Yesterday, Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Secretary Kirsten Nielsen testified at DHS’ FY19 Appropriations hearing. DHS' discretionary authority to issue up to 68,000 additional visas was brought up on several occasions. Here is a summary:
While Secretary Nielsen stopped short of committing to a specific schedule for the release of H-2B visas, she indicated that discussions will be ongoing in the very short term. Secretary Nielsen also asked Dr. Harris to work with DHS to help determine the best future approach to the cap. The Secretary emphasized that she would prefer not to be put in the position she is in now and would like to work with Congress on a permanent solution so that it is not left to DHS to determine cap increases in future years.
This also echoes what we are hearing from our meetings with the Trump Administration. They want to work with us on a permanent fix so that we are not in this position every year. We will be working with the our industry colleagues, Administration, Dr. Harris, and our other allies on the Hill on the framework of a permanent fix in the coming months. If you would like to contribute to this discussion and framework, consider joining one of the Seasonal Employment Alliance (SEA) committees. You can view the various SEA committees by clicking here.
You can view the entire hearing by clicking HERE