Sea­sonal work­ers to get ‘limited num­ber’ of visas

The Washington Times Daily - - NATION - — Stephen Dinan

Home­land Se­cu­rity Sec­re­tary John F. Kelly has de­cided to is­sue a “limited num­ber” of sea­sonal guest worker visas, the de­part­ment an­nounced Wed­nes­day, though they still don’t have a to­tal and won’t be­gin to is­sue them un­til late July.

The move of­fers a small amount of relief to sea­sonal busi­nesses such as land­scap­ers, sum­mer re­sorts and seafood pro­ces­sors who have come to rely on for­eign work­ers.

But the de­part­ment said Congress granted the power so late that it’s likely the num­ber will be rel­a­tively small, and far less than what Mr. Kelly could is­sue.

“We’re do­ing the best we can given the short time frame,” said de­part­ment spokesman Dave La­pan.

Under the law 66,000 sea­sonal worker visas, di­vided in half be­tween the win­ter and sum­mer sea­sons, are sup­posed to be avail­able for com­pa­nies that can­not meet their work­force needs with Amer­i­cans.

Congress some­times boosts that num­ber under what’s known as the H-2B pro­gram and did so again in May’s spend­ing bill. But they left the fi­nal de­ci­sion on num­bers to Mr. Kelly.

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