Dear [LEGISLATOR NAME]:
The reforestation companies that we hire to provide services use the H-2B visa program to ensure their workers are legally documented. The H-2B program provides a vital and legal source of seasonal labor for these companies, because they cannot fill labor needs with American citizens.
The expiration of the cap exemption for repeat workers on September 30, 2007 passed without the returning-worker exemption being extended by Congress. They are committed to maintaining a legal workforce, but need your assistance through support for the "Save Our Small and Seasonal Business Act of 2007" (S. 988, H.R. 1843). Please co-sponsor this legislation and work to support its prompt passage.
Without a permanent extension of this provision of the law, our reforestation contractors will be unable to hire the workers needed to fulfill our reforestation service needs.
The ability to hire guest workers is vitally important because the vast majority of U.S. citizens, who are legally qualified to perform the manual labor associated with the forestry industry, do not have the desire to work in seasonal, manual-labor jobs.
Further, the annual uncertainty about whether or not the repeat-worker exemption will be extended by Congress makes it difficult for us to know whether they will be able to provide the services that we need. For this reason, we urge you to support a long-term extension of this exemption. Three years of successful implementation has proven that the exemption makes sense and does not pose a security risk.
Please co-sponsor the "Save Our Small and Seasonal Businesses Act of 2007." Thank you very much for your prompt attention to this important issue for our landscape and lawn care companies, and other small businesses with seasonal-labor needs.