Gop Tug-o’-War Over Worker Visas

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Republican House and Senate lawmakers recently sent letters to President Trump urging that the H-2A and H2B visa programs not be included in a potentially restrictive Presidential action related to employment visa programs.

President Trump’s April 22 proclamation temporarily halting most legal immigration also called on the Departments of Homeland Security and Labor to review, within 30 days, current temporary worker programs and recommend appropriate measures “to stimulate the United States economy and ensure the prioritization, hiring, and employment of United States workers.” We expect that the President will place additional restrictions or requirements on a host of nonimmigrant visa programs.

On May 27, Senators Graham (R-SC), Cornyn (R-TX), and 7 other Senators wrote to President Trump about a host of visa programs. The letter specifically asked that the President continue H-2A and H-2B visa processing. The day before, Rep. Andy Harris (R-MD) and 41 other Republican Members of Congress wrote to the President asking he not make any changes to the H-2B program or the issuing of H-2B visas.

These letters follow an earlier letter to President Trump by Senators Cotton (R-AR), Cruz (R-TX), Grassley (R-IA) and Hawley (R-MO) asking him to suspend the issuance of all temporary worker visas for 60 days, and to suspend the issuance of new H-2B visas for one year or until unemployment returns to normal levels.

AmericanHort, the H-2B Workforce Coalition, and the Ag Workforce Coalition have asked the Administration to keep H-2 visa processing intact. We will keep you updated on any Presidential actions related to worker visas.

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