Speaker Paul Ryan successfully pushed a $1.1 trillion Cromnibus funding bill through the House that gives Barack Hussein Obama, Democrats, and corporations everything they want and more. The amount the tax and spend Republicans and Democrats in Washington, D.C. settled on doesn’t seem to phase people, but a provision in the bill to increase the number of H-2B visas from 15,000 to 66,000 annually has opened up Ryan and the rest of the corporate chattel to biting criticism.
The H-2B visa program is designed to provide corporations with another option besides hiring Americans to fill temporary/seasonal, non-agricultural blue collar jobs. The program allows corporations to bring foreigners to the U.S. to meet a temporary need for workers. In order for a corporation to gain approval to employ foreign workers under the H-2B visa program, it must establish that:
- There are not enough workers who are able, willing, qualified, and available to do the temporary work.
- Employing H-2B workers will not adversely affect the wages and working conditions of similarly employed U.S. workers.
- Its need for the prospective worker’s services or labor is temporary, regardless of whether the underlying job can be described as temporary. The employer’s need is considered temporary if it is a one-time occurrence, seasonal need, peak need, or intermittent need.
California tomato farmers in the 1960s testified that “the use of braceros [Mexican guest workers] is absolutely essential to the survival of the tomato industry.” But that labor program was ended anyway, and illegal immigrants did not immediately pick up the slack—so the farmers concluded that their investment in lobbying hadn’t paid off, and instead they invested in harvest machinery. The result: a quadrupling of production over the following 30 years, and a drop in the post-inflation retail price of tomato products.