Homeland Security will dole out an additional 30,000 seasonal guest worker passes this year as it pushes to make good on President Trump’s new promise to bring in more foreign labor amid a strong economy.
Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen said the new H-2B visas, which are given for non-agricultural seasonal worker such as landscaping or resort work, will only be available to “returning workers,” who had been approved for similar permits in 2016, 2017 or 2018, the department said.
The 30,000 increase is double the increase Ms. Nielsen agreed to last year, when she approved a 15,000 jump. This year’s bump is also earlier in the season, which will give employers more time to apply and plan.
Lawmakers on Capitol Hill who’d pushed for an increase said it will help boost businesses in their states.
“I urge the Department of Homeland Security to move swiftly so New Hampshire small businesses can apply as quickly as possible, as our peak tourist season draws near,” said Sen. Jeanne Shaheen, New Hampshire Democrat.
The 30,000 increase was first reported by a website that covers amusement-park news. It reported that Ms. Nielsen informed members of Congress about the surge in visas in a conference call Friday morning.