2020 H-2B Relief and Appropriations Process

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In advance of the House Appropriations Committee’s expected consideration of the fiscal 2020 Department of Homeland Security appropriations bill, a bipartisan group of 58 Members of Congress sent a letter to committee leaders asking that the bill include an H-2B returning worker exemption or other meaningful cap relief.  The letter was led by Reps. Bergman (R-MI) and Keating (D-MA).  On Tuesday, our champions on the Appropriations Committee offered an H-2B cap relief amendment during the Committee’s consideration of the spending bill and the amendment was adopted.  The adopted amendment would continue to delegate authority to the Secretary of Homeland Security, in collaboration with the Secretary of Labor, to release additional visas in 2020 and includes stronger ‘shall’ vs. ‘may’ language than in the past.

Also, the full House of Representatives is slated to take up a package of appropriations bills in early June that includes a funding bill for the Department of Labor.  That DOL funding bill includes an amendment offered in committee by Rep. Andy Harris (R-MD) that would allocate the 66,000 annual H-2B visas quarterly, rather than bi-annually.  It would also allow for proportional allocation so that under a capped situation, all employers with approved temporary labor certifications would receive a percentage of H-2B visas requested.

We are monitoring the appropriations process closely and will keep you updated.

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