Monday, February 24, 2020

WSJ: DHS to Import 45,000 Extra H-2B Workers for Seasonal Employers

Mark Wilson/Getty Images
Top officials at the Department of Homeland Security will import 45,000 extra foreign workers for GOP-aligned small businesses, according to a report by the Wall Street Journal.
The newspaper reported February 20:
The Department of Homeland Security plans to announce the additional seasonal-worker visas next week, an administration official said. They will become available in two waves: the first 20,000 will be immediately available, while employers can apply for the remainder for jobs beginning June 1.

It wasn’t clear whether the White House has fully signed off on the numbers, and an administration official cautioned they could change.

The additional visas are being made available ahead of the summer, when demand for short-term work is typically highest.

Acting Homeland Security Secretary Chad Wolf “has made no decision yet on the issue,” a DHS spokesperson said. “Any numbers reported on at this time are being pushed to press by junior staff who are not privy to all of the discussions taking place.”
The H-2B program allows companies to import 66,000 foreign workers for seasonal work, so reducing pressure on companies to raise blue-collar wages.
Legislators in Congress have added a provision in the 2020 funding bill which allows DHS to award additional visas. That back-door measure allows the legislators to avoid public blame for importing the workers, while also allowing the legislators to get credit from donors for pressuring the DHS to import the extra workers,
The H-2B program is one of many programs that allow companies to import roughly 1.5 million white-collar and 500,000 agriculture and blue-collar contract-workers in jobs that otherwise would have to be performed by Americans and machines. The blue-collar workers are imported via the H-2A, H-2B, and J-1 visa-worker programs.
Read the rest of the story HERE.

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