One of the most important parts of a comprehensive immigration bill - a part not even mentioned by President Obama in his speech on Tuesday - is the future flow of workers in to the US. Merely dealing with people in the US today or currently waiting in line for green cards and pouring money in to enforcement are not enough. In a few years if we have low unemployment and there are jobs in the US that are not being filled by Americans, people WILL find a way to get here and we'll once again have a huge illegal immigration problem if there is no workable guest worker program available to employers.
The Wall Street Journal reports this morning that the Senate negotiators have asked the US Chamber and the AFL-CIO and SEIU, two of the country's largest unions, to hammer out the framework for a guestworker visa. The organizations have been meeting regularly over the last few months and are working out details that will presumably make there way in to an immigration bill. They are working on issues like the size of the program, recruiting requirements, a path to permanent residency for guest workers who want it, etc.
The good news is that both sides report the negotiations are going well. That's critical since there are only a few weeks left before the big bill will be introduced.
Greg Siskind is a partner in Siskind Susser's Memphis, Tennessee, office. After graduating magna cum laude from Vanderbilt University, he received his Juris Doctorate from the University of Chicago. Mr. Siskind is a member of AILA, a board member of the Hebrew Immigrant Aid Society, and a member of the ABA, where he serves on the LPM Publishing Board as Marketing Vice Chairman. He is the author of several books, including the J Visa Guidebook and The Lawyer's Guide to Marketing on the Internet. Mr. Siskind practices all areas of immigration law, specializing in immigration matters of the health care and technology industries. He can be reached by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.