The returning guest worker H-2B exemption is currently under attack. In fact, just this week Senator Sessions (R-AL) sent a letter to Senate Appropriations leadership and a similar letter is currently being circulated by Rep. Bratt (R-VA) in the House. On May 18, landscape professionals from across the country were in Washington, D.C., to send a strong message to Congress that H-2B is a vitally important program that allows companies to hire seasonal workers and sustain American jobs.
If you couldn’t make it to D.C., you can still call your two senators and your representative. If you do not know their direct numbers, you can reach them through the Capitol Switchboard at (202) 225-3121. Once connected to the office, ask to speak to the person who handles H-2B issues and tell him or her how important the H-2B program is to you. Ask them to:
- Renew for fiscal 2017 the H-2B returning worker exemption and regulatory relief that was included in Fiscal 2016 Consolidated Appropriations Act.
- Ask your Senators to cosponsor S. 2225, the bipartisan “Save our Small and Seasonal Businesses Act.”
- Ask your Representative to cosponsor H.R. 3918, the “Strengthen Employment and Seasonal Opportunities Now (SEASON) Act” and H.R. 2758, the “Seasonal Labor for Job Creators Act.”
- If your elected officials have sponsored H-2B legislation, written letters in support of the program, or assisted you with H-2B processing issues, say “thank you” and encourage them to keep up the fight.
- Tweet about the need to renew the H-2B returning worker exemption. Encourage Congress to Act by using #SaveH2B and directing tweets at your elected officials. Please also re-tweet H-2B Workforce Coalition tweets.
- Encourage your employees, co-workers, customers and other local businesses to call and tweet their elected officials.
- You can find the twitter address for your Senators and Representative at the links below:
- If you don’t have a Twitter account, you can set one up at: https://twitter.com/signup.
- Knowing what to expect is everything in business. Renew the returning worker exemption. #SaveH2B
- Why reinvent the wheel? Renew the returning worker exemption. #SaveH2B
- Returning workers sustain American jobs. Renew the returning worker exemption. #SaveH2B
- 82 percent of H-2B visa workers are returning workers – proof that they are treated well. #SaveH2B
- The H-2B program relies on workers who come to the U.S. for seasonal employment, then they go home. These workers are not immigrants. #SaveH2B
- Department of Labor regulations and State Workforce Agency oversight ensure that businesses must hire American workers first. #SaveH2B
- The H-2B program protects American workers. DOL backlogs are killing small businesses though. #SaveH2B
- Join the campaign to make the H-2B Visa program work for small American businesses and their customers at http://www.h2bworkforcecoalition.com/ #SaveH2B
- Get the facts about #H2B Visas. Protecting, creating and sustaining full-time American jobs is smart policy. http://on.fb.me/1TSKmUB #SaveH2B
- Fact: H-2B workers account for less than one-tenth of one percent of U.S employment. #SaveH2B
Video of the H-2B Fly-In is available at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Up-sJNmQKfE
A new H-2B video about the landscape industry’s use is available at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ldfb3RBHuvk&feature=youtu.be
Top photo: NALP is a part of the H-2B Workforce Coalition and had approximately 200 people on the Hill, 30-40 of who were from the landscape industry, for the H-2B Fly-In on May 18.