Homeland Security to allow 15000 more visas for seasonal workers

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"It would be great, for the long-term benefit, to get an independent piece of legislation that can affect the H-2B visas such that it is not constantly an amendment to the appropriations budget bill", Hamelback said.

Kelly said there are not enough qualified workers available to American businesses for fiscal year 2017. Monday marks the start of "Made in America" week, kicked off by an event at the White House featuring goods made in each of the 50 states and including remarks by the president previewing deals his administration is negotiating aimed at improving the lot of the American manufacturing sector.

"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".

"This is yet another example of the administration and congress failing to keep the Trump campaign promise of putting American workers first", he told The Washington Post.

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

The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) announced Monday that it would be allowing an additional 15,000 seasonal visas to fill H-2B non-agricultural jobs. They are only allowed to legally stay in the United States if they are employed when given this visa.

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After some determined lobbying by the National Association of Landscape Professionals (NALP) and other proponents of the H-2B program, the Department of Homeland Security has authorized for 15,000 additional workers to be included in the 2017 cap.

According to DHS, the USA already reached its annual limit of 66,000 H-2B visas earlier in 2017. In addition to the increase in visas, the department also announced a new tip line for people to report abuse of the program, according to a press release.

While President Trump has expressed his opposition to guest worker programs, he has made an exception for the H2B visa - one his Mar-a-Lago resort regularly applies for in order to supplement its staff.

Daniel Costa, an immigration expert at the left-leaning Economic Policy Institute, said there is no real evidence of a nationwide labor shortage in the industries that rely on H-2B visas, although employers could be strapped in certain geographic areas. New research suggests that wages in some H-2B fields have been stagnant for years. Dick Durbin criticized DHS for increasing the number of H-2B visas.

Roy Beck, head of Numbers USA, a group that opposes immigration, said it threatened "to reverse the trend of reports emerging around the country of employers working harder and raising pay to successfully recruit more unemployed Americans for lower-skilled jobs".

Trump issued a warning, Promising to stand up for American companies and their employees, that the U.S. would take retaliatory action against "unfair trade practices" by other nations, reports CNN.

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