The Irrigation Association (IA) issued the following statement June 23 supporting reinstatement of H-2B:

For years, the landscape irrigation industry has depended on seasonal H-2B workers to install and maintain our efficient irrigation systems and technologies, as well as the functional, managed landscapes that benefit our nation’s environment and economic welfare. President Trump has signed an executive order to suspend the issue of new H-2B visas, along with other temporary worker visas, through the end of 2020.

“While we are appreciative that the president excluded critical H-2A workers from this executive order, we are disappointed that this administration continues to target the H-2B seasonal guest worker program, which creates American jobs and benefits small businesses everywhere,” said IA Government and Public Affairs Director John Farner. “We urge the president to fully reinstate the H-2B program as soon as possible, so our nation’s landscape and irrigation companies can continue providing the essential services to American homes and businesses throughout the United States.”

The order signed on June 22 also applies to H-1B visas, H-4 visas, L-1 visas and some J-1 visas. The move is a follow-up to signing a more narrow measure in April. The restrictions will remain in place for the rest of the calendar year and can be extended.

For more information about the IA’s advocacy work related to the H-2A and H-2B program, contact John Farner at johnfarner@irrigation.org.