The H-2B visa 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. These workers are not eligible to stay in the United States as immigrants. These workers typically provide service jobs such as pool life guards or cleaning workers in the tourism industry.
The Department of Homeland Security consults with appropriate agencies before admitting H-2B workers. A petitioning employer must first apply for a temporary labor certification from the Secretary of Labor indicating that: (1) there are not sufficient U.S. workers who are capable of performing the temporary work at the time of filing the petition for H-2B classification and at the place where the foreign worker is to perform the work; and (2) the employment of the foreign worker will not adversely affect the wages and working conditions of similarly employed U.S. workers. The Department of Labor processes all H-2B applications on a first in, first out basis (without a lottery).
The Federal government under the Obama Administration investigated cases where employers claimed that no U.S. workers were available, when in fact workers were able and willing to hold the jobs that were given to H-2B visa holders. The Trump administration has continued these enforcement actions.
- Justice Department Settles Claims Against Barrios Street Realty Inc. for Discriminating Against U.S. Workers. Press Release (March 21, 2016). Retrieved on August 20, 2017.
- "Louisiana company fined for using H-2B visa labor to discriminate against U.S. workers", Washington Times, March 21, 2016.
- "Trump DOJ makes La. company pay for hiring foreigners over U.S. workers", August 10, 2017.
- Louisiana Company Pays More Than $100,000 to U.S. Workers to Resolve Discrimination Claims. Department of Justice. August 10, 2017. Retrieved August 10, 2017.