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United States to admit 15000 additional temporary workers this year: DHS
17 July 2017, 08:28 | Megan Pierce
Speaker Ryan Squeezes More H-2B Workers From DHS Chief John Kelly AP by Neil Munro17 Jul 20170 17 Jul 2017 17 Jul 2017
Citing a shortage of "qualified and willing" Americans to meet the high-season needs of businesses like landscape companies, amusement parks, and hotels, the US Department of Homeland Security (DHS) said it will increase the number of available H2B visas for non-farm temporary workers by 15,000 for fiscal year 2017.
President Trump previously attacked the use of foreign workers in campaign speeches, but DHS press secretary David Lapan insisted to reporters that this move "absolutely" fits in with the "America First" agenda. The businesses are also required to have documents that would prove their need, though they do not have to submit them along with their petition to receive the additional visas.
But they said the increase was part of Trump´s "America First" effort to strengthen USA industry.
But there's been an outcry from employers in those industries saying they can't find enough workers right now, as they've been squeezed by a dearth of visas and the low unemployment rate.
The Trump Administration says it has a problem with visa overstays in the country and is now determined to step up enforcement to try to cut down on the violations.
Current law limits the H-2B program to 66,000 visas a year, split evenly between fall and spring application periods.
In May, Congress passed a bill instructing the DHS secretary to consult with the Department of Labor to determine if the government should increase the number of temporary nonagricultural work visas available until the end of the fiscal year.
While he was still serving in the Senate, Attorney General Jeff Sessions previous year sent a letter to the Senate Appropriations Committee asking them not to dramatically increase the number of H-2B visas as the House had done in a temporary spending bill.
The United States government has sanctioned a crackdown on visitors with visa overstays. Though President Donald Trump has taken a hard line stance on immigration, legal and otherwise, Kelly said the decision to add visas was a "demonstration of the administration's commitment to supporting American businesses".
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