Homeland Security increases H-2B visa allocation

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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 US workers available to perform the temporary nonagricultural labor needed by some American businesses.

But Daniel Costa, who directs immigration research at the left-leaning Economic Policy Institute, said that the H2B program lacks enough enforcement to make sure American workers can benefit.

In order to qualify for the additional visas, businesses must attest under penalty of perjury that they are likely to suffer irreparable harm if they can't employ H-2B workers for the rest of the year. Businesses hit the cap in March, and in May, Congress gave Kelly authority to increase the limit up to 70,000. Pressed by a reporter about how the policy announcement to allow more foreign workers into the US supports American jobs, a DHS spokesperson said that without those extra workers, USA businesses could suffer "irreparable harm".

The H-2B Temporary Nonagricultural Worker program was created to serve U.S. businesses unable to find a sufficient number of qualified United States workers to perform nonagricultural work of a temporary nature. Tillis has put Trump's nominee for US Citizenship and Immigration Services on hold, citing concerns about the slowness of the administration to issue more H-2B visas.

"A growing body of evidence shows that our increasing reliance on the H-2B visa program hurts wages for American workers", the statement read.

The DHS blamed Congress for delaying the decision being made about the hiring of seasonal workers and pushing it into summer and announced that they are "committed to protecting U.S. workers and strengthening the integrity of the U.S. immigration system".

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The additional 15,000 visas stack on top of the 33,000 that the Department of Homeland Security has already allotted for the second half of the current fiscal year.

"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.

Businesses who meet specific criteria can apply for H-2B visas to bring over foreign workers to take temporary positions they cannot fill with American workers.

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

The impact on the racing industry is expected to be limited, considering the new visas will only be available for workers through the end of the fiscal year September 30. Hance said there is a shortage now.

Trump campaigned on an "America First" platform of favoring Americans for hiring.

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