Should Immigration Reform include a Guest Worker Program?
Posted in the Immigration Reform Forum
#1 Mar 5, 2013
One thing to keep in mind is that not every undocumented worker in the U.S. needs or wants to become a "permanent" resident (green card holder) or have a "pathway to citizenship". Many are simply here to work and provide for their families and would comply with a system that enabled them to enter and depart lawfully, as needed. A modernized system would electronically track these arrivals and departures, and automatically terminate participation in the program and preclude re-entry of those who violated conditions of the program. It would also be biometric driven, thus much more secure and less vulnerable to fraud and abuse.
With that said, however, any Guest-Worker Program (GWP) should be driven by the labor needs of this country, not emotion, politics, or other subjectivity. These needs must be data-driven.
Prior to implementing any GWP, we should develop a much better mechanism in which to determine occupational shortages. The current system is primarily paper-based, thus inefficient, ineffective, and fraud-ridden. Thought should be given to developing a national jobs or labor data system that is engaged by all states, working collaboratively with the U.S. DOL. States should be required to enter specific labor data and employers should be required to use this system to post and recruit workers, and provide other data needed to determine the labor needs of this country in a progressive, real-time manner. This system could also be engaged to determine and administer permanent employment-based (immigrant) visas, as well as manage the issuance and use of visa numbers.[www.immigrationintegr itygroup.com]
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