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Accession Number PB2013-109910
Title Immigration of Temporary Lower-Skilled Workers: Current Policy and Related Issues.
Publication Date Dec 2012
Media Count 42p
Personal Author A. Bruno
Abstract U.S. employers in various industries argue that they need to hire foreign workers to perform lower-skilled jobs, while others maintain that many of these positions could be filled by U.S. workers. Under current law, certain lower-skilled foreign workers, sometimes referred to as guest workers, may be admitted to the United States to perform temporary service or labor under two temporary worker visas: the H-2A visa for agricultural workers and the H-2B visa for nonagricultural workers. Both programs are administered by the Department of Homeland Security's U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (DHS/USCIS) and the Department of Labor's Employment and Training Administration (DOL/ETA). The H-2A and H-2B programs--and guest worker programs broadly--strive both to be responsive to legitimate employer needs for labor and to provide adequate protections for U.S. and foreign temporary workers. There is much debate, however, about how to strike the appropriate balance between these twin goals. Under the George W. Bush Administration, both DHS and DOL issued regulations to streamline the H-2A and H-2B programs. The Obama Administration retained the DHS rules, but rewrote the DOL rules. Arguing that the latter provided inadequate protections for workers, it issued a new DOL final rule on H-2A employment, which became effective in March 2010. The Obama Administration also issued a new DOL final rule on H-2B employment in 2012 and a DOL final rule on H-2B wage rates in 2011, but neither of these rules is currently in effect.
Keywords Employment
Foreign workers
Government policies
Illegal aliens
Labor force
Low skilled workers
Temporary employees

Source Agency Congressional Research Service
NTIS Subject Category 92C - Social Concerns
70D - Personnel Management, Labor Relations & Manpower Studies
96A - Domestic Commerce, Marketing, & Economics
Corporate Author Congressional Research Service, Washington, DC.
Document Type Technical report
Title Note N/A
NTIS Issue Number 1323
Contract Number N/A

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