Disdainful of H-1B's, Trump expands a different foreign worker visa

Trump Administration's Guest Worker Boost Comes Too Late Some Small Businesses Say

The U.S. Department of Homeland Security on Monday announced it would allow 15,000 more foreign workers to obtain temporary non-immigrant visas due to a shortage of qualified laborers in the United States.

DHS said the limited number of 15,000 was based on an exemption from the cap on the H-2B visas past year and that DHS and the Labor Department believe it will satisfy businesses' labor needs.

"After consulting with Secretary of Labor Alexander Acosta, Secretary of Homeland Security John Kelly determined there are not enough qualified and willing USA workers available to perform temporary nonagricultural labor to satisfy the needs of some American businesses in [fiscal year] 2017", DHS said on Monday.

Hamelback emphasized that Monday's H-2B cap increase is separate from the issue of whether Congress will reinstate the H-2B returning worker exemption, which would allow workers who have previously qualified for an H-2B visa to return without counting against the federal cap. During the presidential campaign, Trump explained his use of H-2B visas by saying that "getting help in Palm Beach during the season is nearly impossible". "We won this battle, but the ongoing war continues", said Dave Byrd, the director of regulatory affairs for the National Ski Areas Association, which sent a letter this spring to Kelly urging him to grow the number of allowed temporary worker visas. DHS also created a new tip line for people to report potential violations or abuse of the program.

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.

Trump Gets Warm Welcome at US Women's Open
Trump Gets Warm Welcome at US Women's Open

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

Businesses can begin applying for the additional visas right away, as long as they attest under penalty of perjury that their business will "suffer irreparable harm" if it can't employ additional H-2B workers in 2017.

Trump vowed during the campaign to discourage businesses from using foreign workers and to focus on hiring Americans first. Trump's own businesses, including his resort Mar-a-Lago, have used the program.

The decision to add visas comes amid a Trump administration crackdown on illegal immigration and promises to bring back jobs. Tillis, have concerns with DHS' timeline because it would negatively impact North Carolina seasonal small businesses and workers this summer.

"The fact that more than 700,000 visits were overstayed previous year shows just how much we need to step up interior enforcement to create more of a deterrent, not only by identifying and deporting overstays, but by weakening the job magnet by cracking down on employers who hire illegal workers", she said. Dick Durbin issued a statement, "A growing body of evidence shows that our increasing reliance on the H-2B visa program hurts wages for American workers". They must place an advertisement for the jobs on two separate days in an effort to "must conduct certain recruitment to ensure that there are not qualified U.S. workers available for the position".


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