Dear SEA members,
We continue to work with our allies in Congress who have direct access to President Trump. We are asking that they make a personal request of President Trump to direct DHS to release the 64,716 visas it is authorized to release. We know that discussions are ongoing between DHS and DOL on the rule. We have been told that they intend to release the visas in time for workers to arrive on or close to April 1. We have spoken with numerous Senior Administration officials but they are keeping things close to the vest. We are confident Members of Congress have spoken with President Trump regarding the visas release but unfortunately do not have any feedback to share.
DOL has nearly completed issuing first actions on all applicants assigned to Group A. DOL took approximately 14 business days to complete Bucket A. At this pace, DOL will issue first actions on Group D and E applicants by early March. We have made clear to DHS and DOL that all applicants from the three day filing window should have an equal shot at the supplemental visas.
Status of Congressional letter
The letter has closed. Since each signature is collected manually and since we had such a tremendous response to the letter, it is taking time to collect the signatures. The final letter should be released shortly. I will send forward it along as soon as I receive it.
What can you do?
The rule will likely be finalized in the next few weeks. Now is the time to mobilize and ensure our voice is heard.
Meet with your member's District Director (DD). Respond to this email if you would like us to schedule the meeting for you. If you have already met with your DD, send me a recap of the meeting. I want to log it into our database.
Film a one to two minute video documenting the effect of not receiving your H-2B workers on your business. Videos humanize a situation in a way a phone call and email cannot. It is important that you show emotion! You should upload the video to your Twitter account and Tweet it at your Representatives. You should then email the Tweet/video to your Representatives' staffers.
Introduce yourself and company
How many American workers do you employ and how many H-2B workers did you apply for?
Explain efforts to hire American workers
Effect of uncertainty of whether or not you will have a labor-force this year on your planning for the upcoming season (cancelled and foregone contracts, reduced equipment purchases, hiring of full-time, year-round American workers)
I will host a Twitter/video training this Monday at 11:30 AM. Click here to add the call to your calendar.
When: Monday, January 27thJoin the online meeting: https://join.freeconferencecall.com/gray_delany123
11:30 AM ET
Dial-in number: (563) 999-2090
Access code: 464343#
If you do not know how to film a video using your phone, ask someone you know who is technologically savvy. No excuses!
Equipment Manufacturer letter
We have drafted a letter to POTUS we are hoping the leading outdoor equipment manufacturers will sign. The purpose of the letter is to inform the President that when the landscape contractors have an adequate workforce, they purchase more equipment. Equipment manufacturers can then expand their American manufacturing facilities and hire additional American workers.
I need your help in obtaining their signatures. Wright Manufacturing has agreed to sign the letter. Bobcat is also likely to sign the letter. I am waiting on confirmation from Rain Bird and Mean Green.
Briggs and Stratton and Gravely have declined to sign the letter. They are 100% supportive of our efforts but, at least in the case of Briggs and Stratton, they want to limit their outreach to the Administration to the trade issue.
I have reached out to the following companies but have not received a response:
Time is of the essence. We would like to have this lettered delivered to the White House by early next week.
Seasonal Employment Alliance