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Immigration Reform in 2013?

Every so often the topic of immigration reform comes to the forefront in Washington. In years past, the debate would rage for periods of time and then the effort would stall out amidst political fighting over various elements of the "reform" needed. There are a wide-ranging number of interest groups fighting for and against various types of reform. What can we expect in 2013?

Considering the last election cycle and the behaviors of certain demographic groups in that cycle, a comprehensive effort to reform the U.S. immigration system is a bit more likely. At least right at this moment. My thought on that only applies if some other hot potato social or economic agenda item does not interfere with, or take priority over, immigration issues. At this point, several things look likely, to include:

  1. An amnesty-style program of some sort for those currently in the country illegally or without status;
  2. Changes to the visa allocation quotas/system to allow those trying to immigrate the right way to get out of the long lines and backlogs created by a shortage of available slots;
  3. The inclusion of a guest-worker type program to allow for lower-skilled workers to come to the U.S. to fill temporary needs for lesser-skilled labor; and
  4. A requirement that employers verify the legal status of workers (read this to mean mandatory E-Verify for all employers).

The idea of immigration reform typically brings out vocal advocates on all sides of the equation. Stay tuned over the next six months as things heat up in Washington. Big changes could be coming for employers both in the verification arena and in the labor pool available for hiring. 


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Don Berner, the Labor Law, OSHA, & Immigration Law Guy
Boyd Byers Image
Boyd Byers, the General Employment Law Guy
Jason Lacey Image
Jason Lacey, the Employee Benefits Guy
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