Federal budget legislation includes H2B visa provisions

Posted: May 1, 2017

Legislation that would fund the federal government through Sept. 30 includes provisions to expand the cap on the H2B visa program according to the American Horse Council.

The AHC May 1 said Congress has reached a tentative agreement on a spending bill that would allow Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly to raise the H2B visa cap from 66,000 to more than 129,500 in fiscal 2017. The visas are critical for horse racing to maintain its backstretch workforce.

As reported earlier, the H2B visa cap was reached only a few weeks into 2017. Racing industry lobbyists have been pushing for the cap to be lifted, and they also have been involved in discussions regarding long-term immigration reform.

The AHC noted that even if the bill passes, Kelly would make the decision on expanding the cap.

Congress is expected to pass the fiscal legislation the week of May 1. Whether it remains in its current form remains to be seen.