Washington Watch

Posted on: August 9th, 2017
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DHS Provides Relief to American Businesses in Danger of Suffering Irreparable Harm

The United States Department of Homeland Security (DHS) in cooperation with the Department of Labor announced a final rule submitted to the Federal Register that would permit the hiring of 15,000 additional temporary nonagricultural workers by U.S. businesses that are at risk of suffering permanent damage as a result of a shortage of workers locally available. The rule stems from legislation passed in the spring permitting DOL and DHS a one-time expansion of the normal cap on H-2Bs. After a meeting with Secretary of Labor Alexander Acosta, John Kelly, the Secretary of Homeland Security reached the conclusion that there is an insufficient number of qualified and willing temporary nonagricultural U.S. workers to meet the needs of some American businesses in fiscal year 2017. The annual H-2B cap, set by Congress, was set at 66,000 with a maximum of 33,000 to be utilized within the first half of the fiscal year and the remainder being utilized beginning April 1 through September 30. On March 13, 2017, United States Citizenship and Immigration Services reported it reached the 66,000 limit of petitions, but in May Congress delegated its authority to the Secretary of Homeland Security to increase this number through September 30. Secretary Kelly emphasized that this was a one-time increase. Eligible petitioners can file Form I-129, Petition for a Nonimmigrant Worker and are required to also submit supplemental attestation on Form ETA 9142-B-CAA along with their petition. Further details on eligibility and filing requirements will become available when the final rule is released and will be accessed on a new uscis.gov webpage.

For more information, view the announcement.


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