UPDATE FROM JKJ WORKFORCE - DECEMBER 12, 2018
On December 7th, the deadline to pass the bill, Congress passed a 2-week CR (Continuing Resolution) whereby they simply extended last years budget by 2 weeks to December 21, 2018.
Now, as the rhetoric increases to become more and more hateful on both sides over Border Wall Funding, instead of both sides sitting down and actually working on a solution it has all become political theatre at its very worse, and they are talking about passing another CR (Continuing Resolution) until the end of the fiscal year. If that happens, that probably means no cap relief in any form.
If your starting date of need is prior to April 1, 2019 and you have NOT received a receipt notice from USCIS then you are probably capped out. If your date of need is April 1, 2019 or after, then the probability that you will get workers is from 20% to 30%, unless Congress takes action to pass a DHS Appropriations Bill that has some form of H-2B cap relief in it for FY19.
Congress is the process of negotiating a final Fiscal 2019 Department of Homeland Security Spending bill. This legislation must be completed by December 21, in order to avoid a government shut down. We need Congress to include H-2B cap relief in this legislation and we need your help to make sure that happens.
A group of lawmakers including Senators Tillis (R-NC) and Rounds (R-SD) and Rep. Harris (R-MD) have negotiated an H-2B package that would: permanently double the annual H-2B cap to 132,000 visas and require the Department of Labor to report to Congress every two years about whether or not the cap should be increased or decreased based on economic need; Allow some agricultural related industries to access the uncapped H-2A program, including forestry and conservation-related services relating primarily to the cultivation, installation, and establishment of horticultural commodities; Provide for proportional and quarterly allocations of H-2B visa so that businesses have access to workers regardless of their dates of need; Preserve access to the program for compliant seasonal employers; Provide access to needed temporary workers involved in disaster and recovery efforts; Increase fines and penalties for bad actors; Require employers who use the program to verify the work eligibility of recently hired and newly hired employees; and eliminate the costly newspaper advertising requirement and replace it with a requirement to list jobs through an online Department of Labor job registry.
1. Please click on the appropriate link below, set up by the National Association of Landscape Professionals, to send a letter to your Representative and two Senators urging them to support the Tillis/Harris H-2B cap relief package in a final Department of Homeland Security Spending bill. Please also share these links with your colleagues and encourage them to respond.
SEND A LETTER AS AN EMPLOYER:
SEND A LETTER AS AN EMPLOYEE:
2. Please call your Representative and two Senators and ask them to urge their party leaders to include the Tillis/Harris H-2B package in a final DHS appropriations bill. You can reach your elected officials through the Capitol Switchboard at 202-225-3121. Once connected to your Representative or Senator’s office ask to speak to the person who handles H-2B issues. Please make these calls today!
Current 2019 H2B Cap Situation Reported by JKJ Workforce:
According to Jim Judkins of JKJ Workforce, The DHS has not made an official announcement yet, but he assumes that the first half of the cap hit on December 6, 2018.
If your company has not received a USCIS Receipt number, there is a good chance that your company has been capped out for the first half of the year.
If your company is capped out/and or is part of the second half of the year, statistically there is only about a 25% chance that you will make it over the finish line and get H-2B workers, UNLESS CONGRESS TAKES ACTION.
Now, if you are OK for 2019 -- have a receipt or approval -- unless CONGRESS TAKES ACTION NOW -- the chance that there will be any legislation for the next 2 years hovers around ZERO.
So - EVERYONE EVERYONE EVERYONE -- please follow the steps outlined by the H-2B Coalition as detailed below -- please do this once a day until Congress passes the bill on the 21st.