Immigration reform continues to gain momentum following the April 17 introduction of bipartisan legislation (S. 744) from the so-called “Gang of Eight” Senators. The Senate Judiciary Committee has held two hearings on the topic and is expected to markup the bill in mid-May.
While NMHC/NAA are generally supportive of the Senate proposal, which has been widely covered in the media, we are concerned about a provision that would limit the number of lower-skilled “W” visas allowed for construction at 15,000 jobs annually, a limitation not imposed on other industries which could exacerbate existing labor shortages in some geographic areas.
Legislation and debate are also expected in the House. NMHC/NAA and an industry coalition are urging key House members to enact comprehensive immigration reform with an ample temporary worker program that does not single out construction jobs with inflexible visa caps. We are also encouraging an effective employment verification system with a safe harbor for businesses who comply in good faith.
NMHC/NAA continues to meet with members of Congress and work as part of a coalition to ensure final legislation meets the needs of the rental apartment industry.