U.S. intensifies clampdown on Nigerians, Brazilians, others with overstayed visas

U.S. intensifies clampdown on Nigerians, Brazilians, others with overstayed visas

The Trump administration promotes what it calls a "Hire American" policy and the president has repeatedly called for more limited immigration.

After some determined lobbying by the National Association of Landscape Professionals (NALP) and other proponents of the H-2B program, the Department of Homeland Security has authorized for 15,000 additional workers to be included in the 2017 cap. The cancellation earlier this year of a provision that had exempted returning workers from being included in that cap had worsened the shortage. But DHS spokesman David Lapan said the authority to allow the additional visas wasn't provided by Congress until May - at least six months later than normal.

A federal law caps the number available at 66,000 a year nationwide, but Congress gave DHS the power to authorize more, after consulting with the Labor Department and determining that companies would be significantly harmed if they weren't able to bring in foreign workers for the season.

Some 66,000 "H-2B" visas were allocated for this summer, and resorts from ME to Florida along the US east coast have complained they don't have enough.

The H-2B visas are meant for temporary non-agricultural employment.

"The fact that more than 700,000 visits were overstayed previous year shows just how much we need to step up interior enforcement to create more of a deterrent, not only by identifying and deporting overstays, but by weakening the job magnet by cracking down on employers who hire illegal workers", she said. It's a new requirement to access the visas under Trump's "America First" administration.

Many seasonal businesses and members of Congress have pleaded with Kelly to issue the visas, citing an urgent need for workers.

Since 2015, however, some returning workers were able to participate beyond the cap, increasing the number of H-2B visas issued previous year to almost 85,000, according to State Department data.

The United States needs more foreign workers to keep some American businesses from floundering, according to a decision announced by US officials Monday.

In February, Mar-a-Lago, President Trump's Florida resort, announced it would hire 64 workers under the program.

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