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Apr 2, 2019 6:56 AMPublication: The East Hampton Press

Cap On Foreign Workers Lifted For 2019 After Outcry From Business Owners

Workers at Fort Pond Native Plants in Montauk.   KYRIL BROMLEY
Apr 2, 2019 1:50 PM

A week after dozens of East End business owners rallied in Westhampton to call on federal officials to allow more foreign workers into the United States for the summer season, their calls were answered by Secretary of Homeland Security Kirstjen Nielsen, who authorized the issuance of an additional 30,000 seasonal worker visas nationwide.

The decision, announced on Friday by Secretary Nielsen, nearly doubles the number of temporary workers who will be allowed into the country for the 2019 summer season.

The so-called H-2B visa program has an annual cap of 66,000 foreign workers, split evenly between winter and summer season jobs. The summer season cap of 33,000 was exhausted by mid-February, and many East End business owners said they had not gotten any of the dozens of worker visas they had requested.

U.S. Representative Lee Zeldin met with a crowd of concerned East End business owners last week to voice their concerns about their ability to meet their workloads without the additional visas being issued.

Many business owners said they had been denied visas for dozens of workers, some of whom have been on their payrolls each summer season for decades. Managers of large businesses like landscaping and swimming pool companies had said they would be hard-pressed to be able to handle their workloads without the workers, and some said they might have to turn down business if they weren’t able to get workers.

Mr. Zeldin this week applauded the cap’s extension but repeated his calls for a more permanent fix to the problems of the annual worker supply.

“I applaud the Secretary of Homeland Security for lifting the cap on H-2B visas for the remainder of this year to help ensure Long Island employers get the seasonal workers they need,” Mr. Zeldin said in a statement. “However, the fight isn’t over. Suffolk County businesses have experienced uncertainty year after year, and they need stability and consistency for the seasons ahead.”

Until 2015, workers who had been granted H-2B visas in previous years were not counted toward the annual cap, allowing those who had been trained by U.S. businesses previously to return year after year. Some local business owners said they have H-2B employees who have been on their crews for 25 years or more.

The additional workers will still have to navigate the visa application processes in both the United States and their home countries, which can take six weeks or more, but lifting the cap should still allow businesses to get workers on their crews before Memorial Day.

Secretary Nielsen granted an extension of the cap last year as well, but for only 15,000 additional workers, and the decision was not made until May, so most of the additional workers were not able to arrive in the U.S. until early July. So the earlier expansion of the program is a small consolation to local service businesses whose heaviest workload is during the spring run-up to the start of the summer.

The H-2B visa is available to residents of a number of European and Central and South American countries. The visa program, which was started in the late 1980s, allows workers who are sponsored by an American business to come to the United States and work for up to nine months in seasonal positions that the business owner has demonstrated can’t be filled domestically.

Pool maintenance and landscaping companies and large hotels in particular rely on the program to fill many of their labor and service positions each summer.

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Good job Lee and Nielsen. Not much noise from Chucky or Kirstin nor our county reps.
By auntof9 (137), Southampton on Apr 2, 19 11:37 AM
These people are the people that should be able to stay
By bigblue84 (86), Hampton Bays on Apr 2, 19 1:35 PM
1 member liked this comment
Lee Zeldin, a flag in the wind. Which is it Lee? Are Hey all rapists and criminals that we need to keep out, or are the vital pieces of our community and economy? What a fraud.
By Brandon Quinn (181), Hampton Bays on Apr 2, 19 2:30 PM
LEGAL IMMIGRATION is important to the well being of our great nation, ILLEGAL IMMIGRATION IS A CANCER and should be dealt with as such.
By bigfresh (4244), north sea on Apr 2, 19 6:02 PM
If you don't think "legal immigration" is a problem, how come you want to change the rules for that too?
By Fore1gnBornHBgrown (6204), HAMPTON BAYS on Apr 2, 19 6:16 PM
At this point, being born on American soil (citizenship) has become a marketable, profitable business.

When you're turning coin on American citizenship, the ethics game is basically over.

Jus sanguinis would solve the problem of SELLING American citizenship.
By Mr. Z (11112), North Sea on Apr 8, 19 8:07 PM
Wonder how many of these people complaining voted for Trump. Next up, your healthcare.
By rv (34), watermill on Apr 2, 19 2:39 PM
We don't need anymore workers in the eastend. We are overcrowded with immigrants as it is. The problem is now is all illegal workers own company's and they need more workers!!
By Win sky (38), Southampton on Apr 2, 19 2:52 PM
Name one.
By Fore1gnBornHBgrown (6204), HAMPTON BAYS on Apr 2, 19 5:48 PM
1 member liked this comment
Ok we need manual laborers but the day when they were hired at locations throughout the East End is long over now they demand a high hourly rate 30 to 40$ per hour cash NO TAX the LOCALS will have to work and compete and the home owners pick up the tab.make sure you drop off the non perishable foods at the local pantries and thrift stores as they are picked up by the needy in our community no questions asked no contribution to our community required.ONLY IN AMERICA.
By watchdog1 (517), Southampton on Apr 2, 19 7:42 PM
30-40$ per hour. BRAVO SIERRA
By bigfresh (4244), north sea on Apr 2, 19 8:10 PM
1 member liked this comment
Because these businesses subscribe to the same rhetoric-Americans are lazy. And yes, illegals not only own businesses, they only hire their own. (Racism). Whe HB looks like Brentwood, then you’ll all be happy
By Moral Dolphin (46), Southampton on Apr 3, 19 2:44 AM
Name one business.
By Fore1gnBornHBgrown (6204), HAMPTON BAYS on Apr 3, 19 5:42 AM
1 member liked this comment
Lol, so wait, BigFresh, because they filled out some paperwork and paid the US govt like $100 for a visa, they’re no longer criminals or dangerous? But if they didn’t, SUPER DANGEROUS, A NATIONAL EMERGENCY EVEN lol. Moral Dolphin is out here breakin out the reverse racism card, we got someone who doesn’t quite understand the concept of a work visa (hint, they pay taxes, more than us), and apparently thinks privately run food banks need to start verifying income, another worried ...more
By Brandon Quinn (181), Hampton Bays on Apr 3, 19 3:28 AM
So now you're somehow equating LEGAL workers with a visa with the hordes ILLEGGALLY entering the country? Comparing workers with criminals?
By bigfresh (4244), north sea on Apr 3, 19 6:48 AM
The vast majority enter the country legally, then overstay their visa.

They just remain here "illegally".

When it comes to "the right", not only can you not fix stupid, but it makes being wrong harder to accept. If they can at all.

By Mr. Z (11112), North Sea on Apr 8, 19 8:01 PM
1. "The vast majority enter the country legally, then overstay their visa."
False

2. "They just remain here "illegally".
False

3. "not only can you not fix stupid, but it makes being wrong harder to accept"
Proven in 11073 stupid posts.

Here is the truth:

"Sarah Pierce, a policy analyst at the Migration Policy Institute, told us in an email that recent DHS reports include data limited to foreign visitors who arrived by air and sea crossings, but not ...more
By Bayman3142 (195), Southampton on Apr 11, 19 9:11 AM
For 7th Consecutive Year, Visa Overstays Exceeded Illegal Border Crossings
January 16, 20197:02 PM ET

The report released Wednesday by the Center for Migration Studies of New York finds that from 2016-2017, people who overstayed their visas accounted for 62 percent of the newly undocumented, while 38 percent had crossed a border illegally.



Incapable of truth. Just like the POTUS.
By Mr. Z (11112), North Sea on Apr 12, 19 11:26 PM
The dumb get dumber every day. Reminds me of an old saying " how'd they fit so much stupid in one head?"

CMS is a member of the Scalabrini International Migration Network (SIMN), a global network of 270+ entities that provide services to migrants, including shelters and welcoming centers in receiving communities. CMS is also a member of the Scalabrini Migration Study Centers, a network of think-tanks on international migration and refugee protection.

Of course this makes this a ...more
By Bayman3142 (195), Southampton on Apr 14, 19 10:55 PM
Illegals are criminals. The east end caters to them. Hires them lawyers. Drives without licenses ins. Works with no insurances. They het pulled over a get a ticket. A legal residence gets arrested. Anger builds because we locals see this. They take away construction jobs. Stop hiring them!
By Win sky (38), Southampton on Apr 3, 19 11:33 AM
All that aside, can you name one single company that is owned by undocumented workers?

It can't be hard, since earlier you seemed really sure that "all illegal workers own company's."
By Fore1gnBornHBgrown (6204), HAMPTON BAYS on Apr 3, 19 11:35 AM
1 member liked this comment
Be sure to get SS#s so all taxes are collected...
By knitter (1656), Southampton on Apr 3, 19 8:33 PM
Yikes, what an ignorant statement! Immigrants are issued an ITIN (Individual Taxpayer, Identification Number), not an SSN. They pay a higher tax rate than citizens and are not eligible for any of the tax credits and refunds citizens used to get pre-Trump
Some undocumented immigrants and/or their employers make up SSN's; they, too, pay taxes and additional money is withheld for disability, workers comp, etc.
During my years at the IRS, I learned of the existence of a multi-BILLION dollar ...more
By oneseriousSicilian (60), medford on Apr 4, 19 12:09 PM
2 members liked this comment
So you racists can bunk down in your lily white cocoons and enjoy your Dorito's and Budweiser while listening to Ted Nugent when you're not watching FoxNews."

You're pretty racy yourself...
By pigroast (92), East Quogue on Apr 4, 19 9:39 PM
These landscapers want to pay people $12 an hour while they collect $60 an hour to pull weeds. Pool companies want to charge a 150 a week to clean your pool but they want to pay $12 an hour. There are plenty of people to work on the East end unfortunately they can't work for $12 an hour.. Some of these business owners are just greedy and don't want to pay a true wage. So let's stop the BS and call this Visa what it is Modern slavevery
By chief1 (2659), southampton on Apr 4, 19 5:34 PM
1 member liked this comment
Glad our mom and pop has LOCAL folks working with us! Chief, it's common knowledge that the illegals at 7-11 get $ 15 an hour + lunch.
By bigfresh (4244), north sea on Apr 6, 19 8:14 AM
1 member liked this comment
I heard the illegals at 7-11 won’t budge for less than $20-$25 an hour. Plus lunch .

$12 an hour Chief?! I’m still laughing . Greedy business owners Chief? Try covering your overhead while spending a 1/4 of the work day sitting in traffic going from job to job .
By toes in the water (769), southampton on Apr 8, 19 6:36 AM
Try covering your overhead paying all the payroll employment withholding, insurance, workmen's comp, and license fee mandates.
By dfree (708), hampton bays on Apr 8, 19 9:09 AM
Billing for travel time has become COBD.

If the "well heeled" complain, cordially explain to them it's their own damn fault.
By Mr. Z (11112), North Sea on Apr 8, 19 7:58 PM
Big surprise, we can't find enough American citizens to do all the crap jobs out here. Can't find people to trim hedges from dawn to dusk , six days a week in summer heat. Not to worry, usual right wing nut hypocritical business owners who violently hate illegal immigration will hire undocumented workers
By Mets fan (1418), Southampton on Apr 8, 19 5:52 AM
Right big fresh, Joe Hampton?
By Mets fan (1418), Southampton on Apr 8, 19 5:53 AM
Mighty big ASSumption there Mets, my contractors are ALL legal because I will not hire illegals. We pay more than the prevailing wage and have to bid against those who do not, quality sells!! When I ask prospective clients if other bidders will show documentation of all workers who come onto their property that levels the playing field immediately.
By bigfresh (4244), north sea on Apr 8, 19 7:13 AM
Blah,,blah, blah. You're all guilty and you know it. Truth and transparency are assets the right has no grasp of.
By Mets fan (1418), Southampton on Apr 8, 19 9:00 AM
More Marxist Creep-show
By themarlinspike (253), southampton on Apr 8, 19 9:16 AM
Delusional tripe Mets.
By bigfresh (4244), north sea on Apr 8, 19 11:08 AM
Yea, it's delusional tripe, there are no undocumented workers out here. Could you possibly be any more ridiculous sounding?
By Mets fan (1418), Southampton on Apr 8, 19 11:20 AM
"Blah, blah, blah. You're guilty and you know it. Truth and transparency are assets the right has no grasp of." That quote is delusional tripe , especially used as a response to my post about using contractors that are all LEGAL. TDS on full display.
By bigfresh (4244), north sea on Apr 8, 19 1:29 PM
Well then, how do you feel about the selling of American citizenship to foreigners?

I hear it's booming in Florida, and Trump has turned a nice buck from it.
By Mr. Z (11112), North Sea on Apr 9, 19 7:11 AM
At the end of the day right wing nuts who abhor illegal immigration are the ones hiring undocumented workers, no doubt about it!!
By Mets fan (1418), Southampton on Apr 8, 19 1:40 PM
This comment has been removed because it is a duplicate, off-topic or contains inappropriate content.
By bigfresh (4244), north sea on Apr 8, 19 3:11 PM
Talk about the pot and the f***** kettle...
By Mr. Z (11112), North Sea on Apr 8, 19 7:56 PM
1 member liked this comment
This comment has been removed because it is a duplicate, off-topic or contains inappropriate content.
By Mets fan (1418), Southampton on Apr 8, 19 7:50 PM
Days since a Senior Official resigned amid accusations of ethics violations = 0

Only the best people...
By Mr. Z (11112), North Sea on Apr 8, 19 8:02 PM
Why won't local kids work? Physical work seems to scare a lot of them, blame the parents perhaps? Participation trophies cause inflated egos so maybe little Johnny feels he's too goo to get his callous free hands dirty.
By bigfresh (4244), north sea on Apr 9, 19 4:27 PM