NumbersUSA sent out the following message last night to all Members of Congress, notifying them that we will score against the omnibus spending bill because of a provision that could potentially quadruple H-2B low-skilled worker visas in 2016 and its full funding, including Pres. Obama's proposed expansion, of the refugee resettlement program.
At a time when U.S. immigration policy is under public fire for endangering national security, taking scarce jobs from American workers, and depressing American wages, it is outrageous that Congress would use the omnibus spending bill to double down on precisely these objections.
The bill completely thwarts the will of the American people--and risks their physical safety--by fully funding President Obama's plan to bring to the United States an additional 10,000 Syrian refugees who cannot be properly vetted, according to the FBI and intelligence experts. In fact, the omnibus increases funding for the Office of Refugee Resettlement, which is responsible for resettling refugees in the United States, by more than $100 million over last year's level.
Even worse, the omnibus includes a provision that would effectively quadruple low-skilled H-2B temporary non-agricultural workers and further undercut America's most vulnerable workers. This provision has not been debated by any congressional committee and has no place in a spending bill.
According to the Economic Policy Institute, "wages were stagnant or declining for workers in all of the top 15 H-2B occupations between 2004 and 2014," and "unemployment rates increased in all but one of the top 15 H-2B occupations between 2004 and 2014, and all 15 occupations averaged very high unemployment rates…Flat and declining wages coupled with such high unemployment rates over such a long period of time suggest a loose labor market—an over-supply of workers rather than an under-supply."
Only 43 percent of Americans without a high school diploma were actually employed as of the second quarter of 2015. Quadrupling the number of available H-2B visas will further devastate low-skilled, low-wage American workers--exactly those workers who can least afford it.
Vote NO on the omnibus.
Updated: Mon, Jul 24th 2017 @ 3:28pm EDT