H-2B Visas Cut Americans’ Wages, Four Senators Tell DHS Chief

Four Senators are pressuring homeland security chief John Kelly to reject U.S. companies’ pending pleas for visas to import up to 70,000 extra foreign workers this summer.

“A large body of evidence suggest[s] that our increasing reliance on the H-2B program cuts [Americans’] wages, pushes American workers out of jobs, and may, in some case, discourages them from every applying again,” says the bipartisan letter by Senators Chuck Grassley (R-IA), Dick Durbin (D-IL), David Perdue (R-GA), and Richard Blumenthal (D-CT).

The letter was written to Department of Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly and Secretary of Labor Alexander Acosta. In early May, the supplemental 2017 appropriations bill included language allowing the Secretaries of DHS and Labor to print roughly 70,000 additional visas for companies to import foreign workers for seasonal work in landscaping, food processing, tourism, and resorts. The underlying H-2B legislation allows companies to import a maximum of 66,000 visas for seasonal jobs that could be filled by Americans.

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