H-2B allows employers to hire workers from other nations to fill non-agricultural jobs. Interested employers are required to show no local workers are available and that hiring foreign workers will not harm the working conditions of men and women doing similar work. Nearly 110,000 H-2B workers take on jobs in forestry, landscaping, seafood processing and tourism each year. Indeed, from carnivals to alligator wrestling, Florida is one of the largest H-2B users nationwide.
Program abuses harm both American and foreign workers. Some employers evade the rules to show no local workers are available even in our current economy in which national unemployment lingers at 7.6%. The use of bogus advertisements, outright refusal to hire qualified workers or the lack of follow-up is used to limit job opportunities for unemployed citizens. Lured with false promises of lucrative jobs, H-2B workers on the other hand fall into debt to pay outrageous recruitment fees only to land in shocking working and living conditions on arrival.
The Department of Labor recognizes H-2B causes the wages of U.S. workers to fall and has proposed new regulations to correct these adverse effects. Blocked by Federal lawsuits from employer groups since 2012, these new rules regrettably have not gone into effect. Learn more how bad employers obtain dirt-cheap labor from an exploitable workforce.
“Taken for A Ride: Migrant Workers in the U.S. Fair and Carnival Industry” is a detailed account of immigrant labor in the amusement field by the Washington College of Law and Centro de las Derechos del Migrant PDF Learn More…
The Washington College of Law and Centro de las Derechos del Migrant reports on hidden H-2B workers on the Chesapeake.
The Southern Poverty Law Center tells of guestworkers in the American forest industry.