Guam contractors will press on with H2B lawsuit

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The Guam Contractors Association (GCA) will push through with its H2B lawsuit against the U.S. government even though the recently enacted US defense bill already exempts Guam from any ban on foreign labor.

GCA president James Martinez, in his talk before the Rotary Club of Guam Thursday, said the case is still ongoing although the federal government had moved to dismiss the case, arguing that the H2B case was moot because of the NDAA passage.

GCA and several other local businesses filed the lawsuit against the US government, accusing the feds of an “unnatural” denial of H2B visas for several consecutive months, resulting in a shortage of skilled construction workers for the island.

Responding to the US government’s argument that the case is now moot because of the NDAA approval, Martinez pointed out the temporary nature of the recently passed defense bill.

“You have to remember that the NDAA’s H2B provision is just temporary and good for one year. Things could change for next year’s NDAA and the H2B provision might not be extended for next year. So we’re gonna wait and see what the federal government’s gonna come up with,” Martinez said.

He added that GCA and other Guam businesses are seeking a more permanent solution to the problem of H2B worker scarcity.

‘So right now, the litigation is still ongoing. And we’re looking at doing a summary judgment and having the district court judge make that determination for summary judgment,” Martinez said.

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