Big business and big labor have settled on a political framework for an immigration overhaul. Now, the lawmakers writing bipartisan legislation need to resolve the nitty-gritty – and keep their parties’ political flanks mollified.
Business and labor negotiators late last week agreed on a deal that would allow tens of thousands of low-skilled workers into the country and pay them fair wages. It was a last major sticking point before the deal goes to the eight senators – four Democrats, four Republicans – to sign off on the details and propose legislation. They are looking to set in motion the most dramatic changes to the faltering U.S. immigration system in more than two decades.
“There are a few details yet. But conceptually, we have an agreement between business and labor, between ourselves that has to be drafted,” said Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C.
The so-called Gang of Eight’s plan would provide a new class of worker visas for low-skilled workers, secure the border, crack down on employers, improve legal immigration and create a 13-year pathway to citizenship for the millions of illegal immigrants already here.
Schumer negotiated the deal between Chamber of Commerce head Tom Donohue and AFL-CIO president Richard Trumka during a late Friday phone call. Under the compromise, the government would create a new “W” visa for low-skilled “guest” workers, who would earn the same wages paid to Americans or the prevailing wages for the industry they’re working in, whichever is higher. The Labor Department would determine prevailing wage based on customary rates in specific localities, so it would vary from city to city.
Jeremy Hobson joins Robin Young as co-host of Here & Now in its new 2-hour format, from WBUR and NPR.
The organizers of the Boston Marathon have issued special invitations to 450 people who made the case they were profoundly affected by the bombings in April.2 Comments | more »
Almost a year after 20 children and six educators were killed at Sandy Hook Elementary School, some states have toughened gun rules, while others have loosened them.132 Comments | more »
As the BBC’s State Department correspondent, Kim Ghattas has traveled hundreds of thousands of miles with U.S. secretaries of state, including Condoleezza Rice, Hillary Clinton and John Kerry.1 Comment | more »