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The United States offers 6,500 work visas for Central Americans and Haitians in 2022

Dozens of Haitian migrants cross the Rio Bravo, the border between Mexico and the United States, last September . PAUL RATJE (AFP)

The Government of Joe Biden has sent a nod to the immigrant community in his country. The United States will grant 20,000 temporary work visas in the coming months. The Democratic Administration has reported that these may be requested by foreign immigrants from now until March 31 for non-agricultural jobs. “This is the first time that the Department of Homeland Security (Secretary of the Interior) offers additional H-2B visas in the first half of a fiscal year,” the institution announced on Monday after months of beating immigrants seeking a new one. life in the North American country.

Most of the visas, 13,500, that have been made available will be for temporary immigrants who have already traveled to the United States in the last three years to do some work. The rest, some 6,500 visas will be exclusively for migrants from Haiti and the northern triangle of Central America: Guatemala, El Salvador and Honduras. This area, along with Mexico, has become a headache for the Biden Administration during his first year in office, where record numbers of illegal crossings have been achieved. In September, the US government deported more than 7,000 Haitians who entered through Texas in a few days. The images of the treatment that some elements of the border patrol gave these people caused an international scandal.

The Secretary of Homeland Security Alejandro Mayorkas said on Monday that these new visas “will help drive the historic economic recovery.” The official, on whom the surveillance of the border and the force that persecutes illegal immigration depends, assures that in the coming months the Government will seek to implement policies that will make the H-2B visa even more flexible to the needs of the US labor market. .

November showed another disappointing job creation data, weighed down by supply chain congestion and the rebound in cases of coronavirus. The report from the Bureau of Labor Statistics indicates that 3.9 million vacancies remain to be filled to be at the levels of February 2020, just before the pandemic.

The H-2B visa allows foreigners to have work for a certain time or season in non-agricultural services or industries. The offer of these types of visas should not rival or impact the US job market. In January 2018, the government of Donald Trump removed Haiti from the list of 80 countries whose citizens can apply for this type of work permit. That decision came a week after Trump called the Caribbean country, along with other African nations, “shit countries” while discussing immigration with his Cabinet.

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The Department of Homeland Security has converted three of its most important detention centers into single adult custody sites. In this way, the Biden government intends to distance itself from the arrests and separation of migrant families that were one of the hallmarks of the immigration policy of its predecessor, Donald Trump.

As an alternative, the Administration monitors 145,000 people who are awaiting the review of their cases by an immigration judge. Instead of keeping them in immigrant prisons, authorities have opted for ankle monitors or home visits. The number of people under surveillance is more than double than two years ago.

Until the beginning of December there were 21,952 people in the centers in detention, according to a Syracuse University think tank. The three centers that have stopped receiving migrant families to become an adult-only detention center are the one in South Texas in the city of Dilley; the one in Karnes County, near San Antonio and one more in Berks, Pennsylvania.

Last week, Vice President Kamala Harris reported an increase in private investment destined for the countries of the northern triangle of Central America. This announcement extends the government's efforts to curb the flow of immigrants from the region. Harris communicated 450 million dollars that will be contributed by Microsoft, Cargill, PepsiCo, among other companies, mainly in Guatemala and Honduras.

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