TCIA Commends Congressional Letter in Support of H-2B
Read the Full Letter Here.
On January 27, 2020, a group of 188 Members of Congress and
Senators led by Reps. Harris (R-MD), Pingree (D-ME), Bergman (D-MI) and Keating
(D-MA) and Senators King (I-ME) and Rounds (R-SD) sent a letter to Acting
Secretary of Homeland Security Chad Wolf asking that he immediately release all
of the additional H-2B visas authorized under the FY 2020 DHS Appropriations
The Appropriations Bill gives the Acting Secretary the
authority to release an additional 64,716 visas, above the current cap of
66,000. TCIA supports this letter and hopes Acting Secretary Wolf release the
maximum number of additional visas allowed by law.
The release of these visas is vitally important to the tree
care industry. Given continued low unemployment and a growing demand for
workers, H-2B visa holders are critical as they provide our industry willing,
able, and vetted employees. TCIA thanks all the Senators and Members of
Congress who signed onto the Letter in Support of H-2B.
While this cap relief is important, TCIA also supports a
permanent solution to the H-2B cap problem. The current cap of 66,000 per year
is far too low. Right now, the annual quota for H-2B visas is filled days after
the application period opens, and the process of obtaining a visa is costly and
time-consuming. To start, TCIA would support permanently doubling the H-2B cap
to 132,000 visas. We need reform to this proven program as one way to address
our industries labor shortage, and modifying the cap is a good place to start.
If you are interested in taking an active role in TCIA’s
advocacy on issues like H-2B, or you would just like to learn more, please
reach out to Aiden O’Brien, TCIA’s Advocacy & Standards Manager at firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.