EPI’s Daniel Costa delivered the following testimony before the Indiana Senate’s Select Committee on Immigration Issues on Wednesday, September 21, 2016, at 1:00 p.m.
We will probably never get a final answer on this, but the situation raises a more important issue: there is a severe and troubling lack of government regulation, oversight, and enforcement when it comes to U.S. temporary (also known as “nonimmigrant”) visa programs.
On Monday, Vox.com published an in-depth interview with presidential candidate Hillary Clinton. A wide range of topics were discussed, but of particular interest were Sec. Clinton’s positions on immigration regarding the impact of immigration on the labor market and the major flaws inherent in America’s temporary foreign worker programs.
A panel of immigration and public policy experts discussed the impact that immigration has on employment and wages. The discussion was based on a report from the Bipartisan Policy Center’s Immigration Policy Project.
This morning the Supreme Court of the United States issued its decision in United States v. Texas, the State of Texas’s challenge to the most significant of the executive immigration actions—known as the DAPA and DACA+ initiatives—which were announced by President Obama on November 20, 2014.
The following is an excerpt from my congressional testimony on the H-2B program, which has been updated and edited for clarity; it explains in detail what you need to know about the H-2B riders.
All labor migration to the United States should be managed in a way that adds value to the labor market—by adding needed skills and education, and to fill labor shortages. The H-2B program fails on all counts. It also fails both American workers and migrant workers.
Through the H-2B visa program, employers can temporarily bring foreign workers to the United States to perform low-wage work such as landscaping, forestry, housekeeping, and construction. Because the visas are sponsored by employers, H-2B guestworkers cannot switch employers if they are abused, meaning these workers often toil for low wages in poor conditions.
The Visa Transparency Anti-Trafficking Act would go a long way to bringing a much-needed dose of transparency to our immigration system and drastically improve the quality of public debates surrounding temporary foreign worker programs.
President Obama could open up 100,000 jobs for young Americans today for free by simply eliminating the State Department’s J-1 visa Summer Work Travel (SWT) program.
EPI’s Director of Immigration Law and Policy Research Daniel Costa joined Dissent Magazine’s Belabored Podcast to discuss the H-1B guestworker program.
Senator Jeff Sessions (R-Ala.), a Tea Party favorite, and Senator Dick Durbin (D-Ill.), a progressive stalwart, rarely agree on immigration policy. But last week, they did. What’s the issue they agree on? The need to reform two temporary work visas, the H-1B and L-1, because corporations use them to keep wages low and indenture foreign guestworkers—and replace U.S. workers in the technology sector with those lower-paid indentured foreign workers.
Daniel Costa, EPI’s Director of Immigration Law and Policy Research, discussed H-2B visas with Radio Bilingue.
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.
EPI’s Daniel Costa discussed immigration visas with Southern California Public Radio and BuzzFeed.
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.