Last week, Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Secretary Nielsen finally announced plans to authorize additional H-2B visas. The announcement confirms what NALP and our members have been telling our nation’s lawmakers – there are not sufficient, qualified, U.S. workers available to fill the workforce needs of America’s professional landscaping companies and other seasonal businesses.
Although it has not yet been published, our sources tell us that the expect the rule to be published on Thursday May 31 and that it will go into effect immediately. We expect the rule to be nearly identical to last year’s rule which means that applicants will be required to attest to “irreparable harm” and to conduct a new round of recruitment.
The acknowledgment of the need for additional visas by DHS and other elements of the Trump administration is a significant achievement that validates our tireless messaging and advocacy efforts. Thanks to our many members who joined us in the fight for cap-relief. Your stories that helped to humanize and personalize the issue and your high level of grassroots engagement were crucial to the positive outcome. We will continue to advocate for additional 2018 visas and are actively working toward a permanent cap increase and other much-needed program reforms.