WASHINGTON – After hearing from dozens of Delaware businesses about the need for additional H-2B visas, U.S. Sen. Chris Coons and Sen. Tom Carper (both D-Del.) joined a bipartisan group of senators in a letter urging the Department of Homeland Security and Department of Labor to expedite the availability of 22,000 additional H-2B visas, an effort to address the pressing demand for seasonal workers in Delaware and across the United States.

“[A]dditional visas are...essential to states that lack the available workers needed to meet the high demand for seasonal jobs,” wrote the senators. “Given the significant disruption to many businesses last summer caused by the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, it is vital that these businesses have the labor they need to meet demand and to protect the jobs of American workers who fill year-round positions at these businesses.”

Alongside Coons and Carper, the letter was signed by Senators Roy Blunt (R-Mo.), Susan Collins (R-Maine), Mike Crapo (R-Idaho), Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.), Angus King (I-Maine), James Risch (R-Idaho), Mike Rounds (R-S.D.), and Jeanne Shaheen (D-N.H.).

Full text of the letter below and here.

The Honorable Alejandro Mayorkas
Secretary
U.S. Department of Homeland Security
3801 Nebraska Avenue, NW
Washington, D.C. 20528

The Honorable Martin J. Walsh
Secretary
U.S. Department of Labor
200 Constitution Avenue, NW
Washington, D.C. 20210

Dear Secretaries Mayorkas and Walsh,

Thank you for your recent actions to make an additional 22,000 H-2B visas available to address the pressing demand for seasonal workers across the country. While fewer than we would have hoped, additional visas are nonetheless essential to states that lack the available workers needed to meet the high demand for seasonal jobs.

We respectfully urge you to expedite the rulemaking process to make these additional H-2B visas available. Based on the estimated timeline, additional H-2B temporary workers will not be available to businesses until mid-July, which is late into the summer season. This will result in many hotels, restaurants, and other seasonal businesses, as well as employers in critical infrastructure sectors, having to cut back operations due to the shortage of available labor. Given the significant disruption to many businesses last summer caused by the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, it is vital that these businesses have the labor they need to meet demand and to protect the jobs of American workers who fill year-round positions at these businesses.

Thank you for your attention to this urgent request.

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