H-2B CAP CRISIS
On Jan. 4, 2005, the United States Department of Homeland Security issued a press release stating that it had received enough H-2B petitions to meet this year's congressionally mandated cap of 66,000 new workers. Therefore, USCIS is not accepting any new H2-B petitions, subject to the FY 2005 annual cap.
This came as devastating, yet not surprising, news to our industry. Last year, the cap was reached in early March. Exceeding the cap so early in the government's fiscal year will make it impossible for the majority of companies in our industry to receive the workforce they so desperately need this spring.
The cap enforcement has created a first-come, first-served environment in the processing of visas. Employers cannot file their petitions more than 120 days prior to their date of need. This alone puts contractors in northern markets at the back of the line. PLANET, working as its legacy organizations, ALCA and PLCAA, has been lobbying for a cap fix for several years. PLANET is asking that those who would normally participate in the H2B program take the online economic and human impact survey at http://www.zoomerang.com/survey.zgi?p=WEB2243NQJTGFE.
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