Lawmakers Gather on Capitol Hill to Boost H-2B Visa Cap

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Outside the Capitol Tuesday morning, lawmakers rallied for raising the cap of the H-2B visa lottery program. The limited number of H-2B visas have prevented businesses from recruiting and maintaining foreign workers for jobs that some of these business owners said “Americans don’t want.”

Comments

Samuel Alexander says:

How about improving the processing time for the CR1 visa? The people who get those visas are coming to work and live legally

Raymond7779 says:

Pay Americans a respectible living wage and you won't need to let in even more immigrants.

philais says:

Fooking sellouts! Every one of them is for open borders too.

WHAT WABBIT HO says:

Recruiting and maintaining foreign workers for American jobs?
Shoot these arseholes!

Bob Beckel says:

Another attempt to undermine the American worker. There are already 20 million illegal aliens in America. There are still 25 million US citizens
without jobs in America. That means at least 25 million unskilled laborers already in America. These people are liars looking for slaves.
If they want slave labor, all they have to do is drive down to the border and wait for a caravan. Their problem is they want the taxpayer
to pay for the food, housing, and healthcare for their slaves. You are looking at the absolute scum of America.

Suse Hendricks says:

Sorry, folks. But we do have plenty of jobs that nobody wants to do anymore or can't because of failing a drug test etc. These companies are not trying to hire illegals, but so called "guest workers".

greg l says:

Stop paying minimum wage and you will have plenty of legal workers

Trane Sonic says:

the US needs more illegals? hilarious

gozer says:

DISGUSTING, NOT WHAT DUMPH WAS ELECTED FOR!

James Judkins says:

H-2B. A visa program where non immigrants enter the USA, paid the wage as mandated by the Department of Labor (much higher than minimum wage), do not bring family members with them, and then go home at the end of the season. A great solution as it helps both the US economy and the economy of the Home Country, lowers illegal entries, supports US workers and jobs, and should be expanded to meet certified need. Educate yourselves about programs that work and work for America.

Russ McMonies says:

Facts about the H2B

Minimum wage is $7.25, H2B workers get $13.91 and they get 1.5x for overtime
H2B workers take jobs that are seasonal, 8 months out of the year, it’s difficult to find local workers that are willing to work for 8 months only

Seasonal workers pay SS taxes they will never use which boosts the SS fund.

They generate higher paying jobs for US workers (office staff who can make $15 – $25 an hour), sales jobs that can pay up to $100k, operations managers who can make $45k – $60k. They also contribute to the local economy in terms of rent payments, food, groceries, etc…

matt davis says:

The h2b program allows us to operate our seasonal business LEGALLY. This is one of our core values as we do not believe in cash under the table or non documented workers. This program helps us be a leader in the community.

Christina Noriega says:

Our H2B workers have become like family to us and our U.S. staff welcome them back each year. We stay in contact throughout the year. We love our guys. Our business would not survive without them. There may be alot of US workers, but they do not want to work.

Lori says:

This program goes a long way in helping to eradicate illegal immigration. PART of what makes entering the U.S. illegally so attractive is the OVER ABUNDANCE OF JOBS. If we allow employers to hire workers LEGALLY – thru this TEMPORARY work program – we lessen the draw of undocumented workers. H-2B is not an immigration visa – it is a non-immigrant visa – meaning the workers come, they work, they go home. THEY DO NOT BRING THEIR FAMILIES – there is no chain migration situation. BE A PART OF THE SOLUTION. Support the program that FIGHTS a non-documented work force.

Bradley says:

This program has been of tremendous benefit to our company and workforce. Each team member that joins us is part of the family; most return every year. We have invested greatly to develop the skill sets that will translate into gainful employee upon return home. This program is advantageous for all involved!!

Jackie W says:

Well said. It seems most other comments don’t have any understanding of the H2B program and how much it helps the American economy and the additional American jobs it creates.

Douglas says:

Excellent. Hire US First? ABSOLUTELY. Our entry level, Non-skilled workforce has changed. Employers are finding it increasingly difficult to find local workers, who are willing to start at the bottom, work their way up, and who don’t mind physical labor or getting their hands dirty.

H2B jobs are NOT Management, Supervisors, or High-Tech positions with required degrees, and the jobs don’t offer 6 figure salaries, especially for inexperienced workers, who see themselves as executive management material, deserving of a Golden Parachute on their First day of work. Bless their hearts.

H2B jobs MUST be advertised to US Workers and proof of those ads and the results MUST be sent to USDOL for certification before H2B workers can even be requested.

I’m now anticipating the usual replies – “..if you’d pay more; you’d get US workers”. Every job has a pay level commensurate with the skills and duties required and the experience level of the candidate. ENTRY Level (L-1) is Minimum wage – no skills required. H2B Employers MUST START wages at Level 3, which is just below supervisor level wages. Also – ANY US worker who is also performing the same duties as the requested H2B workers, during the valid time of the work contract, MUST ALSO receive at least L-3 Wages as Corresponding US Workers.

If H2B Employers were really only interested in cheap labor, and bypassing US workers; why wouldn’t they say forget the Gov’t, all the rules, all the fees, the higher wages and having up to 5 Gov’t agencies in your business; and just hire Illegally instead? If Seasonal employers could hire enough local workers who would actually show up, Sober, and work – we Wouldn’t Need programs like H2B, which is the Employers LAST Legal option for Legal Workers, when locals aren’t interested.

H2B fills the gap between the amount of local labor the employer is able to obtain, and the total amount of labor needed for the peak demand of the season. The more US workers employers are able to hire, the fewer H2B workers are needed, and H2B is a NON-Immigrant Visa, so the workers are not immigrating to the US.

Hire US First, YES! – Hire LEGAL Workers ONLY, YES! H2B is a solution for Seasonal Employers who have been unsuccessful in hiring enough local labor to meet their peak, seasonal demands.

Mike says:

H2b program fills in where we cannot get American workers, these men and women come here legally, work for the season and go back home. In 20 years of using the program not one of my employees have stayed passed their visas, how do I know this? We fly them home at the end of the season and they go directly into Mexico City.

Lori says:

Well Said !

Michael Biafore, PLA says:

A lot of people are not fully understanding the benefits of the H2B Temporary Guest Worker Program. The H2b visa program has allowed our firm to grow in ways that would not be possible without it. As our H2B workers have helped us increase our revenue/workload, increase our paid wages to domestic staff, we’ve been able to increase our full time American worker positions, purchase more fuel and materials and serve more clients. Our temporary workers leave their families at home for these positions and return to them in the winter when our services slow because of winter. They are truly part of our family and our Americans have developed great relationships with them and look forward to their return.

Brett says:

Thank you to the administration and to DHS for releasing 30,000 more visas. Every visa creates/supports 4.64 American jobs. With the h2-b program we have been able to take US workers out of the field and into management positions. It allows us to keep a LEGAL workforce that pays taxes, into social security and they go home every year when the work slows for our seasonal business. The program has allowed us to grow tremendously and invest 100s of thousands into the local economy buying trucks, equipment etc from American manufacturing. We hire every American possible but this program allows us to staff with temporary help to fill in the gaps. A great program that needs some fixing to help our American business thrive!

Bob says:

These temporary workers are here from April 1-November. They get vetted by DHS at the consulate in their home country every year prior to returning(they don’t overstay) they supplement US workers allowing for companies to grow and invest in local economy. Companies have to prove there are not sufficient Americans accepting these jobs every year and DOL certifies that need. This is a no brainer for the economy. H2b is America 1st.

BarbaraZ says:

H-2B is Temporary, Seasonal Labor Jobs. With unemployment at an all-time low, U.S. workers want Year Round employment, not seasonal. H-2B allows landscapers, roofers, amusement/carnival companies to have the low skilled laborers they need that SUPPORTS the highly skilled U.S. labor force: managers, supervisors, estimators, office workers. The H2B workers are only allowed after DOL certified that no US workers apply for the jobs, they’re paid at rates determined by govt (2x minimum wage +/- and US workers would be also if were any that applied), they pay payroll taxes, buy items in the community, and return home at end of season. Illegal labor is what drives down wages. Small businesses that are labor intensive need this program.

BarbaraZ says:

H-2B is Temporary, Seasonal Labor Jobs. With unemployment at an all-time low, U.S. workers want Year Round employment, not seasonal. H2B has increased wages for our US laborers as DOL determines the pay rate- usually at least 2x minimum wage. They all pay payroll taxes (unlike illegal aliens that pay none and drive down wages). H2B is a WIN for the country. Labor positions which are customarily filled by immigrants (which H2B is NOT – they return home) are filled, they support US workers in supervisory, skilled and management positions, they allow expansion of small business so purchase more services and materials- there is no downside.

BarbaraZ says:

H2B has increased wages for our US laborers as DOL determines the pay rate- usually at least 2x minimum wage. H2B workers pay payroll taxes, SS, Medicare, Fed, STate*, City* (unlike illegal aliens that pay none and drive down wages). H2B is a WIN for the country. It’s seasonal and temporary. Labor positions which are customarily filled by immigrants (which H2B is NOT – they return home) are filled, they support US workers in supervisory, skilled and management positions, they allow expansion of small business so purchase more services and materials- there is no downside.

Barb says:

So true. If only folks would ask and learn about the program instead of react to negative articles that don’t always provide the proper information.

Paul says:

Allowing additional H-2B workers benefits US workers. It has actually increased low skilled labor wages for the US workers that want and apply for low skilled labor positions. Taxes are paid on payroll, that funds ss and medicare for US workers. There are so many more…ask someone who USES H-2B to get the real information.

Ashley O. says:

The H2B Program saves our company and many others every season! During this delay we have exhausted every option to hire US workers, with that being said we have “hired” 10 people over the past 3 weeks and to this day I have 2 actively still working. That doesn’t include the numerous applicants that were a “no-show” to interviews or couldn’t pass a mandatory drug screen. Without the H2B program our company suffers and so does the United States! Many people don’t realize every visa creates 4 American jobs; jobs with higher pay and incentives. We must work together to save the H2B program, not only for our company’s benefit but for the several American employee’s we have who rely on us!

Amy Swyear says:

H2B is a Temporary Seasonal Guest Worker Program. We need these workers to support our American contracts that keep Americans working and support the American Economy! Americans want and need stable FULL time consistent employment. These temporary seasonal workers allow us to stay in business and provide those year round full time positions to American employees.

Courtney Hord says:

The H2B program is a wonderful program providing temporary SEASONAL workers to companies that have been unable to maintain consistent American workers to do the production. This program offers Americans the positions first and companies are required to recruit in a variety of ways to see if American workers want the positions. Within the past two years we have not gotten any response on these job postings from American workers. The H2B guys we have are hard working, reliable, and family men. And being a family owned company they have now become part of our family. This program fills a gap in our industry and I couldn’t be more happy that it exists.

Jeremy S. says:

I’m thankful to our congressmen and women that see the need for a viable immigration solution that includes efficient access to legal immigrant workers for jobs that local US workers don’t want. As an employer participating in the h2b program we’ve been able to grow our business, pay our US workers more and boost the local economies we work in. We seek to employ local workers and this program enables us to legally hire the remainder of our needed workforce using documented workers who arrive, work and leave when they are supposed to. I hope more of our elected officials will support bills that include increasing the cap or providing for a returning worker exemption…we need this program and I assure you local economies and employees benefit in huge ways from it.

MelanieT says:

The H2B program helps small businesses stay in business using LEGAL workers. These are not undocumented immigrants coming in and being handed cash under the table. They are not immigrants at all, but guest workers that come only for the season to do the work before returning home. They pay their taxes, contribute to the local economy, and when the season is over, they return home to their families who remain in their home country. For every H2B visa, there are 4 American jobs created, which tend to be full time, year round work. This program allows companies like ours, who have been in business for more than 20 years, to continue providing full time work to Americans and exceptional service to our clients.

Geri O. says:

I am very grateful for our Congressmen and Senators to see the critical need for the H2B program. The H2B program has saved our small business and employees American workers at the same time. We hire legal workers, who come in on a seasonal work visa and we pay for their living and travel expenses. They pay their taxes, contribute to the local economy and when the season is over they return home. Unfortunately the US workers do not want to do manual labor work anymore, we have run ads and posted on our state websites but have gotten 0 applicants over the past 3 years. This is a legal solution to a critical problem for small seasonal businesses. I hope and pray our elected officials will support legislation
that will permanently provide returning worker exemptions and increase the cap. We need this program to stay in business.

John donaldson says:

We are a landscape company that continually run ads in the paper and on indeed searching for qualified applicants with very little success. We offer wages well above prevailing wage for this area. About 50% of our work force is H2B which has enabled us to grow over the years. Without the H2B program my business would be forced to down size jeopardizing the employment of U.S. citizen. Release all the visas to save our businesses.

Andy H says:

Thankfully some of the elected officials are showing their support for the much needed increase of seasonal workers. I get it, Americans are not interested in seasonal employment. Especially in a good economy where full time jobs are available. That is why the H2B program is so valuable to our economy. It helps the seasonal businesses fill the current labor shortage. When the season is over, they go back home. They are never immigrants. Great solution!

C Hess says:

Thank you ! Well said ,

AaronD says:

It is so obvious that the H-2B program benefits all of America. It creates American jobs and boost the economy by filling temporary seasonal jobs. I don’t understand why a tiny fraction of Americans are against it. I guess they just need an education on how the program works. Once educated you would have to be Anti-American to be against it.

Bj says:

Anyone who says this is bad. I will open our doors for you to see the struggle first hand with finding local laborers. We start at 14.52 hour. These are seasonal jobs. Unfortunately Americans are to good for these jobs. I have spent my spring so far babysitting instead of growing my business. Interviews no shows, people hired last days if not hours, broken stuff because they don’t care, court every day, no show for work, blew up three engines so far this season in the first three weeks. Have not blown an engine in the seven years of h2b. Before you start spewing your negative uninformed comments how about you get your facts. Last time I checked almost 15 an hour for an entry level job is pretty good. Amazon a trillion dollar company start at 15 hour. Where is the uproar? It’s amazing that some of these ignorant people on here spend so much time worrying about 66000 h2b visas and not the 20000 asylum seekers that are dropped off in Texas each week by our government. Oh yeah and those people aren’t allowed to work for six months. Who do you think pay those bills? That’s what you should be pissed about. Not the 66000 people that come here legally to work and pay into your social security system.

Dustin says:

Not having our H2B workers is such a detriment to our business. We have tried to hire so many people and tried all avenues, but no one seems to want to do lawn care and learn how to do it well. We strive for excellence, and H2B seems to be the only way to get it. Keep in mind these are responsible and contentious people who want to work. We are not bringing in people who are a drain on our society.

Michael Kowalski says:

We are a small landscape company that has used the H-2B visa program for 20 years. To be approved for the program a company MUST advertise in the US and offer the same wage and benefits offered to the H-2B workers to US workers. We have spent over $2000 since January and thousands of dollars before that to recruit US workers. Our starting wage is nearly double minimum wage. We want year round US workers at our company but it seems that no matter how much we pay, train, and advertise, US workers do not want the jobs we have to offer. We do employ several US workers and the H-2B visiting workers are supplemental and essential for our business to continue. Thank you to the advocates we have in congress that understand our predicament and are trying to help keep small businesses in the US going.

lynn says:

this is a great program that brings Legal immigrants to help seasonal business. we just need to raise the cap so we can all rest easy!

lynn says:

Great program! we love the seasonal workers!

Michelle says:

Thank you to DHS for the additional 30,000 visas that will be released. We are hoping that we will be included in that 30,000 so we can get our workers for this year. Our workers are like family to us since they have been working for us for 20 years.

lynn says:

thanks to all the supporters that understand this is a issue that needs to be fixed! H2b program is the only source of legal workers we have to fill our jobs.

Darren says:

The H2B program is extremely valuable for America and for all business across the United States. Utilizing this program, these businesses are provided the work force needed to fulfill the contracts they are dedicated to and provide the quality and efficiency they all work hard to bring forth to their clients. In turn, businesses thrive, thus providing their employees, American and legal immigrants, the ability to support their families, spend the almighty dollar in our country and help protect everyone’s jobs here. Save H2B!!!

Dana says:

The H-2B Visa program is vital to the sustainability of many businesses across the country. We advertise in our area for laborers starting at $18.00 per hour and get no response. If we could hire more local workers, we would certainly do so.
In order to supplement our work force, we have to rely on other sources such as the H-2B Visa program in order to remain in business and fulfill our contracts. The workers in the H-2B visa program pay into the social security system and they also pay federal and state income tax. They do not want to live in this country, they merely want to work and earn money to be sent back home to support their families.
Without them many businesses may go out of business. Therefore it is critical to our nation’s economy that the H-2B visa program continue and be expanded for future success of many small businesses.

Candace Stallone says:

The H-2B program is a very well conceived program. The immigrants are vetted, they pay taxes, and work hard. These people are law abiding because they want to return home and be allowed to come back and work again. The program should be expanded.

Tammy Tackett says:

Thanks to all of the supporters of the H2B program for temporary, seasonal workers. The foreign laborers that come in to fill the needs of many small businesses are vetted. They come to work, they even pay Social Security and income taxes that they will never benefit from. When the contract is up they return home as required so that they may return the next season. Their families are in their home country. Many American jobs would not be necessary without the non-immigrant help. Please continue to support a fix to the program so that our small businesses don’t have to stress and worry every year whether they will be getting the necessary staff to keep their business alive.

Chris says:

Thanks to all the governmental officials who have pushed to save small business and get action with this vital program. Our business has survived on these exceptional H2B visa guest workers for over 15 years. Our growth is 100% attributable to their consistent hard work ethics. This program allows us to hire legal workers who live locally when here, pay taxes, and contribute to our local economy. Fingers crossed that we hear word on the additional visa ruling soon so we can hopefully get our workers to stay in business and continue to serve our loyal customers!

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