Business lobbies for foreign workers

U.S. Capitol Building


Doug Krizner: Some bills just don't die in Washington. Business interests are already trying to resurrect parts of the comprehensive immigration bill defeated last week in the Senate. Marketplace's Sam Eaton reports.

Sam Eaton: Businesses say they can live without the immigration bill's increased border security and path to citizenship for the nation's 12 million undocumented immigrants.

But Angelo Amador with the U.S. Chamber of Commerce says some parts of the bill are too important to give up on.

Angelo Amador: At the very least, we think there should be temporary fixes for another year or two, until we get comprehensive immigration reform and everything back on the board.

The technology industry is now pushing Congress to triple the number of H-1B visas for skilled foreign workers to 195,000 a year. The agricultural lobby wants to streamline the guest worker program.

Amador says increasing raids on businesses, along with a growing patchwork of state laws, are harming U.S. competitiveness.

But with only about 13 percent of the public in favor of the wide-ranging proposal defeated last week, reviving the debate may not be so easy.

I'm Sam Eaton for Marketplace.

About the author

Sam Eaton is an independent radio and television journalist. His reporting on complex environmental issues from climate change to population growth has taken him all over the United States and the world.


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