FAIRFAX, Va.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--The National Association of Landscape Professionals (NALP), which represents an industry that employs nearly 1 million landscape, lawn care, irrigation and tree care professionals, today applauded the Trump Administration’s reported plan to raise the H-2B visa cap and expedite the release of the supplemental visas, allowing for an increase in seasonal guest workers this year.
“As the single-largest user of H-2B visas, the landscape industry is highly encouraged by reports that the Administration and the Department of Homeland Security are acting swiftly to make supplemental H-2B visas available at a time when labor demands are most dire for the landscape industry,” said Andrew Bray, Vice President of Government Relations, National Association of Landscape Professionals. “It is our hope that all of these additional H-2B visas will be available on April 1st to support our member companies early in their peak landscaping season.”
Reports indicate that the Administration plans to release an additional 45,000 H-2B visas. The first 20,000 will be immediately available upon the release of a DHS rule, while employers can apply for the remaining slots starting June 1. “We are grateful that the Administration realizes the increased demand associated with the program but we want to urge the administration to make all the supplemental H-2B visas available on April 1st when demand for the program is at its peak,” Bray continued. “Waiting until June 1st to release additional H-2B visas is too far along in the busy spring season and does not reflect the timing of when seasonal employers actually need workers. This limits the ability of the landscape industry to fully realize the economic gains as a result of the actions taken by this administration. Support of H-2B is a crucial issue that stands to benefit American businesses and workers while positively impacting our country’s economy.”
H-2B visas are critical to thousands of American businesses in the landscaping, hotel and lodging, outdoor amusement and seafood processing industries, enabling them to supplement their U.S. workforce with seasonal, foreign workers. Failure to release the maximum amount of supplemental visas would force landscape businesses to turn away customers, scale back service, cancel planned capital equipment purchases and lay off American workers, resulting in an estimated $557 million in lost revenue across U.S. businesses. The Administration’s continued support of this non-partisan issue will serve to benefit both the American businesses and the economy as a whole. According to the NALP, each H-2B worker supports 4.6 American workers.
“The H-2B program is often misguidedly associated with immigration reform,” Bray said. “However, it is by definition a non-immigrant visa program for temporary, seasonal guest workers. The program is essential to the survival of businesses across many U.S. industries that are unable to fill seasonal jobs with American workers. We commend the Trump Administration for its support of smart policies that will continue to bolster the American economy.”
The National Association of Landscape Professionals represents an industry that employs nearly 1 million landscape, lawn care, irrigation and tree care professionals who create and maintain healthy green spaces for the benefit of society and the environment. NALP offers education, networking, training and certification programs that increase the professionalism in the industry and inspire its members to excellence. For more information, visit www.LandscapeProfessionals.org