The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) announced last week that it will make an allotment an additional 35,000 Visa for low-skilled and semi-skilled workers this year. The move was approved by Congress, but that doesn’t make it a good policy.
H-2B visas – granting temporary legal status to non-agricultural seasonal workers in areas such as landscaping, restaurants, hospitality and even carnival – are limited to 66,000 per year. This cap has been raised annually under pressure from companies claiming to find insufficiently qualified Americans.
Although Congress allows an additional 64,000 H-2Bs to be issued each year, the government approved “only” 30,000 in 2019. Acting DHS Secretary Chad Wolf promised that this year’s additional addition (including 10,000 reserved for workers from El Salvador, Honduras and Guatemala) will do so new anti-fraud measures. The steps include the need for matching start dates for a petition and the start date required by the employer, and closer collaboration with the Ministry of Labor on increased visits on site.
Stricter enforcement strategies should have
long ago in place. However, the commitments to streamline the system sound very similar
these failed promises associated with previous programs on “immigration reform”
on securing the southern border in exchange for a number of amnesties.
If the past is a prologue, H-2B visas will continue to rise and abuse will continue.
Ironically, the Department of Justice settled a case with one two days before Wolf’s announcement of the DHS’s latest H-2B cap lift Houston bus company. Investigators found that the company had rejected applications from qualified U.S. workers for temporary driver positions and then requested that H-2B visa workers fill them out.
Such bad behavior is by no means unusual. ON
Google’s search for “H-2B violations” captures thousands of quotes. Some legislators,
from both sides of the aisle have intensified their criticism.
“Today’s H-2B program offers unscrupulous employers incentives to hire [foreign]Workers instead of American workers and creates poor working conditions for immigrants and American workers alike, ”Sens. Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa; Tom Cotton. R-Ark .; Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif .; Richard Blumenthal, D-Conn .; and Richard Durbin, D-Ill., specified in a letter to Wolf in January. Grassley doubled on Thursday citing “Abuses within the H-2B program”.
FAIR President Dan Stein asked Congress to do its job. “The H-2B visa is a
faulty program that lowers wages and eliminates job opportunities
American workers. Congress must stop dumping this politically unpopular
Decision to hire more foreign workers that affect wages. “
In an encouraging message, the DHS says this is the case
Investigation of an idea developed by FAIR to limit the use of H-2B by individual industries
Visa. Currently 69 percent of all visas go to Just
five occupational groups.
In fact, many H-2B jobs are located in countries where there is actually no shortage of workers
and where qualified workers are available.
Despite all the signs that the US economy is robust and growing, 5.9 million Americans remain unemployedand looking for work. The continued import of more foreign workers does not help their prospects or America’s.
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