GUESTS

Each year, thousands of H2 Guestworkers come to the U.S from 59 eligible countries including Mexico to work in agriculture (H2-A Visa) or other fields like steel working, construction, or crab processing (H2-B Visa). In 2019, the Homeland and Labor Department plans to grant 96,000 H2-B visas, making it the highest since 2007. Annually, about 60,000 to 80,000 workers come to the U.S on H2-A visas.

Many of these workers rely on personal connections like family members and friends in order to find H2 jobs. Since it is difficult for workers to find out out if jobs in the U.S are legitimate, recruitment fraud, when someone is charged an illegal fee for a job that does or does not exist, is rampant. According to the non-profit Centro De Los Derechos del Migrante, 60 million pesos have been lost to workers in Mexico as a result of recruitment fraud. For people coming from other countries involved in the program, the amount is unknown.

These stories feature H2 Guestworkers who were defrauded while searching for H2 work in the United States.

Jesus, Adarely, and Alejandro are from Mexico. Each all have experiences with the H2 Guestworker program. These are their stories.

 

Meredith Stewart, Senior Supervising attorney at Southern Poverty Law Center, explains the background and history of the H2 worker Visa dating back to the Bracero program.

 

Sebastian explains why he works with an H2-A Visa instead of crossing the border illegally.

 

Roberto tells a story of when he paid hundreds in illegal recruitment fees.

Erika was an H2 worker for a landscaping company. She explains why workers want to come to the U.S.

I have never seen that in my life. There were 24 people and one bathroom, how could I stay there?
— - Kuldeep, former H2-B Worker & Trafficking Victim

Kuldeep was brought over from India on an H2-B Visa to work for Signal International to repair oil rigs after Hurricane Katrina. He was falsely promised a green card and had to pay thousands in illegal recruitment fees. When he arrived in the U.S he was held in a trailer with 24 other workers and wasn’t paid.

With the help of lawyers from the Southern Poverty Law Center, Kuldeep and his co-workers were able to win the largest human trafficking case in history in a settlement of 14 million dollars. Read this for more information.