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Senate Minority Whip John Thune (R-SD) is joining Democrats, as well as the big business lobby, in asking President Joe Biden for more legal immigration to the United States to fill American jobs.
Even as the nation’s foreign-born population has hit record highs, Thune says the Biden administration is not importing enough H-2B foreign visa workers to fill blue-collar seasonal jobs in the U.S.
Sinclair Broadcast Group reports:
Senate Minority Whip John Thune, R-S.D., said he’s constantly hearing complaints from employers in his state who can’t find workers. He said he’d welcome more legal immigration. [Emphasis added]
“I think there’s H-2Bs, for example, this time of the year. We need lots of them in South Dakota and we can never get enough from the administration,” Thune said. [Emphasis added]
H-2Bs are visas that allow American employers to bring foreign nationals into the country for temporary nonagricultural jobs. Sen. Ben Cardin, D-Md., said his state needs more, too. [Emphasis added]
Already, in May, Biden’s Department of Homeland Security (DHS) announced they would subsidize businesses by importing an additional 35,000 H-2B foreign visa workers to take U.S. blue-collar jobs.
Thune’s request for even more foreign workers comes as the latest Center for Immigration Studies (CIS) research reveals that there are more than 54 million Americans of working age who are no longer in the workforce.
Specifically, the share of non-college-educated American adults of working age in the workforce has dropped to 70 percent in the first quarter of 2022 — down from 74 percent in 2007 and 77 percent in the year 2000.
The same is true among working-class American men, born in the U.S., of working age.
In the first quarter of 2022, only 84 percent of non-college-educated American men from 25 to 54 years old were in the workforce compared to nearly 90 percent in 2000.
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, 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 CIS 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 out green cards to about 1.2 million foreign nationals while another 1.5 million are awarded temporary work visas. Millions more, every few years, arrive illegally in the U.S.