The Department of Homeland Security announced Monday it will open 15,000 new visas for seasonal, non-agricultural workers.
It's a one-time increase for fiscal year 2017, and companies applying for the visas must demonstrate that "irreparable harm" would be done to them if they are not able to access the additional workers. The visas are for seasonal foreign workers only, in industries such as seafood, tourism and other industries that rely on temporary summer workers, excluding agricultural work.
"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," said DHS Secretary John Kelly. He called the increase a demonstration of the administration's "commitment to supporting American businesses."
There is a 66,000 cap on the number of such visas that are issued yearly, which is split between each half of the year. That cap has already been reached.
One business that employs seasonal workers through the H-2B visa program is President Trump's Mar-a-Lago club in Florida.
According to CNN Monday, between 2013 and 2015, the club posted 250 seasonal job openings and filled only four with American workers. The rest of the staff there is filled through H-2B visa holders.
The top 10 states for H-2B hiring, in order, are Texas, Florida, Colorado, Massachusetts, Louisiana, Pennsylvania, Virginia, North Carolina, Arizona and South Carolina.
The Center for Immigration Studies reports that 90 percent of the workers come from Mexico, Jamaica, Guatemala, South Africa and the United Kingdom, and go into industries such as landscaping, cooking and lifeguarding.