Posted on June 16, 2024

House Republicans, Democrats Unite to Import More Foreign Workers for Blue-Collar U.S. Jobs

John Binder, Breitbart, June 13, 2024

Republicans and Democrats on the House Appropriations Committee are banding together to ensure businesses can import the maximum amount of H-2B foreign visa workers to the United States to take blue-collar jobs in construction, landscaping, and other industries.

Already, businesses are allowed to import 66,000 H-2B foreign visa workers to take blue-collar, nonagricultural American jobs annually. Congress has long allowed, but not mandated, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and Labor Department to allow businesses to import an additional 65,000 H-2B foreign visa workers.

As Breitbart News has chronicled for years, the H-2B visa program is fraught with abuse.

An amendment from Rep. Andy Harris (R-MD), backed by Republicans and Democrats on the House Appropriations Committee, would require DHS and the Labor Department to issue those additional 65,000 H-2B visas on top of the 66,000 allotted annually to businesses.

Reps. Mark Amodei (R-NV), Lauren Underwood (D-IL), Henry Cuellar (D-TX), Marcy Kaptur (D-OH), and Chellie Pingree (D-ME) all spoke in favor of Harris’s amendment. Underwood, in particular, said she supported requiring the federal government to import more H-2B foreign visa workers while admitting the program is often used as a low-wage scheme where businesses can cut costs.

Rep. Mark Pocan (D-WI) raised issues with the H-2B visa program, noting that “from 2000 to 2021, 225,000 cases were investigated by the Labor Department in the seven major H-2B industries and violations were found in 80 percent of those cases.”