Presidental Action Expected On Non-Immigrant Visas

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We expect the President to issue an order within days that will place new restrictions on nonimmigrant visa programs. President Trump’s April 22 Proclamation called on the Departments of Homeland Security and Labor to review current temporary worker program and to recommend “measures appropriate to stimulate the United States economy and ensure the prioritization, hiring, and employment of United States workers.”

There are several rumors about what may or may not be included related to the H-2B program. These rumors range from no new restrictions on H-2B visas, to some enhanced recruitment requirements, to a ban on the issuance of any new H-2B visas for up to 6 months. While a final decision on the scope of the action has not yet been made, we do expect some restrictions on H-2B visas. There could be an exception for workers involved in food processing or other essential workers. We do not currently expect additional restrictions on the H-2A program.

AmericanHort, with the H-2B Workforce Coalition, has worked hard to influence this process. The coalition sent a letter to the President signed by businesses across the country. A large number of House and Senate Republicans, led by Rep. Andy Harris (MD) and Senators Lindsey Graham (SC) and John Cornyn (TX), wrote to the President asking that the H-2B program be exempt from any new visas restrictions. The Graham-Cornyn letter also asked that no restrictions be placed on H-2A visas. Numerous other Congressional offices have had quiet conversations with the White House, and we have engaged all of our contacts within the Administration.

We will update our members when we see a final order out of the White House. Should there be significant restrictions placed on the H-2B program, we will work with our Congressional allies to ensure that our members continue to have access to needed H-2B workers.

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