The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) announced it is releasing an additional 15,000 H-2B visas for fiscal year 2018.
AHLA, which co-chairs the H-2B Workforce Coalition, helped secure language in the FY18 Omnibus appropriations bill which provided the Secretary of DHS, in consultation with the Secretary of Labor, with the authority to provide immediate relief under the congressional mandated cap of 66,000 visas.
While the announcement from DHS of an additional 15,000 visas is an important step and welcome news, it is inadequate to meet current labor demands and will leave many seasonal businesses without the vital workers they desperately need during their peak season. As the Wall Street Journal editorial points out, “The 15,000 won’t come close to meeting the demands across the country…Mr. Trump says he wants the economy to grow by 4% or more, but it won’t happen if employers can’t find enough workers.”
AHLA will continue to work with the Administration, the Departments of Homeland Security and Labor, and key Congressional leaders on permanently increasing the number of visas available and passage of authorization legislation which will improve the H-2B program for those businesses that rely on it to meet their seasonal workforce needs.