Will She or Won’t She Throw American Workers Under the Bus?



Will the Trump administration stand by its pledge to protect U.S. workers and remake immigration in the national interest, or won’t it?

Department of Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen is set to announce her decision (yes, her decision) about yet ANOTHER increase in low-skilled, H-2B visas.  The annual cap of 66,000 visas, approved by Congress, has already been reached, and big business is screaming for cheaper, exploitable foreign workers.  Last year, then-DHS Secretary John Kelly increased the cap by 15,000 visas, calling it a “one-time increase.”  So, Secretary Nielsen, what will it be?  Here are a few things people should be aware of regarding this little known-visa category.

Here are the four top reasons why an H-2B increase is a really bad idea:

  1. These visas are for jobs that Americans won’t do:   H-2B visas are for low-skilled jobs that have always been filled by Americans and legal immigrant workers, including such jobs as housekeepers, landscapers and hotel workers.

 

  1. The unemployment rate is so low that we need to import low-skilled workers:   The national unemployment rate might be 4.1 percent, but according to data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the unemployment rate in the construction industry is much higher.  For average construction workers it’s 9.7 percent, 8.9 percent in building and grounds cleaning/ maintenance, and 11.3 percent for farming, fishing, and forestry occupations.

 

  1. All U.S. workers willing to do these jobs are already employed:   Recent data from BLS shows that more than 50 percent of working age Americans without a high school degree are not in the labor force. The number of unemployed workers 25 and older, with a high school degree or less, totaled more than 2 million  in 2017.

 

  1. H-2B workers are allowed to bring their spouses and minor children, too: Instead of bidding up wages by a few dollars an hour if they can’t find a U.S. worker, this program allows employers to seek workers from abroad, thus cutting their wage costs overall. And when these workers plop their kids into the local school system – at an average cost well in excess of $ 10,000 per year – local taxpayers, not the business owner who imported the worker, get hit with the bill.

 

The bottom line:  If employers can search for these “much needed” workers abroad, then they can search a little harder for them here.  Or maybe bid up wages a skosh.  Those workers are here, these are jobs that Americans are doing every day, and there are plenty of unemployed workers who want to work.

So, whose side will you come down on, Secretary Nielsen?

About Author

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Dave rejoined the Federation for American Immigration Reform (FAIR) in 2016 and brings more than thirty years of proactive communications experience working with non-profits, trade associations and the private sector. Dave has written and placed op-eds in more than 100 publications for national and state leaders in fields ranging from immigration to agriculture policy, food and energy. Ray has served as a chief spokesman for several national organizations and has extensive radio and television experience as well.

7 Comments

  1. avatar
    Lori Whitten on

    If these employers COULD find US workers why would they opt for the uncertainty of a broken program. What area are you in. I will set you up for “a day in the life” of a seasonal employer. Get actual experience before you decide these employers and their and US workforce is expandable.

    • avatar

      How about hotels that charge 500 dollars and more for an ordinary room and then complain they can’t find help because they don’t want to pay anything that the workers can live on. How about women who want to be home when their kids get home from school? Pay them enough and they will come in and work 6 hours making up rooms. It’s like all the tech companies like Facebook that are rich beyond imagination but don’t want to pay decent money to Americans who have the same or better skills than foreigners, but the foreigners are cheaper. Nearly half of Americans with STEM degrees do not work in a STEM field. Disney fired hundreds of American tech workers and forced them to train their cheaper foreign replacements or they didn’t get a severance package.

  2. avatar

    Guess what dummies. If H-2B employers go under because they don’t have a base of contract help that supports US jobs that Americans will do, then you can add the company owner and all his staff to that unemployment pool. Are you willing to hire them? Are you willing to pay for their unemployment benefits? Then shut your crying pie hole. Sound like a bunch of whining liberals.

    • avatar

      If a business can’t afford to pay workers then they have no business being in business. As far as “unemployment benefits” those are paid for a limited time and then the person has to get another job. If the job market tightens, by reducing immigration at all levels, workers benefit by having business compete for their services.

      And as pointed out, many of these low wage workers that business wants will bring their families with them. Three kids or more in school at ten thousand apiece per year? No thanks, better to pay a few dollars in unemployment benefits temporarily. Plus a lot of these workers will send a lot of their money to their home countries where it is lost to our local economies. Sorry. Swing and a big big miss. Take a math class.

  3. avatar

    the reason why the SWAMP KEEPER brought this woman into his corrupt admin was because of her long history for OPEN BORDERS TO KEEP WAGES DEPRESSED.

    and how’s the wall coming along?????

  4. avatar

    TRUMP’S SECRET AMNESTY, WIDER OPEN BORDERS DOCTRINE TO KEEP WAGES DEPRESSED.

    “During the same month that Schlafly had backed Trump for his “America First”

    agenda, Nielsen’s committee released an ideologically-globalist report, promoting

    the European migrant crisis as a win for big business who would profit greatly

    from a never-ending stream of cheap, foreign migrants.”

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