Colorado Congressional delegation urges release of additional H-2B visas
|By Mary Elizabeth Williams-Villano|
In a letter to Congressional leaders, the bipartisan delegation stresses the urgent need for more guest workers in the state.
A delegation of Colorado lawmakers is urging Congressional leaders to provide additional H-2B visas for seasonal workers in year-end appropriations packages or budget resolutions, according to a story posted on the Homeland Preparedness News website.
The H-2B program allows U.S. employers to bring in guest workers from other countries to the United States to fill temporary nonagricultural jobs.
“Colorado is home to thousands of seasonal businesses and workers across a wide range of industries including landscaping, hospitality, ski resorts, amusement parks, forestry, golf courses and more,” the delegation wrote in a letter to Senate Majority Leader Sen. Mitch McConnell, R-Kentucky, Minority Leader Sen. Chuck Schumer, D-New York, Speaker of the House Rep. Nancy Pelosi, D-California and Minority Leader Rep. Kevin McCarthy, R-Texas, according to the story.
“With Colorado’s statewide unemployment below 3%, businesses in our state are facing serious hiring challenges,” the delegation’s letter continues.
The article states that the letter was signed by U.S. Sens. Cory Gardner, R-Colorado, Rep. Michael Bennett, R-Colorado, Rep. Jason Crow, D-Colorado, Rep. Diana DeGette, D-Colorado, Rep. Joe Neguse, D-Colorado, Rep. Scott Tipton, R-Colorado, Rep. Ken Buck, R-Colorado and Rep. Doug Lamborn R-Colorado.
The lawmakers point out in the letter that the House Appropriations Committee passed an amendment that would require the Department of Homeland Security to release up to an additional 69,320 visas if they determine that the needs of seasonal businesses cannot be met with American workers, according to the story. They voiced their strong support for this provision.
“We also strongly support provisions in the Senate Appropriations Committee FY2020 Labor, Health and Human Services, Education and Related Agencies bill that would continue the existing H-2B regulatory measures that have been in place for the past several years,” continues the letter, according to the report.
“If these provisions were eliminated, it would cause program confusion and result in potential processing delays caused by the need for the departments to develop new forms and guidance,” the letter continues. “As Congress considers appropriations legislation, H-2B cap relief must remain a part of the discussions and we urge inclusion of these provisions.”