Letter Opposing the Dorgan-Boxer Amendment to S. 1348, the "Secure Borders, Economic Opportunity, and Immigration Reform Act of 2007"
May 22, 2007
TO THE MEMBERS OF THE UNITED STATES SENATE:
On behalf of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, the world's largest business federation
representing more than three million businesses and organizations of every size, sector, and
region, I urge you to oppose the Dorgan-Boxer amendment to S. 1348, the "Secure Borders,
Economic Opportunity, and Immigration Reform Act of 2007," which would eliminate the
new temporary worker program. The Chamber also urges you to oppose the Bingaman
amendment that would cut the number of temporary workers in half, from 400,000 to 200,000
a year while eliminating the market-based regulator.
Congress should not repeat the mistakes of 1986, when Congress did not provide a
legal mechanism for workers to come into the country. Creating an orderly, legal open
process by which foreign workers can be recruited into jobs when U.S. workers are not
available, and screened and tracked while in the United States, will eliminate the "job
magnet" which now spurs illegal immigration. While the Chamber has concerns with the
temporary worker program, eliminating it or reducing it is not the solution.
Both the Dorgan-Boxer amendment and the Bingaman amendment would gut the
future essential worker program. The Chamber urges you to protect this key program in the
legislation. It is critical that the number of "Y" visas be kept at 400,000 with a market based
regulator to allow the cap to increase or decrease in accordance with the needs of the
economy. Furthermore, it is important to emphasize that prior to bringing a worker into the
United States under the new program that would be authorized by S.1348, the employer must
thoroughly test the labor market to show that there was no qualified U.S. worker willing and
able to take the position being filled by the Y-visa holder.
The Chamber will consider using votes on both the Dorgan-Boxer and Bingaman
amendments, as well as any other amendments that weaken the temporary worker
program, in our annual How they Voted scorecard.
R. Bruce Josten