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UNITED STATES | Biden Approves more Visas for overseas Hotel, Restaurant workers

Featured President Joe Biden has expanded the hon-agricultural overseas work programme President Joe Biden has expanded the hon-agricultural overseas work programme
WASHINGTON DC, April 20, 2021 - The  United States Department of Homeland Security says the Biden Administration has  approved an additional 22,000 H2-B seasonal, non-agricultural worker visas on top of the annual limit of 66,000 set by Congress.

The visas are used to fill jobs in landscaping, construction, hotels, and restaurants as well as in seafood and meat processing plants and amusement parks.

Employers must show they tried to recruit US workers and then certify that they will suffer “irreparable harm” without a foreign, seasonal worker in order to qualify for the programme, DHS said in a statement announcing the supplemental increase.

The H2-B programme has bipartisan support in Congress and with businesses across the nation, though immigration opponents portray it as taking jobs from Americans.

A report from the Associated Press says “the US will set aside 6,000 visas for people from the Northern Triangle countries of Central America, where long-standing economic and social problems deteriorated further because of the pandemic and two hurricanes that struck the region.”

The AP report says “people from the Northern Triangle countries of Honduras, El Salvador and Guatemala made up nearly half of the migrants apprehended at the US southwest border last month, part of an increase that has turned into an early test for Biden.

The report quotes DHS Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas as saying that “setting aside visas for Central Americans reflects the administration’s goal of “expanding lawful pathways for opportunity in the United States” for people from the Northern Triangle countries.”

“At the UN on Tuesday, US Ambassador Linda Thomas-Greenfield outlined plans to provide additional humanitarian aid to the region and to work with other nations and the private sector to help modernise the countries. She noted that at least 5 million people in Central America don’t have enough food,” the AP said.

“They need security, economic opportunity, and access to food to feed their families,” Thomas-Greenfield said.“That’s what’s driving them from their homes. So ultimately, that’s what we need to address.”

  • Countries: Caribbean