Energy Conference: Decarbonization - A Business Perspective REGISTER

New Jersey two U.S. senators are urging President Joe Biden to rescind the Trump administration’s ban on seasonal, employer-sponsored visas that many New Jersey seasonal businesses depend on for student workers during the summer.

U.S. Senators Bob Menendez (D-NJ), Cory Booker (D-NJ), Michael Bennet (D-CO), Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH), and Angus King (I-Maine) sent a letter on Wednesday to the president to rescind former-President Donald Trump’s ban on seasonal, employer-sponsored, and cultural exchange visas under Proclamation 10052.

Trump instituted Proclamation 10052, halting the processing of non-immigrant H-1B, L-1, H-2B, and J-1 visas, in June 2020 based on alleged potential risk to the labor market. Many businesses in seasonal communities that Proclamation 10052 has affected rely on foreign workers to meet the demand of the high-visitation summer months.

“Several of these categories (H-2B and J-1 Summer Work Travel and Camp Counselor) by regulation are seasonal and heavily used during the summer months, when seasonal communities across the country welcome an influx of visitors,” the letter from Senators Menendez, Booker and their colleagues said.

“Failing to revoke the Proclamation immediately places these programs at risk because both workers and employers cannot adequately prepare for the surge season,” the Senators said.

Cape May County Chamber of Commerce President Vicki Clark, who is also the president of the New Jersey Tourism & Industry Council, joined with the leaders of seven other local chambers in a March 17 letter to the editor in The Press of Atlantic City about the staffing shortage facing South Jersey’s seasonal businesses that need to hire overseas students for summer jobs.

“Many of the businesses in Cape May County depend on the Summer Work Travel (SWT) exchange programs and could not operate without them,” the chambers said. “We live in an area with a high percentage of seasonal businesses and the available American workforce in the area is not sufficient to provide all of the local businesses with the staff that they need during the busiest times.

“If Presidential Proclamation 10052 is extended past its current March 30 deadline, and if processing of the non-immigration visas for the program are not prioritized now, it will have devastating short- and long-term effects on local businesses, communities, tourism and travelers looking forward to visiting Cape May County this summer,” the chambers of commerce wrote.

Go here to read the letter from Cape May County Chamber of Commerce and other local chambers.

To read the letter from Senators Menendez, Booker and their colleagues, go here.