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Tillis Statement on DHS’ H-2B Visa Interim Final Rule

Sen. Thom Tillis

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security announced its intention to provide up to 15,000 additional H-2B visas under an interim final rule that it will submit to the Federal Register. Senator Thom Tillis (R-NC) has been leading bipartisan efforts in Congress to ensure American small businesses have access to temporary, seasonal workers they need to sustain their businesses and support American jobs. Tillis has been directly advocating the Department of Homeland Security to provide additional visas for FY2017.

In May, Senators Tillis and Angus King (I-ME) led a bipartisan and bicameral letter to the Secretaries of Homeland Security and Labor urging them to take “swift and decisive action” to approve the applications for H-2B workers. Earlier this year, Congress authorized the Departments to increase the number of H-2B visas allocated by U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services. Previously the number had been capped at 66,000 annually – 33,000 for each half of the Fiscal Year. However, that cap was reached on March 13th of this year, with many small businesses still in need of seasonal employees to support their operations.

“I’m encouraged that Secretary Kelly intends to provide relief to seasonal small businesses across the nation currently suffering from a lack of temporary workers. I look forward to reviewing the details of the rule,” said Senator Tillis. “As President Trump has noted, the H-2B program is vital for businesses that desperately need temporary help to keep their doors open and keep their American workforce employed. Moving forward, it’s important that the debate over H-2B is rooted in hard facts and the real-world experiences of small businesses owners doing everything they can make ends meet, not the misleading opinions of political pundits based in New York City and Washington who have never had to make payroll.”

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