US introduces seasonal immigration bill

A new bill introduced to the US Senate yesterday proposes to create a pilot system to help address some of the gaps that currently exists between temporary visa programmes for seasonal workers and the H-1B visa program for highly skilled immigrants.

The bill, introduced by Republican Senator Jeff Flake, proposes a ten-year-long pilot guest worker programme that would admit workers to the US who has less than a bachelor’s degree to do year-round, non-farm work.

The so-called Willing Workers & Willing Employers Act would aim to attract between 65,000 to 85,000 workers a year to match economic demand, and as with other US visa programmes an employer would need to demonstrate that they have attempted to hire domestic workers before attempting to hire from abroad.

During the pilot program, the bill would require a study to determine the effects of the program on wages, employment, economic growth, and welfare use and government services to determine if the program should be continued.

According to Senator Flake, the bill will give employers and employees greater portability by enabling workers to change jobs and work for any employer who has tested the labour market and proved that it is unable to hire an American worker for the position.

Article by David Fuller