Trump Administration Adds More Foreign Guest Worker Visas

Adjust Comment Print

Secretary of Homeland Security John Kelly determined there are not enough qualified and willing United States workers available to perform temporary nonagricultural labour to satisfy the needs of some American businesses in FY 2017.

As a presidential candidate, Trump said he would "end forever the use of the H-1B as a cheap labor program, and institute an absolute requirement to hire American workers for every visa and immigration program", with "no exceptions".

To receive the visas, businesses must attest they would suffer irreparable harm if they can not bring in those workers.

However, Secretary of Homeland Security, John Kelly disagrees.

"I'm encouraged that Secretary Kelly intends to provide relief to seasonal small businesses across the nation now suffering from a lack of temporary workers".

The visas are for workers taking temporary jobs in the seafood, tourism, landscaping, construction and other seasonal industries - but not farm laborers.

Starting this week, eligible petitioners for H-2B visas can file Form I-129, Petition for a Nonimmigrant Worker and must submit a supplemental attestation on Form ETA 9142-B-CAA with their petition. "But in the short term, any relief we can get on the return worker exemption in addition to either raising the cap [further] or funding the return worker exemption would be beneficial to everyone within the H-2B coalition". Tillis, have concerns with DHS' timeline because it would negatively impact North Carolina seasonal small businesses and workers this summer.

But unlike H-2B visas, there is no provision to increase the visa cap of H-1B work visas.

In May, Congress passed a budget bill allowing the Department of Homeland Security and the Labor Department to issue additional visas this year depending on an industry's "economic need".

DHS spokesman David Lapan told NBC News that Congress gave his department the authority to allow additional visas at least six months later than normal.

NumbersUSA, an advocacy group favoring lower immigration levels, slammed DHS's decision as a betrayal of President Donald Trump's promise to put "American workers first".

Kelly said there are not enough qualified workers available to American businesses for fiscal year 2017.

The impact on the racing industry is expected to be limited, considering the new visas will only be available for workers through the end of the fiscal year September 30.

Still, senior DHS officials insisted the policy fits Trumps self-styled "America First" agenda because it will help American businesses.

FAIR's June 21 letter to Secretary Kelly urging against any H-2B visa increase can also be found here.

In February, Mar-a-Lago, President Trump's Florida resort, announced it would hire 64 workers under the program. Hance said there is a shortage now.