|Congress was uncharacteristically busy this August and September is shaping up to be even busier. As noted above Reconciliation has been essentially sucking all the air out of the room and there is also a looming debt ceiling limit, oh yeah and those 12 appropriations bill that must be passed or the government shuts down at the end of the month…
We say this to provide some context on how we keep momentum rolling with H-2B while acknowledging larger Congressional priorities that may present some opportunities but are also making it difficult to gain significant traction at time. At this point reconciliation is not an option for H-2B or other visa reforms. Depending on what immigration measures DO move in reconciliation will inform the next steps for broader immigration reforms in the U.S. Citizenship Act and the increasing appetite to include guest worker visa reforms.
With regards to appropriations we continue to have very favorable language in the House Department of Homeland Security (DHS) FY 22 appropriations that would require the Administration to release supplemental H-2B visas. At this point the Senate has not even introduced their 12 Appropriations bills so we believe this is a clear signal that Congress will issue a Continuing Resolution (CR), which we expect will extend the deadline into December.
This leaves our H-2B efforts with several paths ahead. Immigration, Appropriations, Returning Worker Exception Act of 2021 (H.R. 3897), Senate efforts to move “landscape” from H-2B to uncapped H-2A. They’re all on the table at this point and NALP spent the August recess talking with members of Congress to co-sponsor H.R. 3897. The more names that are added as a cosponsor the more this signals to Congressional leadership that H-2B reform is a needed and this increases our chances for success in whichever avenue becomes viable later this year and into the winter.
Next week we will be sending out grassroots to have you get involved with your elected officials on this push for H-2B reform. In addition, NALP is teaming up with the Seasonal Employment Alliance (SEA) to host an H-2B Fly-in on September 28th. We will host a briefing and breakfast and schedule your meetings. There are still some offices that will not do in-person meetings but we are working on setting as many as possible. CLICK HERE FOR INFORMATION AND TO REGISTER. If you would like to find out more information or the likelihood of your elected official taking in-person meetings please contact Andrew Bray.