H-2B Visa Update

Horsemen encouraged to contact their national representatives.

HBPA Press Release

Horsemen encouraged to contact their national representatives.

This press release was sent out by the National Horsemen's Benevolent and Protective Association.

"As you know, the Fiscal 2018 Omnibus Appropriations Law provided the Secretary of Homeland Security, in consultation with the Secretary Labor, with the authority to release up to an additional 69,320 H-2B visas if she determines "that the needs of American businesses cannot be satisfied in fiscal year 2018 with United States workers who are willing, qualified, and able to perform temporary nonagricultural labor." 

So far, we have not heard anything official from DHS about the release of additional visas.  We have heard rumors and seen press reports that indicate that DHS plans to release 15,000 additional visas around the middle of this month. 

We need your help to encourage DHS to immediately release allof the additional 69,302 visas. Please take the following actions below.

WE NEED YOUR HELP!!!  What Can You Do?

 Call your Senators and Representative and ask them to continue to reach out to DHS and DOL and demand that the Departments to immediately resume H-2B processing up to the full number of visas authorized by the FY18 omnibus appropriations law. You can reach your elected officials at through the Capitol switchboard at 202-225-3121 or you can call the toll-free number set up by the National Association of Landscape Professionals at (833) 728-3422.  You will be prompted to enter you zip code will then be automatically connected you to your Senators and Representative.  Please call today, even if you have done so recently.

•     Tweet at Homeland Security Secretary Nielsen and Labor Secretary Acosta about the need for immediate cap relief using #SaveH2B.  Their addresses are: @SecretaryAcosta, @USDOL,@SecNielsen, @DHSgovAND your Senators and Representative. You can find their twitter addresses at: https://twitter.com/cspan/lists/members-of-congress/members?lang=en. Some sample tweets are below or create your own that talks about the impact of the cap on your business and your American workforce.

•     Record a short one-minute video that includes the name and location of your business and the consequences to your business and your domestic workforce if you to not get H-2B workers soon.  This can be a simple statement recorded on a cell phone while sitting in your office or out in the field, or you could ask your U.S. workers to record a short video.  Send them to Laurie Flanagan at lflanagan@dclrs.comand she will post the videos on H-2B Workforce Coalition Facebook page. You can also tweet this at your DHS, DOL and your elected officials using @saveH2B.

Send a Letter to the Editor or Op-Ed to your local newspapers. Contact @NationalHBPA for a template example.

Sample Tweets

   @SecretaryAcosta@USDOL@SecNielsen@DHSgov#SaveH2B and save the spring and summer. DHS please release H-2B visas and resume H-2B processing now.
     @SecretaryAcosta@USDOL@SecNielsen@DHSgov#SaveH2B and save American jobs.  Every H-2B worker creates and sustains 4.64 American jobs. DHS please release H-2B visas and resume H-2B processing now.
    @SecretaryAcosta@USDOL@SecNielsen@DHSgov#SaveH2B and save American seasonal businesses. DHS please H-2B visas and resume H-2B visas processing now.
@SecretaryAcosta@USDOL@SecNielsen@DHSgovAs of 4/20 DOL certified over 87,000 H-2B positions for the spring and summer.  DHS release H-2B visas and resume processing visas now.  #SaveH2B and save American jobs.

                            H-2B By the Numbers (From DOL OFLC Processing Statistics)
                                                                        (https://icert.doleta.gov)

AS OF 4/27/18
Total FY 2018 To Date:
• Total H-2B positions certified for FY 2018: 140,505
FY 2018 1st Half H-2B Cap:
• 33,000 cap on H-2B workers with start dates from October 1 to March 31
• First Half Cap met on December 15, 2017
• Total workers certified by DOL for the first half cap: 53,112
• Requested H-2B positions that went unfilled due to cap: 53,112 – 33,000 =
20,112
• About 37.9% of H-2B positions requested for the first half cap went
unfilled due to the H-B cap, jeopardizing the survival of small and
seasonal businesses and their American work force.
FY 2018 2nd Half H-B Cap:
• 33,000 cap on H-2B workers with start dates from April 1 to September 30
• Second half cap met on February 27, 2018
• Total workers certified by DOL as of April 27: 87,393
• Pending as of 4/27/18: 11 cases, totaling about 512 workers
• DOL is still processing labor certifications for the second half of the fiscal
year. By regulation, employers cannot submit petitions for H-2B workers
more than 90 days before their date of need; so additional petitions may still
be submitted to DOL for summer and fall work.
• Total H-2B workers requested on January 1: 81,600 (per 1/3/18 DOL
statement)
• Total H-2B workers requested for the second half of the fiscal year to date:
97,757
• Total H-2B positions to date expected to go unfilled: 97,757– 33,000 =
64,757
• About 66.2% of H-2B positions requested for the second half cap will go
unfilled without DHS action due to the H-2B cap, jeopardizing the
survival of small and seasonal businesses and their American work
force.
Additional Visas Authorized by the FY 2018 Omnibus Appropriations Law:
69,320, which is the highest number of H-2B returning worker visas ever
issued when the returning worker exemption was law. This is the number or returning worker visas issued in 2007.
        Total H-2B Visas Authorized in FY 2018: 135,320 (66,000 + 69,320)
Unemployment Rate:
•    January 2018 National Unemployment Rate According to DOL Bureau of Labor Statistics: 4.1%
•    February 2018 National Unemployment Rate According to DOL Bureau of Labor Statistics: 4.1%
•    March 2018 National Unemployment Rate According to DOL Bureau of Labor Statistics: 4.1%
•    April 2018 National Unemployment Rate According to DOL Bureau of Labor Statistics: 4.1%: 3.9%
•    See attached graph from the Bureau of Labor Statistics Website, which shows that the April
2018 unemployment rate is 3.9%, which is even lower than the 4.7% rate in April 2007 when 69,320
H-2B returning worker visas were needed. When you look at the historical data, it is clear that the
number of H- 2B visas used or requested is inversely related to the unemployment rate. The H-2B cap was not reached in 2010 – 2013 due to the poor economy."

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