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Thread: Trump officials open border to 15,000 more foreign workers

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  1. #1
    Senior Member JohnDoe2's Avatar
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    Trump officials open border to 15,000 more foreign workers

    Trump officials open border to 15,000 more foreign workers

    By Tracy Jan July 17 at 11:09 AM


    Migrant workers on H-2B visas Adan Pozos Lopez, left, and Rafael Ramirez Cortes, right, work on the assembly line Harris's Seafood Co's oyster shucking plant in Grasonville, MD in 2015. (Photo by Astrid Riecken For The Washington Post)


    The Department of Homeland Security on Monday announced a one-time increase of 15,000 additional visas for low-wage, seasonal workers for the remainder of this fiscal year, a seeming about-face from President Trump's "Hire American" rhetoric, following heavy lobbying from the fisheries, hospitality and other industries that rely on temporary foreign workers.


    The increase represents a 45 percent bump from the number of H-2B visas normally issued for the second half of the fiscal year, said senior Homeland Security officials in a call with reporters Monday.


    The visas are for workers taking temporary jobs in the seafood, tourism, landscaping, construction and other seasonal industries -- but not farm laborers.
    [Despite Trump’s ‘Hire American’ pledge, budget bill would dramatically expand the number of foreign workers]

    Businesses can begin applying for the visas this week, but must first attest that their firms would suffer permanent "irreparable harm" without importing foreign workers.

    They will be required to retain documents proving that they would not otherwise be able to meet their contractual obligations, the officials said.


    The officials said the government made the decision after "considering the interest of U.S. workers" and has created a tip line for reports of worker exploitation and abuse.


    "[Secretary John Kelly] first and foremost is committed to protecting U.S. workers and strengthening the integrity of our immigration system," one of the Homeland Security officials said.


    Asked how allowing more foreign workers aligns with Trump's America First policies -- especially as the White House kicks off what it has promoted as "Made in America" week -- another official said the increase "absolutely does" fit in with Trump's campaign promises.


    "We're talking about American businesses that are at risk of suffering irreparable harm if they don't get additional H-2B workers," he said. "This does help with American businesses continuing to prosper."


    The officials said they would not be named in order to brief reporters in advance about the new policy.


    Businesses' petitions will be reviewed on a first-come, first-serve basis, and granted without regard to industry type, geographic location or firm size, the officials said. Given that the summer is half over and that normal processing time takes 30 to 60 days, the officials recommended that businesses pay the $1,225 fee for expedited processing within 15 days.


    Congress paved the way to increasing the number of H-2B workers in May when it passed an omnibus budget to avert a government shutdown. Part of the deal included giving the Secretary of Homeland Security the authority to increase the number of seasonal foreign workers, after consulting with the Secretary of Labor, “upon determination that the needs of American businesses cannot be satisfied in fiscal year 2017 with United States workers who are willing, qualified, and able to perform temporary nonagricultural labor.” (Farm workers enter the U.S. under a different visa, known as the H-2A.)


    Current law limits the number of such visas issued to 66,000 a year -- split among two halves of the year. The cap has already been reached this year. Visas for more than 120,000 positions have been requested so far in fiscal 2017, according to Department of Labor statistics. 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 H-2B program previously drew strong bipartisan support because lawmakers have a vested interest in supporting their home state industries — whether it’s crab-picking in Maryland, ski resorts in Colorado or logging in Washington. But some senators have criticized their colleagues' efforts to bypass public debate about changing immigration law.


    Other critics dispute that there really is a labor shortage in the industries that rely most on the seasonal guest worker visas, accusing the industries of exploiting foreign workers at the expense of American jobs.


    Sen. Charles E. Grassley (R-Iowa), chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, and Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.), the ranking Democrat on the committee, in May beseeched their Congressional colleagues to remove the provision and give the Judiciary Committee time to consider any changes to immigration laws.


    “This move by leadership and appropriators cedes portions of this authority to the executive branch without a public debate,” Grassley and Feinstein said. “We understand the needs of employers who rely on seasonal H-2B workers if the American workforce can’t meet the demand, but we are also aware of the potential side effects of flooding the labor force with more temporary foreign workers, including depressed wages for all workers in seasonal jobs."


    Trump himself has used the visas to hire temporary workers at his golf resorts in Palm Beach, Fla., and Jupiter, Fla.


    “I’ve hired in Florida during the prime season — you could not get help,” Trump said during a 2015 primary debate.

    “Everybody agrees with me on that. They were part-time jobs. You needed them, or we just might as well close the doors, because you couldn’t get help in those hot, hot sections of Florida.”

    https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/...-wage-workers/

    Last edited by JohnDoe2; 07-17-2017 at 01:06 PM.
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  2. #2
    Senior Member JohnDoe2's Avatar
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    U.S. provides visas to up to 15,000 temporary workers



    ReutersJuly 17, 2017


    U.S. Secretary of Homeland Security John Kelly looks on as he listens to Mexico's Interior Minister Miguel Angel Osorio Chong (not pictured) delivering a joint message at the Secretary of Interior Building in Mexico City, Mexico, July 7, 2017. REUTERS/Edgard Garrido More

    WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The U.S. government is allowing 15,000 additional visas for temporary seasonal workers to help American businesses in danger of suffering irreparable harm because of a lack of such employees, the Department of Homeland Security said on Monday.


    Secretary of Homeland Security John Kelly found after consulting with U.S. Labor Secretary Alexander Acosta that there were not enough qualified and willing U.S. workers available to perform temporary nonagricultural work, the department said in a statement.


    "As a demonstration of the administration's commitment to supporting American businesses, DHS is providing this one-time increase to the congressionally set annual cap," Kelly said in a statement.

    https://www.yahoo.com/news/u-provide...154616222.html






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  3. #3
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    Speaker Ryan Squeezes 15,000 Extra H-2B Workers From DHS Chief John Kelly



    by NEIL MUNRO
    17 Jul 2017
    1,474 comments

    Homeland defense secretary John Kelly will print 15,000 additional H-2B visas for foreign blue-collar workers in 2017, according to a statement from the agency.

    The 11.00 a.m. announcement said:

    U.S. businesses in danger of suffering irreparable harm due to a lack of available temporary nonagricultural workers will be able to hire up to 15,000 additional temporary nonagricultural workers under the H-2B program …

    “Congress gave me the opportunity to provide temporary relief to American businesses in danger of suffering irreparable harm due to a lack of available temporary workers,” said DHS Secretary John Kelly. “As a demonstration of the Administration’s commitment to supporting American businesses, DHS is providing this one-time increase to the congressionally set annual cap.”


    The decision was forced by GOP leaders in Congress, and is “a betrayal of [President Donald] Trump’s campaign promise to deliver blue-collar jobs to Americans,” said one opponent of the wage-cutting H-2B visa program.

    “Kelly’s decision to increase H-2B foreign workers threatens 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,” said Roy Beck, president of NumbersUSA, which favors pro-American immigration reforms. He added:

    "Congress gave Kelly the authority to put around 70,000 more of those jobs out of the reach of Americans; at least Kelly limited the damage to keeping just 15,000 more Americans out of the labor market. Nonetheless, this is yet another example of the Administration and Congress failing to keep the Trump campaign promise of putting American workers first.”"

    The concession by Kelly marks a win for the GOP legislators and allied business groups who oppose President Donald Trump’s popular “Buy American, Hire American” policy.

    The additional inflow of foreign workers will reduce marketplace pressure on employers to develop labor-saving technology and to streamline their business practices. The extra outsourcing visas will also reduce the pressure on companies to offer marketplace wages to recruit new employees, will reduce their incentive to train unemployed Americans from rural and urban areas, and reduce their incentive to lobby state legislators for more vocational training programs.

    Nationwide, companies already employ at least 1.5 million wage-cutting foreign outsourcing workers, most of whom work in white-collar jobs sought by American graduates.

    Kelly’s closed-door decision does not allow for a full regulatory process, which would normally allow the public to provide comments against an expansion of the cheap-labor program.

    The “lack of comment period is due to lateness of the legislation (May), [the] requirement to consult with [the Department of] Labor and [the] requirement to follow the law on federal rule making in order to provide additional seasonal worker visas before we get deeper into the summer season,” spokesman David Lapan told Breitbart News on Friday.

    The agency statement insisted the extra foreign workers were only for threatened businesses which are “in danger of suffering irreparable harm due to a lack of available temporary nonagricultural workers.” But DHS will only require a statement — not evidence — of “irreparable harm” from executives, saying “to qualify for the additional visas, petitioners must attest, under penalty of perjury, that their business is likely to suffer irreparable harm if it cannot employ H-2B nonimmigrant workers during fiscal year (FY) 2017.”

    But DHS will only require a statement — not evidence — of “irreparable harm” from executives, saying “to qualify for the additional visas, petitioners must attest, under penalty of perjury, that their business is likely to suffer irreparable harm if it cannot employ H-2B nonimmigrant workers during fiscal year (FY) 2017.” Also, the statement does not define what level of “irreparable harm” qualifies a company to hire lower-wage foreign employees.

    For example, companies suffer harm when they cannot use cheap seasonal H-2B workers to lower wages for full-time American employees, according to H-2B employers.

    If wages for summer workers are forced up by market conditions, “this causes a ripple effect in all wages across the board,” Josh Denison, the hiring chief at Denison Landscaping in Oxon Hill, Md., complained to a reporter in the October 2015 issue of the industry magazine, Lawn & Landscaping. Denison continued:

    "If your $10.30 [an hour] basic domestic or H-2B laborer has an arbitrary wage increase, then you have to adjust wages across the board in a sliding scale to keep it fair and balanced. What happens to the $12 guy if the new guy is making more? And what happens to the $15 guy?"

    The program already delivers roughly 115,000 as foreign seasonal workers to Americans companies each year, mostly in the South and East. Many H-2B workers also work at winter resorts in Colorado.



    The program allows companies to bring in 66,000 new workers each year — and also to keep workers who got visas in the prior two years. The rules allow companies to maintain a workforce of roughly 115,000 H-2B workers in the United States, according to an estimate by the Economic Policy Institute.

    Equivalent U.S. workers have received few or no pay raises since 2007, according to the Center for Immigration Studies.

    Just like the white-collar H-1B visa program, the H-2B program is unpopular with the public, but lobbyists constantly pressure legislators to increase the annual inflow of foreign workers.

    Politicians know the program is very unpopular. In December 2015, House Speaker Paul Ryan inserted a difficult-to-read passage into the annual spending bill that greatly expanded the program. After the November 2016 election, however, House Speaker Paul Ryan reversed the expansion.

    In May, however, Ryan and other legislators again expanded the H-2B program while hiding their plan from voters. They passed the buck to Kelly by adding language in the May budget supplemental which allows the DHS secretary to expand the H-2B program by up to 70,000 new workers each year. Lobbyists then pressured Kelly — and the legislators who control the DHS budget — to quickly expand the program via low-profile regulatory changes so that foreign workers can be hired and rushed into jobs later this summer, fall and winter.

    The wage-cutting plan was covered by Breitbart but was largely ignored by the establishment media.

    In May, Kelly initially said he would reluctantly approve some extra workers, but then quickly backtracked. “I know we already have large numbers [of contract workers] that come in and have been coming in over the years, but … in the current administration, this is all about American jobs versus people that come in and do the work,” Kelly told Dakota Sen. Heidi Heitkamp in early June.

    Then Kelly agreed to increase the visa numbers as he came under increased pressure from lobbyists and GOP and Democratic legislators, led by GOP Sen. Thom Tillis.

    Spokesman Lapan complained about the pressure, saying Kelly “is concerned that Congress is passing the buck by not clearly legislating the H2B visa numbers, and expects that this one-time occurrence is an anomaly.”

    Kellly’s approval of the extra H-2B visas will likely encourage the GOP legislators and companies to seek even more H-2B in future years.

    Here is Kelly’s May statement to the appropriations committee:

    "This is one of things I really wish I did not have any discretion, and for every Senator or Congressman that has your view, I have another one that says ‘Don’t you dare, this is about American jobs.’ You know the argument, both sides. My staff, members of my staff, are coordinating with the Department of Labor on this. One of the things, and I have my working class root background that keeps reminding me that some of these individuals —not necessarily in Alaska — but many, many of these individuals are victimized when they come up here, in terms of what they’re paid and all the rest of it, so we’re working with Labor, Department of Labor, to come up with an answer to this, but we really do need a long-term solution, so we’ll work with the Senate and with Congress, within the industry, this year, and again, I’ll have my staff when they return from Labor and we get some protocols in place, we’ll likely increase the numbers for this year, perhaps not by the entire number that I’m authorized, but we really do need, I’m really looking forward to working with you Senator, and the whole Congress, to get a longer-term solution to this."

    http://www.breitbart.com/big-governm...ef-john-kelly/
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  4. #4
    MW
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    This wouldn't be happening if Trump didn't buy off on it.

    "The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing" ** Edmund Burke**

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    Senior Member Beezer's Avatar
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    VOTE RYAN OUT OF A JOB!!!
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    Senior Member Judy's Avatar
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    Then Kelly agreed to increase the visa numbers as he came under increased pressure from lobbyists and GOP and Democratic legislators, led by GOP Sen. Thom Tillis.
    There's your SWAMP RAT!!! Thom Tillis. Eeeeewwwwww.
    Last edited by Judy; 07-17-2017 at 06:48 PM.
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    Senior Member JohnDoe2's Avatar
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    Donald Trump requested 64 foreign guest workers for his “winter White House”

    WRITTEN BY Tim Fernholz OBSESSION

    "America First"
    February 13, 2017

    When US president Donald Trump and Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe gathered to condemn a North Korean missile test, they did it just fifty yards from a wedding reception at Trump’s Palm Beach resort Mar-a-Lago, with celebratory music underscoring the threat of nuclear warfare.

    That fees from that wedding, along with any other profits earned at the club, continue to line Trump’s pockets through a trust that lawyers say doesn’t eliminate conflicts of interest, since Trump has access to information about the profits and losses at his companies and can take control of the assets at any time. One way Trump is maximizing profits? He got permission from the US Department of Labor to hire 64 foreign guest workers to wait on his guests, cook their food and clean their rooms during the winter high season in Florida.


    Trump had applied to bring in these workers while promising during his presidential campaign to kick undocumented immigrants out of the United States and block imports. At the time, he defended the guest worker practice by saying it was common among US companies, who will bring in 119,000 temporary workers in 2016 and 2017, many to work seasonal jobs. Temporary foreign workers come into the country under the H-2B visa program.


    The Palm Beach Post reports that the latest documents released by the labor department—which will now be put in the position of approving future requests by the US president to hire guest workers—show that Trump cut wages for some of these employees. Cooks saw a 19-cent drop in wages per hour, while maids and servers saw a 10-cent bump.

    Overtime rates rose.


    According to the kind of economic calculations endorsed by Trump and his campaign team, those 64 jobs were essentially stolen from Americans. But Trump’s family companies frequently use guest workers and his appointee to run the Department of Labor, Andy Puzder, has defended them in the past.

    Many economists argue that bringing these workers to the US is one of the most powerful forms of foreign aid, since their earning power here outstrips that in their native countries.


    Beyond the contradictions in his economic policy on foreign workers, Trump’s apparent decision to use Mar-a-Lago as his weekend get-away while serving as president—besides costing taxpayers millions in additional travel and security fees—raises information security concerns. Aides scrambling to prep the US president for his remarks on North Korea’s missile test Feb. 11 apparently briefed him at his table in the middle of the club’s restaurant, using their mobile phones to illuminate briefing papers arrayed before him. Aside from the potential for hacking, unlike at the White House, the staff working in the club aren’t subject to background checks; indeed, the H-2B process is notoriously abused.


    When president Trump is freelancing on foreign policy at his private restaurant, do we really know who else is listening?


    https://qz.com/909220/donald-trump-r...r-white-house/
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