March 9, 2020
The Honorable Chad F. Wolf
Dear Acting Secretary Wolf:
As representatives of small and seasonal employers throughout the country, the H-2B Workforce Coalition urges you to promptly release a temporary final rule to implement the 35,000 supplemental H-2B visas that were announced on March 5. We would also like to request some proposed refinements related to visa availability.
While the coalition and our members appreciate that 35,000 visas marks the highest number of supplemental visas that the Administration has chosen to release over the past few years, the number still fell far short of the actual economic need for temporary seasonal workers.
We are currently working with DHS, DOL, OMB etc. to allow for all employers with a valid labor certification to access the full complement of 35,000 visas. We are told the rule has yet to be finalized and there is still time to make technical changes. I will keep you posted on our progress and the status of the rule.
In the meantime, it is time for us to put some heat on the Administration. For those of you who supported President Trump in 2016 and continue to support him, you must let him know that you feel abandoned and that he is in danger of losing your support. You can't support him if you are no longer in business! The Administration only considers our opponents members of his base but not seasonal business owners. We have to get the message across that you are members of his base. Examples:
@realDonaldTrump, you understand the difficulty with hiring temporary labor as a seasonal business owner yet you sign off on a proposal that will only help a third of us? You have abandoned your blue collar, small business owning supporters. Please fix this by immediately releasing the remaining 30,000 #H2B visas.
U.S. Department of Labor
Employment and Training Administration
The U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) recently announced1 that it intends to make available 35,000 supplemental H-2B temporary non-agricultural worker visas for the second half of fiscal year (FY) 2020, and that of these 35,000 visas, 20,000 would be made available for employment start dates beginning April 1, 2020, and 15,000 would be made available for employment start dates beginning May 15, 2020. Additionally, DHS indicated it intends for these visas to be available to returning workers from one of the three previous fiscal years, with the exception of 10,000 visas, which would be available for nationals of Guatemala, Honduras, and El Salvador. The following general information concerning the U.S. Department of Labor’s (Department) procedures is provided with that announcement in mind.
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