‘These realities of the H-2B program, as it operates today, incentivize unscrupulous employers to hire H-2B workers instead of American workers…’
(Joshua Paladino, Liberty Headlines) Progressive Democrats, conservative Republicans, and Fox News host Laura Ingraham are all opposing President Donald Trump’s effort to expand the H-2B guest worker visa program.
Republican Sens. Chuck Grassley of Iowa and Tom Cotton of Arkansas joined with Democratic Sens. Dick Durbin of Illinois, Richard Blumenthal of Connecticut and Dianne Feinstein of California sent a letter to the Department of Homeland Security and the Department of Labor to express their concerns about H-2B growth.
“These realities of the H-2B program, as it operates today, incentivize unscrupulous employers to hire H-2B workers instead of American workers and create poor working conditions for immigrant workers and American workers alike,” the senators wrote.
“Therefore, absent significant regulatory and legislative reforms to the program, we do not believe that an increase in the number of H-2B visas is in the interests of either American workers or H-2B visa holders.”
This isn’t the first time Trump’s supporters have criticized him for importing more foreign workers to take jobs from native-born Americans.
In spring 2018, the Trump administration raised the cap on H-2B foreign workers by 30,000, for a total of 96,000—the highest in the program’s history.
At the time, the Center for Immigration Studies—a usual supporter of Trump’s immigration policies—called the decision a “betrayal” of his directive to “Buy American and Hire American.”
In an exclusive interview last week, Ingraham pressed Trump hard on the H-2B expansion.
“I hear that your team is planning on advocating more foreign workers coming in for some of these high-tech companies,” Ingraham said. “I’m very concerned about that, as are a lot of your supporters. … You ran on ‘America First.'”
Trump said radio host Mark Levin and “the great Lou Dobbs,” a Fox Business anchor, are also concerned. He explained that foreign countries want to open companies in the United States but cannot find enough workers.
“Here’s the problem,” Trump said. “They can’t get labor. We need help. Otherwise, we could just say, ‘Don’t open up any plants.'”
Ingraham challenged Trump: “If they couldn’t get labor, wages would be going up.”
“Wages are going up,” he said.
“Not in the high-tech industry,” she said. “We’re seeing a plateauing of wages.”
Watch the full discussion about the proposed H-2B expansion: