The Department of Homeland Security is drafting recommendations for Congress to reform the H-2B cheap-labor program, according to a July 6 letter to Iowa Sen. Chuck Grassley, the chairman of the Senate’s judiciary committee.
“The report will include options on how the program can better serve out national interests … DHS is committed to ensuring that our immigration system is implemented lawfully and that American workers are protected,” said the letter, signed by L Francis Cissna, the director of the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services agency.
One reform urged by Cissna would be a requirement that participating companies agree to use the E-Verify program to screen all employees for work eligibility. The E-Verify system is free, and it allows companies to reject illegal immigrants who are using fake identities.
However, legislators are unlikely to approve any H-2B reform which reduces the annual inflow of H-2B workers, or which allocates them towards the industries which least able to hire temporary U.S. workers, such as the shrimp industry in the Gulf of Mexico or the crab industry in Maryland.