Colorado senators urge reinstatement of H-2B program |

Colorado senators urge reinstatement of H-2B program

Staff reports

U.S. Sens. Michael Bennet, D-Colo., and Cory Gardner, R-Colo., called for the reinstatement of the H-2B temporary worker program after its abrupt disruption last week.

The United States Department of Labor announced last week it would no longer accept applications for the H-2B program, which provides visas for temporary, nonagricultural workers. The decision comes after a United States District Court in the Northern District of Florida ruled on March 4 that the DOL did not have the authority to enforce regulations for the worker program.

The program has been embroiled in a lengthy legal battle between DOL and industry groups, provoked in part by a lawsuit brought forth by a busboy in Jupiter, Fla., who alleged the program was financially disadvantageous.

“Hundreds of Colorado businesses rely on this program to fill their seasonal jobs, particularly in our tourism and outdoor recreation industries,” Bennet said in a news release.

Gardner called the DOL decision completely irresponsible, “jeopardizing a critical tool for Colorado businesses because the departments were incapable of getting their legal ducks in a row.”

-Staff reports