Dr. Boustany advocates labor relief for Louisana:
Local economies across the United States are facing an immediate labor crisis. Seasonal jobs that have been filled for years by temporary H-2B workers are vacant. Sugar cane is not being processed, rice crops can’t be sorted or bagged, and crawfish and crabs are being turned away by processors who simply don’t have the workers to clean and pick the fishermen’s catch.
The H-2B visa program provides the small and seasonal businesses that drive many of our nation’s regional economies with legal, seasonal workers. The FY 2008 cap of 66,000 H-2B workers was met this year on January 2. In past years, Congress acted responsibly and allowed certain returning workers to be exempt from the H-2B cap in order to help meet the needs of the many seasonal businesses that rely on these workers. Unfortunately, Congress allowed the returning worker provision to expire last year, and thousands of small businesses nationwide face critical job shortages.
The bipartisan returning worker provision is now being held as a political hostage. While American business owners suffer, legislation to fill this need sits idle. In response to the lack of action, I introduced H.Res.1025 to call up, for immediate consideration, Congressman Bart Stupak’s H.R.1843, the Save Our Small and Seasonal Businesses Act. This bipartisan measure reauthorizes the returning worker program, supplying small businesses with their essential workforce. It is my sincere hope that with my colleagues’ help we can find a quick resolution to the crisis occurring in local communities around our nation.
If you have any questions, please visit my website or feel free to contact my Washington, D.C. office at (202) 225-2031. This is an important small business and economic issue, and I look forward to working towards a solution.
Me: The 7th district is a small world, and I know some of the people he’s talking about. I talked with my Uncle who is a big proponent of the George Bush/John McCain immigration policy. Just get some foolproof ID cards for the H2B holders and the labor shortage is solved, right? Sounds good but living in Houston opens your eyes to the reality of open borders and the often adverse consequences of such policy over the long run. Flaunting of the law doesn’t stop with crossing the border.