nsucurrent.com March 24, 2018

Homeland Security to allow 15000 more visas for seasonal workers

18 July 2017, 12:26 | Colleen Roy

Trump administration announces additional H2B visas

Donald Trump

Previous applicants who did not make the earlier cut-off for the fiscal year will have to reapply, the officials added, but if hired by the end of the fiscal year, they will be able to work past September 30.

During his campaign, President Donald Trump had promised to put American workers first and curtail migration rate to the country.

This year's limit for H-2B visas is 66,000.

Senior DHS officials described the increase as a "one-time" occurrence, saying Department of Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly increased the number of temporary foreign workers on the visas, known as H-2B visas, after discussing the option with businesses and the Department of Labor. "We do think that fits into the American-first focus of the administration".

DHS made a decision to increase the amount of H-2B visas allowed after consulting with the Department of Labor, and was given the authority to do so in the omnibus spending bill that Congress recently approved.

But Trump's golf resorts in Florida have used the visas to hire temporary guest workers, Reuters reported a year ago.

"There is no set amount of H-2B workers allocated to ME, so we are advising our members to apply immediately as the department is issuing visas on a first-come, first-served basis", said Hewins.

"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.

According to NBC, in 2016, the federal government allowed 13,382 additional visas to meet seasonal demand. "I've hired in Florida during the prime season - you could not get help", Trump said in 2015.

DHS officials are billing the extra visas as being in line with the theme of the week, too: "This does help with American businesses continuing to prosper", one said.

Last year, while on the campaign trail, Trump said he would "end forever the use of the H-1B as a cheap labor program". "There is no job that Americans will not do", said Senator Tom Cotton (R-Oklahoma) in a speech on the Senate floor. And the seafood industry, which began its hiring season in April, competes with other industries, such as landscaping and tourism, that rely heavily on temporary summer workers.

The programme is created to fill unskilled jobs that Americans do not want, but American companies need to fill in order to keep their business going.

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