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Biden approves more seasonal worker visas

President Joe Biden in the Oval Office on Tuesday Associated Press/ Photo by Evan Vucci

Biden approves more seasonal worker visas

Last year, President Donald Trump approved an additional 35,000 H-2B visas for seasonal employees to work in the United States, but he halted the entire program three months later to protect U.S. jobs during the pandemic. On Tuesday, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) said American employers can hire an additional 22,000 foreign workers for seasonal, nonagricultural jobs this year. Congress set the annual limit of H-2B visas at 66,000, but DHS cited the economic recovery from the pandemic and the lowest unemployment numbers in a year to justify the increase. The United States will reserve 6,000 of the visas for people from Central America’s Northern Triangle with the goal of “expanding legal pathways” for people from nations whose migrants have flooded the U.S. southern border, Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas said.

What kinds of jobs would these immigrants fill? The visas allow people to work in landscaping, construction, hotels, restaurants, and amusement parks, among other things. To qualify, employers must attempt to recruit Americans first and demonstrate that they will likely suffer “irreparable harm” without the foreign workers.

Dig deeper: Read Harvest Prude’s report in The Stew on Trump’s halt on admissions of immigrant workers.

Charissa Koh

Charissa is a WORLD reporter who often writes about poverty-fighting and criminal justice. She resides with her family in Atlanta.


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