U.S. boosts seasonal worker visas halfway through summer season

Patrice Gainsbourg
Julho 17, 2017

Though DHS officials said they had no information on whether Trump companies would apply for any of the extra H2Bs, his properties have in the past hired foreign workers that way.

"Congress gave me the discretionary authority to provide temporary relief to American businesses at risk of significant harm due to a lack of available seasonal workers", said DHS Secretary John Kelly in a statement Monday.

The Homeland Security Department is making an extra 15,000 temporary, seasonal worker visas available this year.

The Trump Organization is among the businesses that use the visas.

Though President Donald Trump has taken a hard line stance on immigration, legal and otherwise, Kelly said the decision to add visas was a "demonstration of the administration's commitment to supporting 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.

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The increase is only for workers who will start their temporary employment before September 30 and businesses submitting petitions will be considered in the order they apply.

This may seem out of line with United States president Donald Trump's "Hire American" initiative, and his efforts to reduce or delay visas for skilled foreign workers.

Earlier this year, the Department of Homeland Security announced it would increase the number of H-2B visas issued, though the final count was not released until Monday.

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

But they said the increase was part of Trump´s "America First" effort to strengthen USA industry.

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