BRAINSTORMING ABOUT A MARKET-BASED WORKER VISA PROGRAM
In May 2012, ImmigrationWorks held a one-day roundtable event to brainstorm about a market-based visa program for low-skilled, non-farm workers. Attendees included immigration scholars, immigration attorneys, Washington business representatives and employers who hire immigrants. The goal of the day: to look beyond existing and largely unworkable temporary worker programs and recent proposals for an expert commission to determine immigration levels, developing some new ideas for admitting foreign workers to take jobs for which there are no willing and able U.S. workers. Among the concepts considered: that employers participate in an auction or pay a fee for permits to hire temporary workers; allowing visa holders to move freely among employers participating in the program; admitting workers on short-term visas but permitting some to eventually earn permanent residence. Fragomen, Del Rey, Bernsen and Loewy founder Austin Fragomen gave the keynote address. Cosponsors included the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, the National Restaurant Association, the National Association of Home Builders, the American Immigration Lawyers Association and Greenberg Traurig.