ALCC LAB
Grassroots help need to save H-2B visa program (2/17/17) Email
Friday, February 17, 2017 12:00 AM
H-2B action needed

From the H-2B Workforce Coalition:

The H-2B Workforce Coalition continues to urge Congress to renew the H-2B returning worker exemption so that seasonal businesses will not be shut out of the H-2B program in the spring and summer. We need your continued to help in urging Congress to act on this critical issue. You can use the provided talking points when reaching out to your Representative and Senators. 

Congress will be on recess all next week, which means lawmakers will be back in their home states.  Many elected officials will have listening sessions or town hall meetings. If your Representative or Senator has a public meeting, please consider attending and raising the importance of renewing the H-2B returning worker exemption. It is also a good time to make an appointment to meet with your elected officials to meet in their district offices.

In addition, please Call your Senators and Representative and ask them to renew the H-2B returning worker exemption immediately. If you do not know their direct numbers, you can reach them through the Capitol Switchboard at (202) 225-3121. Once connected to the office, ask to speak to the person who handles H-2B issues and stress the immediate need to renew the returning worker exemption. Congress must understand that failure to renew the exemption will result in American job losses.

Finally, please continue to tweet at your Senators and Representative using #SaveH2B. You can find their twitter address at: twitter.com/verified/lists/us-congress/members or on this Colorado legislator contact list . Some sample tweets are below.

  • H-2B 1st Cap Hit! Congress must renew the H-2B returning worker exemption now! #saveH2B
  • 82% of H-2B visa workers are returning workers – proof that they are treated well. #saveH2B
  • The H-2B program relies on workers who come to the U.S. for seasonal work, then go home.  #saveH2B
  • Every H-2B worker creates and sustains 4.64 American jobs.  Renew the H-2B returning worker exemption now! #saveH2B
  • #saveH2B and save American Jobs! Renew the H-2B returning worker exemption now!
  • H-2B program = more American jobs.  Renew the H-2B returning worker exemption now. #saveH2B
  • H-2B workers support American jobs. Renew the H-2B returning worker exemption now #saveH2B
  • Save the spring and summer.  Renew the H-2B returning worker exemption now!  #saveH2B

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Learn more about the H-2B visa program Email
Friday, February 10, 2017 12:00 AM
H-2B action needed

H-2B basics from the H-2B Workforce Coalition:

The H-2B Program

The H-2B non-agricultural temporary worker program allows U.S. employers to bring foreign nationals to the United States to fill temporary non-agricultural jobs.

For more information about the H-2B program, see H-2B Non-Agricultural Workers

What is the H-2B Cap?

There is a statutory numerical limit, or "cap," on the total number of foreign nationals who may be issued an H-2B visa or otherwise granted H-2B status during a fiscal year (FY). Currently, Congress has set the H-2B cap at 66,000 per fiscal year, with 33,000 for workers who begin employment in the first half of the fiscal year (October 1 - March 31) and 33,000 for workers who begin employment in the second half of the fiscal year (April 1 - September 30). Any unused numbers from the first half of the fiscal year will be available for employers seeking to hire H-2B workers during the second half of the fiscal year. However, unused H-2B numbers from one fiscal year do not carry over into the next.

Workers Who Are Exempt from the H-2B Cap

Generally, workers in the United States in H-2B status who extend their stay, change employers, or change the terms and conditions of employment will not be subject to the cap. Similarly, H-2B workers who have previously been counted against the cap in the same fiscal year that the proposed employment begins will not be subject to the cap if the employer names the workers on the petition and indicates that they have already been counted. The spouse and children of H-2B workers classified as H-4 nonimmigrants are also not counted against this cap.

Additionally, petitions for the following types of workers are exempt from the H-2B cap:

  • Fish roe processors, fish roe technicians or supervisors of fish roe processing;
  • Workers performing labor or services in the Commonwealth of Northern Mariana Islands or Guam from November 28, 2009, until December 31, 2019.

Note that the “returning worker” program expired on September 30, 2016.  Persons who were designated by employers as potential returning workers, if they are otherwise subject to the cap, will be counted against the cap.

Once the H-2B cap is reached, USCIS may only accept petitions for H-2B workers who are exempt or not subject to the H-2B cap.

Fiscal Year 2017 H-2B Cap Count

On January 12, 2017, USCIS announced that it has received a sufficient number of petitions to reach the congressionally mandated cap of 33,000 H-2B workers for the first half of FY 2017. January 10, 2017 is the final receipt date for new cap-subject H-2B worker petitions requesting employment start dates before April 1, 2017. USCIS will reject new H-2B petitions received after the final receipt date that request an employment start date before April 1, 2017.

 

Cap Type Cap Amount Beneficiaries Approved Beneficiaries Pending Total Beneficiaries1 Date of Last Count
H-2B: 

First Half

of FY 2017

33,000       On Jan. 10, 2017, the cap for the 1st half of FY 2017 was reached.  01/10/2017
 

H-2B:

Second Half

of FY 2017

 33,0002  2,523  5,576  8,099

02/09/2017

 

1 Refers to the total number of beneficiaries for approved or pending petitions filed with USCIS that could potentially be counted towards the H-2B cap. This number will ultimately exceed the actual cap to allow for withdrawals, denials, and approvals for which no visa is issued.

2 If the cap is not reached for the first half of the fiscal year, USCIS will make those unused numbers available for use during the second half of the fiscal year.

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HB-1061: Revised Definition of Commercial Motor Vehicle Email
Tuesday, February 07, 2017 12:00 AM

HB-1061, created by Colorado Motor Carriers Association and sponsored by Reps. J Becker & Melton and Senators Scott & Todd requests a change to the definition of commercial vehicles. It requests to define commercial vehicles at a weight of 16,000 pounds rather than at 10,000 pounds due to the state mandates. Why? In a nutshell: 

  • Ports of Entry requires vehicles 16,000 pounds or greater to pull in their ports.
  • Patrol and POE mobile units can now stop 10,000 pound vehicles at roadside operations for safety inspections.
  • The bill brings uniformity to the weights as they both now will be 16,000 pounds.

Below see a fact sheet prepared by Hicks & Associates, highlighting key provisions of the bill. 

Read more...
 
Update on the first day of CO General Assembly for 2017 Email
Monday, January 23, 2017 10:00 AM

Legislative news 

Report from Hicks & Associates on the opening day of the 71st Colorado General Assembly, which convened Wednesday, January 11, 2017.

After a short break after the seemingly never-ending election season to enjoy the holidays, the 71st Colorado General Assembly convened on Wednesday amid the usual pomp and circumstance. As is tradition, legislators old and new arrived with lots of smiling tots and other family members in tow to stand with them as they were sworn into office. Representative Crisanta Duran (D-Denver) was elected the state’s first Latina Speaker of the House. In her speech, she made note of her priority policy areas, to include transportation, education funding, and affordable housing. To that end, she also announced a construction defects bill, a bi-partisan effort that she is sponsoring with Senate President Kevin Grantham (R-Canon City) which was promptly introduced the very same day.

Read more...
 
2017 legislative priorities Email
Monday, January 16, 2017 12:00 AM

Legislative newsALCC has announced the 2017 legislative priorities. Read all about it here

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