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Additional Temporary Foreign Workers to Receive Visas

Additional Temporary Foreign Workers to Receive Visas

In order to help US businesses at risk of suffering "irreparable harm", the Department of Homeland Security said Monday it will provide as many as 15,000 new H-2B visas this year for temporary seasonal workers.

Maine's hospitality industry has been struggling to fill positions since the start of the summer tourism season.

The extra H-2B visas are for seasonal, non-agriculture workers for jobs at a variety of businesses, including resorts. First, though, they will need to attest that they would suffer irreparable harm if they can't hire the foreign workers they are requesting. Some Maine hotels and restaurants have limited their hours or closed off blocks of rooms because they don't have enough workers. Congress earlier this year had authorized the DHS to offer up to 64,000 more H2B visas, but it was up Homeland Security secretary John Kelly to decide exactly how many to grant. In the statement, the department said Kelly was concerned Congress was "passing the buck" by not designating a specific number of visas and hoped the one-time occurrence was an anomaly.

"After consulting with the secretary of labor, Secretary Kelly determined that there are not enough USA workers who are willing, qualified and able to perform temporary non-agricultural labor to satisfy the needs of some American businesses and that these businesses will likely suffer irreparable harm if they can not hire more H-2B workers in fiscal year 2017", a senior DHS official said on a press call.

Police release sketch of suspect in killing of Delphi sisters
Indiana State Police confirm that new information will be released today regarding the deaths of Abby Williams and Libby German. An earlier photo of a suspect was released by Indiana State Police of a suspect seen on the trail where the girl's were found.

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

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.

"We're talking about American businesses that are at risk of suffering irreparable harm if they don't get additional H-2B workers", said David Lapan, a DHS spokesperson told reporters.

"This is yet another example of the administration and Congress failing to keep the Trump campaign promise of putting American workers first", he said.


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