NABTU Statement on DHS H-2B Visa Announcement

Washington, D.C. – October 13, 2022 – Today, North America’s Building Trades Unions (NABTU) President Sean McGarvey issued the following statement:

“North America’s Building Trades Unions is disappointed by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s action to increase the number of H-2B visas to a potential 65,000.

“Today’s announcement directly benefits the irresponsible companies that have no track record or commitment to workforce development but do have a track record of disadvantaging hardworking American families.  The H-2B visa program is consistently used by unscrupulous employers in the construction industry to exploit guest workers and drive down community wage and benefit standards. It is harmful to both foreign and American workers alike, union and non-union. This surprising action by the Department is in direct conflict with the Biden-Harris Administration’s strong commitment to policies that lift up and protect America’s workers.

“The current H-2B visa program jeopardizes jobs, wages and benefits of American construction workers while ensuring that guest workers are vulnerable to abuse. Congress must come together to find solutions that address the systemic problems in our country’s immigration policies, starting with meaningful reforms to this program.

“In our ongoing push for comprehensive immigration reform, NABTU will continue to work aggressively with both parties to make structural changes to the H-2B visa program so that it is confined to its original mission of assisting employers with seasonal and temporary employment needs while preventing it from being abused to erode the job and economic prospects of U.S. construction workers.”