Trump Administration's Guest Worker Boost Comes Too Late, Some Small Businesses Say

Trump Administration's Guest Worker Boost Comes Too Late, Some Small Businesses Say

In order to help US businesses at risk of suffering "irreparable harm", the Department of Homeland Security said Monday it will provide as many as 15,000 new H-2B visas this year for temporary seasonal workers.

The H-2B program is capped at 66,000 new visas annually; of that, 33,000 is reserved for workers who are hired during the first half of the fiscal year (Oct. 1 - March 31) and the remainder are for the latter half (April 1 - September 30). In May, Congress gave the Trump administration the authority to increase the number "upon determination that the needs of American businesses can not be satisfied in fiscal year 2017 with United States workers who are willing, qualified, and able to perform temporary nonagricultural labor", the bill said.

U.S. Secretary of Homeland Security John Kelly found after consulting with Labor Secretary Alexander Acosta that there were not enough qualified and willing American workers available to perform temporary nonagricultural work, the department said in a statement.

"Though we fear this gesture may be too little too late for thousands of small businesses ... the additional visas may help save some small businesses this year".

A group of US companies and groups that use the visas, called the "the H-2B Workforce Coalition", in a statement praised the "minimal relief granted..."

Holiday vacation destinations around the USA, including President Donald Trump's own Mar-a-Lago country club in Florida, depend on tens of thousands of temporary workers in the summer and winter, many of them young people from eastern Europe and Asia.

Biggest Recall in US Auto History Gets Bigger
A company spokesman said the man had taken apart the car's center console, although it's not exactly clear what he was working on. Honda says a man died in June 2016 when an inflator ruptured while he was working inside a 2001 Honda Accord using a hammer.

The department met its cap for the visa applications in March.

"We do think it fits into the "America First" focus of the administration", said one of them.

"It's not that Americans don't want work, it's that Americans don't want these jobs because they're back-breaking hard work", Bishop said. "I've hired in Florida during the prime season - you could not get help", Trump said in 2015.

Trump has previously opposed allowing guest workers in the United States, though his Mar-a-Lago resort in Palm Beach, Fla., has used H-2B seasonal employees.

Trump said he has relied on the program in the past to find workers for his golf courses and hotels. "There is no job that Americans will not do", said Senator Tom Cotton (R-Oklahoma) in a speech on the Senate floor.

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