On June 22, President Trump issued a presidential proclamation establishing temporary entry bans for new H-1B, H-2B, L-1, and certain J-1 nonimmigrants, as well as their spouses and dependents. The ban goes into effect on June 24 and expires on December 31, 2020. Additionally, the proclamation extends the president's April 22 proclamation banning entry for certain immigrants through December 31, 2020.
The bans apply to foreign nationals who are not present in the U.S. when the proclamation takes effect and do not hold valid U.S. visas or travel documents. The proclamation does not apply to "any lawful permanent resident of the United States; any alien who is the spouse or child...of a United States citizen; any individual seeking to enter the United States to provide temporary labor or services essential to the United States food supply chain; and any individual whose entry would be in the national interest as determined by the Secretary of State, the Secretary of Homeland Security, or their respective designees."
These actions are intended to prioritize U.S. workers during the nation's recovery from the COVID-19 economic fallout. With that goal in mind, TCIA is disappointed the administration chose to address this issue with a blanket ban on H-2B visas. Time and time again, it has been proven that H-2B visa holders do not take jobs from Americans, and that employing H-2B visa holders leads to better outcomes for American workers and their employers. It is important to note that existing H-2B visa rules already impose a variety of protections designed to ensure visa holders do not displace US workers, including wage and recruitment mandates.
Already, hundreds, if not thousands of businesses and trade groups have voiced their opposition to the Administration's ban on H-2B and other visas. TCIA knows our members remain committed to hiring American workers, but we fear this ban will hurt growth in our industry for the duration of the ban. TCIA joins the H-2B Workforce Coalition in urging the Administration to review its proclamation and reduce the impact it will have on not only the tree care industry, but the green industry as a whole.
We will continue to monitor this developing issue and alert our members to any updates. TCIA believes the best way to protect American businesses is by improving the H-2B and other visa programs, and we will continue to advocate for policies and reforms which will advance tree care businesses.
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