Less than 3% of H-2B workers overstay their visas. In other words, 97% of H-2B workers depart the US as scheduled and do not add to the illegal immigrant worker population (source).
There are approximately 43,000 zip codes in the United States and 66,000 work visas. That is roughly 1.5 guest workers per zip code.
Every H-2B job supports 4.67 American jobs (source).
During the recession of 2009 through 2013, when US unemployment was between 7.7% and 9.4%, H-2B employers hired US workers and did not use all of the allotted visas (source).
In 2015, American workers employed by H-2B employers and doing the same job as guest workers received a 20% to 75% raise due to the US Dept of Labor changing the methodology for calculating H-2B wage rates (source).
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INDUSTRIES RELYING ON H-2B WORKERS
The H-2B visa was created in 1986, as part of the Immigration Reform and Control Act, which split the H guest worker program into an H-2A visa for agricultural guest workers, and an H-2B visa for non-agricultural guest workers.
The H-2B temporary worker program is essential to seasonal employers in your state who cannot find local temporary workers to fill jobs during their peak seasons. It allows seasonal employers to retain their full-time workers year round while also allowing them to operate at a greater capacity during portions of the year, thereby increasing their contribution to their local economies. Seasonal workers help support many upstream and downstream jobs. Every H-2B worker is estimated to sustain 4.64 American jobs.
The H-2B Program relies on well-vetted workers who come to the U.S. for seasonal employment and then return home. These workers are not immigrants; they are non-immigrants whose stay is limited to 9 months or less. They represent the best legal option for employers in your state to sustain their seasonal businesses without hiring undocumented workers.
During much of fiscal year 2016, returning H-2B workers were exempt from the Program’s outdated 66,000 statutory cap, but the provision expired at the end of the fiscal year. Although the House Appropriations Committee included the same exemption in the FY ‘17 Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Appropriations bill, no such language was included in the Continuing Resolution for 2017 to keep the exemption in effect through April 28.
As a result, the statutory allocation of 33,000 visas for the first half of FY17 was reached in early January, and the 33,000 cap for the remainder of the fiscal year was reached on March 13. Thousands of employers nationwide were left in the lurch with the future of their businesses in peril of not surviving. The rapid pace at which the allocation was met illustrates how badly employers need legal seasonal workers. The serious impact on businesses, the American workforce and consumers will become obvious in the coming months, when businesses may be unable to fulfill contracts, be forced to turn away customers and lay off American workers.
We simply cannot allow another season to pass without reinstituting the exemption.