Labor Shortages and US Immigration Reform: Promises and Perils of an Independent Commission
In the context of the comprehensive US immigration reform, improved controls and dealing with unauthorized foreigners were discussed extensively in the US Senate in 2006 and 2007. But what about the future flows?
About this study:
Comprehensive US immigration reform proposals have three major elements: improved border and workplace controls, dealing with the 11 million unauthorized foreigners in the US, and managing “future flows” of foreign workers requested by US employers. Improved controls and dealing with unauthorized foreigners were discussed extensively in the US Senate in 2006 and 2007. Future flows were not.
This article reviews the decisions governments face when employers request migrant workers, Britain’s independent Migration Advisory Committee, and the promises and perils of a similar US commission to manage labor migration. We conclude that a US commission could help to clarify the trade offs involved in migrant labor policy, but cannot replace the need for inherently political choices between competing policy objectives.
This study is only available in English.
Author: Philip Martin and Martin Ruhs, Publication of the Centre on Migration, Policy and Society (Working Paper No. 81, University of Oxford)