Seasonal workers to get ‘limited number’ of visas
Homeland Security Secretary John F. Kelly has decided to issue a “limited number” of seasonal guest worker visas, the department announced Wednesday, though they still don’t have a total and won’t begin to issue them until late July.
The move offers a small amount of relief to seasonal businesses such as landscapers, summer resorts and seafood processors who have come to rely on foreign workers.
But the department said Congress granted the power so late that it’s likely the number will be relatively small, and far less than what Mr. Kelly could issue.
“We’re doing the best we can given the short time frame,” said department spokesman Dave Lapan.
Under the law 66,000 seasonal worker visas, divided in half between the winter and summer seasons, are supposed to be available for companies that cannot meet their workforce needs with Americans.
Congress sometimes boosts that number under what’s known as the H-2B program and did so again in May’s spending bill. But they left the final decision on numbers to Mr. Kelly.