US House conference committee OKs H-2B fix
WASHINGTON, D.C.—Delegate Madeleine Z. Bordallo (D-GU) said Friday that House and Senate conferees have reached a consensus on a provision in the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2018 that would help resolve Guam’s H-2B visa crisis.
Bordallo, as the ranking member of the House Armed Services Committee’s Readiness Subcommittee, is a member of the conference committee.
The provision adopted by the conference committee—which was reconciled from the differences between the House and Senate versions of the NDAA—extends Guam’s exemption from the national H-2B visa cap until 2023 and would allow up to 4,000 H-2B visas per year to be approved for Guam.
The provision further provides clear flexibility for the U.S. Customs and Immigration Services to approve H-2B visas for prime contractor or subcontractor services or labor required for construction, repair, renovation, or facility services directly connected to, or associated with, the Marine realignment.
The conference agreement must be approved by the full House and Senate before it is presented to President Trump for enactment.
“USCIS’ nearly 100 percent denial of H-2B visa applications for Guam has strained our economy and negatively impacted our ability to meet labor demands.
“While this is not a full solution for all business sectors, it does provide some relief to meet construction demands inside and outside the gate.
“Furthermore, I am hopeful the Trump administration will work with me on this broader solution and fulfill President [Donald J.] Trump’s personal commitment to Gov. [Eddie] Calvo this past weekend to resolve Guam’s non-defense H-2B visa shortages.” (PR)