H-2B MOCK LOTTERY
DECEMBER 9, 2019
PANEL DISCUSSION ON AMERICAN WORKER RECRUITMENT
HOSTED BY SEA AND THE NISKANEN CENTER
SEASONAL EMPLOYMENT ALLIANCE
THE HOME OF H-2B PROGRAM ADVOCACY
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, 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.
PRESIDENT TRUMP SPEAKS OUT ON H-2B
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. "
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."
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. "