As the Senate Gang of Eight try to complete their "comprehensive immigration reform" bill that will include an amnesty for the nation's 11 million illegal aliens, an expansive guest worker program that would include visas for construction workers is the latest stumbling block. Business groups are concerned that the GOP Members of the Gang have given in too much to union demands.
While there is still no legislation, sources close to the negotiations have said that the deal will include an annual cap of 10,000 low-wage work visas, and that number will change depending on unemployment levels. Business groups, however, contend that the construction industry typically has a higher unemployment rate than the national average, which would hold down the number of guest workers issued for construction workers.
The guest worker framework applies to the Senate bill, but should it pass there, it would have to still pass in the House. House sources say a highly-restrictive guest worker program would face opposition from the GOP in the chamber.
"There's no way, no way, our guys go for this stuff," a House leadership aide said according to buzzfeed.com.
Furthermore, business lobbyists say every time the Gang of Eight agrees to a deal, union lobbyists come in and move "the goal posts."
"Everyone is pretending like the [American Federation of Labor] wants this, and they don't," a business lobbyist said.
Sen. Chuck Schumer, who heads the Senate Immigration Subcommittee and is part of the Gang of Eight, said on Thursday that the group is close to finalizing a deal. Several pro-amnesty supporters were arrested in his Senate office when they protested the fact that a bill has still not been introduced.
For more information, see BuzzFeed.com.
Updated: Fri, Mar 22nd 2013 @ 9:50am EDT