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News & Press: Press Release

AmericanHort Welcomes More Seasonal Worker Visas

Tuesday, April 2, 2019  
Posted by: Terri Brown

For Immediate Release
April 1, 2019
Mary Beth Cowardin
Vice President Marketing & Member Engagement
MaryBethC@AmericanHort.org
614-884-1137

AmericanHort Welcomes More Seasonal Worker Visas

Columbus, OH - AmericanHort is very pleased to report that on March 29, the Department of Homeland Security announced that it plans to release an additional 30,000 H-2B workers for returning immigrant workers. This progress would not have happened without the steady advocacy push by our advocacy team, industry leaders, association members, state association partners, and like-minded industries participating in the H-2B Workforce Coalition, which AmericanHort co-chairs. 

The severe shortage of seasonal worker visas has meant huge uncertainly and economic harm for landscape businesses. The negative economic impact has also spilled over to affect nursery and greenhouse growers, equipment providers, and others in the landscape supply chain. 

Though this number of additional visas is less than half the 69,320 additional visas Congress authorized, and certainly falls well short of current demand, it is double the number that have been made available in the past two fiscal years. The 30,000 visas will be made available via a temporary final rule that will soon be published in the Federal Register

“These additional visas will certainly provide some relief for our members who have been shut out of the H-2B program this year due to the cap,” said Craig Regelbrugge, AmericanHort senior vice president for advocacy and research. “Many thanks to our champions in the U.S. Senate and House who have continued to help us push for visa cap relief.”   

AmericanHort will provide additional details once the rule is published in the Federal Register

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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.