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GOP Sneaks in Huge Foreign Worker Expansion into DHS Funding Bill



Flag of the United States Secretary of Homeland Security along with a flag of the United States of America | Higgins told DHS Secretary To Resign

House Republicans sneaked a significant increase of foreign workers into their Department of Homeland Security (DHS) appropriations plan, undermining the GOP's vow to defend the nation's working class from strong special interests.

Following markups and hearings, Republicans on the House Appropriations Committee approved the DHS spending bill, which would lift the cap on blue-collar migration to the US, resulting in an influx of foreign visa workers in the labor market with whom working-class Americans would have to compete for jobs.

“Who represents the working class? This bill suggests it’s not necessarily Republicans,” Jeremy Beck of NumbersUSA told Breitbart News.

The $91.5 billion financing package would alter H-2A visa requirements so that more agricultural companies may recruit foreign employees and redesign the program so that jobs do not have to be seasonal or temporary.

The H-2A visa program, as it is now operated, permits American farmers to outsource an unlimited number of agricultural tasks to foreign workers, who can stay for up to three years.

Fraud and abuse are common across the program, with one recent complaint charging a western Michigan farm of trafficking foreign H-2A visa employees into blueberry picking positions where they were paid slave wages and living in abject poverty.

Most notably, earlier this year, black Americans won a settlement against two U.S. farms near the Mississippi Delta after being sacked and replaced by South African H-2A visa workers.

Beck described the H-2A visa program a “medieval system” that relies on “cheap back-breaking labor while other countries are mechanizing and workers are being paid high wages to man machines.”

“This is a way to push off mechanization indefinitely when you have relatively compliant, affordable labor,” he said. “The people who broker these visa programs advertise it as ‘It will save you money.'”

Furthermore, the DHS funding plan contains an increase in the H-2B visa program, which permits US firms to bring in around 66,000 foreign workers for seasonal non-agricultural occupations in areas such as construction, landscaping, hospitality, and food services, among others.

But, a clause in the law assures that foreign employees who came to the United States on H-2B visas in the previous three years would not count towards the yearly maximum. Beck predicts that the provision might result in at least 200,000 more foreign H-2B visa employees entering the labor force.

“Here we are at a time with some job growth and low unemployment. The conditions are there for wage gains … many are in good industries like construction and the service industry,” Beck told Breitbart News. “We’re seeing improvement in wages but nothing to indicate a massive labor shortage. We’re seeing a closing of the racial wealth gap and we’re getting Americans off the sidelines. This expansion cuts that off.”

The H-2B visa program, like the H-2A visa program, has a long history of removing blue-collar Americans from their employment and decreasing wages.

The H-2A and H-2B visa programs’ expansion contradicts House Republicans' recent efforts to significantly reduce unfair foreign workforce competition against working-class Americans — a key component of the party's pitch to voters that promises to represent their interests over powerful, politically connected special interests.

House Republicans, for example, approved H.R. 2, a comprehensive border security and immigration control policy that includes national obligatory E-Verify. After decades of corporate groups battling to keep E-Verify out of federal legislation, the clause, which punishes corporations with fines if they knowingly recruit illegal aliens, was viewed as a historic triumph for the GOP.

Beck said the newest efforts to raise the number of foreign workers in the United States labor market, which has already hit a new high under President Joe Biden, are a significant letdown just weeks after Republicans banded together to oppose Democrats' mass immigration scheme.

“That’s what makes this so deflating … it’s still about displacing American workers in favor of exploitable foreign workers,” Beck said. “For all the good that H.R. 2 would do, this would take all the wind out of that sail.”

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