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News & Press: Press Release

AmericanHort Supports Need to Release Additional H-2B Visas

Wednesday, March 6, 2019  
Posted by: Terri Brown

For Immediate Release
March 6, 2019
Mary Beth Cowardin
Vice President Marketing & Member Engagement
614-884-1137 Direct


AmericanHort Supports Need to Release Additional H-2B Visas

COLUMBUS, OH (March 6, 2019) – AmericanHort strongly encourages the Secretary of the Department of Homeland Security to exercise her authority to release the nearly 70,000 additional temporary, non-immigrant H-2B visas in excess of the statutory annual cap of 66,000.

On March 4, 2019 a bipartisan group of 27 Senators and 110 Representatives presented a letter from the Congress of the United States to Kirstjen Nielsen, Secretary of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, urging her to quickly exercise the authority provided by Congress to release the full amount of visas authorized and simply continue processing H-2B petitions until any additional visa allotment is exhausted. 

According to Craig Regelbrugge, senior vice president of Advocacy & Research at AmericanHort, “with serious labor shortages bearing down on our industry as spring nears, we’re part of a full-court press for relief. This is a timely, strong, bipartisan letter from Congress compelling swift action to free up more visas in time to help secure a successful spring.  Hopefully, Secretaries Nielsen and Acosta will heed the call.” 

AmericanHort and partners in the H-2B Workforce Coalition have been working diligently to encourage DHS and elected officials to address the demand for temporary, seasonal workers. This strong show of bipartisan support is an acknowledgement of those efforts.


About AmericanHort

Green industry businesses perform better, grow faster and prepare for the future as a member of AmericanHort, the green industry’s leading association. With a rich history of serving horticultural professionals, AmericanHort supports nearly 14,000 member and affiliated businesses that include breeders, greenhouse and nursery growers, garden retailers, distributors, interior and exterior landscape professionals, florists, students, educators, researchers, manufacturers, and all of those who are part of the industry market chain. The horticulture industry's production, wholesale, retail, and landscape service components have annual sales of $196 billion, and sustain over 1.6 million full- and part-time jobs.