WASHINGTON — As unions and the business lobby meet in talks over immigration reform, the head of the AFL-CIO union federation stressed Thursday that organized labor wants to see a “data-driven solution” in whatever foreign guestworker program Congress produces as part of its comprehensive immigration package.
Each year, tens of thousands of foreign workers come to the U.S. to work on temporary visas, many of them in low-wage industries. Leaders on Capitol Hill have indicated they want to overhaul the current guest worker programs, which businesses complain are too cumbersome and unions complain are rife with employer and recruiter abuse.
Disagreements over these guest worker programs — sometimes referred to as the “future flow” of immigrant workers — arguably played a role in derailing the 2007 immigration talks. Now, the AFL-CIO and the Chamber of Commerce have come to the table to hash out their differences.
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