President Trump: Save Small Businesses by Releasing Additional H-2B Visas

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The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Appropriations bill for fiscal year (FY) 2019, signed into law on February 15th, grants DHS the authority to release up to 69,320 additional H-2B visas.

Over 60% of seasonal businesses were denied access to the program due to the arbitrary cap of 66,000 visas. The booming Trump economy has resulted in an unemployment rate of 4% and a record number of job openings. DOL’s website highlights the fact that the number of jobs available has exceeded the number of job seekers for ten consecutive months. Seasonal employers are the first to suffer in a tight labor market. Job seekers naturally prefer full-time, year-round work. The need for additional H-2B visas is a sign of a healthy, strong economy.

If DHS does not release the 69,320 H-2B visas it is authorized to release, there will be severe consequences for seasonal businesses and to the overall economy. Several seasonal businesses denied access to the program due to the insufficient availability of visas have already been forced to scale back their operations, cancel or default on contracts, lay off full-time U.S. workers, and, in some cases, shutter their operations entirely. Failing to release additional H-2B visas will only result in more closures, reduced equipment purchases, and the termination of many of their full-time, year-round U.S. workers.