Prior to the August recess, the House Appropriations Committee passed its version of the fiscal 2017 Department of Homeland Appropriations bill, which would renew the H-2B returning worker exemption for another year. The Senate Appropriations Committee passed its version of the Department of Labor Appropriations bill that would extend the H-2B regulatory relief for another year and provide additional resources for H-2B processing.
While Congress is not expected to complete work on these appropriations bills before the start of the fiscal year on October 1, it is expected to pass a stop-gap spending measure called a continuing resolution that will keep the federal government running. It is essential that the continuing resolution extend the H-2B returning worker exemption beyond September 30.
To help ensure that this happens, we are calling on all NALP members to help. Here are several things that you can do:
Schedule a meeting with your Senators and Representative. Congress is currently on recess so call to request meetings with your elected officials in their local offices. When possible invite other local businesses that use the program to attend the meeting with you. During the meeting explain the importance of the H-2B program to your business, your American workers and the local economy. Ask them to work with their party leadership to extend the H-2B returning worker exemption beyond September 30.
Call your Senators and Representative. If you do not know their direct numbers, you can reach them through the Capitol Switchboard at (202) 225-3121. Once connected to the office, ask to speak to the person who handles H-2B issues and tell him or her how important the H-2B program is to you. Ask them to work with their party leadership to extend the H-2B returning worker exemption beyond September 30.
Email your Senators and Representatives. You can send a message quickly and easily through our Legislative Action Center. All you need to do is enter your contact info and the action center will automatically send a message to your U.S. Representative and Senators. You can either use the email message we have already written or edit it to add personal information that connects you to the district and tells your story of why the H-2B program matters to you and how it helps preserve American jobs.
Tweet at your Senators and Representative using #SaveH2B. You can find their twitter handles here. Some sample tweets are below. We also encourage you to re-tweet NALP tweets. Also encourage your employees, co-workers, suppliers, and other industry colleagues to reach out to their elected officials. Here are a few Sample Tweets – Remember, the best tweets are those that you can personalize to your member of Congress and be specific to the state. For example:
@USRepRodney NJ seasonal businesses need an H-2B returning worker exemption. #SaveH2B
@Robert_Aderholt AL seafood processors need an H-2B returning worker exemption. #SaveH2B
@JudgeCarter TX landscapers need an H-2B returning worker exemption. #SaveH2B
Additional Sample Tweets:
82% of H-2B visa workers are returning workers – proof that they are treated well. #saveH2B
The H-2B program relies on workers who come to the U.S. for seasonal work, then go home. #saveH2B
Every H-2B worker creates and sustains 4.64 American jobs #saveH2B
#saveH2B and save American Jobs!
H-2B program = more American jobs. #saveH2B
H-2B workers support American jobs. #saveH2B
Why reinvent the wheel? Renew the returning worker exemption. #SaveH2B