Published: Mon, July 17, 2017
Business | By Max Garcia

USA intensifies clampdown on Nigerians, Brazilians, others with overstayed visas

USA intensifies clampdown on Nigerians, Brazilians, others with overstayed visas

The Department of Homeland Security announced Monday it would expand the number of temporary visas granted this year for workers in seasonal non-agricultural industries like tourism.

And while President Donald Trump has touted a "Hire American" mantra, he's also defended the use of H-2B visas at places like his Mar-a-Lago resort in Florida.

Companies seeking to hire additional temporary foreign workers will need to submit a document under penalty of perjury that shows they would suffer irreparable harm without the additional help.

Some 66,000 "H-2B" visas were allocated for this summer, and resorts from ME to Florida along the U.S. east coast have complained they don´t have enough. It's a new requirement to access the visas under Trump's "America First" administration. Hoteliers in ME, for instance, say they are barely functioning in what should be peak season. "It's still going to be weeks before any of the workers who are available can make it here".

The government hit its cap for H-2B visas in mid-March, which many businesses said left them unable to staff up for the summer.

DHS Secretary John Kelly filed the required paperwork with the Federal Register to increase the number of H-2B visas for fiscal year 2017 after meeting with Secretary of Labor Alexander Acosta, who said there weren't enough US workers to satisfy the needs of businesses across the country. This is about American jobs, ' " Kelly said.

Indications have emerged that a crackdown on visitors with visa overstays is imminent in the United States of America with Nigeria, Brazil, Venezuela, China and Colombia listed as countries with the most total overstays that do not participate in the visa waiver programme.

Some employers have complained that relief on the issue was coming too late into the summer, given the two months it took DHS to take action on increasing the visa cap.

"As a demonstration of the administration's commitment to supporting American businesses, DHS is providing this one-time increase to the congressionally set annual cap", Kelly said in a statement. Roy Beck, president of the organization, said Monday that the increase could "reverse the trend of reports emerging around the country of employers working harder and raising pay to successfully recruit more unemployed Americans for lower-skilled jobs".

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