Congress is 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. Some members of Congress are pushing to include H-2B visa cap relief in this legislation, and we need your help to make sure that happens.
A group of lawmakers, including Senators Tillis (R-NC) and Rounds (R-SD) and Rep. Harris (R-MD), 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 eligibly 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.
In early December, TCIA signed on to a letter issued by the H-2B Workforce Coalition in the support of the so-called Tillis/Harris proposal .
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!