Immigration Bill May Blow Up Over Ag Workers

“The Senate’s “gang of eight” could roll out a long awaited comprehensive immigration plan next week, but a key provision over what to do about the country’s immigrant agricultural workers is stuck in limbo and could be absent from the bill. And without a deal between agricultural unions and growers, a comprehensive immigration reform would be less comprehensive than many expect, experts say,” US News reports.

“This portion of the immigration bill being spearheaded by Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., Sen. Michael Bennet, D-Colo., and Sen. Orrin Hatch, R-Utah, has hit a standstill and the Western Growers and the United Farm Workers have taken “a breather” from negotiations to revise the current H2A visa program, sources say.”

H-1B Debate Reveals Prejudice Against U.S. Workers

“This week, New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg urged Congress to issue more H-1B visas for highly skilled foreign workers. The US needs “an immigration system that brings the best, brightest, and hardest workers to our shores,” he said. His words echoed an editorial published last year by Bloomberg News headlined ‘Help The US Economy With Visas for the Best and Brightest,'” Mother Jones writes.

“Unfortunately, the phrase “best and brightest” has a slippery history. It’s best known as the ironic title of journalist David Halberstam’s book about the architects of the Vietnam war. And it applies in a similarly upside-down way to foreign tech workers, who, according to a study released yesterday by the Economic Policy Institute, demonstrate no more talent in important areas than similarly educated Americans, and in some cases may be less qualified.”