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New H-2B visas suspended through 2020

June 23, 2020 -  By

On Monday, June 22, President Donald Trump signed an executive order to suspend the issue of new H-2B visas, along with other temporary worker visas, through the end of 2020. This order applies to H-1B visas, H-4 visas, L-1 visas and some J-1 visas. These restrictions will be in place for the rest of the year and can be extended.

The National Association of Landscape Professionals issued a statement following the executive order:

“The National Association of Landscape Professionals is deeply disheartened by the President’s executive order suspending the entry of guest workers in the H-2B visa program through the remainder of 2020. The landscape industry is the largest user of the H-2B visa program, which is a vital component of landscaping’s seasonal business during critical times of the year when manual labor demands expand quickly.

As the nation continues to recover from the COVID-19 pandemic, H-2B workers will play an integral role in our economic recovery. H-2B workers support the hiring, promoting and retaining of American workers and the expansion of the companies that use this valuable seasonal guest worker program. It’s unfortunate that President Trump has minimized the landscape industry’s specific labor needs in a way that will hurt landscape companies throughout the nation.

We would hope that the President promptly reconsiders the executive order and amends the order to lessen the impacts on the landscape industry and the essential services we provide to the nation as we look toward assisting in protecting people, their property and the environment while bolstering a robust economic recovery in 2021.”

The Irrigation Association (IA) also issued a call for the reinstatement of H-2B:

“For years, the landscape irrigation industry has depended on seasonal H-2B workers to install and maintain our efficient irrigation systems and technologies, as well as the functional, managed landscapes that benefit our nation’s environment and economic welfare. President Trump has signed an executive order to suspend the issue of new H-2B visas, along with other temporary worker visas, through the end of 2020.

‘While we are appreciative that the president excluded critical H-2A workers from this executive order, we are disappointed that this administration continues to target the H-2B seasonal guest worker program, which creates American jobs and benefits small businesses everywhere,’ said IA Government and Public Affairs Director John Farner. ‘We urge the president to fully reinstate the H-2B program as soon as possible, so our nation’s landscape and irrigation companies can continue providing the essential services to American homes and businesses throughout the U.S.’”

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