(Chris Parker, Headline USA) As immigration, both legal and illegal, in the US nears historic highs, Senate Minority Whip John Thune, R-S.D., joined Democrats in asking President Biden to increase the number of H-2B visa workers.
The request comes at a time when millions of American citizens are unemployed and the economy shows signs of weakening. Thune claims that his constituents can’t find enough workers for their businesses, reported Breitbart.
“We need lots of them in South Dakota and we can never get enough from the administration,” he said during a press conference.
The Biden administration announced its support for about 35,000 H-2B visa workers in May. Most of those immigrants are expected to take blue collar jobs.
The H-2B program has faced criticism for its impact on American workers. Immigrants often accept lower wages in exchange for working in the US. Nearly 90% of industries pay lower wages to immigrants, according to recent data. That lowers the average for overall wages that employers are willing to pay.
It also leads to displacement for American workers. They must often relocate to find suitable work to provide for their families.
While Thune’s home state of South Dakota boasts a low unemployment rate, there are still over 10,000 unemployed workers. There are nearly 6 million in the US. However, there are over 54 million American citizens of working age who are no longer in the workforce.
In April, the foreign-born population reached a record high of 47 million under Biden’s presidency, and about 145,000 foreign-born residents continue to move to the US.