Groups advocate for language change to strengthen H-2B program

Industry associations have asked that Congress offer an amendment to strengthen the current discretionary H-2B language.  
The proposed amendment would require the Department of Homeland Security to issue supplemental visas, changing the language from “may” to “shall” in the bill.

The House Appropriations Subcommittee for the Department of Homeland Security, Washington, D.C., passed the FY25 DHS funding bill on June 4, extending the existing discretionary language that has been law for the past several years. 

The full Appropriations Committee is scheduled to take up the bill on June 12. Industry associations, including the National Association of Landscape Professionals, Fairfax, Virginia, American Hotel and Lodging Association, Washington, D.C., and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, Washington, D.C., have asked that Congress offer an amendment to strengthen the current discretionary language.  

The proposed amendment would require the Department of Homeland Security to issue supplemental visas, changing the language from “may” to “shall” issue more visas if the needs of seasonal businesses cannot be met with U.S. workers. 

Currently, the bill allows DHS the discretionary authority to release up to an additional 64,716 visas during the fiscal year. While the Biden administration has released all 64,716 visas in the past two years, there is no guarantee this will continue in FY25 or under a new administration. The proposed amendment seeks to ensure the automatic release of the 64,716 visas when the cap is hit, providing certainty for seasonal businesses. 

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