- The United States Department of Homeland Security (USDHS) imposed a one year ban for issuing H-2A and H-2B work visas to Filipino workers
- They said that it was because of overstaying and human trafficking issues
- The Palace said that they respect the DHS’ decision
The United States Department of Homeland Security (USDHS) has announced that they removed the eligibility of Filipino workers to get H-2A and H-2B work visas for one year. KAMI learned that this is due to the “severe” overstaying and human trafficking issues.
“Nearly 40 percent of H-2B visa holders from the Philippines overstayed their period of authorized stay,” said the US Federal Register as reported by ABS-CBN News.
The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) said that the US Embassy Manila has issued the “greatest number of T-derivative visas.”
"A recent review of certain T-1 status recipients, whose spouses were issued T-2 visas during this same period, shows that approximately 60 percent were determined to have been trafficked to the United States on H-2B visas," they said.
“Concerned about the high volume of trafficking victims from the Philippines who were originally issued H-2B visas and the potential that continued H-2B visa issuance may encourage or serve as an avenue for future human trafficking from the Philippines,” they added.
As reported by Inquirer, the ban is effective from Jan. 19, 2019 to Jan. 18, 2020.
The H-2A visas are temporary visas for foreign agricultural workers. Meanwhile, H-2B visas are for foreign non-agricultural workers.
The Palace already commented on the issue. Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo said that the respect the decision of the DHS. The Palace will let the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) and US Embassy Manila to handle this case.
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