U.S. Sens. Mark Warner and Tim Kaine (both D-VA) joined Sen. Barbara A. Mikulski (D-MD) and 11 bipartisan Senators in calling on Secretary of Labor Tom Perez and Secretary of Homeland Security Jeh Johnson to coordinate and immediately resume accepting and processing H-2B visa applications. Seasonal workers returning to the United States under H-2B visas are critical to ensuring Virginia’s seafood businesses have the labor force they need during peak harvest season.
The departments immediately stopped processing applications just one day after a ruling from a U.S. District Court in Florida in Perez v. Perez found that the Labor Department lacks the sole authority to administer the H-2B visa program.
In letters to both Secretaries, the Senators wrote, “It [the Perez decision]did not require that DOL shut the H-2B program down. This decision along with DHS’ decision to stop the processing of its petitions has already caused economic damage and panic among businesses that depend on the H-2B program.”
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