U.S. Sen. Rob Portman says he’s been pushing the Trump administration to issue more temporary work visas to fill jobs in Ohio. He also says he opposes immigration agents separating parents from their young children.
Last week, immigration officials raided a Northeast Ohio greenhouse and rounded up more than 100 employees on suspicion that they’re here illegally.
Portman notes that the Trump administration has cut back on the number of temporary work visas, leaving employers struggling to find enough workers here legally.
“You don’t want people to use an illegal labor force. You want them to stick within the legal program," Portman said. "It should be expanded. I’ve written to both the secretary of homeland security and secretary of labor to try to get the H-2B issue resolved and to be sure the legal workforce is there. “
Portman says his office has not been contacted by advocates for the workers caught up in the sweep, some of whom had children in daycare. But "we want to be sure that the law is properly carried out and I don’t think that includes families being separated with the exception of cases where there is an additional serious crime."
Ohio’s other senator, Sherrod Brown, called the separations “morally reprehensible.”