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.

Charles Boustany and H2B visas
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3 thoughts on “Charles Boustany and H2B visas

  • Besides the special interest group(s) and people(s) that keep the extension from being approved there is a huge MISUNDERSTANDING REGARDING THE NATURE OF SEASONAL WORK. It is temporary with minimum wage and does not usually lead to a full-time position with benefits. Sometimes the physical, location and schedule demands also make it a poor fit for an American citizen. At best it is supplemental income for a family or individual. If it works for an individual/family that is great but seasonal work cannot be made into something it is not. Many college students take summer classes now or internship jobs in their field of study; they may not be available for the complete season; most college students are not attracted to cleaning hotels, washing laundry or dishes or some of the even more physically demanding jobs of lawn work, stable cleaning, cutting stone or clearing forests, etc.

  • Kathy,

    All due respect to Dr. Boustany, the small businessmen of South Louisiana, and you, but cheap labor from Mexico is a quick fix unsuitable for this situation. Small business owners would hire more Americans for seasonal work if they had the flexibility to do so. More Americans would be willing to work these unpleasant jobs if they were paid more money. It is much easier for a businessman to lobby his congressman to free up more H-2Bs than it is to find good help. That is a sad problem with our culture.

    I guess, Kathy, that the only jobs college students can do is wait tables. If there were sufficient pressure on employers to raise wages, they would. There is nothing wrong with getting a little dirt under your fingernails at 18 years old. Generations upon generations of humanity has done this to earn a living.

    Lastly, I must say I was with the open borders crowd until I visited and moved to Houston. A majority of the medicaid cases here (funded entirely by your tax dollars) are the children of illegal immigrants, most of which I’m willing to bet either took cash jobs after crossing or overstayed an H-2B. Roughly 10% of the population of Mexico now lives and works in the United States, and all of their children have the benefits of free education and health care, and a American sized sense of entitlement that American college students have today. If you think that cheap labor doesn’t have a price tag down the road, you are kidding yourself.

  • The H2B program works. It is not an immigration issue and should not be treated as one. As an American, I find it baffling and offensive that people who have given us years of working service-some of them have been coming and going for 10 years or more are now in their home countries with no options! When they come here, they don’t overstay. OR they didn’t overstay until we started changing the rules, without giving them any options. They don’t break our laws, they pay taxes, they have to be checked by a doctor before coming here, etc. Can the same be said for people here illegally? Why are they being punished by people who are not here legally, or have family not here legally. How can it be ok to hold hostage the HR1843 bill in congress? Where is the American Justice in that?
    If we’re so worried about our borders, why don’t we tax all the money that gets sent via western union or money gram. It would probably build ten walls, pay the salaries of the border patrol and then some. Did you know it’s half the price to send money out of the US than within? Hmmm…makes you wonder…do we really want to do anything about the immigration issue?

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