The GOP’s business-first leadership has expanded the H-2B visa-worker program, so reducing marketplace pressure on companies to offer higher wages to Americans just months before the November election.
The pre-election giveaway is buried on page 1760 of the 2232-page 2018 omnibus bill, where language allows the Department of Homeland Security to greatly expand the size of the H-2B visa-worker program up to roughly 100,000 imported workers:
SEC. 205. Notwithstanding the [66,000] numerical limitation set forth in section 214(g)(1)(B) of the Immigration and Nationality Act (8 U.S.C. 1184(g)(1)(B)), the Secretary of Homeland Security, after consultation with the Secretary of Labor, and upon the determination that the needs of American businesses cannot be satisfied in fiscal year 2018 with United States workers who are willing, qualified, and able to perform temporary nonagricultural labor, may increase the total number of aliens who may receive a visa under section 101(a)(15)(H)(ii)(b) of such Act (8 U.S.C. 1101(a)(15)(H)(ii)(b)) in such fiscal year above such limitation by not more than the highest number of H–2B nonimmigrants who participated in the H–2B returning worker program in any fiscal year in which returning workers were exempt from such numerical limitation.
The jargon gives the green light to Senators and Representatives to pressure DHS leaders to hand out more H-2B visas to the politicians’ local employers.