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Greg Siskind on Immigration Law and Policy

UNIONS ON BOARD FOR IMMIGRATION REFORM (SORT OF)

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The New York Times reports today that two major unions - the AFL-CIO and Win For Change - have agreed to support comprehensive immigration reform legislative efforts, something that should give a big boost to the President as he seeks to move an immigration bill through Congress. This will be particularly important for certain Democrats in both Houses of Congress who bolted from their party the last time because of objections from the AFL-CIO.

But the unions did not give their unequivocal support. They are opposing the third major pillar of reform - a strategy to deal with the future flow of immigrants through the establishment of a guest worker program. And that is an absolutely critical component of a plan, according to the US Chamber of Commerce, the country's best known federation of business owners. Instead, the unions are proposing establishment of a commission that they say will be independent and de-politicized and which will make recommendations on the size and rules for work visas. The Chamber is opposed to this plan, though I am somewhat hopeful that there may be an opening for a compromise approach that allows for a potential future guestworker program when unemployment is back to its normal much lower level.

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Comments

  1. Another voice's Avatar
    I am not sure that this is good news, sounds more like a deal breaker. CIR has to have the perfect mix of Business and labor and they seem to have opposite goals in the whole thing.
  2. George Chell's Avatar
    The question is whether the unions are going to link up with looser's guild and cause problems for skilled migration or with the nurse's guild forcing up even higher salaries, higher health care costs, higher insurance and hence dropping of seniors and poor people including some union members from the insurance rolls (outright danger to life!)
  3. Jim's Avatar
    "the unions are proposing establishment of a commission that they say will be independent and de-politicized and which will make recommendations on the size and rules for work visas."

    I think this was discussed here before. Wouldn't a truly independent and de-politicized commission be beneficial?

    How about other avenues such as the nurse/PT bill (green card rather than work visas)? Since the US Dept. of Labor and individual independent State studies are unanimous with the nursing shortage wouldn't this bill have an upper hand already?
  4. George Chell's Avatar
    "How about other avenues such as the nurse/PT bill (green card rather than work visas)? Since the US Dept. of Labor and individual independent State studies are unanimous with the nursing shortage wouldn't this bill have an upper hand already?"

    If the current legislation does not work we may need to work with AARP and scare the hell out of the seniors and the relatives they depend on!
  5. Greg Siskind's Avatar
    I think the idea of a commission could have merit, but if the unions have too much say in how the commission works, I would be concerned. I'd be more comfortable with several parties representing different points of view worked together to come up with the rules.
  6. George Chell's Avatar
    "I think the idea of a commission could have merit, but if the unions have too much say in how the commission works, I would be concerned. I'd be more comfortable with several parties representing different points of view worked together to come up with the rules."

    ...and authentic statistical research showing that shutting out skilled migrants will lead to migration of jobs and giving it a lot of publicity should help! I hope the economists stop abdicating their responsibility and confront the bogus analysis head on!

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