DOL Admits That Functioning H-2B Program Is In The Public Interest

In Padilla v. Acosta, DOL opposed entry of a TRO that would have indefinitely delayed H-2B processing. In its opposition, DOL made several important admissions about the value of the H-2B Program:

  • p. 12: Processing delays (and by implication lack of visas) harms small business: "Until a prospective H-2B employer receives a labor certification from OFLC, it cannot submit a petition for an H-2B visa with USCIS. See 8 C.F.R. § 214.2(h)(6)(iii), (iv)(A). Because the petition process at USCIS takes an additional period of time, Plaintiffs’ requested relief would impair the ability of prospective H-2B employers to complete the process without further delay, and may impair their ability to bring foreign workers into the country by their requested start date of April 1, 2018. If implemented, such “relief” would harm thousands of small business owners across the United States, like landscapers, hoteliers, foresters, amusement park operators, seafood processors, and more, whose businesses are absolutely dependent on the employment of temporary or seasonal workers for positions for which there are no available U.S. workers."                                                                                                            
  • p. 13: DOL admits that meeting the needs of U.S. employers is part of its statutory mandate: "These equities include Defendants’ need to conduct the H-2B program as set forth by Congress and the government through the applicable statutes and regulations, such that the needs of U.S. employers and protections for the domestic workforce are met."
  • p. 13: DOL recognizes that processing delays cause severe economic harm to thousands of small employers: "Furthermore, these equities also include the severe economic harm nationwide to thousands of small business owners dependent on the foreign workers they seek to employ through the H-2B program for the timeframe specified in their applications."

  • p. 16: DOL again admits the severe harm delayed processing causes: "As noted previously, if Plaintiffs’ requested injunctive relief were implemented, such “relief” would harm thousands of small business owners across the United States, like landscapers, hoteliers, foresters, amusement park operators, seafood processors, and more, whose businesses are absolutely dependent on the employment of temporary or seasonal workers for positions for which there are no available U.S. workers."

The question is this: If you don't believe DOL when it says a functioning H-2B Program is critical to America, who are you going to believe?