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Thread: Trump doubles H-2B guest visa program, which brings many Mexican workers

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    Senior Member JohnDoe2's Avatar
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    Trump doubles H-2B guest visa program, which brings many Mexican workers

    Trump administration nearly doubles H-2B guest visa program, which brings many Mexican workers

    Heather Long, The Washington Post
    Published 10:29 am PDT, Saturday, April 6, 2019


    As President Donald Trump threatened to shut down the U.S.-Mexico border in recent days, his Department of Homeland Security nearly doubled the number of temporary guest worker visas available this summer.


    DHS and the Labor Department plan to grant an additional 30,000 H-2B visas this summer on top of the 33,000 H-2B visas they had planned to give out, the agencies confirmed.

    The H-2B visa is for foreign workers to come to the United States and work for several months at a company such as a landscaper, amusement park or hotel. About 80 percent of these visas went to people from Mexico and Central America last year, government data show.

    Trump says there is a national emergency at the southern border because too many people are trying to come to the United States. On Friday, he implored migrants to turn around and go home.


    "We can't take you anymore," Trump said Friday while standing at the border in California. "Our country is full."

    But his administration is giving a different message to some short-term workers. With the additional visas, the Trump administration is on track to grant 96,000 H-2B visas this fiscal year, the most since 2007, when George W. Bush was president.


    "It's ironic that Trump is demagoguing and railing against a so-called dangerous and scary flood of migrants and caravans from Mexico and Central America, and even threatening to shut down the border, while at the same time using his legal authority to grow a guest worker program by nearly 50 percent," said Daniel Costa, director of immigration law and policy research at the left-leaning Economic Policy Institute.


    A major theme of Trump's presidential campaign was that foreign workers were stealing U.S. jobs, but lately he has said it might be necessary to bring in more guest workers because the economy is doing so well that companies can't find enough people to fill jobs. The unemployment rate, at 3.8 percent, is near a 50-year low.

    There is bipartisan support in Congress pushing the administration to make this move. A group of senators, including Susan Collins, R-Maine, and Amy Klobuchar, D-Minn., sent a letter to the Trump administration urging them to let in more H-2B workers. DHS made the decision to increase the visas offered at the end of March and is expected to publish details in the Federal Register soon.


    The H-2B program is supposed to grant 66,000 visas a year with about half for the winter months and half for the summer, but Congress gave the Trump administration the authority issue another 69,000 this fiscal year. DHS ultimately decided to issue the extra 30,000 to people who have held H-2B visas before.

    There is such a flood of applications for these visas that they are all typically gone within minutes of the application process opening up. Trump's own hotels have used H-2B workers. Trump's Mar-a-Lago Club in Florida applied for 78 of these visas last year.

    Advocates for U.S. workers claim Trump is undermining domestic workers by granting so many H-2B visas.

    The Center for Immigration Studies, which urges lower immigration, said Trump "betrays American workers" with this H-2B visa increase.

    EPI, a left-leaning think tank, put out research this week showing that H-2B visa workers are typically paid less than American workers who do the same jobs. For example, landscaping workers on the visa are paid an average of $12.94 an hour, more than a dollar less than the $14.28 average wage paid to U.S. workers, according to an analysis of data from the Labor Department and H-2B visa applications.


    "Trump seems to be perfectly fine with letting people migrate to the United States if they're going to be exploited workers, and especially if they're going to work for one of his companies," Costa said.


    A DHS spokeswoman said Congress "is in the best position" to know the appropriate number of H-2B visas that are needed for the economy. She said DHS is urging Congress to fix the immigration system and set appropriate visa levels.


    Trump has been hinting in recent weeks that he might allow more guest workers since the economy is doing so well.


    "I got all these companies moving in. They need workers. We have to bring people into our country to work these great plants that are opening up all over the place," Trump said in a speech at the Conservative Political Action Conference last month.

    https://www.sfgate.com/news/article/...t-13746943.php

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  2. #2
    MW
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    Wow, each time I think Trump couldn't do anymore damage .... boom! I've got to give him credit for talking a good game at times, but then he goes and does something counter to what he says. I'm convinced he can't be trusted when amnesty legislation finally hits his desk for signature. Furthermore, for the sake of cheaper labor, he will continue to look out for his own business interest! I guess we shouldn't be surprised since his own businesses use the H-2B visas.
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    NO AMNESTY

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