You know what really grinds my gears? Corporate liars who claim they can't find enough American workers to fill needed jobs. What a load of horse shit.
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. Last week, the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services has stopped accepting applications after receiving just 13,534 applications. That's less than one fourth of the max amount!
The same employers who complained that the increase was too small couldn't file enough applications to fill it! Can you freaking believe 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 - and that's assuming that the employers are totally honest. Fat bloody chance of that happening. We all know the truth is as strange a thing to big business as soap is to a hippie.
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.
When it comes right down to it, I don't mind so much that employers are trying to do what they can to save money on employee salaries. Businesses operate by increasing income and/or by decreasing out go. That's how you make a profit.
What pisses me off is their low opinion of our intelligence. They hand us a bunch of BS like "there's not enough American workers to fill all the jobs" and expect us to believe it.
The hard truth is foreign workers work for less money than Americans. Also, they are more easily intimidated by their employers. "Quit your griping or we'll ship you home" and that sort of threat. Plus some of these workers will go back eventually anyway. It's hard to collect retirement benefits from Acme, Inc. in Stubbinsville, Ohio, when you now live in the asscrack of Punjab, India. And as I understand it, some of these H-2B visas cover the worker, but not the wife (or husband) and kids, so the company doesn't have to provide insurance for an entire family - and we all know most of those people are low income, and low income foreigners tend to have larger families than do higher income families - both foreign and American.
So listen up Corporate America. We know foreign skilled workers are a good deal for you. If you're going to use them, at least don't insult our intelligence about it. I say to them, don't shit on my ice cream and call it hot fudge!