The Senate voted Wednesday to slash the number of foreign workers who could come to the U.S. on temporary visas as part of a broad bipartisan immigration bill.
A new guest worker program would be capped at 200,000 a year under the proposal, which passed 74-24 over strong opposition by the Bush administration.
Commerce Secretary Carlos Gutierrez said the change, proposed by Sen. Jeff Bingaman, D-N.M., would interfere with a "central component" of the White House-backed immigration measure. That plan provided for 400,000 worker visas annually, plus an option to increase that number to 600,000 if market conditions demand it.
Now, the question is "Why have these guest worker visas at all—and if we are going to have any, why allocate them free of charge to the employers?"
400,000 visas per year could easily bring in $40 Billion/year in federal revenue. That is enough to notice. Why should the Federal government be borrowing when it has such an easy source of revenue. Now, what they'll find is it won't be farmers paying for those visas. What we also have to be realistic about is what it costs to provide those visas. We shouldn't be admitting folks unless their contributions to the folks that are already here outweigh the costs they generate.