Construction Groups Fear Senate Immigration Reforms Repeat Mistakes

Trade associations issued the following joint statement regarding the Senate "Gang of 8" deal on temporary guest workers

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"The construction industry is committed to finding U.S. workers to fill open positions in our industry. Unfortunately, that is not always possible. For many years, our industry has advocated for comprehensive immigration reform that addresses the needs of our economy and border security, and does not repeat the mistakes of previous reform efforts.

"However, we are deeply concerned with the size and the scope of the temporary guest worker program in the proposal now being drafted by the Gang of 8 Senators. Capping the amount of visas for the construction industry at only 15,000 in an industry that currently employs nearly 6 million workers is simply unrealistic and destined to fail.

"A guest worker program that fails to provide a sufficient number of visas to meet market demand as the construction sector recovers will inevitably make it harder to fill critical labor openings and make it impossible to secure the border. For these reforms to be successful, we believe the cap on visas should be determined by labor market demand, the only measure that truly reflects the needs of the economy and our industry.

"Without an effective and workable guest worker program, the construction industry will not be able to meet the future demand of both the public and private sectors once economic recovery takes hold."