Source: United States House of Representatives – Congresswoman Chellie Pingree (1st District of Maine)
Headline: Pingree Frustrated with DHS Delayed H-2B Visa Decision, New Regulations Put on Maine Small Business Owners
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Congresswoman Chellie Pingree (D-Maine) issued the following statement in response to the the Department of Homeland Security (DHS)’s decision to issue only 15,000 H-2B visas and new regulations for small business owners to hire seasonal workers:
“I am grateful that DHS has finally approved some additional H-2B visas for this season, but it’s clear the Trump Administration did not consider the economic impact of its delayed decision. Many seasonal business owners in Maine had to scale back operations this year simply because they did not have the staff necessary keep up with demand,” said Pingree. “It’s extremely frustrating that these small business owners will now be forced to compete for far fewer H-2B visas than were authorized by Congress and have to cut through unnecessary red tape in order to fill their open positions in the middle of their busiest season. I hope a permanent solution can be reached in order to support small business owners and address the ongoing seasonal worker shortage facing states like Maine.”
In May, an Omnibus bill passed Congress giving DHS the authority to increase the number of H-2B visas from 66,000 up to approximately 129,000—an increase of approximately 63,000 for the 2017 season. In June, Congresswoman Pingree authored a letter urging DHS to swiftly raise the cap on available visas for the current fiscal year. The letter may be found here.