Demand A Strong EPA For Our Bays
Let’s not trash the EPA. Reject Scott Pruitt as its new chief. Members of the U.S. Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works recently boycotted the vote for Oklahoma Attorney General Scott Pruitt’s nomination to lead the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. This comes as widespread, bipartisan concerns are being raised about Pruitt's record of challenging the core mission of the agency he’s been asked to lead. Many question Pruitt’s future commitment to protect public health, enforce the law, and hold corporations accountable to maintain healthy water, air, and land in their business practices. Pruitt has sued the EPA on behalf of regulated industries more than a dozen times in an attempt to weaken regulations such as the federal Clean Water Act. These regulations form the bedrock of our work at Heal the Bay and our sister organizations across the nation. They are hard-fought gains that were direct responses to past disasters. We cannot go back. A silenced, weakened EPA is a threat to our Bays. The U.S. Senate will vote on the appointment of Pruitt as EPA chief in the coming hours amid growing concerns about a broad directive from the new administration to censor EPA research, indefinitely. As a trusted ocean and watershed advocate, Heal the Bay is guided by the best science, not emotion. Over the last 30 years, we have seen first-hand how the EPA and its partner organizations can improve public health for Angelenos through environmental policies and regulations. A weakened EPA means turning back the clock on our critical programs in Greater Los Angeles that monitor beach water quality, prevent unsafe consumption of locally caught fish, protect our dwindling wetlands, and keep our streams and watersheds healthy to buffer communities from climate change. Scott Pruitt won’t do it. Our vital work is far from over. Sea level rise poses a real and immediate threat to many U.S. cities that are unprepared to adapt to the impacts of climate change. We need strong EPA leadership and funding now more than ever. These issues affect us all. Sign this petition urging the U.S. Senate to reject Pruitt’s nomination for EPA chief. Tell our elected officials to maintain strong EPA funding for programs that affect our Bays nationwide. Call your local senators directly in the next 24 hours to make sure your voice is heard.
Outlaw hog vs. dog hunting/fighting in the wild
Goal: To outlaw the cruel and inhumane practice of using dogs to hunt wild boar in Florida, as well as in the 31 others states it's currently legal or have no laws on the books. Florida (as well as other states) has a wild boar problem. Hogs are numerous, omnivorous and have no natural predators, making them one of the largest nuisance pests in the state. There are many humane options for dealing with the pigs, which do not need to involve brutally killing the pigs or putting domesticated dogs in harm’s way. However, despite the existence of alternatives, Florida and other states have exempted the use of "bait-dogs" in boar hunting. This practice is incredibly dangerous and very inhumane for the dogs and boars involved. Each of the 32 states that allow this practice laws differ, but Florida animal cruelty statute states: FLORIDA ANIMALS: CRUELTY; SALES; ANIMAL ENTERPRISE PROTECTION: http://www.leg.state.fl.us/statutes/index.cfm?App_mode=Display_Statute&Search_String=&URL=0800-0899/0828/Sections/0828.122.html 828.122 Fighting or baiting animals; offenses; penalties.—(1) This act may be cited as “The Animal Fighting Act.”(2) As used in this section, the term:(a) “Animal fighting” means fighting between roosters or other birds or between dogs, bears, or other animals.(b) “Baiting” means to attack with violence, to provoke, or to harass an animal with one or more animals for the purpose of training an animal for, or to cause an animal to engage in, fights with or among other animals. In addition, “baiting” means the use of live animals in the training of racing greyhounds.(c) “Person” means every natural person, firm, copartnership, association, or corporation.(3) Any person who knowingly commits any of the following acts commits a felony of the third degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.082, s. 775.083, or s. 775.084:Baiting, breeding, training, transporting, selling, owning, possessing, or using any wild or domestic animal for the purpose of animal fighting or baiting; (9) This section shall not apply to:.....(e) Any person using dogs to hunt wild hogs or to retrieve domestic hogs pursuant to customary hunting or agricultural practices." The exception (e) makes NO logical sense, because dogs are trained to "hunt" by chasing, cornering, attacking and fighting. So, why is it illegal to cause a dog to fight another dog, or a pig in an enclosure, but it is legal to use dogs to chase and viciously attack pigs while being trained and in the wild? Boar hunting with dogs is exactly what it sounds like: dogs trained to track and attack. They are taken out into the country, or wherever wild hogs are plentiful, and set loose to sniff out hogs. Once a hog is found the dogs will chase it down, corner, bay and attack it, usually leaving it badly injured, but normally still alive. Hunters (when they catch up) will kill the pig, usually by "sticking," which is a prolonged death vs. the use of a proper gun. Wild hogs are incredibly difficult to kill and will put up a fight until the end. Many dogs involved are wounded by tusks, bitten, trampled and sometimes killed. This is basically animal fighting, in the wild. Putting dogs in such a dangerous situation is inhumane and should not be legal. Visit http://sugarshope.org/ to learn more. PETITION LETTER: Wild boars are a major problem in Florida and in other states. The species has no natural predators, is omnivorous and repopulates very quickly: it is because of these traits that wild boars are a force hard to reckon with. There are many control methods used, some of them very inhumane. Currently it is legal for dogs to be used in wild hog hunting. This practice is extremely dangerous for the dogs involved and leads to inappropriate practices elsewhere. Dogs involved in hunting are likely to be seriously injured by the hogs. Dogs get trampled, bitten, pierced by tusks and may be infected with diseases that pigs carry. The hogs are frightened, outnumbered and suffer a painful death. I urge you to propose a ban on hunting wild pigs with dogs in order to put a stop to these inappropriate behaviors. Please consider other methods of wild pig population control, such as designating land for hogs to be displaced to, and controlling breeding of the species. Allowing dogs to hunt them is inhumane and unnecessary. Visit http://sugarshope.org/ to learn more. Sincerely, [Your Name Here]
Tell Congress to Maintain EPA & NOAA Funding
Protect Our Oceans. Protect Our Health. Protect Our EPA & NOAA. The White House recently proposed debilitating budget and workforce cuts for the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) starting this October when the 2018 fiscal year begins. Every department seems to be affected; from environmental justice programs and science education, to research and monitoring. In the new administration’s plan, many critical ocean grants, programs, and services will be completely eliminated unless our representatives and legislators vote against the cuts in Congress. This comes at a critical time when America’s coastal infrastructure is failing in the face of intensifying storms and rising seas associated with climate change. We should be doubling down on efforts to prepare and defend our coastlines. We should be empowering scientists, researchers, and youth in America to become stewards for our ocean and environment. We should be investing our hard-earned tax dollars into the next generation of ocean innovation. Instead, the proposals drastically reduce fundamental resources to prepare and respond to environmental emergencies. The White House’s plan includes slashing the EPA budget by 31 percent — to the tune of $2.6 billion — and reducing staff by more than 3,200 people. The EPA is already operating on a lean budget – federal funding has been decreased by over $2 billion since 2010. Nearly three-quarters of the EPA’s annual budget goes toward funding grants for states, tribes, and contractors. These grants aid crucial environmental cleanup, monitoring, and preparedness efforts. Commonly known for its weather forecasting services, NOAA also leads the nation on climate monitoring, fisheries, and ocean services. NOAA’s annual budget is $5.6 billion, a small fraction of the overall federal budget. The administration proposed a stiff 17% cut to NOAA’s overall budget. And, a 22% reduction in funding for NOAA’s National Environmental Satellite, Data and Information Service, which creates and operates weather satellites. This program also houses the National Centers for Environmental Information – an essential environmental science research center and repository of climate data. Additionally, climate protection programs would suffer a nearly 70% cut, which would thwart efforts to prepare for sea level rise, adapt to hotter urban areas, and buffer our communities for increased storm intensity and flooding. This is particularly important as previous worst case scenario projections for sea level rise in Southern California – 5.5 feet by 2100 – are now being revised to predict even more extreme impacts as ice sheets at our planet’s poles are melting faster than expected. Beach tourism and the coast recreation economy are valued at close to $90 billion, so EPA’s investment of $10 million annually in beach water quality monitoring makes fiscal and public health sense to ensure that beachgoers are healthy and safe. However, the Beach Grant Program would suffer complete elimination. This vital program supports weekly water quality sampling at beaches across the country, and, helps to sustain thriving marine life and public awareness of pollution for the 90 million people visiting our nation’s beaches annually. Environmental education through the EPA would be cut by over 90% - a disservice to preparing and educating our youth, who are the future stewards of our nation. And, communities who are already the most under-served would be disproportionately impacted by the planned 78% cuts to environmental justice programs. Funding would be completely zeroed out for several targeted programs, including the national estuary program – long-term management planning to improve water quality and living conditions for 28 critical estuaries located along the Atlantic, Gulf, and Pacific coasts and in Puerto Rico, and Sea Grant – a well-leveraged scientific research partnership with top universities throughout the nation. Removing the Sea Grant program would cut funding for important fisheries, wetlands, wildlife, and public health research at 33 universities across the country – this is hands-on and applied research that informs management and protection of our economically and environmentally beneficial coastal and ocean resources. The new administration’s proposals would cripple our efforts to safeguard marine habitats, threatened animals, and coastal resilience – placing entire communities and ecosystems at a further disadvantage. The White House has said it is committed to promoting clean water and clean air, but these proposed actions demonstrate otherwise. It seems virtually impossible to maintain basic environmental and public health protections, given such deep cuts and job losses. Please help Heal the Bay and many other trusted environmental groups nationwide in our effort to keep the EPA and NOAA from being disabled. Tell your State Senators, Congressional Representatives and Legislators that funding for the EPA and NOAA is important to you, your family, your business and community.
PLEASE Help the fight to get Christopher and Hunter back to their parents!
Imagine having your newborn baby taken away from you because of a falsely reported phone call to Child Protective Services and what that would feel like. And now imagine that they will not give your child back to you, despite years of jumping through hoops to prove that you are a worthy parent, with no evidence to the contrary. As a mother of two children, I can’t imagine a more terrifying world to live in...and yet, I’ve seen it happen to someone else. I’m here to share that story with you. Before going into the story, it seems fair to briefly tell you about who I am. Besides being a mother of two wonderful grown children, I am a doctoral student with an M.S. NDR (negotiation and dispute resolution), a B.S. in social science/psychology and an associate degree in criminal justice. I have over 20 years of volunteering in non-profit organizations and currently, I work as a Professional Mediator and Life Coach (www.aktionnow.com) I only share this because it helps to know that my education level and field of study qualify me to make these assessments and hopefully brings credibility to the story. I have been volunteering my time with a family as their life coach/mentor. I met them in May 2016 when I was volunteering at the Department of Human Services (DHS) Child Protective Services (CPS) in Bend, Oregon. My position was to monitor parent visitations for families that had their children in the State of Oregon’s custody. I met Amy and Eric when I was the case worker required to observe them during home visits with their nearly 3-year-old son, Christopher, every Friday. Each visit was for three hours, which provided a lot of interaction for me to observe and document. I quickly discovered that this family had no problem at all taking care of their son. They showed loving attention, were attentive to his needs, and at this point had been fighting faithfully in court for almost three years to prove to CPS that they were capable and loving parents. For those of you doing the math, yes, Christopher was removed from them when he was only days old. In my professional opinion, after multiple sessions observing Amy and Eric interact with their son for hours on end, I found no reason they should have had their child taken from them and placed in the State’s care. Any reasonably trained and educated CPS worker should have arrived at the same conclusion, as I documented in the session notes of every visit. The couple demonstrated competent parenting skills with Christopher, had no history of abuse or neglect, and expressed a deep desire to have Christopher returned to them to raise him along with the mother’s twin boys. I would also add that it was apparent from their body language and how they treated each other that the couple was in love, and while that is not a requirement to be a parent, it’s a big bonus for a child. So why was a newborn baby taken away from his mother and father? As the caseworker assigned to the family, I learned their story… Seven days after losing her own mother, Amy Fabbrini (the mother in this story) gave birth to Christopher at home. She was unaware that she was pregnant. Amy suffers from kidney issues (which she says is a genetic thing passed down from her family), causing intense pain at times. She had associated the symptoms of pregnancy with the disorder. After helping with a surprise delivery of his new baby boy, Eric (the father), immediately called 911 and had mother and baby brought to the hospital. Both were in shock of this and were understandably probably affected by this traumatic event. Amy had been living with her parents and her two twin boys after a divorce with the father of the twins. After losing her mother to Alzheimer’s and the surprise addition of a new child, Amy told her father of this event; to hear him tell her that she may not bring the infant back to his home. She was forced to make the decision to move with her twin boys in with her newborn child’s father, Eric. What happens next is what I believe to be a traumatic panic, her grieving father, dealing with the recent death of his wife and now losing the companionship of Amy and the twin boys, called CPS and falsely reported neglect, after he had already known about a falsely reported call from Eric's roommate (after an argument that they had). It sounds confusing but this is the mess the couple was in days after the infant had arrived, without having a chance to settle in as a new family, get adjusted to the idea of a new baby, or get the house ready for such an event, they were dealing with negativity - rather than excitement of a precious little baby boy. Sadly, CPS took infant Christopher, and he has been in foster care ever since. At the time that they took the infant, they also took Amy's twin boys and gave them to her ex-husband who had not really been involved with the boys much. Amy lost all three of her boys within a week after her loss of her mother to Alzheimer's. She was not given grievance counseling or condolences to this day from CPS. Additionally, the parents have complied with all of CPS’s requests from the beginning. There was no abuse. There was no neglect. There was no alcohol or drug use. CPS has simply claimed that they are “retarded” (yes, that was actually the term used by a CPS worker) and that they do not have the intelligence to raise a child. When I questioned this supervisor assigned to the case, he replied with derogatory remarks about the father and mother. I asked why the couple had not been given their child back. His reply shocked me. He said, “Eric is retarded, fat and lazy - he doesn't even brush his teeth. There is no way that I am allowing them to have Christopher.” The way that this supervisor spoke about the parents was anything but professional. It was then that I realized that this couple had been up against a powerful agency that seemed to have little or no accountability. After I had spent almost three months observing this family and reporting weekly on my observations, we learned that none of the reports I had submitted to CPS were given to the court or the attorneys representing each parent. Eric continually asked his attorney to get copies of the reports that I had submitted. After no reports were produced by CPS, Eric’s attorney asked me if I would be willing to testify in court regarding my observations of the visits. I agreed. While on vacation in California, I testified telephonically in court on behalf of Eric and Amy to report my observations that were in the reports which could not be obtained from CPS by either attorney. I reported the interactions that I observed between Eric, Amy and their son, Christopher. I told the judge that I did not understand why CPS had not returned this now almost 3-year-old child back to his parents. Just a few days after I testified in court, I was notified from CPS that they “no longer needed my volunteer help” because they “had recently hired someone for the position.” I was asked to come in and return my key to the building along with all equipment that CPS had given me to use while I was in an observational role. When I got back from my vacation, I met with the supervisor and turned everything in. During that meeting, I asked for clarification as to why I was being released [just days after my testimony] from a “volunteer position,” and why I was being treated so differently by him that afternoon. He only replied with “we have a new hire for your position,” and then said, “I will need to walk you to the door; you now have no clearance to walk freely.” As I walked to the door (which was approximately a football field away in distance), he walked behind me. The feeling from him was cold as if I did something criminal. His demeanor was completely opposite of how he used to conduct himself in my presence. Prior to the testimony, I gave in court, the supervisors would tell me how thankful they were to have me and my expertise. I decided to continue to work with the family as a life coach and mentor, volunteering my time to help them get their son back. Their case with Christopher is currently back in the county courts, after going to the appellate courts and the supreme courts of Oregon. CPS has moved toward adoption, permanently removing the child from them and terminating their rights as parents. Eric has a normal high school diploma and tested in the middle of his class. Amy also has a normal high school diploma. The two of them have newer vehicles, a three-bedroom, two-bath house and live in Redmond, Oregon. Recently, Amy gave birth to another healthy boy, named Hunter. Even though this new baby is viewed as a “new case,” CPS came into the hospital and took Hunter from his parents. They did not do any investigation to see if this child was at risk. They simply took him. When the worker arrived, he was not even prepared to take the newborn infant. He had to ask the hospital for diapers, wipes, blankets, an outfit, formula and did not once ask the nurses about the care of the infant with the parents. I had spent hours with the family in the hospital, and they kept hourly records of their child (e.g., when he nursed, when he wet the diaper when he had a bowel movement, etc.). They were very caring, attentive, happy, and in love with their new baby boy. The night before CPS came to take the child, they informed me that they were coming to take the infant. I offered my home to CPS for the child, and that I would provide 24/7 observation with the family in my home, and that I would work from home to give this mother a chance to bond while CPS did their “investigation.” They refused. The next morning, I emailed the case worker peer-reviewed journal articles explaining the neuroscience regarding the trauma that occurs to an infant when it is taken from his mother, and how the first several weeks are a very crucial time for nutrition (from breast milk), bonding and attachment development. He emailed me back with, “Can I call you?” However, he never called. He came that day at 2:00 pm and took the infant. In court the next Tuesday we pleaded to have the child returned to me as a caregiver so that Amy could nurse and bond with the infant. The judge agreed to have CPS perform a background on me and encouraged the infant to return to the mother with 24/7 monitoring until CPS was done with their investigation. To this day, they still have not performed a background check on me. I have sent probably 20 emails. We are now asking for an expedited court date and want to expose this case. It is criminal and inhumane what CPS is doing. If you have any ideas; (i.e. contacts for news stories, lawyers, or other organizations that you feel you can connect me to; I would be most appreciative. Please send all inquiries to email@example.com See updates on news coverage and up to date info and news investigations https://www.facebook.com/ReturnChrisandHunter/ Thank you so much for your support!!!
We demand that The United States Senate not confirm Jeff Sessions as Attorney General
As the nation’s chief law enforcement officer, the Attorney General of the United States must be independent of politics and respect the dignity of all Americans. The Attorney General has a duty to enforce the rule of law fairly and pursue equal justice under the law. One of the core functions of the Department of Justice is to protect Americans’ civil rights, and to defend those who have been denied them. Another key function of the Department of Justice is to protect our security, but never sacrifice our civil liberties. Not only has Senator Sessions been a staunch opponent of reforming the tragic shortcomings in our criminal justice system, he holds a number of views that are inconsistent with how most Americans believe justice should be applied under our Constitution.
Congress: Censure President Trump For His Heinous Remarks About "Shithole" Countries
Please also sign and share our net neutrality petition: https://www.change.org/p/jeff-flake-we-need-one-more-republican-vote-in-the-senate-to-save-net-neutrality And join our group here: https://www.facebook.com/groups/1721640631484675/ ----------- This petition began in a private, politically active facebook group of 6300 people consisting of Democrats, Independents, Socialists, Libertarians, and concerned Republicans. On Thursday, Jan 11, the Washington Post reported that President Donald Trump attacked potential immigrants from Haiti, El Salvador and African countries as part of a bipartisan immigration deal. The White House did not deny these allegations. This, a day before the 8th anniversary of the earthquake in Haiti that killed over 100,000 people. This is a step too far. If this were any other president, a censure would be an expected course of action. We realize that many in congress have become numb to Mr. Trump's rhetoric, but American voters have not. This is the language of fringe talk radio, not the President of the United States. He dishonors the office with these words. He is our chief diplomat around the world, and he represents millions of Americans who emigrated from these nations. He should act like it. It is time for congress to stand up and censure this president for his dishonorable remarks about our friends in Haiti, El Salvador and Africa, who rightfully look to the United States as a beacon of freedom and opportunity.
Reinstate Federal Assault Weapons Ban (AWB)
On September 13, 1994, Members of Congress came together and passed the Federal Assault Weapons Ban (AWB). That same day, President Bill Clinton signed it into law - until it expired 10 years later. As a result of this lapse, the legal sale of assault weapons has led to an increase in mass shootings: Virginia Tech (2007), Sandy Hook (2012), Aurora (2012), San Bernardino (2015), Orlando (2016), and Las Vegas (2017). From these tragedies alone, 192 people have died. I think we can all agree that we don't want to take away anyone's rights, but certain weapons should never find civilian hands. At this point, our technology has surpassed the 2nd Amendment. A civilian's right to bear arms is meant to protect and defend, not kill large amounts of people in a short amount of time. If there is anything that a post-AWB world has proven, it's that we're not safe. Colleges, movie theaters, the workplace, nightclubs, concerts, and elementary schools are targets for the mentally ill. America isn't a war zone. We shouldn't have to live in fear. That's not why we're here. I am asking for a bridge of bipartisan support and to reinstate the AWB. Put away the petty politics and address the root of the problem. Mental illness is a major component of all of these tragedies, but we must start by removing military-grade weapons from the hands of people who should never hold them in the first place. The trained men and women of this country who defend us should be the only ones to yield it. Anything else would cheapen their service. Thank you for taking the time to read this and I hope this opens a concerned and meaningful dialogue among our current representatives. US Mass Shootings (1982 to 2017) - 401 more mass murder fatalities post-AWB (September 2004 to present day) than during (September 1994 - September 2004) EDIT: Since initially starting this petition, 26 lives have been taken in the Texas First Baptist Church massacre in Sutherland Springs, TX and 17 lives have been lost at the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, FL.
Charge the BLM & contractor for animal abuse for the inhumane handling of a pregnant mare.
BLM and their contractors for the recently completed Cedar Mountain wild horse gather in Utah resulted in many more deaths than were reported. The BLM posts daily euthanasia numbers on their site, but they neglect to publish anywhere horses that die in the following days as a result of being rounded up and placed in pens. This round up they also had an incident where a pregnant mare was chased for miles, then roped by a horseback rider, and in trying to escape she tumbled onto a barbed wire fence. Making it to the other side of the fence, and being strangled by the contractor's rope around her neck, she ran against it with all her remaining strength and escaped. She is now back in the wild with a dangerous lasso around her neck that will easily get hung up on something and cause her to be strangled to death. She may abort her foal from the stress of the stampede caused by the helicopter or the impact of falling over a barbed wire fence. She also may get sepsis from the barbed wire injuries she sustained. By every imaginable interpretation of animal cruelty and abuse laws this fits the bill. We ask that you demand consequences for this behavior. The flight records should be produced, as from the photos from several photographers, it was flying lower than allowed by BLM policy. We want BLM and the contractor charged with animal abuse, and we want to see helicopter roundups stopped. It is a horrifying thing for flight animals as sensitive as wild horses to be stampeded via noisy flying objects. It is dangerous for these horses, and BLM refuses to require helicopters to be equipped with 360 degree cameras so that there is transparency in the entire roundup, not just the public viewing that is allowed at the end, near the trap site.
Say Yes To Disability Rights
On February 15th, the House of Representatives passed HR620, the so-called Americans with Disabilities Education and Reform Act. Instead of stopping the few frivolous lawsuits that occur, the bill will roll back nearly thirty years of civil rights legislation for people with disabilities in the United States. By passing this bill, You will undo the foundation of the Americans with Disabilities Act, a piece of landmark legislation passed in 1990 that gives disabled people a chance at equal access to employment, education, and society in general. By voting yes, you will Force disabled people to endure a lengthy process that involves filing complaints with businesses when they face accessibility barriers. These businesses, some of which have violated the law for almost 30 years, will have up to six months to resolve accessibility issues, and even longer, if the businesses can demonstrate “substantial progress” toward resolution.No other civil rights law has ever put the burden on those it protects to start and maintain the enforcement process. HR620 places cost-cutting for business owners ahead of the human rights of people with disabilities. Imagine having to wait over six months to use the restroom, locate merchandise, or check out confidentially and independently when building codes and other provisions for your civil rights have existed for almost 3 decades. Republican Senator Jeff Flake of Arizona will soon introduce the bill to the rest of you in the United States Senate.Please, Senators, we urge you to vote against this unacceptable and unfair legislation. Do not weaken the Americans with Disabilities Act. Do not weaken current and future civil rights legislation for everyone by placing the responsibility for enforcement on those who need protection.Thank you for your attention.
#SAVEH2B: Save Small & Seasonal Businesses!
PLEASE ASK CONGRESS TO #SAVEH2B AND SUPPORT IMMEDIATE CAP RELIEF! American Small and Seasonal businesses are currently approaching their busiest season of the year and they will not be receiving their seasonal guest workers. Without these legal, temporary employees American businesses and workers are in jeaprody. The H-2B Visa nonimmigrant program allows employers to hire foreign workers to come to the United States and perform temporary nonagricultural services or labor on a one-time, seasonal, peakload or intermittent basis. H-2B workers are not considered immigrants. In order to qualify for an H-2B Visa, an employer must prove that there are not sufficient U.S. Workers who are capable of performing temporary services or labor. MYTH: H-2B WORKERS TAKE JOBS AWAY FROM AMERICANS.FACT: American workers are guaranteed first chance at every job later filled by an H-2B temporary laborer. By law, every open position must be properly advertised in the community and requires employers to hire any able and willing American workers to fill open positions. The fact is that H-2B temporary workers actually support American jobs and the U.S. economy. The H-2B program provides an opportunity for seasonal businesses to operate at a greater capacity, thereby retaining their full-time American workers and contributing more to their local economies. Additionally, temporary foreign seasonal workers help support many upstream and downstream jobs. According to the American Enterprise Institute study on Immigration and American Jobs, every H-2B worker creates or sustains 4.64 American jobs on average. MYTH: EMPLOYERS DON’T EVEN TRY TO HIRE AMERICAN WORKERS TO FILL THESE TEMPORARY HARD LABOR JOBS.FACT: Employers work extremely hard to hire American workers because 1) it is dramatically cheaper to do so, and 2) the law requires that employers demonstrate that every effort has been made to hire Americans before they can start the process of trying to hire a temporary foreign laborer. Again, the fact is that the vast majority of American workers are not interested in temporary seasonal manual labor jobs. Geography is a big obstacle for many employers; for example, many resort communities don’t have a sufficient local labor pool. And, in many cases, these types of seasonal jobs may not be appropriate for high school students due to the hours or labor laws that prohibit the use of heavy machinery by minors. MYTH: PAYING HIGHER WAGES WILL ENTICE AMERICAN WORKERS AND SOLVE THE SEASONAL TEMPORARY LABOR SHORTAGE.FACT: Hourly pay for these types of jobs have gone up significantly over the last few years because employers who use the H-2B program are required to pay their H-2B workers and similarly employed American workers a premiumwage dictated by the U.S. Department of Labor. These temporary manual labor jobs often pay considerably more than the minimum wage, but American workers still won’t take the positions. Sadly, in many cases, employers who obey the law and use the H-2B program are often competing against businesses that choose to illegally hire undocumented immigrants and pay those workers considerably less. If wages were raised even higher, seasonal employers who use the program would not be able to sustain their businesses or their American workers. MYTH: THE H-2B PROGRAM REPRESSES WAGES FOR AMERICAN WORKERS BY PROVIDING A CHEAPER LABOR SOURCE.FACT: Hiring H-2B workers is a much move expensive and risky option. In addition to the fact employers are required to pay H-2B workers and similarly employed American workers a premium wage that is often well above the federal minimum wage, complying with the H-2B program is extremely costly, complicated and wrought with uncertainty due to an overly restrictive cap and a constantly changing regulatory environment. Employers turn to the H-2B program as a last resort, after extensive efforts to recruit American workers. MYTH: H-2B WORKERS OVERSTAY THEIR VISAS AND EXACERBATE ILLEGAL IMMIGRATION IN AMERICA.FACT: According the U.S. Department of Homeland Security visa overstay in the H-2B program are rare. Workers who do overstay their visas are barred from using the program ever again. The fact is that the vast majority of H-2B workers and their employers are meticulous about compliance. Not following the strict program rules means the end of a well-paying seasonal jobs that allows these workers to provide for their families and still maintain their homes in their native countries – a risk these workers are not willing to take since they generally return to the same employer year after year. Additionally, when approving H-2B visas, the U.S. Consulate confirms workers’ ties to their home countries. Further, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security requires employers to promptly report any H-2B workers who do not report for work or who complete their work earlier in the season than anticipated. MYTH: THE H-2B RETURNING WORKER EXEMPTION IS UNNECESSARY.FACT: The H-2B program’s annual 66,000 cap (33,000 for each half of the fiscal year) is not adequate to meet the demands of a growing economy. The cap for the first half of the fiscal 2017 was reached on January 10. The second-half cap was reached on March 13, leaving many seasonal employers shut out of the program with no access to legal seasonal laborers. Without the returning worker exemption passed by Congress with bipartisan support and signed into law by the President, many companies will have to close their businesses, lay off American workers or turn away customers.This provision is essential to the survival of small and seasonal businesses across the country and should be made permanent. An H-2B returning worker exemption is a narrow solution to a seasonal workforce shortage that focuses on workers who are valuable to their seasonal employers and who have never violated the terms of their past visas or other U.S. laws. These workers do not pose a security risk and they are not taking away jobs from Americans. For more information please visit: https://www.SaveH2b.orghttps://www.h2bworkforcecoalition.com https://youtu.be/UTYVEirlu3o To contribute further, please contact your Congressmen/women and tweet using the hashtag: #SAVEH2B