A recent story from NPR’s Dan Charles titled “Guest Workers, Legal Yet Not Quite Free, Pick Florida’s Oranges
,” provides a crucial glimpse into what it’s like being a guestworker in the United States. As the title suggests, it’s not pretty. The headline is probably using the word “free” as a double entendre: guestworkers are not free in the sense of the free market, nor in the sense of someone who has personal freedom and agency; i.e., is not a slave.
The Supreme Court is reviewing President Obama's decision to defer the deportation of unauthorized immigrants who are the parents of children who are either U.S. citizens or legal permanent residents, have resided in the United States for at least five years, and are not a DHS enforcement priority for deportation and update and expand the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals initiative, which to date has provided deferred action to over 660,000 persons who entered the country as young people without authorization. Combined, over five million persons could be eligible
for deferments out of a total unauthorized immigrant population of 11 million.
Stagnant or declining wages and persistently high unemployment in the top H-2B temporary foreign worker occupations belie lobbyists claims that a shortage of semi-skilled and unskilled labor calls for expanding the program.
Expanding and deregulating the H-2B visa program (a temporary foreign worker program that allows U.S. employers to hire low-wage guestworkers from abroad temporarily for seasonal, non-agricultural jobs, mostly in landscaping, forestry, seafood processing, and hospitality) has been a top goal for business groups including the U.S.
For decades, the Optional Practical Training (OPT) program has permitted foreign graduates of U.S. universities, who visit the United States to study through the F-1 nonimmigrant visa program, to be employed in the United States for up to 12 months immediately after graduation.
Last week the New York Times reported the latest innovation from employers who use the H-2B visa temporary foreign worker program to hire workers to staff traveling carnivals (think your local county or state fair): an employer-created union that collectively bargains with employers on behalf of workers to keep wages artificially low.
The reality is that what Sanders supports on immigration is careful and nuanced, and it’s the correct path forward for American immigration policy. In a nutshell, Sanders is strongly in favor of legalization and citizenship for the current unauthorized immigrant population, which will raise wages and lift labor standards for all workers, and he’s against expanding U.S. temporary foreign worker programs, which allow employers to exploit and underpay so-called guestworkers.
On World Refugee Day, The Hill published a Contributors piece by the libertarian Cato Institute’s immigration policy analyst, Alex Nowrasteh, headlined, “The US should be a home for refugees.” In it, he offers a brief history of refugee policy and flows into the United States over the past century and suggests that the United States “should … allow more to settle here.” That’s a noble sentiment, but the headline is misleading because it leaves out the substance of what Nowrasteh proposes in order to help make this happen.
The decision by Disney executives to reverse the layoff of 35 IT employees does nothing for the 250 workers who have already lost their jobs to workers they were forced to train and who will earn roughly $40,000 less for doing the same job.
This piece was originally published in the New York Times “Room for Debate” section on May 12, 2015.
The true costs of goods and services is a secondary issue to stagnant and exploitative wages: The cost of certain goods might go up, but more people would be able to afford them with better compensation.
Corporate lobbyists have convinced legislators of both parties that America needs more guest workers in high-tech jobs. Leading the charge in Congress to do their bidding is Utah Sen.
Discussing the use of skilled foreign workers in the U.S. with Daniel Costa of the Economic Policy Institute.
Proponents of Trade Promotion Authority (aka fast-track trade negotiating authority), which the House of Representatives will likely vote on soon, have made an unequivocal promise that future trade agreements like the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) and the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) will explicitly exclude any provisions that would require a change to U.S.
After more than five years of litigation in numerous jurisdictions by immigrant and worker advocates who challenged the Bush administration’s illegally promulgated regulations for the H-2B temporary foreign worker program, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and the Department of Labor (DOL) have jointly promulgated two new rules—the H-2B “Comprehensive Interim Final Rule” and the “Wage Methodology Final Rule”—which establish important but modest protections for low-wage U.S.
EPI’s Director of Immigration Law and Policy Research Daniel Costa joined a panel hosted by the Brookings Institution to discuss employment of U.S.
Twenty-six states, led by Texas, have convinced federal district court Judge Andrew Hanen to temporarily enjoin two important executive immigration actions—DAPA and the expansion of DACA—which President Obama announced in November of last year.
As I and others have written over the past month and half or so, President Obama’s new Deferred Action for Parental Accountability initiative (DAPA) will shield from deportation and provide work authorization to unauthorized immigrants who have a son or daughter who is a U.S.
Statement for the Record by Daniel Costa, Director Of Immigration Law and Policy Research at the Economic Policy Institute
Chairman Goodlatte, Ranking Member Conyers, and members of the House Judiciary Committee, I thank you for the opportunity to submit this statement for the record for the hearing entitled “President Obama’s Executive Overreach on Immigration.”
It is of utmost importance to understand both the limits of the actions the president may take with respect to the implementation and enforcement of immigration laws and the president’s inherent constitutional authority and responsibilities.
The internet and Twitter have virtually exploded over President Obama’s scheduled announcement tonight at 8 p.m. EST, regarding the actions he will take to reform the immigration system without Congress, relying on the legal authority he has to execute the laws of the United States.
At least 650,000 college-educated temporary foreign workers are employed in the United States through the H-1B visa program, mostly in the high-tech industry.
For most foreign workers who come to work temporarily in the United States, paying private labor recruitment agencies or individual recruiters (also known as foreign labor contractors or FLCs) in order to find and get a job—as a landscaper, teacher, computer programmer, or almost any other occupation—has become an inescapable part of the process.
President Obama is reportedly considering “deferring” (temporarily suspending) the deportation of up to five million unauthorized immigrants, which would expand and be modeled after his 2012 Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) initiative.
While immigration is among the most important issues the country faces, misperceptions persist about fundamental aspects of this crucial topic—such as the size and composition of the immigrant population, how immigration affects the economy and the workforce, the budgetary impact of unauthorized immigration, why increasing numbers of unaccompanied migrant children are arriving at the United States’ Southwest border, and the various facets of U.S.
Since a major reform of the immigration system is dead politically for the foreseeable future—and also in light of the debacle last week in Congress, where our legislative branch was unable to pass a law to fund managing the flow of Central American child migrants arriving at the southwest U.S.
http://www.epi.org/files/2014/Human-Trafficking-Press-Conference.mp3Recording of a media teleconference on legislation to confront human trafficking and worker abuse, with Rep. Lois Frankel, Rep. Ted Deutch, Rep.
The immigration court system is severely underfunded and there are too few judges, especially since caseloads began skyrocketing in 2009. Tens of thousands of unaccompanied migrant children fleeing from Central America and arriving at the Southwest border will be waiting for years while their cases are being adjudicated.
Over the past five years under President Obama’s leadership, the U.S. immigration enforcement system, including its main tools of migrant detention and deportation, has vastly expanded into a “formidable machinery” that has expelled unauthorized immigrants at a record pace—a total of approximately 2 million in five years.
I’d like to attract your attention to this report from WJHG, a local news affiliate in Panama City, Florida. It’s a stark reminder of everything that’s wrong with the State Department’s large de facto guestworker program, the Summer Work Travel (SWT) program.
A couple of my EPI colleagues have recently shown and testified twice that raising the state minimum wage to $10.10 would greatly benefit Maryland workers.
Well, that was fast. Last week Speaker John Boehner released a draft set of “standards” (essentially, principles) on immigration reform, which I analyzed in detail.