Democrats are facing “strong concern” about the immigration bill from one of the most liberal members of their caucus because he fears it will hurt American workers.
Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) overall lauded the Group of Eight’s bill that emerged from the Senate Judiciary Committee before recess with a slew of amendments, noting his own father was a Polish immigrant.
“I want to see comprehensive immigration reform passed. But at a time when nearly 14 percent of Americans do not have a full-time job and when the middle class is working longer hours for lower wages, I oppose a massive increase in temporary guest worker programs that will allow large corporations to import hundreds of thousands of blue-collar and white-collar workers from overseas,” Sanders said in a floor speech yesterday.
Sanders noted there could be an eight-fold jump in the number of blue-collar foreign workers in the U.S. over the next five years and the number of skilled-workers granted visas could more than triple in three years under provisions that he opposes in the bill the Senate is expected to take up next week.
“At a time when the youth unemployment rate is more than 16 percent and the teen unemployment rate is over 25 percent, many of the jobs that used to be done by young Americans are now being performed by temporary guest workers,” Sanders said.
The senator also argued that high-tech visas shouldn’t be expanded so much while half of all recent college graduates majoring in computer and information science in the United States did not receive jobs in the information technology sector.