Judge’s rejection of Trump’s ban on visa workers may come too late for Colorado ski resorts | AspenTimes.com

Judge’s rejection of Trump’s ban on visa workers may come too late for Colorado ski resorts

A district court ruling suspends a ban on J-1 and H-2B visa workers, opening doors for ski areas that rely on the seasonal immigrant workers. But resorts that typically have visa employees on deck by fall are seeing surging applications from locals.

Jason Blevins
The Colorado Sun
Paul Conrad/The Aspen TimesLift operators Sarah Whitehead of New Zealand, Brendan Glanagan of South Africa and Dejan Jovicic of Serbia clear manmade snow from the loading area of the Little Nell lift at the base of Aspen Mountain on Tuesday afternoon.

Ski areas are cheering a decision by a federal judge in California that suspends the Trump administration’s ban on workers using temporary immigrant visas.

The National Ski Areas Association is telling its more than 300 ski resort members to immediately begin taking applications from J-1 and H-2B visa workers and submitting paperwork with the federal government to get those workers in open jobs by year’s end. 

“Time is of the essence here,” said the association’s head of regulatory affairs Dave Byrd, noting that it can take eight weeks to get visa applications approved by consulates in the Southern Hemisphere. 

U.S. District Court Judge Jeffery S. White earlier this month suspended the Trump visa ban, arguing that “the public interest is served by cessation of a radical change in policy that negatively affects plaintiffs whose members comprise hundreds of thousands of American businesses of all sizes and economic sectors.”

But the suspension may have come too late for ski areas that, by this time of year, typically have hired workers — mostly students from Southern Hemisphere countries like Argentina, Brazil, Australia and New Zealand who use J-1 exchange visas to work at ski areas during their summer season. 

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