AirTalk for February 21, 2013

Big business and big labor make deal on a new worker visa program

Business and labor groups reach agreements on a new system for work visas.

After weeks of negotiations, the Chamber of Commerce and the AFL-CIO (American Federation of Labor and Congress of Industrial Organizations) today agreed on principles for creating a new system for worker visas. This new system focuses on filling employment for lesser-skilled occupations. Although they are still hammering out details, business and labor groups have agreed on some common grounds for immigration reform.

In this proposed new system, American workers will still be given employment priority and information about job openings in lesser-skilled occupations will be more publicized. However, when employers are not able to fill the job opening with American workers, the process to hire foreign workers will be more efficient and not keep all workers in a permanent temporary status, providing labor mobility. Also, the groups call for more research and data on immigration and work visas be provided to the public.

How will this affect immigration reform? Will it take away jobs from American workers and open the doors for immigration? Is a new system feasible? Who benefits from this new system?

Guests:

Jeff Hauser, Lead for Political Media, AFL-CIO (American Federation of Labor and Congress of Industrial Organizations)

Mark Krikorian, Executive Director, Center for Immigration Studies


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