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March 04, 2005

Your Voice Needed to Stop H-2B Visa Blackout

In response to employer outcry over H-2B visa blackout, Congress has introduced the "Save Our Small and Seasonal Businesses Act of 2005" (S. 352/ H.R. 793) in the House and Senate. This bipartisan bill would provide emergency H-2B relief for this year and next by exempting from the cap those workers who have participated in the H-2B program in one of the previous 3 years and successfully complied with all program requirements. It also would end the inequitable distribution of H-2B visa numbers by reserving half of the cap numbers for the latter half of the year. While this emergency fix could never replace comprehensive immigration reform nor serve as a model for reform, it is a critical piece of legislation that could determine the fate of many businesses across the nation.

Now, it is up to us to keep the momentum going and the co-sponsor list growing! Reach out to your Members of Congress and urge them to co-sponsor the "Save Our Small and Seasonal Businesses Act of 2005." Here's what you need to do:

Show your support for Save Our Small and Seasonal Businesses Act of 2005. Click here to send a letter immediately to your Senators and Representative. You can also contact members of Congress directly by phone (202-224-3121).

Let your Senators and Representatives hear your story! Use the H-2B Model Letter or the sample letter discussing H-2B visas as a small business issue as a guide. Fax these letters directly to your Members' D.C. offices.

Follow up with your Members of Congress. Remember, the squeaky wheel gets the grease. Contact Members directly by phone (202-224-3121). If they are co-sponsors of S. 352 / H.R. 793 thank them. If not, urge them to support and co-sponsor the bill. Use AILA's H-2B Issue Paper and Talking Points as a guide, but the real stories come from the frustrations you are feeling from the H-2B visa blackout!

Provide examples of the need for H-2B visas. The proof is in the pudding -- Senators and Representatives need to know their constituents are affected by the H-2B visa blackout. Send your examples, including company location (city, state) and industry to Joanna Hedvall. AILA will then provide Congress with evidence of the need for an immediate fix!

Utilize the power of the pen. Using AILA's H-2B Issue Paper, write to your local newspaper, submit an op-ed, and contact your local immigration and business reporters. Don't hesitate to contact AILA's Media Relations Associate, Julia Hendrix, for help and advice.

Posted by VisaLawyer at March 4, 2005 12:00 AM

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