Landscaping Companies Worry After Immigration Raid Takes Place In Ohio
During seasonal periods there’s continued demand for more foreign workers to enter the US as backyard patio and fire pit sets rise in interest. However, landscaping businesses are becoming that this may become tougher after an immigration raid last week rounded up over 100 workers.
The raids took place near Castalia in Sandusky, Ohio which aimed to call out those who forged documents to enter the country, and owners have now become extremely nervous as a result.
The owner of JSD landscapes based in Chardon, Ohio felt that although he feels companies are always looking to do things the right way there’s a worry that every single company is waiting to be raided.
Foreign workers are provided with the opportunity to work non-agricultural seasonal jobs through the H2-B temporary visa, but since Trump’s reign, there have been tougher regulations on the visa meaning that landscaper businesses, in particular, have been hit hard by the program. They have been meeting with Congress officials to find a way to ease the restrictions.
Although there has been an allotted visa increase of 15,000 from 66,000, there’s still a shortage of workers due to them being unable to return to their jobs without counting against the cap.
In total, 114 workers were rounded up from a raid at Corso’s Flower and Garden Center that happened last week and U.S Immigration and Customs Enforcement expect to charge those involved.
Corso denies any wrongdoing and believes they were unaware of any workers who had forged documents to get a job. They claim they always demand proper documentation before hiring staff so they pay taxes.
There have been critics of the H2-B visa program, claiming workers violate the system by applying for jobs that aren’t temporary or seasonal. For example, they work as a landscaper where the state is warm all year round.
Amy Novak is a Colorado-based immigration attorney who specialises in temporary work visas. She states that it puts landscaper owners in a difficult position as they’re unable to find enough workers.
She goes on to say that although the crackdown highlights how many workers are taking advantage of the system, it also shows how much the industry relies on foreign workers.