H-2B update on cap relief 10-22-19 Email
Friday, October 25, 2019 12:00 AM

H-2B cap relief update

Things are heating up for H-2B cap relief efforts again. On Appropriations, ALCC and its partners are focused on changing the language from may to “shall release additional seasonal workers based upon need.” There is additional legislation being worked on behind the scenes.

ALCC, working in partnership with Senator Gardner’s office and Representative Crow’s office, has been able to secure an H-2B Colorado delegation letter (see below). All of Colorado’s representatives and senators have signed on, and it will be sent to House and Senate leadership. Colorado is leading this charge to have other states follow and provide similar letters. I encourage you to contact our representatives to thank them for their solidarity on this issue. Special thanks to Sam Love in Sen. Gardner's office and to Santiago Gonzalez in Rep. Crow's office. Click here for a contact list for Colorado legislators.

Additionally, there is a luncheon opportunity with Rep. Neguse November 7 at noon at the Omni Interlocken in Broomfield. Here is the link for signup and registration. This fundraiser luncheon is an excellent opportunity for those using H-2B seasonal workers to further discuss H-2B cap relief further with the Representative.

Finally, there will be an NALP/SEA fly-in to meet with Colorado legislators regarding H-2B cap relief on Wednesday, November 13. Please contact me if you are interested in participating.

Colorado delegation letter

Dear Leader McConnell, Speaker Pelosi, Senator Schumer, and Congressman McCarthy:

We write to request that you include significant cap relief for the H-2B visa program in any final Fiscal Year 2020 appropriations package or continuing resolution. This bipartisan issue is critical in Colorado to prevent harm to businesses and American workers in our state.

Colorado is home to thousands of seasonal businesses and workers across a wide range of industries including landscaping, hospitality, ski resorts, amusement parks, forestry, golf courses and more. With Colorado’s statewide unemployment below 3%, businesses in our state are facing serious hiring challenges. The H-2B program is critical for filling such workforce gaps across all four corners of Colorado.

The House Appropriations Committee passed an amendment by voice vote to the FY2020 Homeland Security appropriations legislation that would require the Department of Homeland Security to release up to an additional 69,320 visas if they determine that the needs of seasonal businesses cannot be met with American workers. We strongly support this provision.

Additionally, the House FY2020 Labor, Health and Human Services, Education, and Related Agencies bill, passed by the House on June 11, 2019, included a provision that would allow H-2B visas to be allocated proportionally on a quarterly basis. The quarterly allocation would help relieve Department of Labor processing burdens by spreading the requests out over four processing dates, rather than the current two. We urge you to include this provision.

We also strongly support provisions in Senate Appropriations Committee FY2020 Labor, Health and Human Services, Education, and Related Agencies bill that would continue the existing H-2B regulatory measures that have been in place for the past several years. If these provisions were eliminated, it would cause program confusion and result in potential processing delays caused by the need for the Departments to develop new forms and guidance.

As Congress considers appropriations legislation, H-2B cap relief must remain a part of the discussions and we urge inclusion of these provisions. Please contact our offices with any additional questions.