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           Washington, D.C. – U.S. Senator Mike Enzi, R-Wyo., continued efforts to help Wyoming bring in seasonal employees to help ease a shortage of workers that plagues some parts of the state.       

           Enzi co-sponsored the Small and Seasonal Businesses Act of 2007, S. 988, this week. The bill would continue an exemption for workers who have already participated in the H-2B Visa program. The last extension on the exemption is set to expire on September 30, 2007. The bill would continue the exemption for five additional years.

           “Businesses, especially in Cody and Jackson, need help filling service positions and there aren’t enough workers in the local work force to fill the void. These H-2B visa holders come in to fill a specific job for a specified period of time and then return to their home country. Being able to have workers during a crucial period during the height of tourist season, for instance, is vital for businesses,” said Enzi. “This is not meant to be a permanent solution. Until comprehensive immigration reform can be agreed upon this is a way to provide temporary workers to areas in need.”

            The H-2B Visa program allows businesses to hire workers from outside the country for a limited length of time once the businesses have proven that no local workers are available to fill the job. The employer is held responsible for terminating the employment at the end of a specified time and the employee is required to return to their home country upon completion of the job. There is a cap of 66,000 on the number of workers allowed into the country under the H-2B Visa program.                                                                                     

            Enzi has co-sponsored similar legislation in the 109th and 108th Congresses.