US Guest Worker Visa: US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) has announced that the extra 20,000 US visas for guest workers will be in addition to the usual yearly allocation of 66,000 visas for the fiscal year, as per a US official. The expanded number will include a 6,500 allocation for workers from El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, and Haiti.
The H2B visa program, which is used by employers to hire workers, for example, landscapers, servants, hospitality staff, construction workers, and carnival workers, among others, comes amid a chronic labor shortage in the US exacerbated by the covid-19 pandemic.
Legal pathways for US guest worker visa
As part of a $1.7 trillion social spending bill, the Biden government has attempted to push through a few legal pathways for migrants to enter the US. However, Biden’s US immigration reforms were recently blocked for a third time by Senate Parliamentarian, Elizabeth MacDonough.
President Biden is under expanding pressure to stem the flow of illegal immigrants entering the US as record numbers of migrants are arrested at the country’s southern border with Mexico.
Even if all of the extra H2B visas are allocated, it will only address a little part of the number of migrants attempting to enter the US. State Department figures show that US Border Patrol has arrested 700,000 migrants. From El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, and Haiti in the 2021 fiscal year alone.
Despite 22,000 extra H2B visas being made available for 2022. It’s still less than the 22,000 that were made available for the second half of the 2021 fiscal year.
In the midst of analysis from US immigration advocacy groups. The Biden government put away 6,000 H2B visas for three Central American nations. In the second half of the 2021 fiscal year, which ended on September 30. However, not all of the visas were allocated.
The expansion of Haitian residents to those eligible for an H2B visa comes after a decision by the Biden government. To deport thousands of migrants from Haiti who had arrived at the southern border in Texas back in September.
Recently, Haiti was invited back to the US guest workers visa program after being excluded for three years. The Trump, government blamed Haitian residents for overstaying their US visas or abusing their work authorizations.
As well as restoring Haiti to the H2B visa program, the Biden government invited the nation back into the H2A program. Which is for temporary agricultural workers.
In the meantime, in early December, the Biden government struck a deal with Mexico to reestablish the controversy. Trump-era Remain in Mexico policy forces asylum seekers to wait in Mexico while they await the outcome of their US immigration case.
Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Secretary, Alejandro Mayorkas, said: “Extra H2B visas will help to fuel our country’s historic economic recovery. The program will go through changes in the near future.”
Top of the US Agency for International Development, Samantha Power, said. Extending the H2B visa program will expand opportunities for undocumented migrants. While addressing the economic drivers of migration from the Caribbean and Latin American nations in turmoil.
She went on to say that her office would offer help to connect candidates from Central America with US employers. And help them navigate the complex US visa application process.