Sens. Charles Schumer (D-NY) and Scott Brown (R-MA) are trying to get legislation to the Senate floor this week that would add at least 10,500 annual guest worker visas for Irish nationals. This bill, an amended version of S.1983, would double the number of E-3 visa holders to the U.S. each year. The number of workers brought into the country could grow exponentially once an unlimited number of visas are handed out to the spouses and children (up to the age of 21) of these visa holders.

This legislation not only hurts Americans because it brings in more guest workers at a time of high unemployment, it represents terrible immigration policy because it carves out a special rule for one particular nationality. Moreover, to qualify for this visa, aliens would need to meet only nominal requirements. The legislation, as amended, only requires visa recipients to have two years of work experience in a particular field, OR to have obtained a high school diploma or its equivalent. Employers are not required to look for U.S. workers first before sponsoring an E-3 visa holder.

The U.S. should NOT add an additional 10,500 guest workers to compete with the already 13 million unemployed Americans seeking jobs. Furthermore, Congress should not be in the business of carving out special rules for members of a single nationality. Congress should draft immigration law so that it is uniform in application and is blind to the home country of an alien applicant.