The Fate of the 11 Million Undocumented Is Yet Uncertain
March 31, 2013 § Leave a comment
Despite talks that a deal has been struck between the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and the A.F.L.-C.I.O. over the guest worker program for low-skilled immigrants over the weekend, allowing tens of thousands of low-skilled workers into the country to fill jobs in construction, restaurants and hotels, the reality is that there are still many details to be ironed out and the deal is not official yet. “We haven’t signed off,” said Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., as reported by The Associated Press in a Wall Street Journal article today. “I think we’re on track,” said Sen. Chuck Schumer, the New York Democrat who brokered the labor-business deal, “But…we have said we will not come to final agreement till we look at all of the legislative language and… that language hasn’t been fully drafted.”
According to the same article, included in the discussions was that the proposed measure would secure the border, crack down on employers, improve legal immigration and create a 13-year pathway to citizenship for the millions of illegal immigrants already here. Additionally, the new immigration bill also is expected to offer many more visas for high-tech workers, new visas for agriculture workers, and provisions allowing some agriculture workers already in the U.S. a speedier path to citizenship than that provided to other illegal immigrants, in an effort to create a stable agricultural workforce.
Although these talks certainly indicate a positive step in the right direction, lawmakers voice the need for caution so as to not get everyone’s hopes up prematurely as there is still much work to be done.