So much for President Trump’s “Hire American” promise.
Just two weeks after Trump signed an executive order vowing to crack down on a program designed to import high-skilled foreign labor, a provision slipped into the budget compromise with Democrats this week could double the number of visas for low-wage, seasonal workers such as those in the landscaping, forestry and hospitality industries.
The guest worker visa, known as the H-2B, is the exact kind that helps Trump staff his Mar-a-Lago golf resort.
Critics said the provision in the shutdown deal illustrates the limits of Trump’s “America First” ideology. Economic realities and the complexities of immigration cannot be boiled down to a simple campaign slogan or governing platform, they argue.
“If Trump signs the bill and doesn’t speak out against this, that will contradict everything he has said about ‘Hire American,’ ” said Daniel Costa, the director of immigration law and policy research at the Economic Policy Council. “This appropriations bill gives companies incentive to hire underpaid indentured workers.”
The H-2B program has drawn strong bipartisan support in the past because lawmakers have a vested interest in supporting their states’ most critical industries — whether it’s crab-picking in Maryland,ski resorts in Colorado or logging in Washington. But some senators are criticizing their colleagues’ efforts to bypass public debate about changing immigration law.
Read the full story from The Washington Post: Despite Trump’s ‘Hire American’ pledge, budget bill would dramatically expand the number of foreign workers
Read the related report, Sea to Table: The Role of Foreign-Born Workers in the Seafood Processing Industry