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 May 6, 2005
Senate passes visa expansion for seasonal workers
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WASHINGTON (AP) -- Good news for summer businesses in Newport, Block Island and other tourism hot spots around New England. The U-S Senate voted overwhelmingly yesterday to expand a program that grants temporary visas to foreign workers, allowing them to work seasonal jobs. The measure would exempt from the annual 66-thousand cap on H-2-B visas any workers who were hired through the program in previous years. The exemption would be in effect this year and next year. New England senators had pushed for the change after hearing from merchants who were struggling to find workers for the summer. Senator Jack Reed says the state's tourism industry heavily relies on the H-2-B visa program -- particularly in South County, Newport and Block Island. The measure still needs approval from the House.
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