Text: H.R.1934 — 111th Congress (2009-2010)All Information (Except Text)

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Introduced in House (04/02/2009)


111th CONGRESS
1st Session
H. R. 1934


To apply in fiscal year 2009 the exemption of returning workers from the numerical limitations for seasonal nonimmigrant workers in order to provide short-term immediate relief to small and seasonal businesses.


IN THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES

April 2, 2009

Mr. Kratovil (for himself, Mr. Conaway, Mr. Stupak, Mr. Wittman, Mr. Delahunt, and Mr. Garrett of New Jersey) introduced the following bill; which was referred to the Committee on the Judiciary


A BILL

To apply in fiscal year 2009 the exemption of returning workers from the numerical limitations for seasonal nonimmigrant workers in order to provide short-term immediate relief to small and seasonal businesses.

Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled,

SECTION 1. Short title.

This Act may be cited as the “American Job and Seasonal Business Preservation Act”.

SEC. 2. Findings and purpose.

(a) Findings.—The Congress finds as follows:

(1) The H–2B visa program provides for the temporary admission of nonimmigrant aliens to the United States to perform temporary non-agricultural work.

(2) Under current law, the Department of Labor must certify, upon application by a United States employer intending to petition for the admission of nonimmigrant H–2B workers, that there are not enough able and qualified United States workers available for the position sought to be filled and that the employment of the foreign workers will not adversely affect the wages and working conditions of similarly employed United States workers.

(3) Under current law, a nonimmigrant H–2B worker is required to have a residence in a foreign country which the worker has no intention of abandoning. The worker must be coming to the United States to perform only temporary service or labor for a limited period of time.

(4) The H–2B visa program is currently limited to 66,000 nonimmigrant visas per fiscal year. This number is insufficient to meet the current labor demands of small and seasonal businesses, especially summer seasonal employers with needs in the second half of the fiscal year.

(5) In 2005 and 2006, the Congress passed legislation exempting nonimmigrant workers who counted against the H–2B visa cap in any one of the 3 previous fiscal years from being counted again against the cap. This provision expired in 2007 and small and seasonal businesses across the country are now facing a labor shortage, due to the temporary nature of these jobs, and the unavailability of United States workers who are willing or able to consider these temporary seasonal positions.

(6) Our economy is in recession and last month alone the Nation lost an estimated 651,000 jobs, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Thousands of full-time American jobs depend on temporary seasonal positions.

(7) According to a recent University of Maryland report, for each H–2B nonimmigrant worker in the crab industry who is denied entry due to the numerical limitation on the visa category, an estimated 2.5 American jobs are lost.

(8) The Congress must take every step to preserve American jobs, and without immediate relief many small and seasonal businesses could be forced out of business, thereby costing additional American jobs.

(9) There is broad consensus that the H–2B visa program should be comprehensively reformed. Until this occurs, however, an extension of the returning worker exemptions enacted in 2005 and 2006 is an appropriate interim solution.

(b) Purpose.—The purpose of this Act is to provide small and seasonal businesses the labor force they need to survive until broader H–2B program reform can occur.

SEC. 3. Application in fiscal year 2009 of returning worker exemption to H–2B numerical limitation.

Section 214(g)(9)(A) of the Immigration and Nationality Act (8 U.S.C. 1184(g)(9)(A)) is amended—

(1) by striking “2004, 2005, or 2006” and inserting “2006, 2007, or 2008”; and

(2) by striking “2007” and inserting “2009”.


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