Aerial photo taken on March 22, 2017 shows the view of Mar-a-lago club at Palm Beach, Florida, the United States. (Xinhua/Wang Ying)
WASHINGTON, July 18 (Xinhua) -- The U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) announced Monday to issue up to 15,000 additional visas for temporary non-agricultural workers this budget year, in a bid to tackle with what it described as a shortage of labor force.
"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," John Kelly, secretary of the DHS, said in a statement.
Kelly made the announcement as he determined "there are not enough qualified and willing U.S. workers available to perform temporary non-agricultural labor to meet the needs of some American companies in fiscal year 2017," after consulting with the labor department.
To qualify for the H-2B visas, U.S. employers must attest under the penalty of perjury that "their business is likely to suffer irreparable harm" if it could not bring in those non-immigrant workers.
The H-2B program allows foreign workers from over 80 countries to be hired for seasonal, non-agricultural jobs needed by U.S. businesses at a government-set prevailing wage.
Industries, including resorts, landscaping, seafood harvesting and processing, and forestry, rely on the supply of cheap workforce through the H-2B pipeline.
Mar-a-lago resort, owned by U.S. President Donald Trump, has also used the program.
In May, Congress voted to allow Kelly to offer more than an annual limit of 66,000 H-2B visas.