As President-elect Joe Biden and Vice-President-elect Kamala Harris prepare to assume office, GCSAA has joined its allies on the H-2B Workforce Coalition to make sure they know how essential the H-2B visa program is to seasonal industries like golf. GCSAA has co-signed a letter to them that emphasizes the importance of the program in providing temporary, legal workers to employers who have exhausted efforts elsewhere. The letter sends a valuable message to the incoming Administration.
H-2B remains a lifeline for employers who have exhausted efforts to obtain the workers they need from elsewhere, even during the COVID-19 pandemic. The need remains: On November 16, 2020, the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services certified that petitions for H-2B visas for an employment start date before April 1, 2001 exceeded the number available. That indicates that the demand for temporary workers continues in this economy, as businesses recover, generate wages and create jobs. Golf is a vital part of this recovery as our nation’s golf courses provide millions of people the opportunity to enjoy the health and recreational benefits of our game during the pandemic.
GCSAA is focused on improving accessibility to this program, by increasing the number of workers available beyond the current – outdated – cap. The House Appropriations Committee passed legislation, the FY 21 Department of Homeland Security Appropriations Act, which increases the 66,000 cap by as many as 69,000. We will continue to fight for this increase being signed into law and then will work with the President and Vice-President-elect to ensure that all H-2B workers are available next spring.