John Kelly, secretary of homeland security announced on Monday that the number of visas permits for seasonal workers in non-agricultural sectors to 81,000, a rise of 15,000 from a congressional annual cap of 66,000. They are only allowed to legally stay in the USA if they are employed when given this visa.
The US government is going to issue 15,000 visas to temporary seasonal workers to provide labour for American businesses.
Secretary of Homeland Security John Kelly had expressed reluctance to be the decider on the issue and has mentioned plans to find a long-term solution, but after he consulted with Secretary of Labor Alexander Acosta, he determined there were not enough qualified and willing USA workers available to perform the temporary nonagricultural labor needed by some American businesses. The H.R. 2004 bill, which was introduced in the House of Representatives in April, would exclude returning workers from being counted toward the yearly cap.
It said: "From landscapers in Colorado to innkeepers in ME to seafood processors along the Gulf Coast to carnivals nationwide, we hope the visa expansion will help some businesses avoid substantial financial loss, and in some cases, prevent early business closures during their peak season".
To receive the visas, businesses must attest they would suffer irreparable harm if they can not bring in those workers.
The officials said the government made the decision after "considering the interest of US workers" and has created a tip line for reports of worker exploitation and abuse. The government generally offers 66,000 such visas a year.
Many businesses and members of congress have pleaded with Kelly to issue the visas, citing an urgent need for workers.
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President Donald Trump has been outspoken against what he views as abuses of the H-1B visa program, which allows companies to employ workers over a longer period of time in specialty occupations, including science and technology. Trump's own businesses, including his resort Mar-a-Lago, have used the program.
Because tourist season in ME runs until September or October, the six workers she's now missing will only be able to help her make up a fraction of the peak season, Diment said. During the presidential campaign, Trump explained his use of H-2B visas by saying that "getting help in Palm Beach during the season is nearly impossible".
Federal officials said there were not enough qualified and willing American workers available to perform certain types of temporary nonagricultural work.
"Nationally, there isn't actual evidence of labor shortages people talk about", he said.
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".
FAIR previously warned the administration against increasing the number of low-skilled guest workers when Secretary Kelly first announced he was inclined to do so.