The Department of Homeland Security will increase the amount of temporary seasonal worker visas by 15,000 for the rest of the fiscal year, DHS officials announced Monday.
The increase in H-2b visas available for American businesses came after DHS consulted with the Department of Labor and was granted authority by Congress’ recent omnibus spending bill, a senior DHS official told reporters.
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.
Lapan said this was “because we are talking about American businesses that are at risk of suffering irreparable harm if they do not get additional H-2b visas.”
Businesses that take advantage of the H-2b visa program have to attest under oath that they will suffer irreparable harm if they can’t get the temporary foreign workers.
Bangor Daily News, however, recently reported that businesses in Bar Harbor, Maine have been scrambling to hire American workers as the H-2b visa program has already met its annual quota of 66,000 (equally split between summer and winter).
Businesses looking to hire these temporary foreign workers can do so once the regulation gets published in the Federal Register later this week, a senior DHS official said.