Higher H-2B Visa Quota Could Be Too Little Too Late

Congress increased the quota, but without quick approval from overwhelmed agencies, landscapers could still be in trouble.

The Denver Post
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Landscapers, construction firms and other seasonal businesses in Colorado are breathing easier after Congress practically doubled the quota for H-2B visas they rely on to temporarily bring in foreign workers.

But that higher limit, approved within the $1.3 trillion omnibus spending bill signed into law recently, may not help most of them unless the U.S. departments of Labor and Homeland Security move quickly to approve the extra visas.

“It wasn’t the permanent cap relief we were hoping for and it is problematic in the sense that we have to encourage the Department of Labor to act immediately to authorize the visas,” said John McMahon, executive director of the Associated Landscape Contractors of Colorado.

Last year, the additional visas weren’t given the green light until well into the summer, too late for many employers to bring in seasonal help. And this year, low unemployment in Colorado and other states generated even more demand for the visas.

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