Immigration watchdog watching GOP push for more visas

Wednesday, December 5, 2018
Chad Groening (

"We are hiring" signAn immigration watchdog organization is very unhappy with a deal struck by congressional lawmakers to double the number of guest worker visas.

According to The Washington Times, a key group of lawmakers has struck a deal with two groups, the H-2B Workforce Coalition, and the Seasonal Employment Alliance, to double the number of H2B guest worker visas from 66,0000 to 132,000 annually.

A memorandum of understanding stipulates that businesses who take advantage of the program will have to submit strict checks on their workforce, including the assurance that anyone hired since 2012 and those hired going forward are in the country legally. 

Chris Chmielenski, deputy director of Numbers USA, predicts that such a drastic increase would fail to pass as a stand-alone bill.

"The way that they typically do this," he advises, "is they bury it in this giant thousand-page omnibus spending bill that not just covers the Department of Homeland Security but covers a bunch of other agencies, too."

So lawmakers won't be casting a vote directly about H2B visas, which he says would likely fail if it was attempted. 

Chmielenski is quoted in the Times story complaining that congressional staff and employers are drafting legislation that increases "cheap, foreign labor" in the U.S., when President Donald Trump won the White House on a message of supporting the pro-American worker.

"This agreement is evidence that Republicans haven't learned from their recent election losses," he told the newspaper.

The story went on to state that Sen. Chuck Grassley is "on board" after opposing the increase for two years, and Rep. Andy Harris of Maryland is pushing for the increase to help crab-picking and tourism industry in his district.

Chmielenksi tells OneNewsNow there are Americans who can do the jobs instead of foreign workers, including high school students and college students, and people who need to find work in between jobs.


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