Bordallo Proposes Regional Solutions to Labor Challenges
Washington, D.C. – Congresswoman Madeleine Z. Bordallo raised Guam’s continued H-2B visa challenges during a hearing of the House Committee on Natural Resources’ Subcommittee on Indian, Insular, and Alaska Native Affairs. Congresswoman Bordallo noted that the denials of H-2B visas have had adverse impacts on Guam’s construction and health care industries, and noted her work to address the H-2B challenges through a provision she included in the House-passed FY17 defense authorization bill as well as with the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services. However she also noted that for the long-term, Congress should work to develop proposals for a regional solution to address labor challenges in Guam and the CNMI. She will conduct a series of listening sessions in October to hear from the broad range of stakeholders affected by the H-visa situation as well as discuss policy solutions moving forward.
“The continued H-2B visa denials have adversely affected Guam’s construction, health care and tourism industries, and we must work to ensure that we have an adequate workforce on island. I continue to work to advance a provision that I included in the House-passed NDAA and with USCIS to address this issue. However, this spate of H-visa denials has made it clear that there must be a better long-term solution so that all our industries have the workforce they need to keep our economy moving forward. What we need are regional solutions that address Guam and the CNMI’s unique labor needs, and I will work with our local stakeholders to develop a long-term policy proposal to meet our specific workforce challenges. This proposal would also include support programs that cultivate local laborers and promote local workforce development. I intend to meet with the broad range of stakeholders affected by the H-visa situation and ensure that we have a viable plan moving forward.”