Thursday, October 05, 2017

New evidence that claims of a worker shortage are false

Employers fail to fill up H-2B visa expansion suggesting their claims of a worker shortage are false

For years, we've heard the cries from employers who claim they can't find enough American workers to fill temporary and seasonal jobs across the country. But when it came time to prove their claims were real, they couldn't produce.
You may remember that Congress authorized then-DHS Secretary John Kelly earlier this year to increase the number of H-2B visas by around 70,000 for the 2017 fiscal year. The H-2B visa is mostly used by landscaping, hospitality and food service industries to fill jobs that are seasonal or temporary in nature.
Much to the disappointment of the employers, Kelly made only 15,000 of the 70,000 available. And we learned this week, that U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services has stopped accepting applications after receiving just 13,534 applications.
The same employers who complained that the increase was too small couldn't file enough applications to fill it!
Kelly did add two extra hurdles for employers who wanted the extra foreign workers. First, they were required to demonstrate that their business would "suffer irreparable harm" if they didn't get more foreign workers. Second, they had to show that they exhausted every attempt to recruit American workers. Based on those requirements, it's entirely possible that not all of those 13,534 applications will actually get approved.
Research from both the Economic Policy Institute and the Center for Immigration Studies suggests that there is no labor shortage in the industries that most rely on H-2B visas. The fact that employers couldn't use the full 15,000 additional visas proves their point and shows that employers really don't need foreign workers; they just prefer them over American workers.
We can only hope that Congress learns from this lesson and will reject future calls from employers to increase the number of foreign guest workers. Of course, Congress tends to have a short memory, so it will require your activism efforts to remind them of this most recent event.

In the months leading up to Pres. Trump's decision to end the unconstitutional DACA executive amnesty, his administration approved 5,860 new DACA applications between April 1 and June 30 and approved 96,708 renewals.
What stands out most, however, is the number of denials. The Trump administration denied 32% of the initial applications where a decision was made. The denial rate is nearly double the rate for all of 2016. While our hope was for Pres. Trump to end the DACA amnesty back in January, if there is a bright side, it's that his administration added more scrutiny to the applications and approved fewer requests.
NumbersUSA mobile apps see an early retirement
Unfortunately, for those of you who use the NumbersUSA mobile apps, they won't be around much longer. Our engineering department has decided to retire the apps for a variety of reasons, but mostly because our membership growth has outpaced our ability to adequately maintain the apps.
Don't worry, though. For those of you who have used our apps, our team of engineers is working on a solution. Please read a blog here from our Director of Technology, Josh Turcotte, for all the details.

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