The proposed “W” visa program, an agreement between labor and business groups on a guest worker program for low-skilled labor, is being called historic because the two sides came to an accord. A leading labor executive is calling it “unstoppable.”
As NBCLatino.com reported, here are four reasons why:
- “First, what is significant is the way both groups have reached an agreement on how to structure the number of visas,” says Kristian Ramos, policy director for the New Policy Institute’s (NPI) 21st Border Initiative. “In 2007, one of the reasons legislation died is that business had one number and labor had another.” The program would start at 20,000 visas, then go up to 35,000 the next year, 55,000 the next, 75,000 the following until 200,000.
- Determining what sector of industry needs additional workers will be determined by a new entity, the Bureau of Immigration and Labor Market Research. This is an independent, non-partisan group of experts, such as demographers and economists, who will study and determine labor needs.
- Unlike now, immigrants under this proposed guest worker visa will not be limited to one employer.
- Workers will be able to self-petition for a green card after one year, and will not be dependent on employers.