By Daniel Indiviglio
WASHINGTON, April 2 (Reuters Breakingviews) - Big Business and Big Labor managed to strike a compromise on immigration reform. They want Congress to adopt a new program for lesser-skilled foreign workers. It looks sensible on paper, but its many rules and conditions may be too expensive and cumbersome for it to succeed.
Full view will be published shortly.
- In an effort to reform the U.S. immigration system, congressional leaders turned to two key business groups to compromise on a program for lower-skilled workers. Those groups are the Chamber of Commerce, a lobbying organization that acts on behalf of businesses, and the American Federation of Labor and Congress of Industrial Organizations (AFL-CIO), a large trade union.
- Businesses want more flexibility to hire lower-skilled foreign workers when they cannot find enough domestic workers to fill job openings, while unions worry that this could lead to lower wages and lost American jobs. The solution that the Chamber and AFL-CIO have agreed on would create a new 'W-Visa' program.
- The new program would allow for companies to hire lower-skilled foreign workers and put them on the path to citizenship if certain criteria are present. The program would begin as of April 1, 2015 with 20,000 visas available. That number would gradually grow to 75,000 in its fourth year.
- After that time, the number of visas available would rise or fall depending on economic statistics like the unemployment rate and job openings, but would not exceed 200,000 annually. These statistics would be monitored by a new government agency, the Bureau of Immigration and Labor Market Research.
- Reuters: U.S. Senate group resolves key issues on immigration reform - lawmakers
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(The author is a Reuters Breakingviews columnist. The opinions expressed are his own.)
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(Editing by Rob Cox and Martin Langfield) Keywords: BREAKINGVIEWS USA/IMMIGRATION
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