Shore Businesses Worried Over Future Of Visa Program

CAPE MAY COURT HOUSE, NJ (CBS) — Businesses down the shore are wrapping up their summer season this weekend, but many are worried about next year, when the Trump Administration might cut back or eliminate a program allowing students from other countries to work in this country during their summer break.

The J-1 Visa program allowed some 2500 foreign students to work this summer in Cape May County. They’re vital to the state’s $44 billion tourism industry.

“Without these students, we would not be able to have the hours of operation and have the services that our businesses provide, and certainly not be able to be open early in the spring and into the later fall months,” Vicky Clark, President of the Cape May County Chamber of Commerce, told KYW Newsradio.

That could be threatened as early as this month, if the White House goes through with the change.

“The President’s policy of buy American and hire American is really at the root of this effort to eliminate the program,” Clark added. “And what we need the President to understand, and others, is that this program is not a threat to American jobs.”

New Jersey’s congressional delegation is lining up colleagues to fight for the program’s continuation and the Chamber is pushing Governor Chris Christie to lobby on their behalf with the President.

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