Byrds Group employee watering large yellow flowers

The H-2B guest-worker program gets potential one-year increase


Taking advantage of the “must-pass” omnibus federal spending bill for fiscal year 2018-2019, advocates for the H-2B guest-worker visa program managed to get an extension of the authority for the U.S. Secretary of Homeland Security to increase the 66,000 statutory cap on H-2B visas. This provision is like one that was included in last year’s spending bill.

Increase not automatic

The increase in visas is not automatic. Under the provision, the Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen must determine, in consultation with the Labor Secretary Alex Acosta, that there is economic need. If the Homeland Security Secretary determines that there is need, she has the authority to increase the cap up to the number of visas issued in 2007, or about 128,000.

Too little, too late


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