Washington, DC—Rep. John Curtis (R-UT), member of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, joined a group of bipartisan members of the House of Representatives and the Senate in sending a letter [LINK] to Congress leadership regarding the temporary guest worker program (H-2B). The lawmakers advocated for cap relief in any upcoming spending bill that Congress passes to open the government.
“Our work has had one goal: to provide the appropriate amount of non-immigrant, temporary works needed to supplement our American workforce and sustain our economy,” they wrote. “Continuing with the status quo of failing to reform the H-2B program will only result in more closures or scale backs for these businesses. In any agreement to end the current partial lapse in government funding, we owe our constituents, and seasonal business owners relying on this vital program a thoughtful and lasting legislative solution for the H-2B visa shortage.”
The H-2B program is critical for Utah. Currently the cap for H-2B visas is 66,000 per year, a number that hasn’t seen significant change in decades. Cap relief would increase the number of these visas, responding to the labor needs of the current job market.
Dozens of companies reached out to Congressman Curtis’ office because they are struggling to hire enough workers to keep up with the demands for their services. This impacts various employers, including farmers, landscape companies, resorts that rely on tourism, and many other industries in Utah. With the unemployment rate historically low in Utah, there is a labor shortage and the H-2B program is paramount to fill these seasonal jobs.