Don’t Exclude Construction from Immigration Options

AGC pushes back on a bipartisan effort to exclude commercial construction employers from the only visa program—the H-2B visa program—available to it. 

The nation’s immigration system is broken and nearly every facet of it needs reform. Senators Lindsey Graham (R-SC) and Alex Paddilla (D-CA) are currently negotiating a narrow bill addressing the H-2B visa program, which would limit the industry’s ability to access it. The H-2B visa program is the only worker visa program open to construction workers.

A year’s long effort by groups that claim to be negotiating on behalf of construction employers have advocated for the inclusion of language in proposed H-2B legislation that would banish commercial construction industry employers from being allowed to even apply to use a program to hire legal workers. H-2B visas are available for temporary, seasonal jobs when U.S. workers are unavailable.

This restricted access is a red line for the construction industry, which has found opponents push to exclude the industry, and only the construction industry, from immigration programs in the past. The attacks are unwarranted and fail to consider that the construction industry is facing record-high job openings.

AGC recently joined a broad swath of construction industry stakeholders calling on Congress to reject these discriminatory policies and urged policymakers to proceed with thoughtful and meaningful reforms that secure the border while meeting U.S. economic needs.

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