The GOP and H Visa Confusion
H -VISA STATUS
I don’t think the average GOP voter has been able to grasp the GOP candidates’ discussion of the pros / cons of using foreign workers in “H” visa status. That’s because there are two categories of H workers and their skills and educational requirements are completely different. Ted Cruz and Marco Rubio criticized Donald Trump for having workers for 5 months at the Trump resort in Mara Lago, Florida. Those are temporary seasonal workers in jobs that require no high school / college degree, the H-2B visa. To petition for these workers an employer must satisfy the Department of Labor and the U.S. CIS that they need to fill the position due to a seasonal, peak load, or one-time occurrence. Trump spoke about “the season” in Palm Beach from November to March where there is a need for hospitality workers, and the difficulty of finding U.S. workers willing to accept temporary or part-time positions.
The other category of “H” visa that was referenced in the debate is for workers in specialized fields who have advanced degrees, 4 year college degrees or higher, the H-1B. Trump spoke about those foreign students graduating from top graduate schools like Harvard, and Wharton, as those high skilled workers that he thinks should have a chance to remain in the U.S. and work for U.S. companies. Disney World in Florida was criticized recently when they were found to have required their U.S. citizen employees to train their foreign replacements who had H-1B visas. Although the U.S. employer must pay the Dept of Labor’s “prevailing wage” to the H-1B worker, the overall cost for these skilled workers is less than the cost of hiring U.S. citizens with comparable skills.