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Immigration Order Expanded to include H-2B Visa Workers through December 31, 2020

On June 22, 2020, the White House announced an executive order that will suspend many work related visas through the end of the year. Included in the ban are H-2B visas, which are used throughout the carnival, concession, and amusement industries. The proclamation was announced to help protect American jobs during a historic period of unemployment, a result of state imposed lockdowns during the coronavirus pandemic.

The order contains the following exemptions:

any alien seeking to enter the United States to provide temporary labor or services essential to the United States food supply chain; and

any alien whose entry would be in the national interest as determined by the Secretary of State, the Secretary of Homeland Security, or their respective designees.

The Secretary of State, the Secretary of Labor, and the Secretary of Homeland Security shall establish standards to define categories of aliens covered by section 3(b)(iv) of this proclamation, including those that: are critical to the defense, law enforcement, diplomacy, or national security of the United States; are involved with the provision of medical care to individuals who have contracted COVID-19 and are currently hospitalized; are involved with the provision of medical research at United States facilities to help the United States combat COVID-19; or are necessary to facilitate the immediate and continued economic recovery of the United States.

"Within 30 days of June 24, 2020, and every 60 days thereafter while this proclamation is in effect, the Secretary of Homeland Security shall, in consultation with the Secretary of State and the Secretary of Labor, recommend any modifications as may be necessary."

According to the Seasonal Employment Alliance, there may be a portal for employers to request an exception to the rule. At this time, no additional information has been made available

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