Senate clears a procedural hurdle, but still no word on whether spending bill will include H-2B visa increases
Earlier this week the Senate cleared a procedural hurdle to start the clock on passing a short-term spending bill to fund the federal government past Sept. 30. Funding for the government expires at the end of the month, and Congress is expected to pass a continuing resolution to keep it funded into mid-December.
However, the details for the short-term spending bill are still being worked out between Congressional negotiators, so we need your urgent phone calls today!
Last year, Congress expanded the H-2B low-skilled, guest worker program, excluding returning foreign workers from the annual cap of 66,000. The exemption increased the number of H-2B visas that could be issued to 264,000. The expansion expires on Sept. 30 unless Congress extends it through the short-term spending bill.
It's imperative that Congress oppose an increase to the H-2B visa program. The program is used by employers to fill low-skilled temporary or seasonal jobs, but vulnerable American workers and teens, who have unemployment rates well above the national average, rely on these temporary and seasonal jobs for work and would have to compete directly with foreign workers.
Also, Pres. Obama announced plans last week to expand the Refugee Resettlement program by 30% in FY2017. We're urging Congress to include a moratorium on the resettlement of refugees from terrorist-sponsoring countries until an assessment of the national security risks they present can be completed. The Obama Administration plans to resettle 110,000 refugees in FY17 - an increase of 25,000 from FY16 and 40,000 from FY15.
The most important action you can take as a concerned citizen is to call your Members of Congress!
Please call all three of your Members of Congress and urge them to oppose any expansion of the H-2B visa program and to support a moratorium on refugee resettlement from terrorist-sponsoring countries.
CAPITOL SWITCHBOARD -- (888) 995-2086
Please call the number above that will connect you with the Capitol Switchboard. When the operator answers, ask to be connected to the offices of your Members of Congress. If you're not sure who your Members of Congress are, visit your Action Board.
OR You can use the following links to get your elected officials phone number/email address
Once connected with your Members' office, you can use the following talking points.
I urge you to oppose any expansion of the H-2B low-skilled guest worker program in the upcoming continuing resolution. The unemployment rates for Americans with a high school degree or less are nearly double the national average, and these Americans have to compete directly for jobs with H-2B visa holders.
Pres. Obama is demanding that Congress fund the resettlement of 110,000 refugees in FY2017 despite warnings from FBI Director James Comey that refugees from terrorist-sponsoring nations cannot be fully vetted. Please include a moratorium on refugee resettlement from terrorist-sponsoring nations in the upcoming continuing resolution until an assessment of the national security risks they present can be completed.
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"America will never be destroyed from the outside. If we falter and lose our freedoms, it will be because we destroyed ourselves."