The 11th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals affirmed on April 1 a Northern District of Florida Federal District Court’s preliminary injunction that prevents the Department of Labor (DOL) from enforcing its new H-2B visa program rule.

The new program rule would have led to higher costs and increased administrative burdens for H-2B employers, such as Thoroughbred trainers. Monday’s decision is a positive development for trainers who faced many hurdles had the new program rule taken effect.

The NTRA, as a member of the H-2B Workforce Coalition, continues to work with other industries that rely on H-2B workers to preserve and protect the program from the DOL’s recent attempts to impose onerous new rules.

At question in the aforementioned case was whether the DOL has rulemaking authority over the H-2B program. As part of its decision, the 11th Circuit U.S. Court referenced the Immigration and Nationality Act of 1952 (INA) that established a framework for the regulation of immigration. Congress amended the INA in 1986 to create separate programs for agricultural and non-agricultural workers. During this process, Congress also gave the DOL limited rulemaking authority over the H-2A agricultural program but not the H-2B non-agricultural program.

Click here to read the decision.