"Congress gave me the discretionary authority to provide temporary relief to American businesses in danger of suffering irreparable harm due to a lack of available temporary workers", Kelly said in a statement.
The Trump administration has expanded the meaning of "America First" to include foreign workers willing to take on low-skill work.
The extra H-2B visas are for seasonal, non-agriculture workers for jobs at a variety of businesses, including resorts. "You're standing on your feet in the heat of the kitchen peeling onions and washing dishes until 2 in the morning".
Congress allowed the administration to increase the number of H-2B visas in a compromise spending bill passed in May and the new joint rule the Departments of Labor and Homeland Security have put forward will be published in the federal register later this week, according to senior DHS officials.
DHS chose to increase the amount of H-2B visas allowed after consulting with the Department of Labor, and was given the authority to do so in the omnibus spending bill that Congress recently approved. The cancellation earlier this year of a provision that had exempted returning workers from being included in that cap had worsened the shortage.
Many employers have complained that the action by DHS comes too late this year to allow full staffing by the beginning of the summer season.
"There are still so many hotels and restaurants that have been impacted by this in a negative way", Steve Hewins, president of the Maine Innkeepers Association said after Monday's decision.
According to NBC, in 2016, the federal government allowed 13,382 additional visas to meet seasonal demand.
Skilled foreign non-agricultural workers on H-2B visas are used widely in the tourism industry, as well as industries as wide-ranging as horse racing, meat packing and landscaping. "As a demonstration of the administration's commitment to supporting American businesses, DHS is providing this one-time increase to the congressionally set annual cap".
"I have no idea if I'm even going to get a visa once they're processed", Diment said.
Diment had to close some rooms in her hotel because she was not able to fill six housekeeping positions she has been filling with H2B workers for over two decades.