June 29, 2018
Hagåtña – As Congress discusses immigrations legislation, Governor Calvo is calling on members of the House and Senate to ensure Guam’s need for skilled workers is on the agenda.
Governor Calvo wrote to Guam Congresswoman Madeleine Bordallo, Senator Ted Cruz and Senator Lisa Murkowski to inject language in future legislation to provide relief for Guam’s shortage of skilled workers — particularly for H-2B workers for civilian projects — into federal legislation. The Governor provided some ideas for language that may be useful in moving the issue forward. Though recently voted down in the House, the President has made clear that the discussion will be revisited.
The Governor sees this as an opportunity.
“We have time now,” Governor Calvo wrote to the Congresswoman “to make calls and rally what resources we have to ensure Guam’s needs aren’t forgotten.”
The most recent version of the immigrations bill included relief for employers of H-2B workers by tripling the number of H-2B visas available in the national cap. This doesn’t help Guam because we already are exempt from the national cap. Additionally, Guam’s need is for skilled workers to augment our existing skilled labor force.
“I strongly believe that efforts should be made to include some kind of provision that would ease our outstanding issues with H-2B temporary need, similar to the exemption recently passed in the 2018 NDAA,” he wrote to the lawmakers.
“I implore your help and respectfully request your support and efforts to use any and all appropriate legislative vehicles, going forward, to assist Guam’s workforce crisis. With the economic hits the island has endured through recent federal actions, a fix for the H-2B crisis would help spur the economic activity vital to recovering from the rising costs in construction and other areas in our economy.”
June 29, 2018