Congress has reached a bipartisan agreement on a bill to fund the federal government through September 30, 2017, which includes some limited H-2B cap relief. The bill provides the Secretary of Homeland Security, in consultation with the Secretary of Labor, the authority to raise the H-2B cap when he determines that there is an economic need. It limits the total number of H-2B workers to that may enter the U.S. during fiscal 2017 to 129,547, which corresponds to the number of new and returning H-2B workers admitted to the U.S. in fiscal 2007. It’s now up to DHS to implement the provisions of the bill.
The bill also contains the language from last year limiting the Administration’s ability to enforce the corresponding employment and 3/4 guarantee language of the 2015 regulations, allowing for the use of private wage surveys, a 10 month season and staggered crossing for seafood workers.
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