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They were made available by the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) after federal officials said there were not enough qualified and willing United States workers to meet the needs of businesses for the remainder of the 2017 fiscal year.

However, Secretary of Homeland Security, John Kelly disagrees.

Local economies in New England and the Great Lakes with small round-year populations rely on the program to cope with a major surge in business over the summer.

The H-2B visas are meant for temporary non-agricultural employment.

"The fact that more than 700,000 visits were overstayed past year shows just how much we need to step up interior enforcement to create more of a deterrent, not only by identifying and deporting overstays, but by weakening the job magnet by cracking down on employers who hire illegal workers", she said. "You're standing on your feet in the heat of the kitchen peeling onions and washing dishes until 2 in the morning".

Earlier this year, the Department of Homeland Security announced it would increase the number of H-2B visas issued, though the final count was not released until Monday. The cap was met on March 13 this year.

"I'm encouraged that Secretary Kelly intends to provide relief to seasonal small businesses across the nation now suffering from a lack of temporary workers".

Congress paved the way to increasing the number of H-2B workers in May when it passed an omnibus budget to avert a government shutdown.

Mr. Trump said during one of the presidential debates,"It's very, very hard to get people". In May, lawmakers gave Kelly authority to approve up to an additional 70,000 temporary visas and pleaded with him to use his authority to issue as many of them as he thought appropriate. "It's going to be anywhere from a three to six-week process to see if I get my visas, and by then we're talking mid-August". Hoteliers in ME, for instance, say they are barely functioning in what should be peak season.

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Sam Bradford, the CFO of Mac's Seafood on Cape Cod, said that the DHS announcement is only the first step in a complex process.

In February, Mar-a-Lago, President Trump's Florida resort, announced it would hire 64 workers under the program.

"This does help with American businesses continuing to prosper", a senior DHS official told NBC News.

President Donald Trump has said he's going to set more limits on the H-1B visa program, which allows tens of thousands of technology workers into the USA each year.

"Expanding the H-2B program without reforming it to improve protections and increase wages for migrant workers will essentially allow unscrupulous employers to carve out an even larger rights-free zone in the low-wage labor market", said Daniel Costa, director of immigration law and policy research at the institute.

The development comes as US President Donald Trump has declared this week as "Made In America" week and vowed to stand up for the US workers.

And while more visas may create a workforce boost, the damage - and its effect on other industries - may already be done.

Federal officials said there were not enough qualified and willing American workers available to perform certain types of temporary nonagricultural work.


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