After preaching and beseeching to “Hire American,” President Donald Trump has been granted 70 visas to hire new people at Mar-A-Lago for the winter. Hire American, indeed. This is Trump manipulating the system.
The H-2B visa nonimmigrant program permits employers to hire foreign workers to come temporarily to the United States and perform temporary nonagricultural services or labor on a one-time, seasonal, peakload or intermittent basis.
Part of the qualification is that you have to prove that there are no American workers to take the jobs. There are clear requirements to show the steps taken, as an employer, to determine that there were no available American workers.
An employer may submit a request for multiple unnamed foreign workers as long as each worker is to perform the same services or labor, on the same terms and conditions, in the same occupation, in the same area of intended employment during the same period of employment.
After the blanket visa is approved, the employer must advertise locally for 15 days, including at least one Sunday. Then they are required to document the results of the ad campaign and supply a statement that the employer checked rolls of previous American employees available for rehire. But are these statements checked, or does the visa office just take the word of the employer?
Having tried to find a job in this country, every time I have been involved in the application process, there have been at least 12-100 applicants for every open position. I can’t imagine that Florida would be any different, so why is no one applying for these positions? Trump’s answer during a debate:
It’s very, very hard to get people. Other hotels do the exact same thing.
Why is it hard? The recorded unemployment rate in Palm Beach is 3.6 percent, which is much lower than the U.S. average. Plus, these are temporary, seasonal jobs. But the pay is pretty good. According to the Palm Beach Post:
Pay is rising at Mar-a-Lago, too. The Department of Labor gave Trump permission to hire 20 cooks at $13.34 an hour, up from 12.74 an hour in 2016-17. Mar-a-Lago also plans to hire 35 waiters and waitresses at $11.88 an hour (up from $11.13 an hour last year) and 15 housekeepers at $10.33 an hour, up from $10.17 an hour last year.
So, are there really no Americans willing to take these positions, or is Trump manipulating the system (as well as all the other hotels doing the same thing)?
Nationwide, thousands of employers won permission to hire nearly 134,000 workers for 2017-18, up from 119,000 for 2016-17.
While it will never happen while Trump is president, perhaps taking an in-depth look at the whole H2B visa program might figure into our future. It seems like hotels taking a shortcut, rather than even making an honest attempt to hire American workers.