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Biden administration to make 22K more seasonal worker visas available

Biden administration to make 22K more seasonal worker visas available
Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas said the extra visas will allow U.S. businesses to hire seasonal summer workers. File Pool Photo by Oliver Contreras/UPI | License Photo

April 20 (UPI) -- The Biden administration announced Tuesday it's planning to make 22,000 additional non-agricultural worker visas available in the coming months, many specifically for workers from Northern Triangle countries.

The Department of Homeland Security said it's working on a temporary final rule to meet increased labor demands as U.S. businesses work to recover from the COVID-19 pandemic.

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Officials said the companies must certify there aren't enough U.S. workers available, willing and qualified to do the temporary work before seeking a foreign worker. The employers must also prove that without the H-2B temporary visas, their companies will suffer irreparable harm.

The employment of such workers also must not adversely affect wages and working conditions of American workers with similar positions.

Of the new H-2B temporary visas that will be made available, 6,000 will be set aside specifically for people from Guatemala, Honduras and El Salvador, the starting point for the majority of migrants attempting to cross the United States' southwest border over the past few years.

"The H-2B program is designed to help U.S. employers fill temporary seasonal jobs, while safeguarding the livelihoods of American workers," said Secretary of Homeland Security Alejandro Mayorkas. "This supplemental increase also demonstrates DHS's commitment to expanding lawful pathways for opportunity in the United States to individuals from the Northern Triangle."

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