WASHINGTON D.C. — During a Homeland Security Appropriations subcommittee hearing Tuesday, Feb. 25, U.S. Sen. Jeanne Shaheen (D-N.H.), a senior member of the Senate Appropriations Committee, questioned Acting Secretary of Homeland Security Chad Wolf on whether the Trump administration will raise the number of temporary work visas (H-2B) that support New Hampshire businesses, particularly businesses in the tourism industry.
Shaheen’s questioning came on the heels of reports stating that the administration would provide an additional 45,000 temporary work visas nationally.
However, the department has yet to release these visas, which help Granite State small businesses fill seasonal job openings in the current tight labor market.
Shaheen has been urging the Trump administration to raise the overall number of H-2B visas. She also urged the acting secretary to expedite the release of this year’s visas, stating, “I’ve got a whole bunch of small businesses in New Hampshire who aren’t going to be able to do their business this summer if they don’t have those workers.”
In addition, Shaheen questioned Acting Secretary Wolf on the implementation of the International Narcotics Trafficking Emergency Response by Detecting Incoming Contraband with Technology Act legislation that Shaheen had cosponsored and was signed into law in 2018. The law boosted U.S. Customs and Border Protection ability to detect and intercept fentanyl and other illegal synthetic opioids being trafficked across the southern border.
Shaheen also urged Wolf to hold open hearings for the public on the Department of Homeland Security's efforts to combat and contain coronavirus.