Let me add one more fact on the ongoing controversy about the admissions of H-2B alien workers – all taking jobs that Americans should have – that Speaker Ryan stirred up by estimating that the omnibus spending bill would permit the admission of "only" 8,000 of them.
Congress, nine years ago, passed legislation using exactly the same concept regarding the 2007 admissions, saying that alien workers in this category who had arrived in the three prior years would be admitted again without counting against the H-2B ceiling of 66,000. The Department of Homeland Security dutifully counted these admissions.
There were 79,168 "returning H-2B workers" according to table 25 of the 2007 Yearbook of Immigration Statistics.
That’s just about ten times the highly questionable estimate quoted by Ryan, and provided (apparently on extremely short notice) by the Congressional Budget Office.
The House passed the spending bill on December 18; the CBO estimate and the Speaker’s press release were both dated the same day, December 22. Isn't great when government moves this quickly?