On Friday, Congress passed an Omnibus Appropriations bill to fund the government through September of this year and the President signed it into law. This year’s spending bill includes two provisions supported by the American Hotel & Lodging Association (AHLA) concern legal guest worker programs. The industry says that the provisions are critical to further helping hotels meet seasonal labor needs.
The bill authorizes the Secretary of Homeland Security to raise caps on the H-2B visa program up to 129,547 visas. In addition, funding for the J-1 Cultural Exchange Visa Program—$646 million—is the same as 2017 and greater than the President’s budget.
The industry says that these two steps will help provide relief to employers who rely on seasonal guest workers and help meet the needs of hotel guests.