Monday evening, the Department of Homeland Security and the Department of Labor reached a deal to release 22,000 supplemental H-2B visas. These additional visas are a result of the discretionary authority granted to DHS by Congress in the FY 21 Appropriations. The official rule has not been published and many details remain unknown with regards to the timing of the release, how will DHS/DOL handle another lottery and if DHS/DOL will require any additional recruiting of U.S. workers. We do know that 6,000 of the 22,000 will be set aside to go exclusively to guest workers from the Northern Triangle Central American countries (El Salvador, Guatemala, and Honduras).
This announcement comes after Labor Unions (who have tremendous sway within the Democratic party) placed extensive pressure on the Biden Administration against releasing any supplemental H-2B visas. Two weeks ago, during a DHS listening session of the 30 participants that were able to speak 27 urged DHS to promptly act and release supplemental visas.
This all serves to highlight the need for permanent reforms to the H-2B program. NALP is moving forward aggressively to pursue a permanent returning worker exemption and we will need your help in the coming days, weeks, and months to push this forward.