The Minocqua Chamber of Commerce is surveying its members and has joined a lobbying effort to oppose a rumored Trump Administration move to cancel student exchange visas.
The J-1 Visa Exchange Visitor Plan enables youth from foreign nations to come to America to experience the culture. Northwoods tourism industries have employed students from many nations to fill a labor shortage.
Chamber Executive Krystal Westfahl says they are joining a larger effort....
"....we're partnering with the Wis. Assoc. of Conventions and Visitors Bureaus along with the Department of Tourism, we're going to be lobbying the state Congressional delegation and the Trump administration to stop any potential Executive Orders that would stop the J-1 Summer Visa program...."
Westfahl says the chamber is surveying local businesses about their use of the J-1 program..
".....that's what we're attempting to do is get as much information from our local community and the local businesses that we participate with. How many students they are using and if there were J-1 students made available how they would use them..."
Westfahl says Secretary of State Rex Tillerson has gone on record supporting the program. She says as of now there are several members of Congress who are also backing the program. She says statewide there is a concern because it would severely harm the travel and tourism industry without the visa students.