Congress earlier this year had authorized the DHS to offer up to 64,000 more H2B visas, but it was up Homeland Security secretary John Kelly to decide exactly how many to grant.
Resorts, hotels, restaurants and other service-sector businesses say they depend on the foreign workers because it is harder to recruit young Americans for the jobs paying $10-$15 an hour for up to four months in the summer.
The Trump administration has approved a rule allowing 15,000 additional temporary foreign workers to receive visas for seasonal work in the United States, the Department of Homeland Security announced Monday.
Jessica Vaughan, policy studies director at the Centre for Immigration Studies, said those kinds of rates should force a rethink at the State Department, which issues visas, and should spur immigration officials to put more effort into deterring and deporting overstays in the U.S.
Congress in May struck a bipartisan deal to potentially make available an additional 70,000 visas available. The businesses are also required to have documents that would prove their need, though they do not have to submit them along with their petition to receive the additional visas.
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"As a demonstration of the administration's commitment to supporting American businesses, DHS is providing this one-time increase to the congressionally set annual cap".
DHS said the government has created a new tip line to report any abuse of the visas or employer violations.
Businesses that take advantage of the H-2b visa program have to attest under oath that they will suffer irreparable harm if they can't get the temporary foreign workers. "We do think that fits into the American-first focus of the administration".
DHS made a decision to increase the amount of H-2B visas allowed after consulting with the Department of Labor, and was given the authority to do so in the omnibus spending bill that Congress recently approved.