The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) said it will make 15,000 additional H-2B visas available for companies to hire temporary, non-agricultural foreign workers before the end of the fiscal year September 30. In May, Congress passed a bill instructing the DHS secretary to consult with the Department of Labor to determine if the government should increase the number of temporary nonagricultural work visas available until the end of the fiscal year. USA businesses in danger of suffering irreparable harm due to a lack of available temporary nonagricultural workers will be able to hire up to 15,000 additional temporary nonagricultural workers under the H-2B programme, the Department of Homeland Security said yesterday. The extra visas will be available to companies that can show that their businesses would be harmed if they can't temporarily hire foreigner workers.
The Trump administration will allow 15,000 workers to come into the USA this budget year under temporary, seasonal work visas.
Congress set the annual H-2B cap at 66,000.
Kelly, who in May said he planned to grant additional visas, received approval from congress to authorise additional visas. DHS also created a new tip line for people to report potential violations or abuse of the program. "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".
To receive the visas, businesses must attest they would suffer irreparable harm if they can not bring in those workers.
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Meanwhile, in a strong declaration during a "Made in America Week" event, President Donald Trump asserted that the United States needs to crack down on the predatory online sale of foreign goods that are destroying shopping centers throughout the United States. U.S. businesses hire people from Latin American countries. Businesses that rely heavily on seasonal workers, like the tourism industry, said they have struggled to fill vacancies since then. Trump's own businesses, including his resort Mar-a-Lago, have used the program. Visas for more than 120,000 positions have been requested so far in fiscal 2017, according to Department of Labor statistics. Hance said there is a shortage now.
Senior DHS officials said on a call with reporters that the move still satisfied Trump's "America First" agenda.
"It's not that Americans don't want work, it's that Americans don't want these jobs because they're back-breaking hard work", Bishop said.
While he was still serving in the Senate, Attorney General Jeff Sessions previous year sent a letter to the Senate Appropriations Committee asking them not to dramatically increase the number of H-2B visas as the House had done in a temporary spending bill.