H-2B provides a vital lifeline for golf facilities that have exhausted all efforts to hire American workers for their seasonal positions. GCSAA has consistently argued that the program’s congressionally mandated cap of 66,000 (33,000 for each half of the fiscal year) is woefully inadequate to meet golf’s needs in this strong economy. And the latest news from the Department of Labor illustrates that this will continue in 2019, unless Congress and the Administration acts soon. Employers requested a record 97,800 workers for an April 1st start date under the iCERT online filing system. That’s almost three times as many visas available for that date. In fact, it’s more than what is available for the entire year. Demand was so strong that the iCERT system crashed right after midnight on January 1st, temporarily preventing H-2B filing for the second half of the fiscal year.
Superintendents have repeatedly told us they need 1) access to more H-2B workers and 2) greater certainty with the program in order to help meet customer demand. That’s why GCSAA joined other users of the program in negotiating compromise legislation in the last Congress that would permanently double the H-2B cap as well as provide other safeguards for the long-term viability of the program. Unfortunately, that legislation did not reach the President’s desk. However as the 116th Congress begins, Bob Helland and our Government Affairs team have been working with many of our allies in Washington on this issue to keep this issue front and center. Congress still has to pass a final budget for the 2019 Fiscal Year. When it does, we’ll be working hard to see it includes some form of cap relief. Please continue to provide your voice so Congress knows how important H-2B is to golf.
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