions in other industry sectors, such as forestry, construction, hotels, meatpacking, landscaping, and traveling carnivals.

About recruitment
Recruitment is the non-uniform, complex, and often informal process by which foreign workers are contracted.  The recruitment supply chain can take many forms. Here are some examples of the recruitment supply chain for Mexican workers recruited to work for U.S. companies:

  • An employer contracts directly with a Mexico-based recruitment agency whose recruiter contracts workers;
  • An employer hires a U.S. recruitment agency which subcontracts with a Mexico-based recruiter/agency;
  • An employer hires a U.S. recruitment agency which subcontracts with another U.S. agency, which subcontracts with a Mexico-based recruiter/agency;
  • An employer hires a U.S. recruitment agency that directly hires workers in Mexico;
  • An employer asks its current H-2 workers to recruit workers in their communities for the following year.

The Project seeks to elucidate the complex chain of recruitment by visually representing the relationships between actors in the chain of recruitment. 

Methodology
The International Labor Recruitment Transparency Project draws information from data sources in order to visually represent the recruitment industry that supports the H-2A and H-2B temporary labor visa program.  Additionally, users of the project contribute information about actors in the recruitment chain. 

Data sources

Public information requests
Relevant information obtained through requests under the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) in the United States and the Instituto Federal de Acceso a la Información y Protección de Datos (IFAI) in Mexico is displayed on the website.

U.S. government data
Information from the following U.S. government web sites is displayed on this website:

    • Office of Foreign Labor Certification Performance Data. The Office of Foreign Labor Certification (OFLC) of the Department of Labor (DOL) publishes a database containing the Applications for Temporary Employment Certification (ETA Form 9142) that it receives on a quarterly basis. Information from previous years is also available on its website.
    • H-2A Public Job Registry. The Employment and Training Administration (ETA) of the Department of Labor publishes a job registry online that shows all H-2A job orders posted in the last 30 days.
    • Registered and Ineligible Farm Labor Contractors. The Wage and Hour Division of the Department of Labor maintains a public registry of authorized Farm Labor Contractors, as well as ineligible Farm Labor Contractors.
    • Department of Labor Enforcement Data. The Department of Labor maintains a searchable database of enforcement datasets including: Employee Benefits Security Administration (EBSA); Mine Safety and Health Administration (MSHA); Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs (OFCCP); Occupational Health and Safety Administration (OSHA); and Wage and Hour Division (WHD).

Other information 
Additional information on recruitment actors is drawn from independent, publicly available sources, collected via field research, and contributed by users.

About the service provider
The International Labor Recruitment Transparency Project is provided by Centro de los Derechos del Migrante, Inc.

Legal note
The Project assumes no responsibility for the accuracy of information contained in this site. The information does not reflect the opinion of the Project. By viewing and/or contributing to this site, you agree to our Privacy Policy and Terms of Use, including our legal disclaimer.