DHS releases latest H-2B numbers

The Department of Homeland Security released information July 7 showing it has approved or is in the process of approving over half of the H-2B petitions needed to reach the first half of the fiscal 2009 H-2B cap. According to the DHS, the first half cap will be reached when it receives 40,000 petitions.

The numbers are alarming because the first half cap may be reached even sooner than last year. As the need for workers grows, more and more businesses have begun using the H-2B program, resulting in caps being reached earlier and earlier each year. For fiscal year 2007, the first half cap was reached on November 28, 2006. For fiscal year 2008, the first half cap of 33,000 was reached on September 27, 2007.

This information means it is pertinent that landscape employers continue to lobby Congress to pass immediate H-2B relief. The Professional Landcare Network continues to do this daily, and they are asking landscapers to do the same. PLANET’s Legislative Day is July 22. If you are unable to attend, PLANET asks that you call your senators and members of Congress through the Capitol Switchboard at (202) 225-3121 on July 21-22, asking them to support an immediate extension of the H-2B returning worker exemption.

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