Camacho urges DOD engagement into H-2B VISA issues for Guam
Republican Candidate for Guam Delegate to the US House of Representatives Felix P. Camacho has sent a letter to US Department of Defense Secretary Ashton B. Carter to appraise him on the denials of temporary foreign worker visas and the impacts on the timelines and budget of the Guam Buildup Program and related projects of sister agencies of the federal government.
Camacho is seeking intervention by Secretary Carter, who as Deputy Secretary first visited Guam in July 2012 and was a Chairman of the Economic Adjustment Committee of the US Department of Defense.
"In December 2015, the approval rate for H-2B Visas was almost 100% while now the denial rate is almost 100%," wrote Camacho. "The total reversal has impacted local development, the health care services and operations at Guam Memorial Hospital and the recently opened Guam Regional Medical City Hospital, and your Military Construction (MILCON) program for Guam. There have been no major regulatory or policy changes that can account for the total H-2B Visa waiver reversal."
Camacho spearheaded planning efforts between the Government of Guam and the Federal Government since before the signing of the US-Japan Roadmap for Realignment Implementation in 2006 until the end of his term as Governor of Guam in December 2010.
Camacho wrote that because of the increased denial rate, construction firms on Guam have had to send a significant percentage of the H-2B work force back to their respective home countries compromising recently awarded DOD and other federal contracts.
"It is not unreasonable that the favorable bidding environment will change, since the construction contractors will be forced to pass on the risk associated with the uncertainty or unpredictability of the use of H-2B workforce," wrote Camacho. "Having worked closely with the Department of Defense for six years, I understand the challenges and difficulties of having to go before the U.S. Congress to explain and justify program cost escalation."
For more information, please contact Maria Camacho at 989-2248.