Homeland Security to allow 15000 more visas for seasonal workers

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Homeland Security to allow 15000 more visas for seasonal workers

They were made available by the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) after federal officials said there were not enough qualified and willing USA workers to meet the needs of businesses for the remainder of the 2017 fiscal year.

The H-2B program now has an annual cap of 66,000 visas and a maximum of 33,000 visas are available during the first half of the fiscal year and then the remainder and any unused H-2B visas become available from April 1 through September. Businesses hit the cap in March, and in May, Congress gave Kelly authority to increase the limit up to 70,000.

Petitioners seeking to hire more visa workers must prove their businesses would sustain "irreparable harm" if they're unable to bring in the foreign workers.

Since 2015, however, some returning workers were able to participate beyond the cap, increasing the number of H-2B visas issued past year to almost 85,000, according to State Department data.

"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.

In order to obtain one of these additional worker visas, petitioners must show that their business is facing irreversible damage if they can not hire H-2B workers during the fiscal year of 2017.

However, when it comes to the H-2B visa program, Trump himself - as a businessman - has used it to hire temporary low-wage foreign workers at his golf resorts in Florida. The cancellation earlier this year of a provision that had exempted returning workers from being included in that cap had worsened the shortage.

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

"I have no idea if I'm even going to get a visa once they're processed", Diment said. Some Maine hotels and restaurants have limited their hours or closed off blocks of rooms because they don't have enough workers.

"If the wage is decent and the employer obeys the law, Americans will do the job".

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.

The hospitality industry, along with fisheries and others sectors, have actively lobbied for more temporary foreign workers.

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