SEVERE WX : Freeze Warning - Frost Advisory View Alerts
STREAMING NOW: Watch Now

Administration announces additional 30,000 seasonal worker visas

The Trump administration is making an additional 30,000 seasonal worker visas available for 2019, according to a...

Posted: May 7, 2019 3:26 AM
Updated: May 7, 2019 3:36 AM

The Trump administration is making an additional 30,000 seasonal worker visas available for 2019, according to a joint rule published Monday by the Department of Homeland Security and Department of Labor.

The additional visas come on top of the visas already made available for the year.

The work visas, which allow employers to hire foreign workers for temporary, non-agricultural jobs, will only be available to workers who already received H-2B status in the past three fiscal years. Availability is also restricted to businesses who would "suffer irreparable harm" without the additional workers, US Citizenship and Immigration Services announced on Monday.

The increase was expected, as USCIS alerted Capitol Hill in April that it intended to make this decision and the rule would be forthcoming.

In March, a group of senators asked Homeland Security to raise the number of available visas above the 66,000 statutory annual cap. The demand for seasonal workers was "so extreme" this year that the Labor Department's website almost crashed, according to a letter sent to then-Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen.

"The continued tightening of the labor market warrants this increase," wrote the senators, who argued that that many areas of the country lack a working-age population to fill the demand for seasonal jobs.

The business community has also advocated for additional seasonal visas.

In March, the US Chamber of Commerce urged the administration to take "immediate action" to authorize the maximum number of H-2B visas allowed by law.

"Without swift action on your part, employers across a range of industries, many of which are small businesses, will be unable to meet their workforce needs in the spring and summer months forcing them to reduce -- and in some cases, cease -- operations," wrote Executive Vice President Neil Bradley in a letter to Homeland Security and Labor leadership.

However, advocates of a tight immigration policy have said these visas depress wages and prevents American workers from getting jobs.

H-2B visas are also the type of visas that Trump's Mar-a-Lago resort has sought. In July, CNN reported that the Florida resort requested 61 H-2B visas for servers and cooks.

Acting Homeland Security Secretary Kevin McAleenan said lawmakers should set the cap to the specific level, so that the executive branch does not have to make the decision each year.

"The truth is that Congress is in the best position to establish the appropriate number of H-2B visas that American businesses should be allocated without harming U.S. workers," McAleenan said in a statement.

The increase of up to 30,000 additional workers is higher than previous years, according to DHS.

Oregon Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 324571

Reported Deaths: 3709
CountyCasesDeaths
Multnomah52543645
Washington35987280
Marion33757401
Clackamas27506277
Lane24978256
Jackson21483271
Deschutes17521104
Umatilla13107129
Linn1105390
Douglas11044207
Josephine8843175
Yamhill7781102
Klamath669695
Polk644272
Malheur498769
Benton479530
Coos439772
Columbia339039
Jefferson329748
Union287738
Lincoln286830
Wasco250139
Clatsop226026
Crook224939
Tillamook186123
Baker183124
Morrow171221
Curry169217
Hood River167235
Harney90518
Grant8899
Lake7518
Wallowa55812
Gilliam1404
Sherman1333
Wheeler651
Unassigned00

California Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 4698504

Reported Deaths: 68767
CountyCasesDeaths
Los Angeles145515526035
Riverside3618524864
San Diego3547324054
San Bernardino3504055545
Orange3179985409
Sacramento1526762142
Santa Clara1418101852
Fresno1383231939
Kern1378841540
Alameda1173871328
San Joaquin990131633
Ventura986241138
Contra Costa96871924
Stanislaus820391262
Tulare74793904
San Mateo52770612
San Francisco52580622
Monterey49872571
Solano44658314
Santa Barbara43571505
Merced40058548
Sonoma39799384
Placer37312370
Imperial34644756
Kings30713293
San Luis Obispo28759319
Madera22239263
Butte22019238
Shasta21684291
Santa Cruz20334214
Yolo19462239
Marin17258242
El Dorado16291132
Sutter13297155
Napa1242695
Yuba945564
Nevada863985
Tehama856088
Humboldt851494
San Benito716170
Mendocino708182
Lassen660127
Tuolumne630193
Lake620295
Amador505559
Glenn411330
Siskiyou410442
Calaveras355570
Del Norte348237
Colusa294418
Inyo171339
Mono15295
Plumas12976
Mariposa106213
Trinity75810
Modoc6288
Sierra1980
Unassigned1430
Alpine1010
Out of CA00
Medford
Mostly Cloudy
63° wxIcon
Hi: 60° Lo: 43°
Feels Like: 63°
Brookings
Cloudy
60° wxIcon
Hi: 62° Lo: 47°
Feels Like: 60°
Crater Lake
Mostly Cloudy
64° wxIcon
Hi: 37° Lo: 26°
Feels Like: 64°
Grants Pass
Cloudy
64° wxIcon
Hi: 62° Lo: 45°
Feels Like: 64°
Klamath Falls
Partly Cloudy
52° wxIcon
Hi: 50° Lo: 35°
Feels Like: 52°
Very cold overnight, sunshine and warmer temperatures return Wednesday
KDRV Radar
KDRV Fire Danger
KDRV Weather Cam

Community Events