The House omnibus bill, released last night, includes a provision that would quadruple the number of H-2B visas for low-skilled guest workers. The measure would increase the number of H-2B visa workers allowed in the U.S. in 2016 from 66,000 to around 264,000.
The new provision does not increase the current H-2B visa cap of 66,000 but would exclude any worker who has already received an H-2B visa in the last three years.
The provision can be found on page 701 of the omnibus spending bill:
“SEC. 565. Section 214(g)(9)(A) of the Immigration and Nationality Act (8 U.S.C. 1184(g)(9)(A)) is amended by striking ‘‘2004, 2005, or 2006 shall not again be counted toward such limitation during fiscal year 2007.’’ and inserting ‘‘2013, 2014, or 2015 shall not again be counted toward such limitation during fiscal year 2016.’’
The H-2B visa was designed to bring in low-skilled, temporary and seasonal workers. This provision would increase the job competition for some of America’s most vulnerable families during a time when jobs are still hard to find for lower skilled jobs. Employers like to hire H-2B workers because their visa is tied to to the company, which prevents many from complaining or unionizing when mistreated. Recently Buzzfeed did an expose on the H-2B visa and how it replaces American workers and exploits foreign workers.
The omnibus insert was sponsored by Sen. Barabara Mikulski (D-Md.) and Senator Thom Tillis (R-N.C.).
The spending bill will also fully fund the Refugee Resettlement program.
Read more on this story at The National Review.
Updated: Mon, Jul 24th 2017 @ 3:17pm EDT