Home­land Se­cu­rity OKs ad­di­tional visas

The Buffalo News - - WASHINGTON NEWS -

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.

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