H-2B Call-to-action May 24, 2018 Email
Written by Cherie Courtade   
Thursday, May 24, 2018 12:00 AM

H-2B visa program update

Memorial Day is almost here. Are your workers? We need your help you get the Administration and Congress to address the H-2B cap.
Status of FY18 H-2B Visas
As you know, the Fiscal 2018 Omnibus Appropriations Law provided the Secretary of Homeland Security, in consultation with the Secretary Labor, with the authority to release up to an additional 69,320 H-2B visas if she determines "that the needs of American businesses cannot be satisfied in fiscal year 2018 with United States workers who are willing, qualified, and able to perform temporary nonagricultural labor."   A rule to release a fraction of those visas is currently being reviewed by the Office of Management and Budget. This review is the final step in the rulemaking process. No details on the rule are being made public, but we expect it to look similar to last year’s rule that released an additional 15,000 visas.
What Can You Do?
We need your help to encourage DHS to immediately release all of the additional 69,302 visas and to fix the cap issue one and for all. Please take the actions below.
  • Call your Senators and Representative and thank them for their continued help on H-2B issues. You can reach your elected officials at through the Capitol switchboard at 202-225-3121 or you can call the toll-free number set up by the National Association of Landscape Professionals at (833) 728-3422.  You will be prompted to enter your zip code will then be automatically connected you to your Senators and Representative. Please call today, even if you have done so recently. Ask them to continue to reach out to DHS and DOL and demand that the Departments to immediately resume H-2B processing up to the full number of visas authorized by the FY18 omnibus appropriations law. Please ask them to also work with their party leaders to pass legislation that permanently fixes the arbitrary H-2B cap such as the Senate Save Our Small and Seasonal Businesses Act (S 792),the House Strengthen Employment and Seasonal Opportunities Now (SEASON) Act (HR 2004) and the House Small and Seasonal Business Act (HR 4207).
  • Please also call or visit in person with your Senators and Representatives at their district offices next week while Congress is on recess. You can find the local contact information for your Senators and Representative on their websites or through www.house.gov and www.senate.gov
  • Encourage your co-workers, suppliers and customers to also reach out to their elected officials.
  • Tweet at Homeland Security Secretary Nielsen and Labor Secretary Acosta about the need for immediate cap relief using #SaveH2B. Their addresses are @SecretaryAcosta, @USDOL, @SecNielsen, @DHSgov. Copy your Senators and Representative too. You can find their twitter addresses at https://twitter.com/cspan/lists/members-of-congress/members?lang=en. Some sample tweets are below or create your own that talk about the impact of the cap on your business and your American workforce.
  • Record a short one-minute video that includes the name and location of your business and the consequences to your business and your domestic workforce if you do not get H-2B workers soon. This can be a simple statement recorded on a cell phone while sitting in your office or out in the field, or you could ask your U.S. workers to record a short video. Send them to Laurie Flanagan at [email protected] and she will post the videos on H-2B Workforce Coalition Facebook page.
  • Send a Letter to the Editor or Op-Ed to your local newspapers. Try to make the op-ed relevant to the local economy and keep it to about 750 words.
Sample Tweets
  • @SecretaryAcosta @USDOL @SecNielsen @DHSgov As of 5/18 DOL certified about 89,000 H-2B positions for the spring and summer. DHS release H-2B visas and resume processing visas now. #SaveH2B and save American jobs.
  • @SecretaryAcosta @USDOL @SecNielsen @DHSgov Memorial Day is here, but our workers are not. DHS release H-2B visas and resume processing visas now.  #SaveH2B and save American jobs.
  • @SecretaryAcosta @USDOL @SecNielsen @DHSgov #SaveH2B and save the spring and summer. DHS please release H-2B visas and resume H-2B processing now.
  • @SecretaryAcosta @USDOL @SecNielsen @DHSgov #SaveH2B and save American jobs. Every H-2B worker creates and sustains 4.64 American jobs. DHS please release H-2B visas and resume H-2B processing now.
  • @SecretaryAcosta @USDOL @SecNielsen @DHSgov #SaveH2B and save American seasonal businesses. DHS please H-2B visas and resume H-2B visas processing now.
  • @SecretaryAcosta @USDOL @SecNielsen @DHSgov As of 5/18 DOL certified about 89,000 H-2B positions for the spring and summer. DHS release H-2B visas and resume processing visas now. #SaveH2B and save American jobs.
  • Or tweet a short one-minute video at Secretaries Nielsen and Acosta and your Senators and Representative.
Thanks to everyone who continues to tell their stories to the media and write letters and reach out to their lawmakers. As an example, please see the letter that the Chamber of Congress of the USA recently sent to the Secretaries of Homeland Security and Labor. Please also check out a letter to the editor from Allyson Cavaretta, general manager of the Meadowmere Resort at https://www.pressherald.com/2018/05/22/letter-to-the-editor-wait-for-decision-on-h-2b-worker-visas-leaves-maine-businesses-in-limbo/. There are so many wonderful examples of business owners getting the word out on H-2B. We post many of them on the coalition’s Facebook page and Twitter feed, so follow us online if you are not already doing so.

Enjoy the Memorial Day weekend and keep fighting for H-2B relief. We are doing the same on your behalf.

Thank you.

Your H-2B Workforce Coalition Co-Chairs,
Laurie Flanagan, Representing AmericanHort and the National Association of Landscape Professionals
Brian Crawford, American Hotel and Lodging Association
Gregg Hartley, Representing the Outdoor Amusement Business Association