Collins Calls on Secretary of Labor to Issue H-2B Visas


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Washington, D.C. – Ahead of Maine’s peak tourism season, U.S. Senator Collins questioned Acting Secretary of the Department of Labor (DOL) Julie Su at an Appropriations hearing on the urgent need to make the authorized additional H-2B visas available to help fill open jobs in Maine’s hospitality industry. 


As Vice Chair of the Appropriations Committee, Senator Collins secured language in Fiscal Year 2024 Appropriations legislation that allowed the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) to issue an additional 64,716 H-2B visas.  Senator Collins, along with Senator Angus King, has consistently called on DHS and DOL to increase the availability of H-2B visas while ensuring that the H-2B visa program is efficient and effective.


Last year, 15 million tourists – more than 10 times the state’s population – visited Maine, spending more than $9 billion. 


During Q&A, Senator Collins said:


I agree with the comments that Senator [Jeanne] Shaheen made on H-2B visas.  Those are absolutely critical in my state, where 10-times the state's population visits Maine.  And I hope that you will be recommending to the Department of Homeland Security that it make available the full additional 64,716 H-2B visas for this fiscal year.


Secretary Su:


In this Administration, we have used the discretion given to the Department of Homeland Security, in partnership with us, to make sure that we are meeting the needs that you've mentioned, within the discretion that we do have.  Obviously, Congress has the ultimate authority on the cap.