The Department of Homeland Security announced Friday it dramatically increased the H-2b visa cap.
DHS added 30,000 H-2b visas to the current cap, which now sits at 96,000. H-2b visas cover non-agriculture blue collar jobs such as landscaping and hotel work. It hurts the working class and allows businesses to obtain foreign workers for wages Americans would never accept. [Latest Trump H-2B Increase Again Betrays American Workers, by Preston Huennekens, Center for Immigration Studies, March 29, 2019]
The budget deal that President Trump signed in February would have allowed the administration to increase the visa cap to 135,000. Guess we are fortunate this wasn’t done. The move was praised by Democratic New Hampshire Sen. Jeanne Shaheen, who urged DHS to move quickly to give businesses the cheap labor they desire. [DHS to double seasonal guest worker increase, by Stephen Dinan, The Washington Times, March 29, 2019]
In typical Trump administration fashion, DHS pointed to Congress as the responsible party for this increase. “The truth is that Congress is in the best position to know the appropriate number of H-2B visas that American businesses should be allocated without harming U.S. workers,” DHS spokeswoman Andrea Palermo told The Washington Times.
This is awfully similar to how Trump and his administration officials blame Congress for the border crisis and other immigration woes. It’s particularly rich here because DHS increased the visa cap, not Congress.
The visa cap increase is important for two big reasons. One, it’s a reversal of Trump’s past policy on this issue. Remember when Trump signed an executive order urging businesses to “Buy American and Hire American”? That was two years ago. Now Trump wants to businesses to hire foreign because they tell him they can’t find American workers. Yeah, right.
That 2017 executive order was supposed to instruct government agencies, such as DHS, to promote policies that would protect American workers. The visa cap increase violates that promise.
The other reason to take careful note of the cap increase is that it possibly foreshadows what will be in Trump’s upcoming immigration bill. Jared Kushner is still in talks with business leaders and cheap labor advocates to hash out an immigration plan. That plan will likely call for an increase in guest worker visas and possibly visas overall. DHS’s announcement shows an administration that is committed to increasing immigration to satisfy corporate demands--American workers be damned.
The new visa cap increase wouldn’t be so bad if America didn’t have birthright citizenship. These foreign workers can have their children here and instantly those kids will be citizens, giving their parents a foot in the door. Trump has wanted to eliminate birthright citizenship, but it appears he has forgotten this proposal under Kushner administered government.
It’s time some Fox News hosts remind the president of his old “Buy American and Hire American” promise.