While Congress works on legislation to aid the weakening economy, they have failed to give the H-2B guest-worker program a needed extension. Individual small businesses report they could lose $3 million without an extension.
Guest workers have legally entered and exited the country for years on H-2B visas. However, this year those visas expired at the end of the 2007 fiscal year and have yet to be extended. Companies needing workers for February are not able to obtain them.
A lack of extension for H-2B workers hurts the $40 billion landscape industry and puts several American full-time jobs at risk. H-2B workers are depended upon to do seasonal work Americans choose not to do. By filling in during peak seasons, landscapers are able to afford full-time staff year round.
Without this extension, which costs the government nothing, several companies are making plans to lay-off full-time employees due to lack of revenue.