One can’t pick up a newspaper or watch TV without seeing stories about the battle over undocumented immigrants entering the U.S.
It’s a contentious issue in the extreme.
Rather remarkably, with farmers around the country facing farm labor shortages, Republicans in Congress last week tried to pass legislation in the U.S. House (the measure failed by a wide margin) to allow undocumented workers to remain in the U.S. so long as they work in agriculture.
This extraordinary debate among Republicans underscores a growing realization that immigrant workers perform a valuable function in the U.S. economy.
Changes in the law being contemplated by some Republicans would not give immigrant farm workers a track to permanent citizenship – not would it allow them to try other occupations while living in the U.S.
All such workers would be granted guest worker status only and be allowed to work on farms and orchards across America so long as they make periodic return trips home – and remain in productive employment in agriculture while in the U.S.
What form would this prospective federal action take?
The amendment in question would have permitted this group of guest workers to work for a number of years in the U.S. if they agreed to return to their home countries for at least 45 days during that period of time.
It’s not known how many farmworkers in the U.S. are currently undocumented, but some estimates suggest that nearly 50 percent nationally may be here illegally.
Some labor experts put the number of undocumented farm workers working in the U.S. at 1.2 million.
More on this topic is sure to follow. Stay tuned.
If you’re an employer and have questions about current immigration laws as they pertain to employment, consider calling on the attorneys at Kainen, Escalera & McHale in Connecticut. We do one thing and one thing only – we are an employer defense law firm – in fact, we are one of the largest employer defense law firms in the region. What’s more, each of our attorneys has over 20 years of experience in employment law and labor law matters and can provide your business with comprehensive legal counsel ranging from assistance with necessary preventive measures to trial advocacy. Please contact us if we can help you.
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