A bipartisan coalition of senators sent a letter to DHS Secretary Chad Wolf on Wednesday, urging him to reject a potential increase in cheap-labor H-2B visas given away by the federal government.
Corporate special interests are known for fierce lobbying efforts in favor of increasing annual H-2B work visa levels. Many major agricultural employers rely on a constant supply of foreign labor to keep their businesses running, and steadfastly refuse to increase wages to levels that would make them more likely to attract American workers.
The bipartisan group of senators expressed their concerns on “harmful impact that the program has on both American workers and foreign guest workers.”
Senators Tom Cotton and Chuck Grassley, Republicans, and Dick Durbin, Richard Blumenthal, and Dianne Feinstein, Democrats, authored the letter.
In an ironic twist, President Trump’s current DHS Secretary, Chad Wolf, has an extensive history as a corporate lobbyist seeking to increase annual work visa levels to benefit America’s biggest corporations at the detriment of workers.
The H2-B visa differs from the equally corrupt H1-B program in its form of recipients. H2B workers are usually seasonal workers, who work on fields such as agriculture and hospitality. Such workers with temporary legal status are often totally powerless to negotiate the circumstances of their working conditions with their employers, making the program not much different than the historical practice of indentured servitude.
“These realities of the H-2B program, as it operates today, incentivize unscrupulous employers to hire H-2B workers instead of American workers and create poor working conditions for immigrant workers and American workers alike,” states the senators’ letter. “Therefore, absent significant regulatory and legislative reforms to the program, we do not believe that an increase in the number of H-2B visas is in the interests of either American workers or H-2B visa holders.”
Visa giveaway programs to provide dubious corporations with cheap employees definitely aren’t an America First policy, and it’s highly questionable that scrupulous bureaucrats such as Wolf are promoting them within the Trump administration.
Trucking Industry Leaders Expect Biden’s Policies to Crush Small Trucking Companies
Biden will make trucking harder for the little guy.
Trucking industry experts expect Joe Biden’s presidency to seriously jeopardize many small American trucking companies, and the prospects of truck drivers who work as independent contractors.
Biden is poised to sign a transportation law passed in the Democratic House and stalled in the then-Republican Senate in 2019. The Moving Forward Act had required commercial motor vehicles to maintain more than $2 million in insurance liability, more than doubling the existing $750,000.
It’s possible that an updated Democratic transportation law will be even stricter on truck drivers, requiring insurance liability of as much as $4 million. Democrats’ longstanding allegiance to trial lawyers is a critical element in the insurance push, enabling lawyers to secure more lucrative judgements through suing truck drivers.
Bigger trucking companies can easily afford such a liability, but small companies cannot, lacking the sums of cash on hand to afford insurance protections for a small set of drivers. Globalist corporations such as Amazon and Walmart have increasingly sought to corner more of the trucking market share, in many cases eroding wages, healthcare protections and safety regulations.
The buffed barrier to entry will ultimately result in big corporations seizing even more of the trucking market share.
Fuel prices are also set to skyrocket as Biden cracks down on domestic fossil fuel production, already pledging to cancel construction of the Keystone XL pipeline. Biden will also ban new fracking operations, despite making a misleading claim that he wasn’t going to ban the industry.
“It’s a very dark day for small business in general, not just for trucking,” David Owen, president of the National Association of Small Trucking Companies (NASTC) told Transportation Nation Network of the situation. “I’m pretty discouraged. I don’t know how anybody can think an anti-capitalist agenda can be good for transportation.”
Truck drivers have been critical to providing food and material necessities to the nation during the coronavirus pandemic, but increasingly the diverse and blue-collar demographic feels disrespected and ignored by the political elite. Truckers across the country staged the first ‘Stop the Tires’ protest in November, halting the transport of non-essential goods to draw attention to Biden’s threat to the industry and its workers.
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