The US administration has a plan of allowing 30,000 overseas workmen temporarily. They will help to carry out seasonal work in the country at the end of September. This reflects that the booming economy has complicated Presidential efforts in restricting legal immigration.
The plan will benefit fisheries, oyster shucking companies, loggers and some seasonal hotels. These industries use the visas for hiring the migrants to carry out temporary work that the local Americans refuse to do.
These H-2B visas will be issued specifically to the foreign workers who possessed the visa earlier during the past three Fiscal Years. Generally, these visa holders return to the same employers every year. The workers undergo the vetting process in the past and are trustworthy. Moreover, they are unlikely to stay after the expiry of their visa.
U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services propose to start taking the applications from employers in support of the workers after the publication of the temporary rule in the Federal Register.
Other relevant factors
The economy has strength now and it is difficult for many employers to get labor. The cap for the number of seasonal visas is 66,000 every Fiscal Year. Many stakeholders feel that it is outdated.
Employers need additional labor desperately. Some of the presidential advisors seek restrictions on legal immigration, and reduction in visas for top skilled workers. They want suspension or limits on the entry for individuals from nations that have a high rate of visa overstays.
Moreover, Jared Kushner the son-in-law of President Trump is also working on an immigration package and is meeting lawmakers. He proposes to put together changes in legal immigration and border security so that Republicans can join hands to proceed toward the 2020 election.
The way ahead
Trump recently changed his position and is now favoring more immigration legally because there are many economic gains. He wants large numbers to come in a legal way.
The officials in the Homeland Security and Labor Departments said the reason behind this decision is that some businesses will be harmed irreparably when they cannot employ these workers. They have together decided for raising the cap in the past two fiscal years. This may only serve as a temporary fix and the lawmakers should pursue a long-term fix that meets the temporary needs of the employers. Additionally, it must fulfill the Executive Order of the President regarding Buying and Hiring Americans to stimulate high wages and employment rates to the local workers.
The recent USCIS data on visa approvals shows that half of these visas were in favor of agricultural and horticultural workers. The other recipients were Food services, fisheries, forestry, logging work, and hunter trappers.
25 bipartisan lawmakers belonging to the House and Senate dispatched a letter to Homeland Security stating that they were resolving the issue of the visa cap.
Furthermore, some of the bipartisan senators expressed the concern that these visas were leading to worker exploitation, human trafficking, and debt bondage.