Business and Labor Groups agree on need for new visas

A recent article in the Bergen RECORD said that the US Chamber of Commerce and the AFL-CIO reached consensus on an agreement on the need for a way to let businesses more easily hire foreign workers when Americans aren’t available to fill jobs.  This describes most of our friends in the day laborer community so we are happy to see this.

The article says the groups are calling for a new kind of woker visa program that does not keep all workers in a permanent temporary status and responds as the U.S. economy grows and shrinks.

As CoFiA members talk with the migrant workers in our communities we recognize that one of the major dysfunctional aspects of our broken immigration system is that it permits–even encourages–exploitation of the workers.  Because they come here desperate for work, they are forced to take almost anything that is offered to them.  There are many employers, large and small, who exploit that need, hiring people only on short-term bases and paying them far below the minimum wage–or not paying them at all.  Although all workers are covered by U.S. Labor laws, the deficits in the current immigration system actually encourage these practices, to the benefit of no one, neither migrant nor citizen.

A statement from the Chamber of Commerce and the AFL-CIO said, “We have found common ground in several important areas and have committed to continue to work together and with members of Congress to enact legislation that will solve our current problems in a lasting manner.  We are now in the middle–not the end–of this process.”

This is a signficant step in moving forward on immigration policy reform–especially important since some politicians (such as Florida’s Jeb Bush) are choosing to appeal to anti-immigrant groups to achieve short-term political goals.



2 thoughts on “Business and Labor Groups agree on need for new visas

  1. illeagl labor is the lowest form of taking advantage of an other human beeing. I hire these guys when I need casual labor. I talk to them. The first thing I ask them how is you familily and when have you seen them last? they tell me for 10 or more years, they get ripped off, landlords hord them in room there is unspeakable crime and they have noboy to turn to.

    I grew up in postwar Germany and have a vivid awareness of the german rebuilding of Germany, The german goverment gave visas to italien guestworkers to come from Sicily to help in the rebuilding in german citys. There was organization and everybody benefited from this process. We have here the smartest collection of people from all over the world, yet I never encountered a more stubborn people willing to acomplish any thing for the greater good. Shame on the american leaders. Issue temperory visas let them travel freely if ther are no jobs the go home by themselfs.

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