H-2B MOCK LOTTERY
DECEMBER 9, 2019
VALLEY FORGE CASINO KING OF PRUSSIA, PA
PANEL DISCUSSION ON AMERICAN WORKER RECRUITMENT
HOSTED BY SEA AND THE NISKANEN CENTER
SEASONAL EMPLOYMENT ALLIANCE
THE HOME OF H-2B PROGRAM ADVOCACY

SEA's Objective

Improve Labor Market Test

SEA is working to improve awareness of H-2B jobs to American workers.

Then Eliminate the Cap

A robust labor market test eliminates the need for a cap on the H-2B program.

Then Institute e-verify

If H-2B is uncapped, every employer in an H-2B occupation should be required to participate in E-Verify.

H-2B MYTH vs. FACT

Myth: H-2B employers intentionally bypass American workers for H-2B workers

Fact: American workers are guaranteed first chance at every job later filled by an H-2B temporary laborer. Listed below are examples of places where any interested U.S. worker can apply for any H-2B job, regardless of location.  Also, U.S. employers are obliged to hire all qualified U.S. workers who apply, regardless of where they live and pay for the workers’ transportation to their worksite.

 

 

Myth: the H-2B program is a cheap labor program

Fact:  The U.S. Government requires H-2B employers to pay above the Level 3 Wage Rate for the job and location of work, regardless of experience.  Thee average H-2B wage rate is over $13.75 an hour which is 75% higher than the federal minimum wage.

Employers bear other mandatory costs including the H2B workers’ round-trip transportation, travel subsistence costs and State Dept. visa application fees. They also pay the USCIS visa petition fee, advertising costs and program agent fees totaling on average over $1,500 per worker per year. This adds an additional $1.50 to $2.50 an hour to labor costs.

According to a 2014 PEW study[1], illegal aliens comprise over 19% of the total workforce in the landscaping occupation (H-2B workers comprise 3% of the workforce in the landscaping occupation). The companies who employ illegal aliens bid on the same work as those who employ legal workers. This creates an unlevel playing field. If there is any wage suppression in the H-2B occupations, it comes from the employment of illegal aliens or unauthorized workers.

H-2B support tracker

SEA is moving the needle

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House opponents

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senate opponents

PRESIDENT TRUMP SPEAKS OUT ON H-2B

Testimonials

Aubrey–Vincent
Aubrey Vincent
Sales Manager, Lindy's Seafood

"I joined SEA because I knew we needed to be proactive in fixing the H2B Program. The industry’s advocacy efforts had stagnated. SEA was the loudest voice I heard trying to reach a long term solution, resulting in more progress in the past year than I've seen in the whole 20 years our company has been in the program. I believe SEA's approach of collaboration, effective communication, and thinking outside the box is the path forward for H-2B program advocacy and is the organization companies who depend on the H-2B program should belong to. "

- February 7, 2019
Mark-Thelen
Mark Thelen
President, Landmark Landscapes

"The Seasonal Employment Alliance has done more to shape the narrative for H-2B reform. This is largely due to the fact that they are proactive and not reactive. I am confident SEA will be instrumental in bringing positive change for those of us that rely on the H-2B guest worker program. Because of the efforts of SEA’s team and members, we are closer to H-2B reform then we have been in years.

SEA is not just a Washington DC organization, when I requested their help in Georgia they came here to offer support on several occasions. I am proud to be part of SEA."

- February 7, 2019
LeslieDowns
Lesli Downs
President, Southern Impact

"Since the startup of SEA a little over a year ago, SEA has made unmatched strides towards H2B cap relief. We are closer than ever before to a permanent cap increase because of SEA’s efforts and the relationships SEA has formed with H2B employers and legislators. As an agent, it is helpful to be a member of an organization with other agents and active employers. The information the members provide and the resources I have access to ensure I am on top of all aspects of the ever shifting H-2B program. This helps me provide the best possible service to my clients. "

- February 12, 2019

Ongoing Saga of H-2b Employers

Timeline of 2018/2019 legislative efforts

10.01.2017
Seasonal Employment Alliance established
10.01.2017
02.15.2018
SEA holds fly-in attended by over 250 employers
02.15.2018
03.23.2018
Fiscal year 2018 Omnibus passes, grants Department of Homeland Security discretion to release up to 69,320 additional 69,320 visas
03.23.2018
05.01.2018
After being told by industry lobbyists that the Returning Worker Exemption (RWE) is dead on arrival, SEA drafts Certified Seasonal Employer language that would increase the cap and set aside visas for past users of the program
05.01.2018
05.31.2018
DHS releases additional 15,000 visas
05.31.2018
06.01.2018
SEA introduces CSE language to DHS Appropriations Subcommittee Chair Kevin Yoder. Yoder is favorable to language
06.01.2018
07.25.2018
H-2B cap relief amendment successfully added to FY19 DHS appropriations bill. This is the first time in four years cap relief language was included in the House DHS baseline bill
07.25.2018
08.01.2018
Gray Delany and Veronica Birkenstock make trip to Iowa to engage Iowa’s H-2B users
08.01.2018
10.01.2018
Negotiations begin with Senators Grassley and Tillis on H-2B reform package. Grassley makes clear he will not support a Returning Worker Exemption
10.01.2018
11.01.2018
SEA fights hard for the inclusion of the CSE language. Language includes preferential treatment for past users of the program, changes allocation method from current biannual allocation to quarterly allocation, and institutes proportional allocation if program is oversubscribed
11.01.2018
11.27.18
Tillis/Harris language announced. Language included doubling of the cap, SEA’s CSE language, and made E-Verify mandatory as a condition of using the H-2B program
11.27.18
12.21.2018
Government shuts down, FY19 DHS bill is not passed. Tillis/Harris language is now dead.
12.21.2018
03.29.2019
DHS announces intention to release additional 30,000 H-2B visas
03.29.2019
05.08.2019
Final rule is published outlining the filing instructions for the additional 30,000 visas.
05.08.2019
06.11.19
H-2B cap relief language successfully included in the House's FY20 DHS Appropriations bill. The language would effectively double the cap for FY20.
06.11.19

FOUNDING MEMBERS

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EQUIPMENT MANUFACTURER MEMBERS

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Map of H-2B employers