A bipartisan group of Senators is slamming Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen for recently allowing U.S. businesses to import an additional 15,000 low-skilled foreign workers to the country.
In a letter to Nielsen on Wednesday, Sen. Tom Cotton (R-AR), Sen. Dick Durbin (D-IL), Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D-CT), and Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-IA) blasted her latest move that allows businesses to import thousands of low-skilled foreign workers to the U.S. to take blue-collar American jobs through the H-2B visa program, as Breitbart News reported.
The group of Senators wrote of their “concern” that Nielsen approved the additional H-2B foreign workers “without improving protections for American workers and visa holders and increasing enforcement of wage and workplace safety laws.”
DHS Secretary Nielsen Approves 15K Additional H-2B Foreign Workers to Take Blue-Collar U.S. Jobshttps://t.co/Ktq1W9dcW2
— John Binder 👽 (@JxhnBinder) May 25, 2018
The Senators tell Nielsen in the letter that research on the H-2B visa program, as Breitbart News has extensively reported, finds that Americans’ have had their wages depleted in blue-collar industries where H-2B foreign workers are imported to take jobs.
“In one recent study, employers using H-2B workers were found to undercut the wages of similarly employed U.S. workers by nearly twenty-five percent,” the Senators wrote in the letter to Nielsen. “In short, a large body of evidence suggests that increasing reliance on the H-2B program as currently structured reduces wages, pushes U.S. workers out of jobs, and may, in some cases, discourage them from ever applying again.”
Cotton and the other Senators are requesting that Nielsen “provide a detailed written report to the Senate Judiciary Committee describing how and why” she increased the number of low-skilled foreign workers allowed to be imported by business this year.
Sources close to Breitbart News said Nielsen — who has been allegedly blamed by Trump and his loyalists for continuing surges of illegal immigration at the southern border — is “unaware that there is plenty of opposition” to increasing the number of foreign workers allowed into the U.S.
“She should know the negative wage impact of H-2Bs,” the source told Breitbart News, noting that the program needs better management to ensure that visas go to industries that have the least ability to hire American workers.
"In one case, an H-2B worker said her employer put her and seven other women in a trailer… Meanwhile, the foreign workers’ salaries rely on the amount of crab meat they pick for the day. Sometimes, these workers are only given two days a week to work." https://t.co/Fp10UJbaeF
— John Binder 👽 (@JxhnBinder) May 14, 2018
The source explained that Nielsen allegedly met with about 30 Senators about the H-2B visa program on Wednesday evening. Another source confirmed that a meeting on Capitol Hill between Nielsen and lawmakers did take place.
The decision to bring more low-skilled foreign workers to the U.S. undermines President Trump’s “Buy American, Hire American” executive order. This is now the second consecutive year that DHS has caved to the big business lobby and allowed 15,000 foreign workers to take U.S. jobs.
Though the business community — with the help of the establishment media — has relentlessly warned of so-called “labor shortages,” wage data analyzed by the Bureau of Labor Statistics, Center for Immigration Studies (CIS), and the Economic Policy Institute crushes these claims.
For example, data has shown that wages for Americans have actually declined in the majority of H-2B visa occupations. Researchers say the H-2B visa program allows businesses to keep a steady stream of cheap, foreign workers in order to avoid raising U.S. wages and recruiting Americans for the blue-collar jobs.
John Binder is a reporter for Breitbart News. Follow him on Twitter at @JxhnBinder.