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DHS Releases Additional 20000 Visas for Exploitative Program

Wrong Direction for Labor Rights and Working Men and Women

Washington, D.C. (January 27, 2022) – Terry O’Sullivan, General President of the Laborers’ International Union of North America, made the following statement today:

LIUNA is disappointed in the DHS decision to increase the number of allowed H-2B visas without urgently needed reform and an immediate debarment of companies who have illegally misused the program repeatedly. The H-2B visa program is deeply flawed and has been used as a tool by unscrupulous contractors who bypass local workers to hire a captive foreign workforce, who have very little recourse when they are cheated of their wages or hurt on the job. In the last five years, more than 31,000 visas have been granted to landscaping and construction industry employers, who have broken the law; exceeding today’s new cap substantially.

LIUNA strongly urges the Department of Labor (DOL) and Department of Homeland Security (DHS) to implement stronger worker protections for H-2B workers, including debarment of H-2B employers who have broken the law, requiring payment of the local or national prevailing wage, whichever is higher, ensuring that employers follow proper recruiting practices to first seek workers already in the U.S., and letting the workers themselves, not the employers, control their visa.

Repeatedly lifting the H-2B cap without reform, rewards bad actors and fosters the exploitation of H-2B guest workers.

H-2B Abuse by Construction and Landscaping Companies
H-2B Violations by the Numbers (TABLE)