U.S. Rep. Charles Boustany yesterday introduced a measure to increase the number of temporary, or H-2B, workers allowed in the country to perform seasonal work for small businesses.
“The current H-2B visa shortage is a crisis for small businesses in Southwest Louisiana and around the country,” Boustany said. He called for Congress to renew its commitment to small businesses and quickly increase the legal limit for these seasonal workers, like crawfish peelers who work in the country for six months before returning to their home country. "American small businesses and entrepreneurs depend on these temporary workers, in the country legally, to fill untaken jobs,” the congressman said.
Boustany introduced H. Res. 1025, providing for immediate consideration of Michigan Democratic U.S. Rep. Bart Stupak’s returning worker bill, which increases the number of potential H-2B workers. H. Res. 1025 was referred to the House Rules Committee; if the committee fails to pass the bill, the Boustany measure is eligible for a discharge petition after seven legislative days.
The H-2B visa program provides legal workers with the opportunity to come to America on a temporary basis and provide labor to the small and seasonal businesses that drive many of our nation’s local economies.
On Jan. 2, 2008, the cap for critical H-2B visas was reached, crippling small businesses and agricultural communities in Acadiana and around the country that now lack access to essential workers they have depended on year after year. Nationwide, approximately half of the needed workers are currently available for unfilled jobs. More than 120,000 H-2B workers came into the United States legally last year. This year’s total allotment of 66,000 H-2B visas was met in early January.
Frank’s Casing Crew, now doing business as Frank’s International, will make its final appearance on ABiz’s list of the Top 50 Privately Held Companies in Acadiana this year, and once again, it will likely be at the top with more than $1 billion in annual revenues. The 75-year-old company specializing in tubular fabrication and installation services to the oil and gas industry plans to go public this year.
The defeat, or rather highjacking of House Bill 420 in the final days of this year's Legislative Session, say Reps. Vincent Pierre and Terry Landry, is the result of the propaganda spread by one unidentified local media outlet and an unnamed former state Representative, but nothing to do with the original legislation's lack of checks, balances or details.
He’s a singer. A songwriter. A piano man. A family man. He’s even got his own Wikipedia entry. He’s David Egan. And he knows ancient secrets about the monolithic stones of Stonehenge that he’s not willing to share.