Dept. Of Homeland Security To Allow 15000 Additional H-2B Immigration Visas

Speaker Ryan Squeezes More H-2B Workers From DHS Chief John Kelly			AP		by Neil Munro17 Jul 20170		17 Jul 2017		17 Jul 2017

However, one DHS official noted "We're talking about American businesses that are at risk of suffering irreparable harm if they don't get additional H-2B workers", he said. USA businesses hire people from Latin American countries.

To receive the visas, businesses must attest they would suffer irreparable harm if they can not bring in those workers. The businesses are also required to have documents that would prove their need, though they do not have to submit them along with their petition to receive the additional visas.

Because businesses applying for the program must state that they will be irreparably harmed without a workforce boost, the additional visas are consistent with an "America First" policy, the official said.

Part of budget legislation passed in May, however, gave the Department of Homeland Security - which includes U.S. CItizenship and Immigration Services - discretion to go over the 66,000 cap to compensate for the shortfall. Large U.S. industries such as hospitality, seafood processing, and landscaping and forestry have come to rely on the relatively cheap labor supplied through the H-2B pipeline.

Because tourist season in ME runs until September or October, the six workers she's now missing will only be able to help her make up a fraction of the peak season, Diment said. After appeals from employers in their home districts, representatives in Washington have been haranguing the administration to act. "The administration's decision to exceed the 66,000 cap not only undermines struggling American workers, but betrays unequivocal promises President Trump made in his campaign", FAIR President Dan Stein charged at the time.

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President Donald Trump uses the H-2B visa program to staff his Florida private club, where he has hosted visiting heads of state since his inauguration in January.

But according to the DHS and the Department of Labor, Americans haven't been willing or qualified enough to perform the available work.

Congress previously set the H-2B cap at 66,000, and after that threshold was reached by March 13 for the 2017 year, Congress delegated authority to John Kelly, Secretary of the Department of Homeland Security, to increase the number of temporary work visas through September 30. Hance said there is a shortage now. New research suggests that wages in some H-2B fields have been stagnant for years. H-1B has a Congressional cap of 65,000 visas.

Roy Beck, head of Numbers USA, a group that opposes immigration, said it threatened "to reverse the trend of reports emerging around the country of employers working harder and raising pay to successfully recruit more unemployed Americans for lower-skilled jobs". Part of the deal included giving the Secretary of Homeland Security the authority to increase the number of seasonal foreign workers, after consulting with the Secretary of Labor, "upon determination that the needs of American businesses can not be satisfied in fiscal year 2017 with United States workers who are willing, qualified, and able to perform temporary nonagricultural labor".

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