We have a broken immigration system. Modernizing our legal immigration system will be a net benefit for America that will help us attract entrepreneurs, innovators, investors, skilled workers that will create jobs for American workers. These people will pay taxes. They will be consumers buying goods and services which only adds value to our economy.
Protecting American Workers: The proposal is presented as protecting the American worker by not allowing any work visas to be issued if the unemployment rate in a certain area is above 8.5 percent. We would have to see how this would be implemented. That is a very high rate of unemployment. Moreover, the level of unemployment may have no bearing on an employer’s ability to fill a job opening.
Highly Skilled Workers: After educating the world’s brightest and most innovative minds, they will no longer be sent home to benefit competing economies like China and India. Instead the proposal will staple green cards to their diplomas. The highly skilled H1-B visa program from 65,000 to 110,000 to fill jobs Americans can’t do. This frankly is inadequate. This past year the 65,000 cap was reached in approximately one week. Moreover, the bill will make U.S. employers pay higher rates to skilled workers than to American Workers. The process already requires that the employer show it can’t find an American Worker, requiring it to pay even more is misguided.
Guest Worker Program: The bill establishes a guest worker program for lower-skilled workers to allow a legal future flow of workers. In order to ensure that those who want to come legally can do so the visas must be adequate. It is very difficult for immigrants to legally enter the U.S. today, thus, they come illegally. Enforcement and security will limit that, but immigrants will continue to attempt illegal entry if they can’t do so legally.
Agricultural Worker Program: A new agricultural guest worker visa program would be established to ensure an adequate agricultural workforce to safeguard our food supply. This program will also allow current undocumented farm workers who have made a substantial prior commitment to agricultural work in the United States to obtain legal status through an Agricultural Card Program.