President Trump Suspends H-2B Program through 2020 - National Association of Landscape Professionals

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President Trump Suspends H-2B Program through 2020

On Monday, June 22, President Donald Trump signed an Executive Order to further limit the entry of immigrants into the United States.

The Executive Order extends the April 22 Order which suspended entry of immigrants into the U.S. and expands the scope of the Order to also suspend temporary guest worker programs until the end of 2020.  Guest worker programs that will be suspended are H-1B, H-2B, J-1 and L visas.

Here are some key components of the Executive Order:

  • The Order becomes effective on June 24, 2020
    • The Order will be in effect until December 31, 2020
    • The Administration will be required to review the Order every 60 days, the President has the ability to rescind an Executive Order at any time
    • The Order does NOT impact those H-2B workers already in the U.S. for the 2020 season
    • The Order provides exemptions for H-2B workers involved in the food supply and authorizes to make other exemptions for H-2B if there is a “national interest”
    • The Order bars the “admission” and “entry” of H-2B visas but it remains unclear if processing and other parts of the admission process can continue
    • DHS and DOL will be promulgating rules in the very near future providing further information on the Order

In his order, Trump states that “the Secretary of Labor and the Secretary of Homeland Security reviewed nonimmigrant programs and found that the present admission of workers within several nonimmigrant visa categories also poses a risk of displacing and disadvantaging United States workers during the current recovery.”

The National Association of Landscape Professionals is deeply disheartened by the President’s order as the H-2B program is a vital component of landscaping’s seasonal business during critical times of the year when manual labor demands expand quickly. As the country recovers from the COVID-19 pandemic, H-2B workers will play an integral role in our economic recovery. H-2B workers support the hiring, promoting, and retaining of American workers and the expansion of the companies that use this valuable seasonal guest worker program.

“We were working really closely with those that have influence in the White House to exempt H-2B from any temporary suspension,” says Andrew Bray, VP of government relations for NALP. “There were warring factions inside of the White House, those that were friends with us and understand how beneficial H-2B is to our economy that were helping us and those that have political agendas against H-2B and opposed us. We, unfortunately, lost that battle. So now we will continue to work with our friends in the Administration and Congress to urge change and ensure minimal impacts on the 2021 landscape season.”

NALP is working with Congressional offices to craft legislation in FY 2020 Appropriations that will force the Administration to release H-2B visas for 2021.  Additionally, NALP will continue outreach with the Administration as they have the authority to rescind the order at any time and are committed to reviewing the order every 60 days. Lastly, NALP is exploring all possible legal remedies with other concerned business groups that are adversely impacted by this Executive Order.

Jill Odom

Jill Odom is the content manager for NALP.

3 thoughts on “President Trump Suspends H-2B Program through 2020

  1. Perhaps, instead of focusing on H2B’s, we should focus on developing the industry as a valued profession rather than a disposable commodity and we wouldn’t be so concerned about importing temporary workers. Our company focuses on hiring and developing all team members as full time year round employees, many from the inner city, to deliver a quality service while paying a wage that allows them to support their family with a solid middle class lifestyle. Yes, it’s hard financially, and from a recruiting standpoint to find employees to work in our industry in today’s society, but to a large extent we bring it on ourselves by chasing the bottom in employee costs. While our company might not create the margins required to elicit a buyout from some national conglomerate, because of our labor costs, we deliver a quality consistent service to our customers with locally sourced labor. Our industry will never get past this annual hysteria regarding a lack of available labor until we educate the public on the value of our services and show the local available workforce that we are a profession they have a reason to enter.

  2. Needless to say immigration gets batched in with the quest worker programs like H2B. We need reform for seasonal workers in America. Many industries rely and run with this combined workforce

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