03/25/2019
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WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, Senator Thom Tillis (R-NC) issued the following statement on Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Secretary John Kelly’s commitment to expand the number of H-2B visas available this fiscal year, which would begin in late July at the earliest:

“Last week, I had a conversation with Secretary Kelly, where I stressed the need for DHS to address the H-2B visa shortage to help the small businesses across the nation that need them to keep their doors open. I appreciate Secretary Kelly’s willingness to address this issue, and his commitment will provide a short-term fix. While I have some concerns about the timeline for granting the additional visas, I look forward to working with Secretary Kelly and my colleagues in Congress on ways to provide more long-term certainty for America’s seasonal small businesses.”

Senator Tillis has led bipartisan efforts to ensure American small businesses have access to temporary, seasonal workers they need to sustain their businesses and support American jobs. Earlier this year, Senators Tillis and Angus King (I-ME) introduced the Save Our Small and Seasonal Businesses Act of 2017 to improve the H-2B program and assist small businesses. In May, Tillis and King also led a bipartisan and bicameral letter to the Secretaries of Homeland Security and Labor urging them to take “swift and decisive action” to approve applications for H-2B workers.

Important Facts About The H-2B Visa Program

·       H-2B workers support American jobs and small businesses. Every H-2B worker creates or sustains 4.64 American jobs on average according to a study conducted by the American Enterprise Institute.

·       As required by law, employers must first make a concerted effort to hire American workers to fill open positions. H-2B visas fill needs for American small businesses when there are not enough able and willing American workers to fill the temporary, seasonal positions.

·       Employers often have to spend more money to hire temporary H-2B workers, who are paid a prevailing wage that is set by the U.S. Department of Labor.

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