The immigration bill now before the Senate would provide a pathway to citizenship for 11 million undocumented immigrants living in the United States. It would make sure children brought into this country by their parents years ago are allowed to become citizens. It would improve border security. Sen. Bernie Sanders supports all of that. He opposes, however, provisions in the bill that would allow a massive increase in temporary guest worker programs. The way the legislation is worded now would let large corporations import hundreds of thousands of temporary blue collar and white collar guest workers from overseas.
Sanders wants to change that. So on Thursday Sanders filed amendments to the immigration bill now before the full Senate. One would put a fee on visas for those guest workers to raise $1.5 billion for a summer and year-round jobs program for American low-income and economically disadvantaged young people. Another amendment by Sens. Sanders, Charles Grassley and Tom Harkin would prohibit companies which have announced mass layoffs over the past year from hiring guest workers, unless the companies can prove that their overall employment will not be reduced as a result of these layoffs.