Maine Hospitality Industry, in Annual Labor Shortage Panic, Goes Out of the Box, Considers Higher Wages for Locals

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By Joe Guzzardi

Joe is a CAPS Senior Writing Fellow whose commentaries about California's social issues have run in newspapers throughout California and the country for nearly 30 years. Contact Joe at joeguzzardi@capsweb.org, or find him on Twitter @joeguzzardi19.

The writer's views are his own.

May 24, 2017

Here’s an idea Los Angeles’ sanctuary-obsessed Mayor Eric Garcetti should consider: hosting a job fair to help the high percentage of unemployed locals, especially youths, get jobs. Los Angeles, New York and Chicago, all sanctuary havens, have the nation’s highest youth unemployment.

High school dropout Carl Jackson, age 68, at the Masters; Congress,
Chamber of Commerce want caddy jobs to go to H-2B visa holders.

Look at Bar Harbor, Maine, where businesses – reiterating long-standing claims echoed coast-to-coast that hotel, country club, restaurant and golf course jobs are too demanding for older residents and hoping for an increase in the H-2B visa allocation – found themselves facing a potential labor shortage. While the recent congressionally approved H-2B visa increase is bogged down in the federal bureaucracy, owners feared a worker shortage.

Anticipating fewer foreign-born workers, and with their hand forced, Bar Harbor employers held a job fair and also considered other options to appeal to locals, like higher wages, and flexible work hours.

Protecting illegal alien workers, as Los Angeles and other California sanctuary cities do, makes it tougher for unemployed and under-employed Americans, hard enough on them already. According to the Department of Homeland Security, it issued more than one million work authorization documents to newly arrived legal immigrants in 2015. And during the 20 years from 1994 and 2014, temporary employment-based visas like the H-2B have more than doubled from 400,000 to over one million.

Sanctuary cities, more guest worker programs and amnesty are disincentives for American participation in the labor force which has been virtually stagnant at or about 63 percent for years.

Please go to the CAPS Action Alert page here to urge Congress to pass mandatory E-Verify legislation to protect American jobs, and here to keep California from becoming a sanctuary state.

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