July 27, 2018 Edition: H-2A and H-2B Weekly News Alert - News You Can Use

Republicans Push Massive Foreign Worker Visa Expansion In DHS Spending Bill


Yesterday, the Republican House Committee introduced two amendments to the Department of Homeland Security appropriations bill. These amendments included allowing non-seasonal agricultural employers to use the H-2A Program and to adopt a modified returning worker exemption for the H-2B Program.


            Comment:   H-2 employers are making progress. However, as the bias in the title of the article indicates, H-2A politics (“massive expansion”) can affect H-2B politics (limited returning worker exemption).



Western Growers, California Farm Bureau Oppose AG Workforce Bill


Farming groups are divided over whether or not to support a bill introduced last week by House Judiciary Committee Chairman Bob Goodlatte (R-VA) to replace the H-2A visa program with an agricultural guestworker program, otherwise known as the H-2C program. Employers and employees alike should pay close attention to this bill so as to stay up to date with H-2A visa processes.


Comment: A house divided against itself cannot stand.


Limits on Seasonal Work Visas Hit Maryland’s Crab Industry


This article is an interview with a representative of a seafood company in Maryland cannot meet demand due to insufficient labor as a result of the H-2B cap and lottery system. The suffering of the seafood industry as a result of limited available H-2B visas was a prominent point that Rep. Rutherford (R-FL) made in support of a fairer visa system on the DHS FY19 appropriations bill mark-up on Wednesday.


Comment: H-2B workers are essential and when a business can’t hire them, small businesses suffer. Where are the U.S. workers that so many say are waiting to take H-2B jobs?


Agriculture Visa Process Expected To See Changes


This article summarizes why employers and workers alike should expect the tedious, bureaucratic process of the H-2A visa program to have significant changes in the next couple of years, based on statements made by the Trump administration and bills such as H-2C being argued by Representatives. The H-2A program and immigration process as a whole requires consistent attention to updating visa paperwork, so it’s important to be aware of these changes so as to continuously abide by USCIS regulations and laws.





ICE Auditing Hiring Records of 5,200 Businesses


ICE has audited thousands of Form I-9 audits since fall of last year, making it more important than ever for employers to keep their I-9 paperwork as compliant as possible. This article also mentions IMAGE, a program agreed upon by employers and the government, which aims to keep employers clear on up to date requirements of these visa programs.


Comment: Every business should review their I-9 compliance. Some H-2B employers think that they don’t have to worry about I-9 compliance because H-2B workers are authorized. WRONG. This could be a costly mistake.


Questions: Call Wendel Hall at (202) 661-2173 or email him at wendel@halllawoffice.net.