Cruz Concerned H-2B Workers Are Still Being Allowed to Leave, Without Paying Their GMH Bills

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Guam – Vice Speaker B.J. Cruz says he has identified 13 cases in which H-2B workers are delinquent in paying their hospital bills.

Senator Cruz points out in a letter to GMH Administrator Joseph Verga that the amount still owed by the now gone workers is $93-thousand dollars. 

The Senator points to Public Law 31-87,  which Cruz himself introduced during the last Legislature. The law prohibits an employer from allowing an H-2B worker to go back to their home country until the employer has received a hospital clearance ensuring that any hospital bill owed by that worker has been paid.

READ Senator Cruz’s letter to GMH Administrator Joseph Verga HERE

“I am surprised,” writes the Vice Speaker, “that we are continuing to accrue additional receivables resulting from H-2B laborers not paying their
bills. In at least thirteen instances, totaling $93,000, additional receivables accrued after the law came into effect.” 

Cruz asks Verga to explain what steps GMH is taking “to both enforce the law prohibiting labor repatriation and to compel H-2B employers to clear what is owed to the hospital.”

Several years ago I reviewed the financial audits of the Guam Memorial Hospital
Authority which revealed this ongoing problem of employers allowing their employees
under the H-2B temporary labor program to use the services of the hospital and then
further allowing them to repatriate to their country of origin without paying their hospital
bills. The receivables resulting from this most egregious practice totaled almost half a
million dollars.