A major concern for green industry associations like the National Association of Landscape Professionals is the ongoing health of the H-2B program including the returning worker exemption. With the election now over, it begs the question, how will Donald Trump's presidency affect the program?
In a Vanity Faire article published July of 2016, Donald Trump reportedly applied for 65 H-2B guest worker visas to fill a variety of positions at his Mar-a-Lago resort in Palm Beach, Florida.
The program exists in part to supplement the times that "There are not enough U.S. workers who are able, willing, qualified, and available to do the temporary work," the Department of Homeland Security notes on their website. Another qualification for a business to be able use the program is "Employing H-2B workers will not adversely affect the wages and working conditions of similarly employed U.S. workers."
Landscape professionals across the country rely on affordable temporary labor to conduct business. Any change to that calculus disrupts business as usual and could cost many businesses owners and their employees their livelihoods. President-elect Trump's apparent support of the program, although he has yet to make a public statement on the matter explicitly in support of it, should come as some relief to the landscape industry.
The National Association of Landscape Professionals fully supports the H-2B Visa Program and the returning worker exemptions.
"It is our hope that Congress will take action in December when they must once again take action on the budget for 2017." said vice president of government affairs for NALP, Paul Mendelsohn.