Thirty-one Democratic and Republican Senators are asking the Department of Homeland Security to maximize the use of blue-collar outsourcing visas so U.S. companies can import more foreign workers instead of recruiting, training and paying unskilled U.S. workers.
The bipartisan request comes three months after the shocking November vote pressured GOP leaders to slash the H-2B visa program from a one-year high of 264,000 visas back down to the long-standing level of 66,000 visas.
The request to Department of Homeland Security John Kelly also comes as a claimed shortage of H-2B is prompted recruiters to find, hire, train and retain some of the millions of young underemployed men and women who could fill the many low-status seasonal jobs in landscaping, golf course maintenance, cleanup in restaurants, seafood processing, and hotel cleaning which are often allocated to H-2B contract-workers.
Recruitment consultants are helping employers hire alternative workers from American trade schools and from Puerto Rico. They are also warning employers to raise salaries and benefits for U.S. workers or else lose the workers to better-paying companies.