ALCC LAB
Calls needed today (Nov 15) to #SaveH2B Email
Friday, November 15, 2019 12:00 AM

We are in the final hours of having the House letter, circulated by Reps. Bergman (R-MI) and Keating (D-MA), signed. We are still awaiting signatures from the Colorado representatives listed below. Please reach our to your representative if they are on this list, and ask them to sign the letter as soon as possible. The deadline to sign is 2:00 PM Mountain time, so please call now and ask to speak with the staffer listed below.

  • Diana Degette - 1st District; Phone: 202 225-4431; Staff member - Tom Woodburn
  • Joe Neguse - 2nd District; Phone: 202 225-2161; Staff member - Lindsey Garber or Bo Morris
  • Scott Tipton - 3rd Distsrict; Phone: 202 225-4761; Staff member - Liz Payne
  • Ken Buck - 4th District; Phone: 202 225-4676; Staff member - James Hampson
  • Ed Perlmutter - 7th District; Phone: 202 225-5645; Staff member - Tia Bogeljic

We need to keep up the pressure on Congress to include H-2B cap relief in any upcoming spending bill. One way to do that is to get as many members of Congress as possible to sign on to the letter.

Background:
Congress continues to debate annual spending bills to fund the federal government. As with past years, “must-do” appropriations bills offer the best opportunity to pass temporary H-2B cap relief, while we work toward a permanent solution to the H-2B labor crisis. We need your help to ensure that cap relief is included in a final spending bill.

Since October 1, the Federal Government has been operating under a temporary spending bill or continuing resolution that runs through November 21. Congress is likely to pass another short-term funding bill to keep the government operating through December.  

To date, little progress has been made in discussions between House and Senate leaders on final spending bills. The Senate has yet to pass most of the annual spending bills, including those that fund the Departments of Labor (DOL) and Homeland Security (DHS).

The Senate version of the DOL funding bill continues the previous provisions of law that prevent DOL from enforcing the corresponding employment and 3/4 guarantee provisions of the 2015 regulations, allows for a 10-month season, allows for the use of private wage surveys and allows for staggered crossing of seafood workers. The Senate Committee’s version of the Homeland Security funding bill does not currently contain any H-2B cap relief.

The House passed its version of the Fiscal 2020 Department of Labor (DOL) funding bill during the summer. The bill would allocate H-2B visas proportionally on a quarterly basis. The House Appropriations Committee-passed the Fiscal 2020 DHS funding includes language similar to last year’s language that allowed DHS to release some additional H-2B visas, but it takes away some of DHS’ discretion by changing the word “may” to “shall.”

As the House and Senate work to create a funding package beyond November 21, we continue to urge the lawmakers to include H-2B cap relief and extend the existing DOL regulatory provisions in any final spending measure for Fiscal 2020.

 
Updated H-2B cap count 11-4-19 Email
Monday, November 04, 2019 12:00 AM

H-2B cap count update

Please see the following update on the H-2B cap count from USCIS.

Cap Count for H-2B Nonimmigrants
ALERT: USCIS is no longer accepting petitions filed under the temporary final rule that increased the numerical limit (cap) on H-2B nonimmigrant visas by up to 30,000 additional visas for returning workers through the end of fiscal year (FY) 2019. USCIS will reject and return any cap-subject petitions with FY 2019 start dates that were received after June 5, 2019 together with any accompanying filing fees.  

USCIS continues to accept H-2B petitions with start dates for FY 2019 that are exempt from, or not counted towards the congressionally mandated cap. In addition, USCIS will consider petitions requesting an employment start date on or after Oct. 1, 2019 towards the FY 2020 cap.  These petitions with employment start dates on or after Oct. 1, 2019 will be subject to all eligibility requirements for FY 2020 H-2B cap filings.

The H-2B Program
The H-2B non-agricultural temporary worker program allows U.S. employers to bring aliens to the United States to fill temporary non-agricultural jobs.

For more information about the H-2B program, see H-2B Non-Agricultural Workers.

What is the H-2B Cap?
There is a statutory numerical limit, or "cap," on the total number of aliens who may be issued an H-2B visa or otherwise granted H-2B status during a fiscal year (FY). Currently, Congress has set the H-2B cap at 66,000 per fiscal year, with 33,000 for workers who begin employment in the first half of the fiscal year (Oct. 1 - March 31) and 33,000 for workers who begin employment in the second half of the fiscal year (April 1 – Sept. 30). Any unused numbers from the first half of the fiscal year will be available for employers seeking to hire H-2B workers during the second half of the fiscal year. However, unused H-2B numbers from one fiscal year do not carry over into the next.

Reporting H-2B Fraud
To report that a participating employer may be abusing the H-2B program, please email us at [email protected] Your email should include information identifying the H-2B petitioning employer and relevant information that leads you to believe that the H-2B petitioning employer is abusing the H-2B program.

Workers Who Are Exempt from the H-2B Cap
Generally, workers in the United States in H-2B status who extend their stay, change employers, or change the terms and conditions of employment will not be subject to the cap. Similarly, H-2B workers who have previously been counted against the cap in the same fiscal year that the proposed employment begins will not be subject to the cap if the employer names the workers on the petition and indicates that they have already been counted. The spouse and children of H-2B workers classified as H-4 nonimmigrants are also not counted against this cap.

Additionally, petitions for the following types of workers are exempt from the H-2B cap:

  • Fish roe processors, fish roe technicians, or supervisors of fish roe processing;

  • Workers performing labor or services in the Commonwealth of Northern Mariana Islands or Guam from November 28, 2009, until December 31, 2029.

Once the H-2B cap is reached for a given fiscal year or half-year period, USCIS may only accept petitions seeking workers for that fiscal year or half-year period who are exempt or not subject to the H-2B cap.

Fiscal Year 2020 H-2B Cap Count
USCIS is currently accepting petitions for employment start dates of October 1, 2019 through March 31, 2020. Such petitions will be subject to the first half of the FY 2020 H-2B cap. USCIS will regularly update the chart below as H-2B petitions for FY 2020 are received. Note that as of this time, Congress has not authorized a supplemental H-2B cap for FY 2020 or future fiscal years.

Cap Type

Cap Amount

Beneficiaries Approved

Beneficiaries Pending

Total Beneficiaries1

Date of Last Count

H-2B:

First Half

of FY 2020

33,000

22,931

6,411

29,342

10/31/2019

H-2B:

Second Half

of FY 2020

33,0002

 

 

 

 

1 Refers to the total number of beneficiaries of approved or pending petitions filed with USCIS that could potentially be counted towards the H-2B cap. This number will typically exceed the actual cap to allow for withdrawals, denials, and approvals for which no visa is issued.

If the cap is not reached for the first half of the fiscal year, USCIS will make those unused numbers available for use during the second half of the fiscal year.

 
H-2B fly-in November 13, 2019 Email
Tuesday, October 29, 2019 12:00 AM

H-2B fly-in on November 13, 2019

On Wednesday, November 13, there will be a Capitol Hill fly-in to support the H-2B visa program. If you are available to join us, please contact John McMahon at 303 757-5611.

A copy of the H-2B Colorado delegation letter is now available. Some media coverage has resulted from the sending of this letter to the Appropriations Committee.

Finally, please make time to attend the luncheon 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.

ALCC will continue to update you on the H-2B program as the situation develops.

 
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.

 

 
H-2B Update: final rule on additional visas expected 5/8/19 Email
Monday, May 06, 2019 12:00 AM

H-2B Update: final rule on additional visas expected 5/8/19

The following update was sent to several Congressional offices regarding the status of the rule that will release the approved 30,000 additional H-2B visas.

Good Morning,

We are calling to your attention the forthcoming announcement to be released by the Department of Homeland Security later today. Starting on the expected date of May 8, 2019, eligible petitioners seeking additional H-2B workers, can file Form I-129, Petition for a Nonimmigrant Worker, and must submit a supplemental attestation on Form ETA 9142-B-CAA-3 with their petition. Details on eligibility and filing requirements are available in the final rule and on the Increase in H-2B Nonimmigrant Visas for FY 2019 at USCIS.gov. Note that the rule is expected to be published and effective on May 8, 2019. USCIS will begin accepting petitions after the rule is published.

DHS, DOL to Publish Joint Rule for Additional Visas for Returning Foreign Workers

Today, Acting Secretary of Homeland Security Kevin K. McAleenan announced that the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and Department of Labor will publish a joint rule making available an additional 30,000 H-2B temporary nonagricultural worker visas for Fiscal Year 2019. These supplemental H-2B visas are available only to returning workers who received an H-2B visa, or were otherwise granted H-2B status, during one of the last three fiscal years (FY 2016, 2017, or 2018), and availability is restricted by prioritizing only those businesses who would suffer irreparable harm without the additional workers.

“The Department of Homeland Security continues to urge lawmakers to pursue a long-term legislative fix that both meets employers’ temporary needs while fulfilling the president’s Buy American and Hire American executive order to spur higher wages and employment rates for U.S. workers,” said Acting Secretary McAleenan. “The truth is that Congress is in the best position to establish the appropriate number of H-2B visas that American businesses should be allocated without harming U.S. workers. Therefore, Congress – not DHS – should be responsible for determining whether the annual numerical limitations for H-2B workers set by Congress need to be modified and by how much, and for setting parameters to ensure that enough workers are available to meet employers’ temporary needs throughout the year.”

Details on the increase in H-2B Nonimmigrant Visas for FY 2019 can be found alongside the temporary final rule, which is expected to be posted for public inspection on Monday, May 6, 2019.

DHS is committed to ensuring that our immigration system is implemented lawfully and that American workers are protected. If members of the public have information that a participating employer may be abusing this program, DHS invites them to submit information to [email protected] and include information identifying the H-2B petitioning employer and relevant information that leads them to believe that the H-2B petitioning employer is abusing the H-2B program.

Thank you.

Office of Legislative Affairs
U.S. Department of Homeland Security
Washington, DC 20528

We will share the final rule when it is published. You can view a pre-publication copy of the final rule here: https://s3.amazonaws.com/public-inspection.federalregister.gov/2019-09500.pdf

 
H-2B Negative Impacts Survey & Update Email
LAB
Written by John McMahon   
Friday, March 15, 2019 12:00 AM

H-2B Update; Participate in H-2B Negative Impacts Survey

In conjunction with our H-2B Coalition partners at NALP, we need your assistance to better demonstrate the negative impacts that the inadequate H-2B cap is having on your business. We plan to use this information with media and policy makers to better tell your story to increase engagement.

Please click here to participate in the survey

Update
NALP is continuing to have discussions with members on Capitol Hill and the Administration to urge the immediate release of the Congressionally authorized 69,320 H-2B visas. We remain steadfast in our efforts to pressure the Department of Homeland Security to a.) act very quickly, acknowledging April 1 as the date of need and b.) release more than 15,000, which have been inaccurately allocated the previous two years.

Congressional Hearings
Annual Congressional budget hearings are a good opportunity to raise awareness of the H-2B issue, while also forcing the administration to answer tough questions on their position. The Appropriations Subcommittee on Homeland Security has scheduled a hearing to take Member testimony on fiscal year 2020 appropriations for the Department of Homeland Security on Tuesday, April 9th. Each Member will have 5 minutes for oral remarks. We will be using this opportunity to have Representatives ask pointed questions about the H-2B issue to DHS Secretary Nielsen. Stay tuned for updates on how you can assist in Hill efforts.

 
DOL Announcement About Future H-2B Processing Feb 26 2019 Email
LAB
Written by Cherie Courtade   
Wednesday, February 27, 2019 12:00 AM

DOL announcement about future H-2B processing

Yesterday's Announcement from DOL:

February 26, 2019. Department Announces Updates to its Procedures for Processing H-2B Applications for Temporary Labor Certification

The Department today announced updates to its procedures for processing H-2B applications. Because of the intense competition for H-2B visas in recent years, the Department's technology and available staff resources have been challenged to handle the increasingly large volume of H-2B applications filed on January 1 of each year. As a result of stakeholder comments and the most recent filing period in which the iCERT electronic filing system experienced a service disruption due to the large volume of system user requests, the Department's Office of Foreign Labor Certification (OFLC) reassessed its procedures for processing H-2B applications.

Today, OFLC announced that all H-2B applications filed on or after July 3, 2019 will be randomly ordered for processing based on the date of filing and the start date of work requested. OFLC will randomly order and assign for processing all of the H-2B applications requesting the earliest start date of work permitted under the semi-annual visa allocation (i.e., October 1 or April 1) and filed during the first three calendar days of the regulatory time period for filing H-2B applications. Once first actions are issued, OFLC will randomly assign for processing all other H-2B applications filed on a single calendar day.

OFLC is seeking comments on this procedural change for a period of 30 calendar days from the date that the notice is published in the Federal Register. Interested stakeholders may submit comments to [email protected] or Thomas M. Dowd, Deputy Assistant Secretary, Employment and Training Administration, U.S. Department of Labor, Box PPII 12-200, 200 Constitution Avenue, NW, Washington, DC 20210.

OFLC will review all of the comments received, make any changes it determines are appropriate, and issue a final announcement prior to July 3, 2019. Stakeholders can access a full copy of the procedural announcement here.

 
Urge your elected officials to send a message to DHS Email
LAB
Written by Cherie Courtade   
Tuesday, February 26, 2019 12:00 AM

Urge your elected officials to send a message to DHS: We need more H-2B visas now!

The FY19 Omnibus passed by Congress and signed into law two weeks ago includes a provision that provides the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) the authority to release an additional 69,320 H-2B visas if and when the Department of Labor (DOL) certifies the need for foreign workers.

Last Friday, DOL indicated that the cap had been hit, and we know that there are more than 60,000 petitions awaiting a likely approval and certification by the DOL. We need to pressure DHS to immediate release the additional visas pursuant to the authority provided by Congress.

To assist in these efforts Rep. Harris (R-MD) and Rep. Pingree (D-ME) are circulating a letter that will be sent to DHS Secretary Nielsen which urges her immediate action.

Please take a brief moment to send this message to your elected officials and make sure they add their name to the letter. Rep. Harris and Rep. Pingree are the lead offices on these efforts if you receive any questions.

Even if you have received confirmation on the status of your H-2B workers, now is the time we need to stand together to assist all those in need of their seasonal guest workers. Please share this email with your co-workers, suppliers and other H-2B users and encourage them to call and email their elected officials.

Thank you for your continued efforts.

 
Government shutdown ended. 3 weeks to push H-2B reform Email
LAB
Written by Cherie Courtade   
Tuesday, January 29, 2019 12:00 AM

Government shutdown ended. 3 weeks to push H-2B reform!

The Government is back open and we have three weeks to make a final push to include immediate H-2B cap relief in the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) fiscal year 2019 spending package. As legislators debate wall funding and other DHS related issues, we need to push the narrative that this is a bipartisan labor issue, that will have drastic economic impacts on your business and their constituents if action is not take during this three-week negotiation period that is set to expire on February 15th.

This letter in support of H-2B cap relief was sent to leadership last week with signatures from a bipartisan group of 31 Senators and 98 representatives, which demonstrates strong support for the inclusion of some immediate H-2B cap relief.

Please send a note to your elected officials urging them to support H-2B cap relief. Click here to send the note!

Leadership in the House and Senate have appointed Conferees to negotiate the DHS FY 2019 funding bill. These members include:

List of Conferees:
The Senators are Sens. Richard C. Shelby, R-Ala.; Shelley Moore Capito, R-W.Va.; John Hoeven, R-N.D.; Roy Blunt, R-Mo.; Patrick J. Leahy, D-Vt.; Richard J. Durbin, D-Ill.; and Jon Tester, D-Mont.

The House members are Reps. Nita M. Lowey, D-N.Y.; Lucille Roybal-Allard, D-Calif.; David E. Price, D-N.C.; Barbara Lee, D-Calif.; Henry Cuellar, D-Texas; Pete Aguilar, D-Calif; Kay Granger, R-Texas; Chuck Fleischmann, R-Tenn.; Tom Graves, R-Ga.; and Steven M. Palazzo, R-Miss.

If you are not a constituent of one of the conferees please do not call or email them. [No Colorado legislators are on this list of conferees.] This DOES NOT help our cause at this state of the process, but please still participate in the grassroots email campaign to generate positive momentum and pressure.

 
Continue your support of H-2B (12/13/18) Email
LAB
Written by Cherie Courtade   
Thursday, December 13, 2018 12:00 AM

H-2B Cap Hit! Immediate H-2B Action Needed!

This week, the Department of Homeland Security announced that the H-2B visa cap for the first half of fiscal 2019 was reached on Dec. 6. Please take action today to urge Congress to fix the cap, even if you have recently done so. 

Requested Actions:

1. Please click on the appropriate link below, set up by the National Association of Landscape Professionals, to send a letter to your Representative and two Senators urging them to support the Tillis/Harris H-2B cap relief package in a final Department of Homeland Security Spending bill. Please also share these links with your colleagues and encourage them to respond.

SEND A LETTER AS AN EMPLOYER

SEND A LETTER AS AN EMPLOYEE

2. Please call your Representative and two Senators and ask them to urge their party leaders to include the Tillis/Harris H-2B package in a final DHS appropriations bill. You can reach your elected officials through the Capitol Switchboard at 202-225-3121. Once connected to your Representative or Senator’s office ask to speak to the person who handles H-2B issues. Please make these calls today!

3. Tweet at your Senators and Representative using#SaveH2B.You can find their twitter address at twitter.com/verified/lists/us-congress/members. Some sample tweets are below.

  • H-2B Cap Hit! Pass cap relief now! #saveH2B
  • Save American jobs. Pass H-2B cap relief now! #saveH2B
  • The H-2B program relies on workers who come to the U.S. for seasonal work, then go home. #saveH2B
  • Every H-2B worker creates and sustains 4.64 American jobs. Pass H-2B cap relief now! #saveH2B
  • #saveH2Band save American Jobs! Pass H-2B cap relief now! 
  • H-2B program = more American jobs. Pass H-2B cap relief now. #saveH2B
  • H-2B workers support American jobs. Pass H-2B cap relief now! #saveH2B
  • Save the spring and summer. Pass H-2B cap relief now! #saveH2B

Background:
Congress is the process of negotiating a final Fiscal 2019 Department of Homeland Security Spending bill. This legislation must be completed by December 21, in order to avoid a government shut down. President Trump and Congressional Democrats continue to fight over funding for a southern border wall and other issues. We are not certain of the final form that a year-end spending package will take or if there will be a short-term government shutdown, but we do know that whatever spending bill materializes from the ongoing negotiations between the President and Congress must include H-2B cap relief. This spending package is the only opportunity for Congress to fix the H-2B cap this year before the bulk H-2B petitions are submitted to the Department of Labor on January 1.

A group of lawmakers, including Senators Tillis (R-NC) and Rounds (R-SD) and Rep. Harris (R-MD), has negotiated an H-2B package that would:

  • Permanently double the annual H-2B cap to 132,000 visas and require the Department of Labor to report to Congress every two years about whether or not the cap should be increased or decreased based on economic need;
  • Allow some agricultural related industries to access the uncapped H-2A program, including forestry and conservation-related services relating primarily to the cultivation, installation, and establishment of horticultural commodities;
  • Provide for proportional and quarterly allocations of H-2B visa so that businesses have access to workers regardless of their dates of need; 
  • Preserve access to the program for compliant seasonal employers;
  • Provide access to needed temporary workers involved in disaster and recovery efforts;
  • Increase fines and penalties for bad actors;
  • Require employers who use the program to verify the work eligibility of recently hired and newly hired employees; and 
  • Eliminate the costly newspaper advertising requirement and replace it with a requirement to list jobs through an online Department of Labor job registry.

Thanks for all of your help to #saveH2B.

 
H-2B reform efforts continue (Dec 2018) Email
LAB
Written by Cherie Courtade   
Thursday, December 06, 2018 12:00 AM

H-2B reform efforts continue

Please see the letter that was just sent to Congressional leaders asking that the Tillis/Harris H-2B proposal be included in the final fiscal year 2019 spending bill. Thanks to everyone who signed the letter. Special thanks to Coloradans for engaging with this issue and contacting legislators. Colorado had approximately 80 companies and associations sign onto this letter--by far the highest amount of support in the country. 

Please also continue to reach out to your Representative and two Senators and encourage them to speak personally to their party leaders about the urgent need to include the Tills/Harris H-2B package in the final FY 2019 spending bill.

 
H-2B letter: Help needed today, 10-16-18 Email
LAB
Written by Cherie Courtade   
Tuesday, October 16, 2018 12:00 AM

Urgent request from the H-2B Workforce Coalition

Requested Action:
Please call your Representative and ask him or her to sign onto the H-2B letter that is currently being circulated by Reps. Bergman (R-MI) and Keating (D-MA). You can reach your Representative through the Capitol switchboard at 202-225-3121. Once connected to your lawmaker’s office, ask to speak to the staff person who deals with H-2B visa issues. Explain to the staff person the importance of H-2B cap relief to your business and ask him or her to encourage your Representative to sign the Bergman-Keating letter. Colorado representatives' contact information can also be found on this document.

Read more...
 
Update on H-2B 9-14-18 Email
LAB
Written by Cherie Courtade   
Friday, September 14, 2018 12:00 AM

The H-2B Workforce Coalition issued the following update last night, September 13:

This evening the Appropriations Committees filed the conference agreement on the FY 19 Labor-HHS and Department of Defense “minibus” appropriations bill. It also includes a continuing resolution to maintain funding for the Department of Homeland Security and other federal Departments through December 7, 2018. We will keep you updated on the timing of House and Senate votes on the measure, but no votes are expected until next week.

Congress will not take up an FY 2019 funding bill for the Department of Homeland Security until after the November elections. As you know, the DHS funding bill passed by the House Appropriations Committee in July would exempt returning workers from the annual H-2B visa cap, reallocate the capped 66,000 visas on a quarterly basis to ensure that employers with late seasons are not shut out of the program and allow for visas to be appropriated on a proportional basis to ensure that all qualifying employers receive at least a percentage of needed H-2B workers. The report that accompanies the Senate Appropriations Committee-passed version of FY 2019 DHS funding bill asks DHS to consider a more equitable annual allocation of the 66,000 visas. The H-2B Workforce Coalition continues to urge Congress to include the House cap relief language in a final appropriations bill.

The conference report that was filed tonight would continue the Department of Labor (DOL) H-2B provisions that have been included in past funding bills. Specifically, the bill would continue the provisions from last year's Omnibus Appropriations law that limit the ability of the Administration to enforce the corresponding employment and 3/4 guarantee provisions of the 2015 regulations, allow for the use of private wage surveys, provide for a 10-month season and allow for staggered crossing for seafood workers.

The text of the bill can be found at:  https://www.appropriations.senate.gov/imo/media/doc/Defense%20LHHS%20Minibus%20FY19.pdf.

The H-2B provisions can be found on pages 41-43.

We will let you know when Congress votes on this legislation and continue to keep you updated.

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

 
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