The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) said the U.S. would approve an additional 22,000 H2-B seasonal, non-agricultural worker visas on top of the annual limit of 66,000 set by Congress. It cited increased demand from employers, with the number of people seeking jobless benefits at the lowest point since the outbreak of COVID-19.
DHS Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas said 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.
The H2-B program has bipartisan support in Congress and with businesses across the nation, though immigration opponents portray it as taking jobs from Americans. 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.
On the other hand, the text stated that local authorizations to enter the United States will be available in forthcoming months through a rule that will be published on Federal Register.