Custer business loses H2B visa workers

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CUSTER, S.D. (KOTA TV) - "Right now we have no workers for the summer," says Don Herren the owner of Rocket Motel in Custer.

Herren is looking near and far to find house keepers. One obstacle he faces is the cap on H2B visas.

Those visas are distributed to international workers from select countries who want to fill non-agricultural jobs for US employers.

Normally three Jamaican women spend their summers as Rocket Motel housekeepers. This year, their visas are in jeopardy, and Herren says he isn't sure where to go from here.

"Without the H2B program being opened up, there are a lot of businesses that are going to be hurt. These three ladies have families, that's what they do to support their family in Jamaica."

Without the extra help, Herren sees problems for the upcoming tourist season.

"We don't have the workers to keep open. I don't know what we are going to do if we don't get them in, because personally I will not be able to do it without the help from these three women."

Herren says he is more than willing to hire students, but the job openings he posts go unanswered.

"I just don't think that we are taking jobs from Americans. If they would come here and apply I would hire them. We pay a good wage, all the other people would do the same if college kids would come back. We would hire them but nobody is applying for these jobs."

Due to the 33,000 H2B visa cap already being met, Herren says congress needs to take action.