Trump administration improves integrity of work visa program for foreigners

Press release by DHS: 05 Mar 2020
Worldwide News: The Department of Homeland Security made an announcement of taking necessary measures on abuse and anti-fraud in order to implement safe protection of integrity of the H-2B visa program and also make 35,000 visas available for supplemental H-2B temporary non-agricultural worker for the second half of fiscal year (FY) 2020. The allocation also comes with new conditions to protect American workers, provide relief to seasonal employers who truly need it, and reduce the culture of fraudulence and abuse in the program.

New to the program this year is an allocation that will also complement DHS border security initiatives. The program will enrich the nationals of key Central American partner nations in an opportunity to work lawfully in the United States. Of the released H-2B visas, 10,000 are specifically designated for nationals of Guatemala, El Salvador, and Honduras, in support of these countries efforts to work with the U.S. to stem the flow of illegal migration in the region and encourage lawful migration to the United States.

While the Department is taking this action, long term reforms need to be made by Congress to this program going forward. Reforms measures in this regard include; requiring matching start dates on an H-2B petition and the employer’s start date of need, collaborating with the Department of Labor on increased employer site visits; and,
generally limiting the supplemental visas to return workers, who are known to follow immigration law in good faith. In the interim, the Department is taking significant steps to promote integrity in the program, combat fraud and abuse, and ensure the supplemental allocation aligns with the national interest.

The supplemental visas come in two batches preventing a small handful of employers from using all the visas in which 20,000 in April 1 and 15,000 in May 15 will come available. Adding a second batch will address specific congressional concerns about late-season filers.

DHS assures about their lawfully implemented immigration system and safe protection for American workers. In case of any complaint made against a participant– abusing the program, DHA invites the members of the public to submit information to https://www.uscis.gov/report-fraud/uscis-tip-form and include information identifying the H-2B petitioning employer and relevant information that leads them to believe that the H-2B petitioning employer is abusing the H-2B program. Individuals are also encouraged to report allegations of employer fraud and abuse to the Department of Labor’s (DOL) Wage and Hour Division by contacting 1-866-487-9243 or visit www.dol.gov/whd to locate the nearest office for assistance.

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