Yep. Our junior senator is carrying water for his patrons in The Chamber AND causing trouble for President Trump all in one fell swoop:
The White House complained Monday about Democratic obstruction of President Trump’s nominees, but a Republican senator is the chief roadblock for Mr. Trump’s pick to head the legal immigration service, hoping to use the position as leverage to force the administration to approve more foreign guest-workers this year.
Sen. Thom Tillis of North Carolina has put a “hold” on Lee Francis Cissna, the nominee for director of U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, to try to pressure Homeland Security Secretary John F. Kelly to bend to the senator’s will and quickly approve thousands of H-2B visas.
Mr. Tillis is one of a number of senators who say their states’ summertime resort, seafood and landscaping industries are struggling to find American workers and need the foreign labor to survive.
“Several senators, including Sen. Tillis, have concerns with DHS’ timeline because it would negatively impact seasonal small businesses and American workers across the nation this summer,” said Daniel Keylin, a spokesman for the senator, in explaining his blockade. “The hold is in place while these concerns are being addressed with DHS.”
The H-2B visas have become an early test for Mr. Trump, who ran on a platform of boosting U.S. workers over foreigners, but who now faces pressure from within his own party and from key business groups.[…]
Having a hard time finding work? Have a child or other family member struggling to find work? Thank stuff like this. And people like Thom. MORE:
[…] H-2B visas are supposed to be for seasonal nonagricultural work, and current law sets an annual cap of 66,000, with half awarded for winter industries and half for summer jobs. Congress often increases the cap but this year did something unusual: Lawmakers in May gave Mr. Kelly the power to make the decision, allowing him to add perhaps 70,000 more visas for the summertime season.[…]
North Carolina, Mr. Tillis‘ home state, is among the top 10 states for H-2B workers, according to the Center for Immigration Studies, which is releasing a report Tuesday on the program.
The center argues that the jobs generally pay better than minimum wage and there should be Americans willing to take them — particularly if the businesses are willing to change a bit.
“These are jobs that used to be held by college students. I certainly did it when I was in college,” said Jessica Vaughan, the report’s author. “But they’ve gotten away from that because it’s just easier — they don’t have to recruit people, they don’t have to accommodate the schedules of students.”
She said the program has been taken over by middleman recruiters who sign up foreigners, then connect them with the seasonal businesses in the U.S., who bank on the foreign hires for their business models.
Ms. Vaughan pointed to the experience of some Maine businesses that used to rely on H-2B. She said when the supply dried up, the businesses started to recruit senior citizens instead, working with them to accommodate their desire for part-time jobs.
But for many companies, the current system is too enticing.
“What we find is that some of the senators who represent states where employers really want these workers are some of the biggest proponents of this program,” she said. “It certainly appears that senators are very susceptible to pressure from the employers who want to bring in these workers instead of hire American workers, even though these are clearly jobs that Americans are available for and are decent-paying jobs.” […]