Trump Administration Increases H2-B Visas and Discusses DACA Solution

The Trump Administration recently announced that it will make an additional 35,000 non-ag guest-worker visas available this year in order to help seasonal American businesses with anticipated workforce shortages in the coming months. This is a step in the right direction and an acknowledgment of the need for sensible immigration policy to help abate workforce shortages.  

According to DHS, 10,000 of the H2-B visas will be designated to nationals of Guatemala, El Salvador, and Honduras in an effort to deter illegal immigration by increasing access to legal immigration. Migrants from these Northern Triangle countries made up a majority of asylum seekers crossing the border illegally last year.

This news comes as an outstanding jobs report revealed total non-farm related employment grew by 273,000 in February while US unemployment remained at a very low 3.5%.

However, employers in industries that work year-round in Texas like construction, manufacturing, and hospitality are still struggling to find American workers who are available to fill the many open jobs in their industries. These industries also contain a large number of undocumented workers.

It makes no sense to deport workers when employers are already short-staffed. However, it is important that we enforce the law and make sure everyone is playing by the same set of rules. The solution is to create a conditional method for undocumented workers to earn their legal status and require that they work for employers who deduct and match taxes.  

Meanwhile, Jared Kushner, President Trump’s son-in-law, has been reviewing a draft of an immigration plan focused on border security and merit-based immigration with Republican lawmakers, and they are considering coupling it with legislation to protect DACA recipients from deportation.

In a meeting with President Trump, Kushner, and Republican lawmakers last Thursday, there was a debate on whether they should proceed with negotiations on a bill to protect DACA recipients before or after an upcoming Supreme Court decision that could strike down the DACA program.

Lawmakers should be proactive on DACA. There is no doubt that this will be a key issue during the upcoming elections. The party that chooses to lead on legislation to improve border security and protect DACA recipients will present themselves to voters as sensible on immigration!

Please continue to contact your lawmakers and ask them to work on passing sensible immigration policy.

God bless you, and may He continue to bless America.


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