This week, Breitbart reported that Congressional staffers had struck a deal with a business lobbyist group to double the number of H-2B guest worker visas allocated annually, from the current 66,000 to 132,000. This increase would be made permanent if the agreement makes it into law.
The H-2B visa is for temporary low-skilled, non-agricultural workers, many of who work in hospitality services, food processing, and landscaping.
In an unusual maneuver, staffers from the offices of Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-IA), Sen. Mike Rounds (R-SC), Sen. Thom Tillis (R-NC), and Rep. Andy Harris (R-MD) entered into an agreement that would double the number of H-2Bs available every year in exchange for employers using E-Verify to check new hires. In addition, employers would also verify current employees, and if any are found to be unauthorized to work the employer could replace them with H-2Bs workers who would be exempt from the 132,000 annual cap.
NumbersUSA Director of Government Relations told Breitbart:
I don’t ever recall seeing a formal agreement between Congressional staff and employers to draft legislation to increase employers’ access to cheap, foreign labor….Donald Trump won the White House by running on a pro-American-worker immigration message, but his party lost control of the House during the midterms by abandoning that message. This agreement is evidence that Republicans haven’t learned from their recent election losses.
The Washington Times also reported on the story.
Updated: Fri, Dec 14th 2018 @ 2:15pm EST