H-2B hearing to be held April 16

The U.S. House Subcommittee on Immigration, Citizenship, Refugees, Border Security and International Law is holding a hearing on the H-2B program Wednesday, April 16 at 2 p.m. in room 2141 of the Rayburn House Office Building.

This focus of this hearing will be for both sides to present their arguments. The Southern Poverty Law Center held an H-2B briefing on April 1 to present a negative view of the program by using stories of abuse from mistreated H-2B workers. The outcome of that meeting is planned for April 16.

The hearing is expected to be well attended by both sides, with limited space available inside the room. As the committee chair determines who will testify during the hearing, and supporters of the program can help ensure the positive side of the program is heard by asking their U.S. Representative to speak to committee members. To do this, call (202) 225-3121.

In addition, those who cannot attend the hearing are asked to provide testimonials to use during the hearing to show the benefits of the program. Below is information on the two types of testimonials needed. Please note that these will be entered into the record and made available to the public.

From H-2B employers, letters are needed to cover the following areas:

· How you feel about your H-2B workers
· How much you pay your H-2B workers
· Benefits you provide to your H-2B workers (transportation, housing, meals, time off)
· Living conditions of your H-2B workers while they work for you
· Any personal stories that you have of your H-2B workers
· Anything extra you may do for your H-2B workers (letters on birthdays, gifts, letters in off season, etc.)

From H-2B workers, handwritten testimonials are needed to cover the following topics:

· Why the H-2B program is important to them (support family, learn job, etc.)
· How much they are paid
· Problems they face if they can’t get an H-2B job
· What their living conditions are like while they are employed
· What are their working conditions like
· How they feel about their employer

Please send testimonials to Tom Delaney at [email protected] or fax them to (703) 736-9668.

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