President Joe Biden is subsidizing businesses with 35,000 more foreign H-2B visa workers to hire for non-agricultural jobs in the United States, even as nearly 12 million Americans remain jobless.
On Monday, Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas announced that the administration would begin allowing businesses to hire up to 35,000 additional foreign H-2B visa workers for nonagricultural jobs in construction, hospitality, and landscaping.
“This preemptive move by Mayorkas lets seasonal employers off the hook from recruiting Americans by offering better wages and working conditions,” Robert Law with the Center for Immigration Studies wrote. “Instead, the federal government will subsidize bad business models or simply further enrich employers by giving them access to more cheap foreign workers than otherwise would be allowed.”
The administration announced months ago that they would help subsidize business by inflating the U.S. labor market even more with additional foreign H-2B visa workers to hire.
Specifically, about 23,500 of the H-2B visas will go to foreign workers who have previously come to the U.S. on the visa program, while 11,500 of the visas will go to Haitians, Guatemalans, Hondurans, and El Salvadorans.
The move comes as 5.9 million Americans are unemployed and another 5.9 million are out of the labor market entirely, but all want full-time jobs. An additional four million Americans are underemployed, holding part-time jobs but wanting full-time employment.
Every year, businesses are allowed to import 66,000 H-2B foreign visa workers to take blue-collar, non-agricultural American jobs. Former President Donald Trump routinely brought in additional H-2B foreign visa workers for business to hire, and Biden is doing the same.
The H-2B visa program has been widely used by businesses to drag down the wages of American workers in landscaping, conservation work, the meatpacking industry, the construction industry, and fishing jobs, a 2019 study by the Center for Immigration Studies finds.
When comparing the wages of H-2B foreign workers to the national wage average for each blue-collar industry, about 21 out of 25 of the industries offered lower wages to foreign workers than Americans.
Annually, the U.S. gives green cards to about 1.2 million legal immigrants, while another 1.4 million foreign workers are admitted every year to take American jobs. At the same time, hundreds of thousands of illegal aliens are added to the labor market every year, many on work permits given to them by the federal government.