Guam Gov. Eddie Calvo has asked the Pentagon to stop building construction projects until Guam is allowed to bring more foreign workers to the island.
Guam businesses are upset that the federal government has not allowed the country to hire foreign workers using H-2B visas for over a year, and so Calvo has stepped in to ask that the Pentagon cease construction until those visas are approved, Pacific Daily News reports.
The number of foreign workers in Guam has dropped from 1,000 to just 100 over the course of several years, prompting Calvo to say earlier in May that it would be difficult to continue construction.
Notably, the visa denial began during the Obama administration and has continued into the Trump administration, partly because federal officials believe that Guam has totally abused the program.
“Unfortunately, this H-2B denial, which started with the bureaucrats of the Obama Administration, continues to linger,” Calvo said. “In so doing, it is not only hindering our island’s economy but I believe it is risking our island and our nation’s security as well.”
Although Guam has attempted to communicate with the federal government for two years, there doesn’t to be any resolution in sight, and despite Calvo himself meeting with numerous immigration officials, he hasn’t secured any commitment to changing visa policy for Guam.
Calvo wrote in a letter recently to James W. McCament, acting director of U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, that a lack of visas for foreign workers is causing construction costs to skyrocket.
“I consider this a clear and present danger to the safety and health of the people of Guam,” Calvo said.
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