The List: 17 Senate Republicans Join Democrats to Demand Joe Biden Import More Foreign Workers

GOP Sens
Sarah Silbiger/Bloomberg/Anna Moneymaker/Caroline Brehman/Mark Wilson/Shawn Thew/Greg Nash-Pool/Getty Images

A group of Senate Republicans has joined Senate Democrats to demand President Joe Biden import more H-2B foreign visa workers to take working-class, blue-collar American jobs.

On Monday, 17 Senate Republicans signed a letter with 17 Senate Democrats that urges Biden to “release the maximum allowable number of additional” H-2B foreign visa workers to inflate the labor market despite more than 12 million Americans remaining jobless, though all want full-time employment.

The senators also asked Biden to speed up the process so U.S. employers could get foreign visa workers quicker into blue-collar American jobs, often in construction, landscaping, the tourism industry, and other occupations.

“Without meaningful H-2B cap relief, many seasonal businesses will be forced to scale back operations, cancel or default on contracts, lay off full-time U.S. workers, and, in some cases, close operations completely,” the senators wrote.

The 17 Republicans who signed the letter are:

  • Kevin Cramer (R-ND)
  • Mike Rounds (R-SD)
  • Lindsey Graham (R-SC)
  • James Risch (R-ID)
  • Lisa Murkowski (R-AK)
  • Roy Blunt (R-MO)
  • Cynthia Lummis (R-WY)
  • John Cornyn (R-TX)
  • Mike Crapo (R-ID)
  • John Thune (R-SD)
  • Susan Collins (R-ME)
  • Pat Toomey (R-PA)
  • Roger Wicker (R-MS)
  • Jerry Moran (R-KS)
  • Rand Paul (R-KY)
  • John Barrasso (R-WY)
  • Tim Scott (R-SC)

The 17 Democrats who signed the letter are:

  • Angus King (I-ME)
  • Chris Coons (D-DE)
  • Michael Bennet (D-CO)
  • Robert Menendez (D-NJ)
  • Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH)
  • Raphael Warnock (D-GA)
  • Thomas Carper (D-DE)
  • Joe Manchin (D-WV)
  • Mark Warner (D-VA)
  • John Hickenlooper (D-CO)
  • Tim Kaine (D-VA)
  • Tina Smith (D-MN)
  • Amy Klobuchar (D-MN)
  • Kyrsten Sinema (D-AZ)
  • Ron Wyden (D-OR)
  • Mark Kelly (D-AZ)
  • Dianne Feinstein (D-CA)

“The White House and Congressional Democrats are hell-bent on eliminating any meaningful limits or restrictions on immigration, but Republicans still can’t unify behind doing the opposite,” RJ Hauman with the Federation for American Immigration Reform (FAIR) told Breitbart News.

“They’re great on the illegal front due to the border crisis, but why not also oppose programs that are rife with abuse, displace American workers, and depress wages? Ignore businesses reliant on cheap foreign labor and listen to voters — it’s that simple,” he said.

Meanwhile, 6.5 million Americans were unemployed in January while an additional 5.7 million were out of the labor force entirely. Another 3.7 million Americans are underemployed — that is, holding part-time jobs while wanting full-time work.

Some 408,000 jobless Americans said they do not believe there is any work available for them in the current labor market.

Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas speaks at a press briefing at the White House on September 24, 2021, in Washington, DC. (Anna Moneymaker/Getty Images)

Every year, businesses are allowed to import 66,000 H-2B foreign visa workers to take blue-collar, non-agricultural American jobs. Former President Donald Trump routinely brought in additional H-2B foreign visa workers for business to hire, and Biden is doing the same.

In December 2021 and January 2022, Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas announced that he would allow businesses to import 40,000 more H-2B foreign visa workers.

The H-2B visa program has been widely used by businesses to drag down the wages of American workers in landscaping, conservation work, the meatpacking industry, the construction industry, and fishing jobs, a 2019 study by the Center for Immigration Studies finds.

When comparing the wages of H-2B foreign workers to the national wage average for each blue-collar industry, about 21 out of 25 of the industries offered lower wages to foreign workers than Americans.

Annually, the U.S. gives green cards to about 1.2 million legal immigrants, while another 1.4 million foreign workers are admitted every year to take American jobs.

John Binder is a reporter for Breitbart News. Email him at jbinder@breitbart.com. Follow him on Twitter here

.

Please let us know if you're having issues with commenting.