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Judge denies request for records on H-2B visa rejections

HAGATNA, Guam >> A judge has denied a request for documents that would provide insight on why nearly all requests for use of temporary foreign labor on Guam under the H-2B visa program have been rejected by the federal government.

The Guam Contractors Association and 11 other businesses filed a lawsuit to challenge the visa rejections last October, the Pacific Daily News reported. The rejections has caused them to lose their skilled workers under the H-2B visa program and delayed ongoing construction projects and military buildup contracts, a majority of the plaintiffs said. They don’t believe the local labor pool is large enough to fill in the job positions.

U.S. District Court Magistrate Judge Joaquin Manibusan denied the plaintiffs’ request for internal memos, training manuals and other documents besides administrative records during Thursday’s status hearing in the case.

In his Aug. 11 report and recommendation, Manibusan wrote that the businesses would likely be threatened without an injunction requiring the federal government to approve visas, but said they don’t deserve the injunction because they have not done enough to win the case.

The plaintiffs had until Friday to file written objections on the judge’s report and recommendations.

Following the hearing, the judge can choose to dismiss the lawsuit or motion for class certification, said the plaintiff’s lawyer Jennifer Davis.

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