US to add 30,000 additional visas for seasonal workers
Washingon, May 07: The Trump administration has announced it will allow 30,000 more seasonal workers this summer, a move that reflects how the booming economy has complicated President Trump's efforts to restrict legal immigration, the AP reports.
The move will help oyster shucking companies, fisheries, loggers and seasonal hotels, including Trump's own Mar-a-Lago club--all of which use the visas to hire migrants for temporary work they say Americans won't do.
The visas, known as H-2Bs, will be granted only to returning foreign workers who have had the visa before, over the last three fiscal years. Many of the visa holders return to the same employers year after year.
Those workers have already been vetted and are trusted and not likely to stay past their visa, officials told AFP.
US Citizenship and Immigration Services will begin taking applications from employers on behalf of the workers once the temporary rule is published in the Federal Register, expected on Wednesday.
The strong economy has made it increasingly difficult for employers to find labor, and the number of seasonal visas has been capped at 66,000 per fiscal year -- a figure some businesses and lawmakers say is badly outdated, especially when the unemployment rate is the lowest it's been in 49 years.
Congress has typically capped the number of the temporary visas at 66,000 a year - 33,000 for summer and for winter - though the Trump administration has raised that number by 15,000 in each of the last two years.