A new report published on March 6, 2015, by the U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO) evaluates the H-2A and H-2B visa programs, finding that workers lack adequate protections. The report, H-2A and H-2B Visa Programs: Increased Protections Needed for Foreign Workers, found that workers face considerable vulnerabilities during labor recruitment. The GAO was mandated by U.S. Congress to study the labor recruitment of H-2 workers.
On February 18th, 2015, a federal jury awarded $14 million USD in damages to five former H-2B workers. The five had been recruited by Signal International to work as welders in Mississippi, repairing oil rigs after Hurricane Katrina. It was an exciting conclusion to seven years of litigation seeking justice for workers who experienced trafficking, fraud and discrimination in their pursuit of good jobs in the United States.