Leon Guerrero testifies before US Senate panel

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Gov. Lou Leon Guerrero will comment on her position regarding the next steps for the government of Guam in light of the 9th Circuit decision favoring Dave Davis in the plebiscite case.

Governor Lou Leon Guerrero on Tuesday testified before a congressional panel, where she made a case for why Guam should be given relief from the foreign work visa restrictions.

“Guam’s military and civilian growth has been supported by foreign skilled labor. Given Guam’s close proximity to the Philippines, local employers have come to rely on the Philippines as the primary source of supplementary skilled labor when utilizing the H-2B program,” Leon Guerrero said before the U.S. Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources.

The U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Service began a clampdown on the issuance of H2-B visa in December 2015, triggering a labor crisis that prompted several developers to put the brakes on their projects.

The USCIS’ decision to lift Guam’s exemption from the national visa cap was compounded by the U.S. Homeland Security’s decision to remove the Philippines from the list of countries eligible for H-2B visa program.

“The Department of Homeland Security’s recent administrative action that removed the Philippines from a list of countries eligible for the H-2B program effective January 19, 2019 affects us greatly,” Leon Guerrero said.

“While the new policy provides the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) with discretion on a case-by-case basis to approve H-2B petitions that serve the national interest, including petitions that qualify under section 1045 of the National Defense Authorization Act for FY 2019, it is clear that the ban on foreign skilled labor from the Philippines will have a detrimental impact in Guam.”

 

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Jolene Toves
Jolene joined the PNC team in 2017, as a producer, co-anchor and investigative reporter covering law enforcement, courts and crimes. Notable coverage includes the Ehlert case, the Mark Torre Jr. trial, the Allan Agababa trial, exclusive pieces on the Life of a Drug Dealer/Addict, and Life behind bars...the story of Honofre Chargualaf and Kevin Cruz. In 2019, she was promoted to Assistant News Director and Lead Anchor. From 2015 to 2017 she served as Public Relations and Promotions Manager, for the Hotel Nikko Guam handling local radio and advertorial promotions, as well as produced and directed tv commercials for the hotel. Prior to this she worked with KUAM for three years as a reporter and segment host. She began her journalism career in 2012, working with Glimpses of Guam contributing to the Guam Business Magazine, R&R magazine, MDM magazine and the Marianas Business Journal.