AmericanHort welcomes today’s announcement by the Department of Homeland Security that 35,000 supplemental H-2B visas will be made available for employers with seasonal needs beginning April 1. While the number of additional visas released will not be enough to meet the total demand, as evidenced by Department of Labor-approved applications for temporary labor certification, the number will certainly help to alleviate severe and ongoing shortages in industries like landscape installation. Such shortages are hurting the entire horticulture industry market chain at a time when consumer demand for our products and services remains strong.
“We thank the Secretaries of Homeland Security and Labor for recognizing the need to act and urge swift publication of the temporary final rule and release of these urgently needed H-2B visas,” said Craig Regelbrugge, AmericanHort executive vice president for advocacy, research, and industry relations. He added, “We call on Congress to do its part, and to act on permanent reform legislation such as H.R. 3897, the Returning Worker Exception Act.”