H2B visa shortage and delay in application processing have caused many local businesses around the United States to suffer. Businesses in Colorado that deal in landscaping and paving are going through the same. H2B visa is a seasonal non-immigrant non-agricultural visa that issues 66,000 visas in total. Most of these workers are from Mexico and Central American countries like Honduras and El Salvador.
Michael Hasse, Double M Asphalt & Coatings, said that he is short of five out of seven H2B workers for the past two months. They were supposed to come to work from April 1, 2018, but still, haven’t because Trump administration is delaying the process. Because of the shortage, the present workers have to work for long hours under the harsh sun for more than 10 hours. This season, Mike Stephens, SHC Nursery, and Landscape, is missing out on 20 of his seasonal workers. Both of these companies depend heavily on seasonal workers because no local wants to work those jobs.
Amy Novak, immigration employment attorney, based out in Vail, said that Trump administration has delayed issuing H2B visas. Temporary workers aren’t harmed in the process but American business owners. Hasse, who started his business 10 years said that delay is illegal. They all try to hire American workers, but they aren’t available. Stephens said that many businesses hire illegal workers to escape the visa processing fees which has annoyed the US government. He said that the current situation will become more difficult than time passes.
A permanent fix
Novak wants the US Congress to find a permanent solution. Even though the lawmakers increased the number of seasonal H2B visas, it hasn’t helped the businesses. She said that it is affecting a wide variety of businesses including massage therapists, housekeeping, hotels and restaurants, and landscaping. Hasse hopes that in the coming two weeks the problem is solved.