The White House’s “Made in America” week began yesterday–with a bit of an inauspicious start.
They also began this week meant to honor American workers with the issuance of up to 15,000 visas for foreign workers. According to federal officials, there just weren’t enough Americans skilled or willing to perform certain agricultural tasks.
So, with Congress’ approval, the H-2B visa program will include those additional 15,000 foreign workers over this year’s annual cap of 66,000; jobs that immigration opponents say should go to Americans.
Of course, such economic realities don’t really threaten American workers–there aren’t very many. The facts of agricultural labor under harshly-applied nativism do, however, threaten American businesses who face the prospect of suffering irreparable harm, according to the Department of Homeland Security (DHS).
In a statement, DHS Director John Kelly said:
“Congress gave me the discretionary authority to provide temporary relief to American businesses at risk of significant harm due to a lack of available seasonal workers. As a demonstration of the Administration’s commitment to supporting American businesses, DHS is providing this one-time increase to the congressionally set annual cap.”
We look forward to reporting on each additional “one-time increase” Director Kelly provides for foreign workers as the Trump administration eventually comes to realize what actually happens when you attempt to deport large swathes of your country’s agricultural workforce: you have to fix the mess you made.
It may be a bit galling to some supporters of the “America First” president, but aside from the grumbling over at anti-immigration nerve-center NumbersUSA, who really cares about hypocrisy and broken campaign promises? Trump’s base mostly doesn’t–that’s just how partisan politics work in these United States.
At the showcase event beginning “Made in America” week, Trump said:
“We’re going to stand up for our companies and maybe most importantly for our workers. Clearly it’s time for a new policy, one defined by two simple rules: We will buy American. And we will hire American.”
Maybe so. But not quite yet. Maybe later.
[image courtesy the White House; video courtesy PBS NewsHour]
This is an opinion piece. The views expressed in this article are those of just the author.