USA to admit 15000 additional temporary workers this year: DHS

US intensifies clampdown on Nigerians, Brazilians, others with overstayed visas

The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) announced Monday that it would be allowing an additional 15,000 seasonal visas to fill H-2B non-agricultural jobs.

Employers had been complaining about the need for workers since March, when they exhausted the official cap of 66,000 H2B visas per fiscal year.

Earlier this year Congress voted to allow Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly to offer more than the annual limit of 66,000 such visas.

Secretary of Homeland Security John Kelly had expressed reluctance to be the decider on the issue and has mentioned plans to find a long-term solution, but after he consulted with Secretary of Labor Alexander Acosta, he determined there were not enough qualified and willing USA workers available to perform the temporary nonagricultural labor needed by some American businesses.

Since 2015, however, some returning workers were able to participate beyond the cap, increasing the number of H-2B visas issued a year ago to almost 85,000, according to State Department data. Until previous year, guest workers who had already participated were not counted toward the cap.

The Trump administration said Monday that it is providing an additional 15,000 visas for foreign workers, despite the president's calls to hire U.S. workers first.

"A lot of the arguments for this kind of program boil down to this: No American worker will do that job".

A group of US companies and groups that use the visas, called the "the H-2B Workforce Coalition", in a statement praised the "minimal relief granted..."

"For every senator or congressman who has your view, I have another who says, 'Don't you dare".

Trump has previously opposed allowing guest workers in the United States, though his Mar-a-Lago resort in Palm Beach, Fla., has used H-2B seasonal employees.

"This is yet another example of the administration and congress failing to keep the Trump campaign promise of putting American workers first", he told The Washington Post.

"If the wage is decent and the employer obeys the law, Americans will do the job".

Trump said he has relied on the program in the past to find workers for his golf courses and hotels.

Still, senior DHS officials insisted the policy fits Trumps self-styled "America First" agenda because it will help American businesses.

And while more visas may create a workforce boost, the damage - and its effect on other industries - may already be done.

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