November 07, 2023

Manchin Praises Supplementation of H-2B Visa Program During Labor Shortage

Washington, DC – Today, U.S. Senator Joe Manchin (D-WV) praised the announcement from U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS), in consultation with the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL), that the H-2B visa cap will be supplemented with nearly 65,000 additional nonagricultural worker visas for Fiscal Year 2024.

“Small businesses in West Virginia and across the country rely on the H-2B visa program to ensure they have the necessary workforce to meet market demand and operate at full capacity. This announcement is welcomed news during the current labor shortage, particularly as we approach the holiday season and see increased consumer demand in a variety of industries. While by no means a permanent solution to our broken immigration system, this decision will help to reduce unlawful immigration by enabling workers who have been thoroughly vetted to temporarily fill these seasonal demands. I will continue working with the White House and my bipartisan colleagues in Congress to promote economic growth for West Virginia and advocate for the best interest of workers and businesses,” said Senator Manchin.

The H-2B program allows employers to temporarily hire noncitizens to perform nonagricultural labor or services in the United States. The employment must be of a temporary nature and employers seeking H-2B workers must take a series of steps to test the U.S. labor market. They must obtain certification from DOL that there are not enough U.S. workers who are able, willing, qualified, and available to perform the temporary work for which they seek a prospective foreign worker, and that employing H-2B workers will not adversely affect the wages and working conditions of similarly employed U.S. workers.

American businesses in industries such as hospitality, tourism, landscaping, and more turn to temporary seasonal workers in the H-2B program to help them meet consumer demand and grow their operations. DHS and DOL have put in place robust protections for both U.S. and foreign workers, such as ensuring employers first seek out and recruit American workers for the jobs to be filled.