H-2B cap hit again Email
Wednesday, June 17, 2015 10:58 AM

From Laurie Flanagan and Brian Crawford, H-2B Workforce Coalition Co-Chairs:

On June 5, USCIS re-opened H-2B processing after determining that the 66,000 annual H-2B cap had not been met. USCIS then stopped processing most H-2B visa petitions on June 11 after determining that the cap was reached. This latest development makes Congressional action even more essential. You can read the USCIS announcement at: http://www.uscis.gov/working-united-states/temporary-workers/cap-count-h-2b-nonimmigrants.

Appropriations Bills

Congress is now in the process of drafting fiscal 2016 funding measures for the Departments of Homeland Security and Labor. It is essential that the H-2B program be addressed through the appropriations process because funding bills are some of few of the bills that must make it to the President’s desk this year. 

The Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Homeland Security approved the fiscal 2016 funding bill yesterday. The bill text is not yet available.

The House Appropriations Subcommittee on Labor, Health and Human Services, Education, and Related Agencies approved its funding bill this morning. Currently the legislation includes a provision that would provide for staggered crossing for H-2B workers. You can view the text of the legislation at: http://appropriations.house.gov/uploadedfiles/bills-114hr-sc-ap-fy2016-laborhhs-subcommitteedraft.pdf.

Generally amendments and changes to the appropriations bills come during full committee consideration. As you know, the H-2B Workforce Coalition has requested that an H-2B returning worker exemption be included the in the DHS funding measure and that the new wage and comprehensive H-2B regulations be addressed in the DOL funding measure.

The H2B coalition has sent letter to the hill outlining these requests.

Returning Worker Legislation Introduced
On June 12, Rep. Boustany (R-LA) introduced H.R. 2758, the "Seasonal Labor for Job Creators Act,” which would establish a permanent returning worker exemption.

Your Help is Needed!

  • Please call and write to your Senators and Member of Congress. Ask them to speak to the Appropriations Committee leadership and express support for including an H-2B returning worker exemption in the fiscal 2016 funding bill and addressing the new H-2B wage and comprehensive regulations in the fiscal 2016 DOL funding bill. 
  • Please continue to discuss the importance of these H-2B fixes on social media such as Facebook and Twitter. Tweet about the need for Congress to address the H-2B Program using #saveH2B. Direct the tweets to your two Senators and your Member of Congress. You can find the twitter address for your Senators and Representative at the links below.

Here are some sample tweets:

  • Congress: pass an H-2B returning worker exemption and address the problems caused by new rules #saveH2B
  • Save the summer! Congress please pass an H-2B returning worker exemption #saveH2B
  • Save the summer! Congress please address the problems caused by new H-2B rules #saveH2B
  • Congress must pass an H-2B returning worker exemption & address problematic new rules so companies can hire legal seasonal workers! #saveH2B
  • Fix the H-2B program today! Colorado needs seasonal workers. #saveH2B
  • Save American jobs. Pass legislation today to renew the H-2B returning worker exemption and problematic new H2-B rules! #saveH2B
  • Create your own tweet that tells your story and include #saveH2B.

Previously on the LAB:
EPA finalizes Clean Water Rule
What is a WOTUS?