A new “guest worker” program which sells out U.S. workers, shows the lengths to which special interests will go to craft an immigration deal on the backs of unemployed and struggling Americans.
Specifically, the deal creates a new W immigrant visa program . This new program will be created for employers to petition for foreign workers in “lesser skilled,” non-seasonal non-agricultural occupations, which include occupations in hospitality, janitorial, retail, construction and others.
The Program would begin on April 1, 2015, unless the Secretary of Homeland Security extends the start date by 6 months. The program starts at 20,000 visas; in year 2, 35,000 visas will be available, in year 3, 55,000 visas and in year 4, 75,000. On year 5, the program will grow or shrink based on a statistical formula that takes into account the unemployment rate, the ratio of job openings to workers looking for work, the Bureau’s recommendations as to the size of the annual cap, and the percentage difference between the number of W-Visa slots requested in the prior fiscal year compares to the cap in the prior fiscal year.
The cap can never be below 20,000 or above 200,000 in any year. One third of all visas available in any give year will go only to businesses under 25 employees. No more than 15,000 visas per year will be allocated to construction occupations.
This “deal” also creates a new federal bureau – the “Bureau of Immigration and Labor Market Research,” staffed by “experts” in economics, labor markets, demographics and other specialties needed to identify labor shortages and make recommendations, among other things, on the impact of immigration on labor markets as wells as the methods of recruitment of US workers into lesser-skilled non-seasonal jobs. The Bureau will publish shortage lists by occupation and make annual recommendations and reports to Congress on how to improve employment-based immigration. The Bureau will also have a role in setting the annual W Visa cap. The USCIS will fund the bureau through registered employer and registered openings fees for employers.
The most important party that Americans need to know is that while the Chamber of Commerce and AFL-CIO are selling this new foreign worker program as “necessary to fill shortages” in the U.S. labor market, the deal allows workers to change employers and then stay in the U.S.
By definition, this means that the new foreign worker program is not designed to fix any claimed shortages in the labor market. Instead the AFL-CIO and Chamber have designed it to simply bring more foreign workers into the U.S.
U.S. immigration policy should prioritize the needs of Americans first. We do not need more guest workers as the government already admits over 800,000 guest workers each year, regardless of whether or not Americans have jobs.
America needs jobs, not more foreign workers to create unfair competition and drive down wages. Jobs in the construction, hospitality, retail and other industries covered under the W program are good jobs that Americans will do for a living wage.
Congress shouldn’t even consider expanding immigration until the federal government has fulfilled its duty to secure the border and ensure that those who come to the U.S. to work follow the law and aren’t a drain on public resources.
Contact Senate Leadership TODAY and tell them Americans need jobs, not increased competition!
- Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid: 202-224-3542
- Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell: 202-224-2541
- Senate Majority Whip Dick Durbin: 202-224-2152
- Senate Minority Whip John Cornyn: 202-224-2934