Worldwide ERC® and IAM Seek Exception to H-2B Visa Restrictions

President and CEO Lynn Shotwell and Charles L. White, President, International Association of Movers, wrote to the director of TRANSCOM to request seasonal H-2B workers who aid in critical military moves be permitted to enter the country in the aftermath of the 22 June U.S. immigration proclamation.

In response to President Trump’s 22 June immigration proclamation, Worldwide ERC® President and CEO Lynn Shotwell and Charles L. White, President of the International Association of Movers, sent a letter to the Director of the Defense Personal Property Program of the United States Transportation Command (TRANSCOM). The letter requests that TRANSCOM reach out to the Departments of Labor and State to request that seasonal workers on H-2B visas be permitted into the country to support the military’s moving needs within the Defense Personal Property Program.

President Trump’s immigration proclamation halts the issuance of a number of new non-immigrant and immigrant visas, unless exempted, including temporary-stay H-2B visas for non-agricultural industries through the end of 2020. The domestic household goods moving and storage industry employs over 1,500 temporary workers annually to meet the needs of the military’s moving season. The need for these workers is more critical than ever, as moving companies have had to adjust schedules of moving companies, contend with the effects of COVID-19, and plan for a delayed but still busy peak season.

The letter argues that Section 4(i) of the Executive Order, which gives the Secretary of State, the Secretary of Labor, and the Secretary of Homeland Security the authority to define exemptions for suspended new non-immigrants visas for those outside the country who are critical to defense, law enforcement, diplomacy or national security, the flexibility and justification for TRANSCOM to make this request and notes that failure to meet the mobility needs of the U.S. military will have implications for military readiness.

 

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How This Impacts Mobility

While the government is expected to issue further guidance for how the Executive Order is to be implemented, the restrictions on temporary H-2B workers, for example, who support military moves are an immediate impediment to fulfilling the mobility needs of the U.S. military. This letter is part of Worldwide ERC®’s continued advocacy for the workforce mobility industry and its role in boosting the economy. Should members have requests for exemptions that might qualify regarding new nonimmigrant categories suspended under the proclamation please reach out to our Vice President of Government Affairs, Rebecca Peters at rpeters@worldwideerc.org.

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