On Tuesday, May 14, Senator Richard Blumenthal introduced an amendment to Senate immigration bill S.744 to provide whistleblower protections for H-2B guestworkers.
The following statement is by Saket Soni, Executive Director of the National Guestworker Alliance:
We applaud Senator Blumenthal’s critical leadership today in standing up for H-2B guestworkers who blow the whistle on employer abuse—which will also protect the job quality of the 24 million U.S. workers who work alongside H-2Bs in the same sectors. We were encouraged by the clear show of bipartisan support for whistleblower protections by Senators Grassley and Schumer at today’s hearing.
Senator Blumenthal’s amendment would give H-2B whistleblowers the protections they need to expose employer abuse without fear. Without these protections, abusive employers drive down wages and conditions for U.S. workers by pitting them against captive guestworkers in a race to the bottom. But when guestworkers can blow the whistle on abuse, they help secure the job quality of the 24 million U.S. workers in their sectors.
H-2B whistleblower protections are all the more important since S.744 would as much as quadruple the size of the H-2B program over the next four years, from 66,000 workers to 264,000.*
It is crucial that the Senate Judiciary Committee add these vital protections to S.744 in the coming days, for the sake of all America’s workers. We look forward to helping ensure that they do.
* See Senate bill S.744, Subtitle F, Sec. 4601, “Extension of Returning Worker Exemption to H-2B Numerical Limitation“