Jobs Are Starting to Come Back—and the Biden Administration is Taking Steps to Ensure That American Workers Don’t Get Them, Says FAIR
22K More H-2B Visas is a “Kick in the Teeth” to American Workers
(April 20, 2021, Washington, D.C.)—We could all use a little good news these days, and an announcement today from the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) begins with some, noting that “the nation’s economy continues to reopen safely.” But for American workers displaced by the long COVID-19 crisis, that’s where the good news ends. For an administration that, in its first three months, has thrown open our borders and ended all meaningful enforcement of immigration laws, the first signs of a labor market recovery are an opportunity to make sure those jobs are filled by foreign workers instead of American workers.
DHS, in conjunction with the Department of Labor (DOL), announced that it would make 22,000 additional H-2B temporary worker visas available (in addition to 66,000 already authorized for this fiscal year) to fill lower-skill non-agricultural jobs in industries including landscaping, construction, and hospitality. These are precisely the sort of jobs desperately needed by those American workers who were hardest hit during the COVID-19 crisis.
“Today’s action by the Biden administration to increase the availability of foreign guest workers is nothing short of a kick in the teeth to the blue-collar workers President Biden claims to champion,” charged Dan Stein, president of the Federation for American Immigration Reform (FAIR). “This latest move erases all doubt that what this administration is pursuing is a radical effort to achieve unrestricted immigration – national security, public health and safety, and American workers be damned.”
Adding insult to injury, DHS touts the H-2B increase as part of an effort to address the root causes of mass migration from Central America by setting aside 6,000 of these visas for citizens of Honduras, El Salvador and Guatemala. “Having touched off a humanitarian, national security, and public health crisis at the border, and stubbornly refusing to take any meaningful steps to end it, the Biden administration is now offering up thousands of American jobs as part of its plan to discourage illegal immigration by ‘expand[ing] lawful pathways for opportunity in the United States,’” Stein said. “Under this administration it seems the only people who are not entitled to pathways for opportunity in the United States are American citizens.”
The DHS/DOL announcement includes the usual blather about requiring employers to certify that American workers are not available, with zero chance that that requirement will ever be enforced. “So now, in addition to the hundreds of thousands of migrants in search of American jobs, who have crashed our borders since President Biden took office, American workers will have to compete with an additional 22,000 foreign workers who can legally take their jobs.
“American voters turned to Joe Biden last November to unify our nation and lead us out of a historic crisis. It’s hard to imagine that chaotic borders and a wholesale giveaway of American jobs is what they had in mind,” Stein concluded.
Contact: Matthew Tragesser, 202-328-7004 or firstname.lastname@example.org