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Save Our Summer - America Needs to Expand H-2B Visas

Cite as "AILA InfoNet Doc. No. 08041669 (posted Apr. 16, 2008)"

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
Wednesday, April 16, 2008
CONTACT:
George Tzamaras
202-216-2410
gtzamaras@aila.org

WASHINGTON, DC - AILA applauds the efforts of the Subcommittee on Immigration, Citizenship, Refugees, Border Security, and International Law, and its Chairman Rep. Zoe Lofgren (D-CA), as it conducts a hearing today on the H-2B seasonal worker program.

By January 2nd, 2008, Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) had received a sufficient number of petitions to reach the congressionally mandated H-2B cap for the second half of Fiscal Year 2008, again showing how Congress' failure to pass fair and reasonable immigration policy harms the growing needs of the U.S. economy. Service industries such as hospitality (restaurants and hotels), landscaping, construction, and seafood processing are among those most damaged by Congress' inaction.

By holding this hearing today on an issue critically important to our economy, and by including both supporters of the H-2B program as well as those who are familiar with situations where the program has been misused, Chairman Lofgren is clearly intending to find a balanced solution for the businesses and workers that use the program.

"The subcommittee is working to connect the dots between valid labor needs and our immigration laws. Without a fair and robust H-2B program, America is at a competitive disadvantage," said Kathleen Campbell Walker, President of the American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA).

Walker added, "This issue of whether the government should allow more seasonal workers to be granted visas is a no-brainer that should have been solved by now. An increase in this cap, tied to documented labor needs, would only serve to help make legality the norm and enable U.S. employers to hire needed workers. Congress must make the changes needed to help our economy by proceeding with basic solutions."

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The American Immigration Lawyers Association is the national association of immigration lawyers established to promote justice, advocate for fair and reasonable immigration law and policy, advance the quality of immigration and nationality law and practice, and enhance the professional development of its members. For more information call George Tzamaras at 202-216-2410 or Annie Wilson at 202-216-2435