Research & Policy

Guestworker Programs

1. Andorra Bruno, Comparison of Pending Bills to Overhaul the H-2A Temporary Agricultural Worker Program with the Existing H-2A Program, Congressional Research Service (February 3, 2004).
"The Immigration and Nationality Act (INA) authorizes a program for foreign temporary agricultural workers, known as the “H-2A” program.  The program takes its name from the relevant section of the INA, Section 101(a)(15)(H)(ii)(a).  Bills proposing significant changes to the H-2A program are before the 108th Congress." Download this document

2. Andorra Bruno, CRS Report for Congress, Immigration: Policy Consideration Related to Guest Worker Programs (January 26, 2006).
"At present, the United States has two main programs for temporarily importing low-skilled workers, sometimes referred to as guest workers.  Agricultural guest workers enter through the H-2A visa program, and other guest workers enter through the H-2B visa program." Download this document

3. Cecilia Munoz, National Council of La Raza, Testimony on Guestworker Programs Before the Immigration Subcommittee on the Judiciary U.S. House of Representatives (June 19, 2001).
"For the nation’s Latino’s, the bracero program has come to epitomize a history of abuse and mistreatment of farmworkers, who continue to be the most vulnerable and poorly treated workers in the United States, whether they are imported from abroad, or hired from within the United States." Download this document

4. GAO Report to Congressional Committees, H-2A Agricultural Guestworker Program: Changes Could Improve Services to Employers and Better Protect Workers (December 1997).
"During congressional deliberations on the Illegal Immigration Reform and Immigrant Responsibility Act of 1996, concerns surfaced about whether enough farmworkers would be available to meet the needs of agriculture after the act’s new constraints on foreign workers’ ability to enter the country were implemented. The H-2A nonimmigrant guestworker program provides a way for U.S. agricultural employers to bring nonimmigrant foreign workers into the United States to perform seasonal agricultural work on a temporary basis when domestic workers are unavailable." Download this document

5. Maia Jachimowicz, Migration Policy Institute, Bush Proposes New Temporary Worker Program (February 1, 2004).
"This month's Policy Beat is dedicated to explaining the White House's views on immigration reform announced January 7, as well as reactions from Congress and stakeholders." Download this document

6. Philip Martin, University of California at Davis, Guest Workers: New Solution, New Problem?, Pew Hispanic Center (March 21, 2002).
"This paper addresses three questions: How many unauthorized workers are employed in U.S. agriculture? How many unauthorized farm workers would be eligible for a legalization or guest worker program that required e.g. 60, 90 or 120 days of U.S. farm work during a qualifying 12-month base period? How many guest workers would be admitted under the most likely legalization/guest worker programs; that is, what are likely exit rates from the farm work force for newly legalized workers? The concluding section discusses the implications of alternative scenarios for dealing with immigration and farm workers." Download this document

7. Southern Poverty Law Center, Close to Slavery: Guestworker Programs in the United States (2007).
"In his 2007 State of the Union Address, President Bush called for legislation creating a ‘legal and orderly path for foreign workers to enter our country to work on a temporary basis,’ Doing so, the president said, would mean ‘they won’t have to try to sneak in." Download this document

8. Stuart Anderson, The Impact of Agricultural Guest Worker Programs on Illegal Immigration, The National Foundation for American Policy (November 2003).
"An understanding that the bracero program played a key role in reducing illegal immigration has remained absent in the debate over both immigration policy and agricultural guest workers." Download this document

9. Vernon M. Briggs Jr., ILR Impact Brief – Doomed to Fail: The Unintended Consequences of Guestworker Programs, Cornell University Impact Brief (February 2006).
"Should the United States enact a guestworker program enabling the temporary immigration of low-skilled foreign nationals to relieve alleged labor shortages and/or to minimize illegal immigration pressures?" Download this document

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