Guest-Work Plan Obama Opposed as Senator Resurfaces Today

Bloomberg Businessweek
Feb. 22, 2013

There were 8 million unauthorized immigrants working in the U.S. in 2010, according to the Pew Hispanic Center’s most recent estimate, comprising 5.2 percent of the workforce. As of 2008, the last year for which such numbers are available, Pew said two-thirds of them labored in such low-skilled occupations as service, construction, and installation and repairs.

Granting legal status to those already in the U.S. and their families won’t resolve how the government should deal with future waves of immigrants entering the U.S. to perform such jobs.

“This could be the big silent killer in the room,” said Rebecca Tallent, the director of immigration policy at the Bipartisan Policy Center and a former top aide to Republican Senator John McCain of Arizona, another member of the bipartisan group and a co-sponsor of the 2007 bill.