URGENT ACTION REQUEST ON GUESTWORKER VISA REFORM
THE SITUATION: As many of you know, the House of Representatives has recessed for the month of August, and Members of Congress are back home in their districts campaigning ahead of the mid-term elections in November. FRA is using this time to build support for the AG and Legal Workforce Act (H.R. 6417)—legislation we strongly support that would move forestry workers into a new H-2C guestworker visa program with higher caps and an escalator clause. Versions of this bill have failed in two consecutive House votes in the last two months, but we feel momentum is starting to build in support of this legislation. FRA and over 200 groups are actively walking the halls of Congress educating their representatives about the urgent need for guestworker visa reform.
If the House fails to pass this legislation, the issue will be dead – not just for this Congress but possibly for years. That outcome is unacceptable. The agricultural and forestry community need a solution and Congress needs to act.
THE BOTTOM LINE: House leadership will schedule another vote on this bill in September if we (FRA, the Farm Bureau, and the other 200 plus members of the coalition) can demonstrate that we have sufficient votes for H.R. 6417 to pass the House. The most concrete “proof” that we have support from a Member of Congress is to secure cosponsorship of the legislation. The bill has about 80 cosponsors currently. We need to at least double this number before a vote is scheduled.
THE ASK: What we need from every FRA member is for you to contact your Member of Congress now and ask for them to cosponsor H.R. 6417. The links below will help you do that. They need to understand that guestworkers are essential to our reforestation efforts and that domestic workers simply will not fill these jobs.
Thank you in advance for taking time out of your busy day to communicate with your elected representatives on this critical public policy initiative. Your efforts really do make a difference.