Seasonal businesses rely on the H-2B program

THE H-2B guest worker program, created in 1952 through the Immigration and Nationality Act, allows employers to apply for nonimmigrant visas to fill temporary jobs that they are unable to staff with local workers.

H-2B workers do not take away jobs from Americans. Businesses must prove that US labor cannot meet demand before visas are granted.

Our town’s population swells from 2,000 to 20,000 during the peak season. Without the influx of guest workers to fill employment gaps, we cannot service the thousands of tourists who visit each year. H-2B employees arrive early for our spring rush and stay beyond Labor Day, helping us to guarantee a high quality of service when it’s most needed.

If my restaurant cannot meet customer demand, we lose revenue — revenue used to pay my American employees who live here year-round and taxes to fund government services.

I call on our elected officials to safeguard the H-2B program. We honestly cannot open our doors without these workers. The fate of my restaurant and so many seasonal businesses depends on your support.

Mac Hay

Wellfleet

The writer is the chef and owner of Mac’s Seafood.