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DHS

July 30, 2020 - 4:21pm

Press release:

U.S. Senator Charles E. Schumer and U.S. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand today announced $3,351,732.05 in federal funding to fire departments across New York State to enhance departments’ response capabilities and to help them more effectively protect the health and safety of the public.

The funding was allocated through the U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s (DHS) Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA)’s Assistance to Firefighters Grant (AFG).

The City of Batavia is set to get $68,880.95.

“From the peak of the pandemic to normal times, our brave firefighters are always on the front lines, risking their lives to protect their communities,” Senator Schumer said. “These courageous firefighters deserve all the federal support possible to help them do their jobs.

"I’ve fought my whole career to bring more federal resources to support our brave firefighters, and I’m proud to deliver this funding so New York’s fire departments have the resources and equipment to do their jobs and make it through the ensuing economic crisis.”

Senator Gillibrand said “Every day, first responders face dangerous conditions to protect our communities, and we must provide them with the resources needed to stay safe on the job during this health crisis. I am proud to have fought for this critical funding in support of New York’s local fire departments.

"These federal dollars will help offset costs from the COVID-19 emergency and modernize equipment that will protect our firefighters’ health and safety as they do their jobs. I will always fight in the Senate for the resources that our firefighters need to save lives.”

The senators explained that the funding comes as localities face budget shortages and consider staff cuts, including in fire departments. Schumer and Gillibrand said the funding announced today will go directly to fire departments, nonaffiliated Emergency Medical Services (EMS) organizations, and state fire training academies.

A chart with the AFG breakdown appears below:

Organization Name

City

Funding Amount

Middleburgh, Village of

Middleburgh

$163,000.00

Troy, City of

Troy

$399,457.64

Watervliet, City of

Watervliet

$458,093.29

Greenville Fire District

Scarsdale

$82,599.31

Southwood Volunteer Fire Department Inc.

Jamesville

$40,735.24

New Rochelle, City of

New Rochelle

$159,090.91

Hornell, City of

Hornell

$174,384.76

Coopers Plains-Longacres Volunteer Fire Company Inc.

Coopers Plains

$120,000.00

Poughkeepsie, City of

Poughkeepsie

$33,181.82

Syracuse, City of

Syracuse

$488,195.45

Dundee Village

Dundee

$154,285.71

Fulton, City of

Fulton

$26,505.71

Dewitt Fire District

Syracuse

$64,065.45

East Worcester Hose Co. 1

East Worcester

$24,376.19

Watertown, City of

Watertown

$80,138.18

Lancaster, Village of

Lancaster

$255,171.43

Otter Lake Fire Company Inc.

Forestport

$92,406.67

Oswego, City of

Oswego

$176,206.67

Fulton, City of

Fulton

$86,468.18

Worcester Hose Company Inc.

Worcester

$76,190.48

Tully Joint Fire District

Tully

$89,516.19

Batavia, City of

Batavia

$68,880.95

Auburn, City of

Auburn

$38,781.82

April 15, 2020 - 4:38pm
posted by Billie Owens in USDA, DHS, H-2A visa, agriculture, business.

From the U.S. Department of Agriculture:

WASHINGTON, D.C. -- The Department of Homeland Security, with the support of the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), today (April 15) announced a temporary final rule to change certain H-2A requirements to help U.S. agricultural employers avoid disruptions in lawful agricultural-related employment, protect the nation’s food supply chain, and lessen impacts from the coronavirus (COVID-19) public health emergency.

These temporary flexibilities will not weaken or eliminate protections for U.S. workers. 

Under this temporary final rule, an H-2A petitioner with a valid temporary labor certification who is concerned that workers will be unable to enter the country due to travel restrictions can start employing certain foreign workers who are currently in H-2A status in the United States immediately after United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) receives the H-2A petition, but no earlier than the start date of employment listed on the petition.

To take advantage of this time-limited change in regulatory requirements, the H-2A worker seeking to change employers must already be in the United States and in valid H-2A status.

Additionally, USCIS is temporarily amending its regulations to protect the country’s food supply chain by allowing H-2A workers to stay beyond the three-year maximum allowable period of stay in the United States. These temporary changes will encourage and facilitate the continued lawful employment of foreign temporary and seasonal agricultural workers during the COVID-19 national emergency.

Agricultural employers should utilize this streamlined process if they are concerned with their ability to bring in the temporary workers who were previously authorized to work for the employer in H-2A classification. At no point is it acceptable for employers to hire illegal aliens.

“This Administration has determined that continued agricultural employment, currently threatened by the COVID-19 pandemic, is vital to maintaining and securing the country’s critical food supply chain. The temporary changes announced by USCIS provide the needed stability during this unprecedented crisis,” said Acting Secretary of Homeland Security Chad F. Wolf. 

“USDA welcomes these additional flexibilities provided by the Department of Homeland Security today,” said Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue. “Providing flexibility for H-2A employers to utilize H-2A workers that are currently in the United States is critically important as we continue to see travel and border restrictions as a result of COVID-19.

"USDA continues to work with the Department of Homeland Security, the Department of Labor and the Department of State to minimize disruption and make sure farmers have access to these critical workers necessary to maintain the integrity in our food supply.”

The temporary final rule is effective immediately upon publication in the Federal Register. If the new petition is approved, the H-2A worker will be able to stay in the United States for a period of time not to exceed the validity period of the Temporary Labor Certification.

DHS will issue a new temporary final rule in the Federal Register to amend the termination date of these new procedures in the event DHS determines that circumstances demonstrate a continued need for the temporary changes to the H-2A regulations. 

The H-2A nonimmigrant classification applies to alien workers seeking to perform agricultural labor or services of a temporary or seasonal nature in the United States, usually lasting no longer than one year, for which able, willing, and qualified U.S. workers are not available.

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