Many landscape companies shut out as the visa cap is reached too early.

Washington, D.C. — Supporters of the H-2B nonimmigrant seasonal worker program are descending on Capitol Hill D.C., Wednesday, April 15 to battle for the program.

Sensing that recent actions by courts and government agencies to hamstring the program are, perhaps, precursors to even greater threats to the ability of U.S. businesses to secure seasonal workers, they are asking colleagues for their support. That support comes in the form of letting their respective legislators know that the program is valuable to employers and, also, valuable to the U.S. economy.

Here are some actions that, as a fellow landscape or lawn service company owner or manager, you can do to help preserve H-2B and make it more workable:

  1. Call your Senators and Representatives. Google their direct numbers or call 202-225-3121. Once connected to this office, ask to speak to the person at your lawmakers’ offices that handles H-2B issues.
  2. Ask them (generally a staff member) to advise their respective legislator to quickly pass an H-2B returning worker exemption so that seasonal employers have access to much-needed H-2B workers.
  3. Work with the Department of Homeland Security to ensure that the upcoming interim final H-2B rule is not used to impose costly and complicated new burdens on H-2B employers.
  4. Support reform to the H-2B program along the lines of legislation being drafted by Rep. Andy Harris (R-Md). Encourage House members to reach out to Rep. Harris and consider being cosigners of this legislation.
  5. Tweet about the impact of the H-2B cap (66,000 H-2B visas) and regulatory uncertainty on your business and the industry.
  6. Encourage Congress to act by using #saveH2B and directing the tweets at your elected officials.
  7. Encourage your employees, customers or other local businesses to also call and tweet their elected officials.

If you would like to be a part of the H-2B Fly-in here are the details for April 15:

  • 9:45 a.m.: Briefing at Bullfeathers Restaurant, 410 First St. SE. Hear from industry experts about the key points to make with your Senators and Representatives. Receive talking points and other helpful materials. Connect with other H-2B users from your state.
  • 11:00-4:00 a.m.: Meetings with House and Senate Offices (to be scheduled on your own).

COVER PHOTO: ISTOCKPHOTO