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Strain Urges Congress to Expand Cap on Seasonal Guest Workers
January 16, 2018
Baton Rouge, La. (January, 16, 2018) – Louisiana Department of Agriculture and Forestry Commissioner Mike Strain, D.V.M., is urging Congress to expand the cap on H-2B workers, also known as returning workers, when they vote on the upcoming continuing resolution to temporarily fund the government. H-2B workers are semi-skilled or skilled temporary foreign workers.
“Many of our agricultural businesses in Louisiana rely on seasonal foreign labor to fill positions they cannot fill with American workers. As growth in the agricultural industry continues, we need these workers more than ever. Without expanding the cap and allowing workers to return in the second half of the federal fiscal year, many businesses, such as landscaping and seafood, will suffer,” said Strain.
By law, these jobs are made available to American workers first. If these jobs are unable to be filled with American workers, then H-2B workers are allowed.
In 2017, Congress significantly reduced the cap nationwide by 200,000 workers. Louisiana uses the highest number per capita of these temporary workers. The issue of H-2B workers is separate from the ongoing talks on immigration reform.
Congress is expected to take up the continuing resolution this week.