The plan on bringing foreign workers to the U.S. cleared another roadblock this week. Both labor and business leaders have worked out an outline for a compromise on one of the most difficult issues in reforming the immigration system in the nation – how to handle the eventual future need for more foreign workers.
Both sides said there were key details that still must be negotiated, but agreed the deal cleared away significant roadblocks to further action in Washington. The group of senators, representing both major parties, which have been working on the new immigration legislation, plan to have a meeting next week to have more discussion on the issue. The eight senators wanted to wait to see how the talks would go between the labor and business groups.
Congressional Democrats and President Obama have said any deal on immigration must provide a pathway to citizenship of the over 11 million undocumented immigrants that are currently living in the U.S. However, Republicans in Congress argue that Congress should not take into consideration legalization without new policies in place to prevent another wave of undocumented immigrants entering in the future.
For a number of months, labor and business leaders have been meeting to find the best way to legally bring foreign workers to the U.S. for jobs that are low-wage such as home-care aides and restaurant workers. A plan like that would reduce greatly the incentive for undocumented immigrants to come to the U.S., said supporters.
The new proposal calls for companies that cannot find any workers in the U.S. to have authorization to employ foreign workers. The workers they hire would enter into the U.S. via a newly created system of immigration worker visas. Before hiring foreign workers, the companies would have to place advertisements for jobs in the U.S.