Tough Questions for DOL on H2B Backlog - 3/14/16
The H2-B Workforce Coalition released the following statement:
Congress is expected to hear this week from Secretary of Labor Tom Perez about funding requests for the coming year.
We hope that Congress asks the Secretary about why the Department of Labor is taking so long when it comes to the H-2B visa process.
Contrary to so much bad reporting these days, the H-2B Program actually helps to sustain American jobs. In fact, every H-2B visa issued helps sustain 4.6 American jobs on average.
Significant delays in the visa approval process put American jobs in jeopardy.
H-2B visa workers don¹t replace American workers: they complement them by taking on the tough but temporary jobs that are usually unwanted by American workers.
Department of Labor regulations and State Workforce Agency oversight ensure that businesses must hire American workers first. Only when Americans cannot be found to fill these specific seasonal jobs does the federal government allow H-2B Visas to be granted.
But when qualified applicants aren¹t available, businesses must have access to a labor pool that allows them to meet peak seasonal demand and protect their bottom line.
The Department of Labor recognized the significant problems in its H-2B review process last month and, at the urging of Congress, implemented an emergency procedure process for employers who are waiting for their spring workers. However, employers continue to face significant delays in processing.
Whether the delays stem from a deliberate attempt to slowly kill the H-2B visa program by regulatory suffocation or by the compressed timeframe created in the 2015 H-2B regulations, the delays will devastate seasonal businesses across the country. We urge lawmakers to ask the tough questions of the Secretary of Labor about why this process is taking so long and why American jobs are being put in jeopardy.
American employers can¹t wait any longer. We need action now.