President Joe Biden’s administration is giving businesses 22,000 more foreign H-2B visa workers to hire for working class jobs, even as nearly 17 million Americans remain jobless.
In an announcement on Tuesday, Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas said he has approved 22,000 foreign H-2B visa workers for businesses to hire to take non-agricultural jobs in the United States. About 6,000 of the H-2B visas will go to nationals in Honduras, El Salvador, and Guatemala.
Businesses will be allowed to hire foreign H-2B visa workers who are already in the U.S.
“During recent engagement with American businesses that rely on the H-2B program during the summer months, employers expressed an immediate need for supplemental, temporary guest workers for this fiscal year,” a DHS news release reads.
Despite the claims of labor shortages, about 16.6 million Americans remain jobless today. Of the roughly 9.7 million Americans classified as unemployed, 13 percent are teenagers looking for entry-level jobs, 9.6 percent are black Americans, 7.9 percent are Hispanic, six percent are Asian Americans, and 5.4 percent are white Americans.
Roughly 6.9 million Americans are out of the labor force entirely, but all want full-time employment. Another 5.8 million Americans are underemployed, working part-time jobs but wanting full-time employment.
In the fields in which working class Americans are forced to compete with foreign H-2B visa workers, unemployment rates remain high:
- Construction unemployment rate: 8.6 percent
- Hospitality industry unemployment rate: 19.9 percent
- Restaurant industry unemployment rate: 11.8 percent
- Food processing unemployment rate: 7.9 percent
Federation for American Immigration Reform (FAIR) President Dan Stein called the move to inflate the U.S. labor supply while millions of Americans are struggling to find work a “wholesale giveaway of American jobs,” in a statement.
“This latest move erases all doubt that what this administration is pursuing is a radical effort to achieve unrestricted immigration — national security, public health and safety, and American workers be damned,” Stein said:
American voters turned to Joe Biden last November to unify our nation and lead us out of a historic crisis. It’s hard to imagine that chaotic borders and a wholesale giveaway of American jobs is what they had in mind.
Every year, businesses are allowed to import 66,000 foreign H-2B visa workers to take blue-collar, non-agricultural jobs in the U.S. The Trump administration routinely brought in additional foreign H-2B visa workers for whom business could hire.
The H-2B visa program has been widely used by businesses to drag down the wages of American workers in landscaping, conservation work, the meatpacking industry, the construction industry, and fishing jobs, a 2019 study from the Center for Immigration Studies finds.
When comparing the wages of H-2B foreign workers to the national wage average for each blue-collar industry, about 21 out of 25 of the industries offered lower wages to foreign workers than Americans.
In the construction industry, wage suppression is significant, with H-2B foreign workers being offered more than 20 percent less than their American counterparts. In the fishing industry, foreign workers were offered more than 30 percent less for their jobs than Americans in the field. In the meatpacking industry, foreign workers get 23 percent less pay than Americans.
Annually, the U.S. admits about 1.2 million legal immigrants on green cards to permanently resettle in the country. In addition, another 1.4 million foreign workers are admitted every year to take American jobs.
John Binder is a reporter for Breitbart News. Email him at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter here.