With funding for the federal government restored and the debt ceiling crisis averted (for now), President Obama has called on Congress to address three policy priorities in what remains of 2013. I'm thrilled to learn that immigration reform made the cut. I'm particularly interested in the Senate-passed proposal for temporary low-skill employment permits, the W-visa.
CGD Policy Blogs
In this Wonkcast from April 2013, Michael Clemens offers the sort of compelling evidence that can help to shape the US immigration debate, drawing on a still highly relevant CGD brief he co-authored with Lant Pritchett.
Michael Clemens released a groundbreaking (pun intended) new CGD working paper today titled The Effect of Foreign Labor on Native Employment: A Job-Specific Approach and Application to North Carolina Farms. Too busy to wade through the research methodology?
Haven’t gotten through all 844 pages of the Gang of 8’s immigration reform bill yet?
If you thought the immigration debates of the last few months were rough, hold on to your visas, because it’s about to get ugly. The Senate Gang of 8’s comprehensive immigration reform bill, the Border Security, Economic Opportunity, and Immigration Modernization Act, has been released. And at the epicenter of these debates is the provision creating visas for what are often called “guest workers”—an issue close to CGD’s heart.
Migrant advocates rarely say a good word about guest-work visas. Many harshly criticize the conditions and wages of authorized US guest workers as economic exploitation comparable to slavery. Often that’s where their comments end.
In 2008, when I returned from trips abroad at Boston’s Logan International Airport, I was greeted by pictures of the president and the regional director for Homeland Security, Lorraine Henderson, who had the responsibility for the enforcement of immigration law in the northeastern US. In December of 2008, Lorraine Henderson was arrested. Her crime? She employed Fabiana Bitencourt to clean her house. The rub: Fabiana was a Brazilian national who didn’t have authorization to work in the United States. When Fabiana suggested she might return to Brazil for a visit, Lorraine advised that since enforcement was based only on border interdiction, Fabiana ran risks crossing the border but almost no risk in staying put. Lorraine Henderson was charged with “encouraging” and “inducing” an alien to remain in the country illegally.