The New York Times recently reported on a federal lawsuit brought against the Labor Department and the Department of Homeland Security by Louisiana businesses. Both departments jointly administer the H-2B visa program which allows foreign workers to fill temporary non-agricultural jobs:
On Wednesday, several Louisiana food associations brought a federal lawsuit against the Labor Department and the Department of Homeland Security, which jointly administer the H-2B program, saying a new mandatory method for setting wages for foreign workers would cause “catastrophic results.” Starting Sept. 30, they would have to pay guest workers at crawfish and shrimp processors wage increases that range from 51 percent to 83 percent of current hourly rates, according to the suit.
The employers said these sudden increases would be crippling and would expose them to unwinnable competition from foreign imports and from other businesses that hire illegal immigrants. The suit was joined by other Louisiana businesses that use the guest-worker program, including forestry companies, hotel and amusement park owners and sugar growers.
READ MORE: La. Business Owners Sue Over New Rules for Guest Workers by Julia Preston (Published: September 11, 2011)