Homeland Security OKs additional visas
WASHINGTON – 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, senior Homeland Security officials said in a call with reporters Monday.
The visas are for workers taking seasonal jobs in the seafood, tourism and other industries – but not farm laborers.
Businesses must first attest that their firms would suffer permanent “irreparable harm” without importing foreign workers, and will be required to retain documents proving that they would not otherwise be able to meet their contractual obligations, the officials said.