By Preston Huennekens | 29 March 2019
CENTER FOR IMMIGRATION STUDIES — In April 2017, President Donald Trump signed Executive Order 18837 — a directive to “Buy American and Hire American”. The order signaled the president’s intent to defend the interests of American workers, one of his key campaign promises. Some of his supporters were less-skilled and less-educated voters who shared his concerns that widespread immigration (and foreign guestworker programs) would shrink their job prospects. The executive order states that:
In order to create higher wages and employment rates for workers in the United States … the Secretary of State, the Attorney General, the Secretary of Labor, and the Secretary of Homeland Security shall … propose new rules and issue new guidance, to supersede of revise previous rules and guidance if appropriate, to protect the interests of United States workers in the administration of our immigration system.
This has not happened. Instead of reforming the guestworker system, Trump has allowed it to flourish. In its latest action, the Department of Homeland Security announced today that it is raising the 2019 H-2B cap by 30,000. The additional visas are available to H-2B guestworkers who previously worked in the United States within the past three years. […]