The US federal government intends to give out more visas for international seasonal workers, while at the same time, the president wants to close the US Mexico border, where the majority of the seasonal workers come from.
A plan to give out about 30,000 extra H-2B visas till the end of the US fiscal year, 30th September, has been made by the Department of Homeland Security and labor. However, it is only eligible for those workers who had previously secured the visa.
Through the visa, immigrant workers in restaurants, landscaping in companies, amusement parks among other places, obtain legal immigration status. According to the data from the State Department, seasonal workers from Mexico were allocated 75% of these visas last fiscal year. South Africans, Jamaicans, Guatemalan among others have also issued the visas.
The move the government has taken to work on the visa program does not correspond with the administration’s insistence on closing the US Mexico border.
According to a Senior Immigration Analyst with the Cato Institute, Alex Nowrasteh, the government has brought about a lot of contradiction by saying more workers are needed to boom the country’s economy while on the other hand, closing its borders with the expression that the country is full.
This visa program has brought a lot of controversial debates in the country. While the Advocacy groups claim that foreign workers are being exploited, employers claimed it encourages the employment of undocumented workers by businesses. Meanwhile, the Unions and Immigration opponents also think that the program deprives the US citizens of jobs in their country.
No Response from the Government
The Homeland Security spokeswoman, Andrea Palermo did not give a direct response to either the questions concerning the additional visas or the contradicting actions taken by the administration. As well as the White House.
According to Mr. Nowrasteh, the H-2B visa program has been beneficial to the country economically and to the workers too. He believes that the visa program has decreased the influx of illegal immigrants from Mexico into the country, as such if the program is further expanded or the cap eliminated, the rate of illegal immigration from the Central American Countries will reduce.
Last month, the Homeland Security department was asked by a bipartisan group of Senators which was led by Angus S. Kin of Maine and Susan M. Collins, to raise the number of H-2B visas to aid small businesses.
However, the Executive Director of the Center for Immigration Studies, Mark Krikorian isn’t in support of that. According to him, the US working-age citizens are about 50 million; as such, there is no need for further importation of international workers.
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