Facing 30 percent unemployment, we’re importing more foreign workers. Why?

Article author: 
Mark Krikorian
Article publisher: 
American Greatness
Article date: 
7 April 2020
Article category: 
National News
Article Body: 

With 10 million unemployment claims just in the past two weeks and a jobless rate that could reach 32 percent, the Trump Administration is continuing the trend of increasing importation of foreign workers, whose numbers have doubled over the past decade.


The State Department has waived the interview requirement for H-2A visa farmworkers to speed their arrival, while the Department of Homeland Security is going ahead with a lottery for H-1B cheap-labor visas for tech firms and possibly increasing the number of H-2B nonfarm seasonal workers (for landscaping, hotels, carnivals, etc.)

This last is perhaps the most unreal. Following its recent practice, Congress responded to pressure from industry lobbyists to increase the number of H-2B visas by passing the buck to DHS, authorizing—but not requiring—it to increase the number. The administration decided on the largest-ever increase—35,000 additional visas—in the long-ago days of 3 percent unemployment (i.e., March 5).

Rather than retract that increase under today’s radically changed circumstances, DHS last week formally submitted the order for the increase to the White House and was expected to start doling out the visas this week.

But a blistering monologue by Tucker Carlson on Wednesday seems to have given the administration pause. DHS tweeted Thursday that “DHS’s rule on the H-2B cap is on hold pending review due to present economic circumstances. No additional H-2B visas will be released until further notice.” The increase should never have been submitted and should simply be canceled—the only “review” that’s needed is a review of the news headlines—but this is better than nothing....

Before the current economic meltdown, employer complaints about worker quality were not entirely without merit. It’s not that foreign workers are generally better than Americans. But when unemployment was at 3 percent, visa workers (and illegals) might well have been better workers than the Americans who didn’t already have jobs....

The administration (and this decision was made at the White House, not by some low-level bureaucrat) could simply have told Congress that it would not exercise the option of increasing the cap....

Even if the above-mentioned increase is actually canceled, the H-2B program is still set to import its base level of 66,000 foreign workers this year....