The H-2B non-immigrant program permitted employers to hire foreign workers to enter the U.S. to perform temporary non-agricultural services or labor on a one-time, seasonal, peakload, or intermittent basis. Employers submitted H-2B applications to the Department of Labor’s (DOL) Office of Foreign Labor Certification (OFLC) within ETA. To obtain H-2B certification and comply with employment protections, employers self-attested that U.S workers capable of performing the job were not available and that the employment of foreign workers would not adversely affect the wages and working conditions of similarly employed U.S. workers.
The OIG found ETA’s management of the H-2B program needs to be strengthened to ensure adequate protections for U.S. workers. Our audit revealed that 27 of the 33 employers could not support attestations made on their applications. Our findings in employment attestations, immigration, and pre-filing recruitment indicated systemic weaknesses stemming from ETA’s post-adjudication audit process and the H-2B regulations’ self-attestation based model. These systemic weaknesses increased the risk of unsubstantiated employer attestations and jeopardized the protections afforded by the program to U.S. workers.