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Greg Siskind on Immigration Law and Policy

Chamber, Unions Negotiating Guest Worker Provisions

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One of the most important parts of a comprehensive immigration bill - a part not even mentioned by President Obama in his speech on Tuesday - is the future flow of workers in to the US. Merely dealing with people in the US today or currently waiting in line for green cards and pouring money in to enforcement are not enough. In a few years if we have low unemployment and there are jobs in the US that are not being filled by Americans, people WILL find a way to get here and we'll once again have a huge illegal immigration problem if there is no workable guest worker program available to employers.


The Wall Street Journal reports this morning that the Senate negotiators have asked the US Chamber and the AFL-CIO and SEIU, two of the country's largest unions, to hammer out the framework for a guestworker visa. The organizations have been meeting regularly over the last few months and are working out details that will presumably make there way in to an immigration bill. They are working on issues like the size of the program, recruiting requirements, a path to permanent residency for guest workers who want it, etc.


The good news is that both sides report the negotiations are going well. That's critical since there are only a few weeks left before the big bill will be introduced.

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Comments

  1. Jack's Avatar
    "a path to permanent residency for guest workers who want it"

    Then they are not temporary or guests then, but immigrants (as in permanent). I guess "temporary guest worker" sells better considering relatively few people favor higher immigration, particularly lower-skilled.

    I think I missed the part in the article where they acknowledge that it is insane to create a massive new visa without first implementing a successful system for monitoring and preventing visa overstays.

    ----

    "The biggest concern has always been that when workers are brought in, it lowers wages for everybody," said Eliseo Medina, the SEIU secretary-treasurer.

    Not any more, obviously!

    ----

    "He said that because lawmakers will require employers to try recruiting Americans before looking to foreigners, they should place no limit on the number of workers allowed from abroad."

    Because "look for an American first" rules are so impossible to get around.


  2. Legal and no longer waiting's Avatar
    Jack, only you can come up with the stupidest idea of all times - move to a different country without trying it out. That's just dumb. Most people are smarter. They want to hedge their bets, come and work for a year to see if they even like it, and then decide whether they want to stay. What a surprise.
  3. Another Voice's Avatar
    These folks represent both camps the fact that they are getting to give input will make it a better bill given that many heads think better than one....

    I am sure all you positions will be heard by the anti folks like you in congress Jack, but more than anything the Repuks want to win elections and as we saw in 2012 it is hard to do with out Latinos.
  4. Legal and no longer waiting's Avatar
    AV, neither Democrats nor Republicans did anything on immigrantion for the most of the Obama term. I think what did Republicans in is the fact that they were holding their noses every time they spoke of immigration. To Obama's credit, he has always talked of all immigrants, including illegal ones, with a good dose of appreciation.

    Marco Rubio is trying, but he may always be seen as suspicious by immigration crowd. He is Cuban. Let's be honest, there is a huge difference between being Cuban, and being from anywhere else. If you are a Cuban and entered illegally, you are immedicately eligible for a green card. If you are a Mexican (or any other nationality) and entered illegally, not only you have to gain eligibility (which is next to impossible for most), you are also barred from getting the green card for 10 years. Cubans may get the cultural aspects of immigration, but they have never been exposed to the same legal challenges, and thus their understanding of immigration from other countries is sorely lacking.
  5. S's Avatar
    "Marco Rubio is trying, but he may always be seen as suspicious by immigration crowd. He is Cuban. Let's be honest, there is a huge difference between being Cuban, and being from anywhere else. If you are a Cuban and entered illegally, you are immedicately eligible for a green card. If you are a Mexican (or any other nationality) and entered illegally, not only you have to gain eligibility (which is next to impossible for most), you are also barred from getting the green card for 10 years. Cubans may get the cultural aspects of immigration, but they have never been exposed to the same legal challenges, and thus their understanding of immigration from other countries is sorely lacking."

    What Marco Rubio is proposing is sensible and fair as opposed to what Democrats and LA RAZA wants. Dems want immediate citizenship for all the 11 to 15 million undocumented/Illegal aliens at any cost.
  6. Legal and no longer waiting's Avatar
    "Dems want immediate citizenship for all the 11 to 15 million undocumented/Illegal aliens at any cost."

    Sorry, where are you getting this from? Faux News "Scary Immigrant Hour"?
  7. S's Avatar
    "Sorry, where are you getting this from? Faux News "Scary Immigrant Hour"?"

    This is based on what I heard on Maria Hinojosa's Latino USA show on NPR where a Dreamer says she will not support any bill that makes her parents wait for citizenship like all other immigrants.
  8. Legal and no longer waiting's Avatar
    1. When did "not wait for citizenship as long as other immigrants" turn into "immediate citizenship"? Somebody is taking a wild interpretation of the words.

    2. You mean the Speaker of the House Maria Hinojosa? The Majority Leader of the Senate Maria Hinojosa? Where did you even get that she represents "what Democrats want"?
  9. S's Avatar
    Here is what progressive want in the bill, They dont want any enforcement coupled with citizenship

    http://firstread.nbcnews.com/_news/2013/02/06/16869322-progressives-pressure-obama-on-immigration-reform-triggers?lite
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