Business flaking on immigration?

The high-tech guys want their indentured H1-Bs instead of green-card holders who can walk if they get better offers. The restaurants don’t want real employee verification. This deal could come unstuck

That’s the way it looks.

Turns out the high-tech folks prefer hiring indentured servants under H-1B visas to having to hire green-card holders who can walk if someone offers them more money. The low-tech folks are worried that there will be fewer low-skilled immigrants for them to underpay if a point system gives preference to those with high skills. And when they agree to enforcement agaist illegal hiring in the workplace, they didn’t mean, y’know, enforceable enforcement.

Those of us who think that the bill as proposed will put upward pressure on wages compared to the status quo stand, I think, vindicated. If the bill really meant more hordes of Mexicans and Central Americans flooding across the border, the National Restaurant Association would be for it.

But without bribes &#8212 sorry, that’s “campaign contributions” &#8212 and pressure from the business sector, there’s no reason for Republican legislators to defy their own base and help the Democratic-controlled Congress rack up a major accomplishment. Mitch McConnell has already signalled he’s going to run a slow-down. This might not work.

On the bright side, if the employers aren’t playing, then there’s no reason not to ditch the guest-worker provisions in conference and try to pass a bill that doesn’t make the rest of us need to hold our noses.

Update One more reason not to hate this bill: it drives the right-wing hateroots batsh*t crazy and if passed could launch a wingnut jihad against the GOP. One, two, many Lincoln Chafees!

Author: Mark Kleiman

Professor of Public Policy at the NYU Marron Institute for Urban Management and editor of the Journal of Drug Policy Analysis. Teaches about the methods of policy analysis about drug abuse control and crime control policy, working out the implications of two principles: that swift and certain sanctions don't have to be severe to be effective, and that well-designed threats usually don't have to be carried out. Books: Drugs and Drug Policy: What Everyone Needs to Know (with Jonathan Caulkins and Angela Hawken) When Brute Force Fails: How to Have Less Crime and Less Punishment (Princeton, 2009; named one of the "books of the year" by The Economist Against Excess: Drug Policy for Results (Basic, 1993) Marijuana: Costs of Abuse, Costs of Control (Greenwood, 1989) UCLA Homepage Curriculum Vitae Contact: Markarkleiman-at-gmail.com