Bipartisan Coalition of Senators Call on Trump to Reject Boosting Cheap-Labor Visa Programs

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.