Many conservatives have contended for years that more Americans would have jobs and provide for their families if there weren’t as many illegal aliens and foreign workers here on H-2B visas. However, liberals argue that illegals only take jobs that Americans won’t work at and they argue that there is a need for skilled foreign workers to take jobs in areas where there aren’t enough properly trained American workers to fill them.
In 2011, Alabama passed some strict immigration laws that caused thousands of illegals to flee the state. Liberals argued that this would cause unemployment to rise and that millions of dollars of crops would rot in the fields with no one to work in the field to harvest them. However, only 2 months after Alabama’s strict immigration laws went into effect, the state’s unemployment rate didn’t rise. In fact, the unemployment rate fell by 1.1%. Not only that, but miraculously, crops were not left rotting in the fields.
Then there is the H-1B visa program that allows employers to hire foreign nationals for specialty jobs they are unable to fill with qualified Americans. However, over the past decade, many businesses regularly hired H1-B visa workers to replace American workers because they work for lower pay. In a number of instances, especially in Silicon Valley, employers abused the H-1B visa program to take jobs away from qualified Americans and give them to foreigners. Hopefully, the Trump administration will clamp down on businesses who abuse the H-1B visa program.
The H-1B visa program has a cap of only 85,000 visas and that cap was reached in just 4 days this year. Last fiscal year, the government received 236,000 applications for H-1B visas.
Then there is the H-2B visa program. This visa program allows businesses to bring in foreign nationals to fill NON-agricultural jobs. These positions are temporary only, not permanent, but many businesses use the H-2B visa program to hire illegals.
Like the H-1B, visa program, the H-2B visa program has a cap of how many foreigners are hired. The current cap is 66,000, which is divided into 33,000 for each half of every fiscal year. There are a few exemptions to the H-2B visa program, but for the most part, only 66,000 visas are issued annually.
It seems that this year’s quota of H-2B visas have been handed out and still there seems to be a shortage of workers available in some places in the country. One of those locations is Bar Harbor, Maine.
Bar Harbor is an island town of about 5,500 people. Located on Mount Desert Island, off the Atlantic coast, about 70 miles southwest of the Canadian border. The town is a popular summer vacation spot and its economy thrives on the tourist and vacation season to help them through the long cold winters.
However, the town has run into a crisis this summer season. It sees that there is a shortage of H-2B visa workers to fill the seasonal jobs working in hotels, restaurants and tour boats. The businesses in the town desperately need to cater to the summer seasonal tourists and vacationers, so they are forced to resort to doing something unthinkable – hire American workers.
The Bar Harbor Chamber of Commerce is holding a job fair to hopefully recruit enough local American workers to fill the jobs normally given to foreign nationals. Who in their right mind would ever consider the idea of actually hiring American workers to fill jobs here in America?
It makes me wonder how many thousands of Americans, such as high school and college students, would love to take these temporary summer jobs?
It’s time the Trump administration revisits both the H-1B and H-2B visa programs and consider adding further restrictions to the programs so that more Americans can fill the jobs, instead of giving them to foreign nationals.