As the most reliable and balanced news aggregation service on the internet, DML News offers the following information published by CIS.ORG:
The Department of Homeland Security announced at 3:46 pm today that it will allow various U.S. employers 15,000 additional H-2B workers this summer; they will do unskilled, non-agricultural seasonal work. Most work in landscaping or forestry; agricultural workers come in on the H-2A visa.
The 15,000 will be in addition to the 66,000 permits in this program that have already been issued in keeping with the long-standing statutory ceiling.
The article by the Center For Immigration Studies goes on to state the following:
According to the release: “Secretary Nielsen made this decision after consulting with Secretary of Labor Alexander Acosta, members of Congress, and business owners.”
Note the omission of any mention of organized labor or immigration policy groups.
Congress had, in a recent decision, failed to raise the ceiling for these workers, but gave the assignment of fixing a larger number than the usual 66,000 to the DHS secretary.
Secretary Nielsen complained about Congress handing her the decision, saying: “We are once again in a situation where Congress has passed the buck and turned a decision over to DHS that would be better situated with Congress, who knows the needs of the program.” Congress did this last year as well, leading to what was then described as a “one-time” increase in visas.
Nielsen’s announcement, posted on the Homeland Security website, includes the following:
WASHINGTON — Today, Secretary of Homeland Security Kirstjen M. Nielsen announced that an additional 15,000 H-2B temporary nonagricultural worker visas will be available for Fiscal Year 2018. In this determination, Secretary Nielsen determined there are not sufficient, qualified, U.S. workers available to perform temporary non-agriculture labor to satisfy the needs of American businesses in FY18. This allocation is in addition to the 66,000 visas already issued this year. Secretary Nielsen made this decision after consulting with Secretary of Labor Alexander Acosta, members of Congress, and business owners.
“The limitations on H-2B visas were originally meant to protect American workers, but when we enter a situation where the program unintentionally harms American businesses it needs to be reformed,” said Secretary Nielsen. “I call on Congress to pass much needed reforms of the program and to expressly set the number of H-2B visas in statute. We are once again in a situation where Congress has passed the buck and turned a decision over to DHS that would be better situated with Congress, who knows the needs of the program. As Secretary, I remain committed to protecting U.S. workers and strengthening the integrity of our lawful immigration system and look forward to working with Congress to do so.”
The H-2B temporary nonagricultural worker program was designed to serve U.S. businesses unable to find a sufficient number of qualified U.S. workers to perform nonagricultural work of a temporary nature. Congress set the annual H-2B visa cap at 66,000. A maximum of 33,000 H-2B visas are available during the first half of the fiscal year, and the remainder, including any unused H-2B visas from the first half of that fiscal year, is available starting April 1 through September 30.
On February 27, 2018, USCIS determined that it had received sufficient H-2B petitions to meet the full FY 2018 statutory cap of 66,000.
In the FY 2018 Omnibus, Congress delegated its authority to the Secretary to increase the number of temporary nonagricultural worker visas available to U.S. employers through September 30, just as it did in the FY 2017 Omnibus. In the intervening time since enactment of the FY 2018 Omnibus, the Secretary consulted with the Secretary of Labor on the issue, in accordance with Congressional requirements, and developed this rule.
Starting this week, eligible petitioners for H-2B visas can file Form I-129, Petition for a Nonimmigrant Worker. Eligible petitioners must submit a supplemental attestation on Form ETA 9142-B-CAA-2 with their petition.
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Companies demanding the H2-B foreign worker visas have been tweeting up a storm, demanding that Secretary Nielsen release the visas.
@RepKevinYoder & @SecNielsen please help in Cap Relief for H2-B Visas. We have lost aprox. 115 million in revenue in Landscaping, Shrimping, Property Services & Sm Biz. @POTUS @PressSec @DHSgov @RepKevinYoder @RepRoybalAllard
— LaLaTreedIt (@LTreedit) May 23, 2018
May is traditionally the start of Spring, the H2-B Seasonal Worker’s have shown up for years to support Landscaping, Shrimping & Construction. Delaying Visas has cost USA $115 million since 5/1/17. @RepKevinYoder @SecNielsen @CongCulberson @RepRoybalAllard @RepCuellar @dallasnews
— nssonsmows (@nssonsmows) May 23, 2018
63,547 Seasonal H2-B Worker’s, many worked here for year’s, are waiting for their Visas to be released. @MickMulvaneyOMB @SecNielsen have the power to increase the economy by $5 million per day. @POTUS @seanhannity @SenateDemocrats @SenateGOP
— LaLaTreedIt (@LTreedit) May 21, 2018
The H2-B program has been critically blocked for the 2018 lawn care season. Most of the visas went to Hurricane Harvey clean-up. @realDonaldTrump @SecNielsen Something needs to be done NOW about releasing all the additional visas. U are losing more & more votes everyday. #saveH2B
— Michael Campbell (@mcadecamp) May 20, 2018
@realDonaldTrump @SecNielsen what don’t you get?!There are no workers to fill seasonal jobs like landscape.25yrs in business and this is the worst labor pool I’ve ever experienced.Only way out is 2 release #saveh2b visas or we are closed & will lay off 15 Americans in the process
— Sal (@sjm115) May 18, 2018
The Omnibus spending bill was signed by @realDonaldTrump on March 23. It has been 8 weeks since DHS received the authority to release additional #h2b visas. US employers need workers NOW! @SecNielsen needs to speed the process up as companies are CLOSING! #saveh2b
— Seasonal Employment Alliance (@SEA_labor) May 21, 2018
Putting U.S. employers in a situation of deciding to hire illegal workers or shut down their livelihood isnt the message that @POTUS ran on and is exactly why the H-2B program was created, to ensure U.S. employers in seasonal industries are not faced with such a dilemma. #saveh2b
— H2 Visa Consultants (@H2VisaConsult) May 22, 2018
You are Destroying Small Business! Release all the H2B Visas!!! #saveh2b
— ScapeWorx (@ScapeWorx) May 18, 2018