American Employers and Immigration Law

The New York Times has an article about the various efforts that US businesses are mounting to combat tougher enforcement of immigration laws. Read the article here.

No one seems to be happy with the current system, which penalizes too harshly, but doesn’t give enough leeway to hire legally the personnel that they need. The article touches on the problems that some US employers have filling positions in labor intensive jobs with residents and/or citizens.

There is some discussion of the H2-B visa, which is a seasonal visa available for temporary work. There are two kinds, agricultural and non-agricultural. Resorts and farms tend to rely on them accordingly. However, legislation lapsed which made made the number of H2-B visas shrink, putting many US companies that rely on the seasonal visas in a very tight spot. And they are having a hard time finding workers to replace the seasonal workers, which in turn jeopardizes the business that has permanent American workers.

Keep in mind, this is all in the middle of an economic recession. The NY Times article sums up in part:

The offensive by businesses has been spurred by the federal enforcement crackdown, by inaction in Congress on immigration legislation and by a rush of punitive state measures last year that created a checkerboard of conflicting requirements. Many employers found themselves on the political defensive as they grappled, even in an economic downturn, with shortages of low-wage labor.