Gardner Urges Restart of H-2B Visa Program

Washington, D.C. – Senator Cory Gardner (R-CO) announced today that he has sent a letter to the Secretary of the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and the Secretary of the Department of Labor (DOL) urging them to end suspension of the H-2B visa program. H-2B visas allow U.S. employers to temporarily bring foreign workers to the United States to fill seasonal or intermittent nonagricultural jobs, and both the Department of Labor and the Department of Homeland security play a role in the visa’s issuance.

A federal judge recently ordered a dismissal of certain regulations related to the visa program which had been issued by DOL in 2008. The court ruled that DOL lacked the authority to issue those regulations. In response to that ruling, DHS stopped accepting and processing H-2B applications.

“The Departments of Labor and Homeland Security are acting completely irresponsibly, jeopardizing a critical tool for Colorado businesses because the Departments were incapable of getting their legal ducks in a row,” Gardner said. “There was no reason to shut down this entire visa program as a reaction to this court ruling, and these departments’ actions have blindsided many Colorado businesses who rely on these visas. I’m urging the Departments of Labor and Homeland Security to quickly work to restart this program, and to stop punishing Colorado businesses.”

A copy of Senator Gardner’s full letter is available here.