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NRCA Action Alert: Construction Under Attack in Immigration Reform

April 2013

A bipartisan group of senators is drafting immigration reform legislation and considering provisions that will essentially ban construction industry employers, including roofing contractors, from participating in a new temporary worker program.

NRCA has met with the senators and communicated strong opposition to provisions that would harm the construction industry. NRCA urges all members to contact their senators now and urge them to oppose any legislation that unfairly singles out the construction industry in immigration legislation.

Background

A bipartisan group of senators is meeting to draft immigration reform legislation that may be introduced soon. This legislation will include a new temporary worker program designed to provide a legal avenue for businesses to obtain foreign workers when domestic workers cannot be found to fill job openings. NRCA supports a new temporary worker program that is governed by market forces, protects U.S. workers and enables employers to obtain the workers needed to grow their businesses in the future.

NRCA has been monitoring these discussions closely and is aware that representatives of organized labor are demanding that the new temporary worker program contain provisions that will essentially exclude construction employers from participating. The special rules for construction now being considered include drastically restricting the number of visas that would be allocated to the construction industry compared to other employers, making construction employers pay higher fees than other employers when participating in the program; and placing greater restrictions on construction employers who may utilize the program. It appears that key senators may agree to adopt these and other requirements that unfairly single out the construction industry in this new program.

Take action now

NRCA has expressed strong opposition to any guest worker program that singles out and places unfair and burdensome restrictions on construction industry employers. We need your help to communicate our concerns to senators.

Contact your senators immediately and communicate the following points:

  • You oppose any effort to restrict construction employers from participating in a new program for businesses to access legal, temporary foreign workers when U.S. workers are not available to fill job openings.
  • You support a new guest worker program that operates according to market forces and is not governed by a commission of bureaucrats in Washington, D.C.
  • You believe access to an effective temporary worker program is critical to the future of the construction industry, which is critical to the growth of the U.S. economy.
You may either call or e-mail your senators. To e-mail your senators, click here, find your senator's website and send a message containing the bullet points.

If you prefer to call your senators, you may call the U.S. Capitol switchboard at (202) 225-3121, ask for the senator's office, tell the staff you are calling about immigration reform and communicate the bullet points. Because Congress is in recess the week of April 1, you may wish to call your senators at one of their state offices.

When contacting your senators, always provide your name, company name, and home or company address so they know you are a constituent.

NRCA recommends all members contact one or both their senators at this time. You are especially encouraged to contact the following senators who are directly involved in the effort to draft an immigration reform bill if you live in their states:
  • Michael Bennet (D-Colo.)
  • Richard Durbin (D-Ill.)
  • Jeff Flake (R-Ariz.)
  • Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.)
  • John McCain (R-Ariz.)
  • Robert Menendez (D-N.J.)
  • Marco Rubio (R-Fla.)
  • Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.)
Please let NRCA's Washington, D.C., office know when you contact your senators by contacting Duane Musser, NRCA's vice president of government relations, at (202) 546-7584 or dmusser@nrca.net.

Thank you for taking the time to contact your lawmakers. Remember, grassroots action is critical to making a difference in Washington, D.C.



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