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Greg Siskind on Immigration Law and Policy

YOU CALL THIS A GUEST WORKER PROGRAM?

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The fiscal year begins today and 33,000 H-2B temporary and seasonal worker visas become available. And guess what? USCIS announced today that ALL 33,000 are already gone. 33,000 is 1/3 of the seats in the Rose Bowl football stadium just in case you think the number sounds like a lot. And it's a royal pain of a program to use - expensive, complicated, time consuming? Furthermore, if an employer has a long term worker shortage as opposed to a job just lasting a few months, the H-2B isn't even available.



And the other H-2B shoe to drop today aside from this announcement is the fact that the returning worker exemption from the H-2B count expired yesterday (seasonal workers returning for a new season are not counted against the H-2B cap). So that only compounds the problem. Congress was expected to extend that exemption, but has basically failed to get anything done this year (on any issue and not just immigration ones).



Maybe Congress will get the message when ski resorts don't have enough workers this winter or the landscaping at the Capitol starts to look shabby?

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  1. Susanna Bogue's Avatar
    Out here in California, the ski slopes traditionally use the J-1 program as our winter is Australia and New Zealand's summer. However, with the changes made to the J-1 program this summer, things could be looking frosty this winter with not enought temporary workers.
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