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BY: Charles Fain Lehman
The Trump administration will issue an additional 30,000 temporary work visas in FY 2019, acting Secretary of Homeland Security Kevin McAleenan announced Monday.
Visas - H-2B - Program - Admission - Workers
The visas, issued under the H-2B program for the admission of temporary nonagricultural workers, are meant to respond to a tightening labor market by expanding the number of foreign-born workers in line with the supply U.S. employers say they need. However, some immigration hawks, normally close allies of President Donald Trump, decried the move as a threat to American breadwinners.
The expansion is set to be published in the federal register on Wednesday. It was put together by the U.S. Departments of Homeland Security and Labor, which oversee enforcement of laws governing foreign labor.
DHS - Visas - Workers - Visa - Point
According to DHS, the 30,000 additional visas will be available exclusively to "returning workers," meaning those who have previously received an H-2B visa at any point between FY 2016 and today. Further, DHS intimated, the availability of these visas "is restricted by prioritizing only those businesses who would suffer irreparable harm without the additional workers."
H-2 visas are temporary authorizations for foreign-born individuals to come to the United States to work in a job for which, per the Immigration and Nationality Act, there are not otherwise U.S. citizen workers who are "able, willing, qualified, and available to do."
Kinds - Authorizations - H-2A - Workers - H-2B
There are two kinds of these authorizations: the H-2A, for seasonal agricultural workers, and the H-2B (the one being expanded), for other kinds of workers. H-2 visas do not qualify a person for permanent residency, although an employer can sponsor an H-2B holder separately for a green card.
The number of H-2B visas has ebbed and waned in recent years, in response to both labor demand and shifting political winds. In 2018, DHS approved 83,000, a figure elevated by comparison to Barack Obama's first term but normal...
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