Key Vote Letter to Senators to Help Small and Seasonal Businesses by Fixing the H-2B Visa
April 19, 2005
TO THE MEMBERS OF THE UNITED STATES SENATE:
On behalf of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, the world's largest business federation representing more than three million businesses and organizations of every size, sector, and region, I urge you to support passage of S. 352, the "Save Our Small and Seasonal Business Act of 2005," as part of the Emergency Supplemental Appropriations bill. This legislation would exempt temporary seasonal workers who have participated in the H-2B visa program during the past three fiscal years from counting toward the statutory cap and allocate the 66,000 worker cap so that during the first 6 months of the fiscal year only 33,000 H-2B visa holders can enter the country.
Under the current H-2B temporary worker visa allocation system, many industries are unable to benefit from a program originally designed to assist them with their need for seasonal workers. In fact, the worker cap was reached only three months into this fiscal year, on January 3, 2005.
Chamber members particularly hurt by the current H-2B worker cap allocation system are found in the landscaping, food processing, stone, travel and tourism, construction, entertainment, hospitality, recreation and many other industries with an increased need for seasonal workers starting in the spring and summer seasons.
Due to the critical importance of this issue to the business community, the Chamber will consider including votes on S. 352 as key votes in our annual How They Voted rankings.
R. Bruce Josten
Executive Vice President, Government Affairs
U.S. Chamber of Commerce