A bi-partisan group of Senators is working on an important piece of immigration reform – the future temporary worker visa program. These Senators are currently considering singling out the construction industry from using the future temporary worker visa program by including significant restrictions. Some of the barriers being considered are:

  • Restricting construction employers from using the program unless local construction unemployment is below historical rates,
  • Forcing construction employers to pay temporary workers at a higher wage than U.S. workers, and
  • Making construction employers pay a significant fee for using the program.

In addition, certain construction occupations would be permanently barred from the program and others would be more severely restricted. While some restrictions would exist for other industries, construction would be unique in the number of barriers to using a temporary worker program that would be established by this legislation.  Very few details have been agreed upon, but this is the first contentious issue being fought over.  The construction industry employs nearly 6 million people; forecasts show the industry adding two million more people to construction payrolls by 2020. The last time major immigration reform was signed into law was 1986, so if this bi-partisan group continues to move forward along these lines, the construction industry may be forced to comply with these restrictive requirements for decades.

Tell Senators Flake and McCain to object to any effort to restrict construction employers from being able to access legal, temporary foreign workers in the future. Your Senators need to know that singling out an industry makes no sense.  The nation’s immigration policy should be guided by economics and labor availability and they should create sound rational policy across all industries.  Taking away the tools our industry may need in the future will only hurt the industry's ability to adapt to economic cycles and growth.  Please call or write your Senators now as negotiations are nearing completion.
Senator John McCain: (202) 224-2235
Senator Jeff Flake: (202) 224-4521

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