WSJ: Being a Ski Bum Is a Job Americans Just Won't Do
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Earlier on the "J-1" Visa: Immigrant Lifeguard Shortage Leaves Water Rotting In The Pools! and A Reader Wants To Know Why A Hotel In Texas Has HUNGARIAN Cleaning Staff; The Answer Is Probably Abuse Of The Student Visa

From the Wall Street Journal news section:

Business Recovery Hampered for Some by Foreign-Worker Visa Bans

Ski resorts see trouble ahead after struggling to fill summer amusement park jobs

By Justin Baer and Michelle Hackman
Sept. 6, 2020 8:00 am ET

GATLINBURG, Tenn.—Jerry Huskey, a senior staff member at Ober Gatlinburg, spent his summer struggling to hire enough staff to operate its amusement park and he is dreading the same challenge as the winter ski season approaches.

Lockdowns and travel restrictions because of the coronavirus pandemic created one set of hiring hurdles this year; Washington created others. In June, President Trump banned several work-based visa types through the end of the year, including the J-1 and H-2B programs for seasonal foreign workers, with the aim of safeguarding any open jobs for Americans.

Recruiting those U.S. workers, however, proved difficult this summer because the seasonal jobs aren’t permanent, affordable housing is hard to find, and, in some locations, there simply aren’t enough workers available, business leaders say.

The enhanced unemployment benefits approved by Congress and the White House this summer also meant American workers could make more money staying at home rather than taking a temporary job.

… Ober Gatlinburg started hiring J-1 workers in 1995, when the business brought in about 15 foreign employees. That number has swelled to as many as 120 in the summer and more than 150 during most winter months. Along the way, Ober Gatlinburg created housing for its temporary staff. This year, though, Mr. Huskey could obtain only 25 J-1-visa workers for the summer. As for the looming winter season, the business hasn’t lined up any foreign workers yet.

The U.S. Chamber of Commerce, along with several other employers and organizations, have filed legal challenges to Mr. Trump’s visa ban, arguing that the president issued the order without evidence that foreign workers actually displace Americans, and that he doesn’t hold the power to single-handedly erase entire visa categories.

A federal court in Washington on Friday night partially upheld the ban, including on J-1 and H-2B workers, though a different court is set to reach a preliminary decision in a separate suit against the ban within a few weeks.

Is there even going to be a ski season this winter? Recall that ski resorts were central hubs last February in spreading the coronavirus globally.

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