Request Line: (870) 277-1080 [email protected]
Text Your Gift to KLEK1 to 44-321 LEARN MORE

Your Community Radio Station is possible thanks to this supporter!  Become an underwriter.

Cotton, Blumenthal, Durbin, and Grassley Raises Concerns Over Abuses in the H-2B Visa Program that Threaten American Workers

Written by Press Release

June 7, 2018

[email protected]“/>
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Contact: Caroline Tabler<mailto:[email protected]> or James Arnold<mailto:[email protected]> (202) 224-2353 June 7, 2018
Cotton, Blumenthal, Durbin, and Grassley Raises Concerns Over Abuses in the H-2B Visa Program that Threaten American Workers
Washington, D.C. — Senators Tom Cotton (R-Arkansas), Richard Blumenthal (D-Connecticut), Dick Durbin (D-Illinois), and Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) wrote Secretary of Homeland Security Kirstjen Nielsen and Secretary of Labor Alexander Acosta to express their concern regarding a major increase in the number of H-2B temporary nonagricultural visas issued without “improving protections for American workers and visa holders and increasing enforcement of wage and workplace safety laws.” Last week, the Departments of Labor and Homeland Security finalized the approval of an additional 15,000 H-2B visas through the end of the fiscal year – a nearly twenty-five percent increase in the number of visas issued through this program.
Although there has been job growth in the industries that typically rely on H-2B visas, wages for those jobs have stagnated or even declined. Workers who come to the United States under the H-2B visa program are also particularly vulnerable to recruitment and workplace abuse, human trafficking, and debt bondage.
“Increases in the number of H-2B visas without strengthening worker protections and enforcement of labor and employment law will only exacerbate these problems,” the Senators wrote. “We are counting on you to help us protect American workers.”
The full text of the letter is available here<mailto:https://www.blumenthal.senate.gov/imo/media/doc/05.25.18%20-%20DOL%20and%20DHS%20-%20H-2B.pdf> and copied below.
Dear Secretary Nielsen and Secretary Acosta:
We are writing to express our concern over the Department of Homeland Security’s decision last week to provide an additional 15,000 H-2B temporary nonagricultural visas without improving protections for American workers and visa holders and increasing enforcement of wage and workplace safety laws.
We understand and sympathize with the needs of employers who rely on seasonal H-2B workers when the U.S. workforce cannot meet the labor demand, but without careful management the H-2B program can put all workers at risk. H-2B workers are particularly vulnerable to recruitment and workplace abuses, as well as human trafficking and debt bondage. H-2B workers who are brought to the United States lack access to justice and effective protections against retaliation and abuse.
Moreover, studies show that wages for U.S. workers have stagnated, and there has been a significant “long-term decline in the labor force participation rate” for U.S. workers in H-2B fields. In one recent study, employers using H-2B workers were found to undercut the wages of similarly employed U.S. workers by nearly twenty-five percent. In short, a large body of evidence suggests that increasing reliance on the H-2B program as currently structured reduces wages, pushes U.S. workers out of jobs, and may, in some cases, discourage them from ever applying again.
Increases in the number of H-2B visas without strengthening worker protections and enforcement of labor and employment law will only exacerbate these problems.
Given our concerns with the H-2B program, we request that you provide a detailed written report to the Senate Judiciary Committee describing how and why you arrived at your decision to provide an additional 15,000 H-2B temporary nonagricultural worker visas.
We are counting on you to help us protect American workers. Thank you in advance for your cooperation with this request. If you have questions, please contact Sam Simon at [email protected]<mailto:[email protected]> or (202) 224-6724, or Brad Watts with Senator Grassley at (202-224-5225).
###

0 0 vote
Article Rating

Related Articles

Work by Sikkel and Colleagues Continues to Garner National Attention

11/24/2020 JONESBORO – Marine ecologist Dr. Paul Sikkel of Arkansas State University, along with his students and associates, continue to make more discoveries involving little-known marine parasites called gnathiid isopods, Read more

A-State Comeback Bid Falls Short Versus South Alabama

Blake Anderson Photo Credit: Travis Clayton | Arkansas State Brandon Bowling Photo Credit: Travis Clayton | Arkansas State Jamal Jones Photo Credit: Travis Clayton | Arkansas State Justin Rice Photo Read more

Sympathy to the family and colleagues of Dr. Ralph Ruby

11/25/2020 The university community extends sympathy to the family and colleagues of Dr. Ralph Ruby Jr., emeritus professor of computer and information technology, and especially his wife, Dr. Paula Ruby, Read more

A-State Drops Season Opener at Marshall

Story Links Next Game: at Memphis 12/2/2020 | 7:00 PM 107.9 KFIN HUNTINGTON, W.Va. (11/27/20) – After the initial season opener was canceled twice, the Arkansas State men's basketball team Read more

Comments

Subscribe
Notify of
0 Comments
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments

Your Community Radio Station is possible thanks to this supporter!  Become an underwriter.

Pin It on Pinterest