Greenberg Traurig, LLP  




GT Business Immigration Observer
November 2002

Guest Worker Essential Worker Immigration

EWIC is a coalition of businesses, trade associations, and other organizations from across the industry spectrum concerned with the shortage of both skilled and lesser skilled ("essential worker") labor. Greenberg Traurig Shareholder Laura Reiff is a co-chair of the coalition. In light of continuing talks between President Bush and President Fox we hope to see some movement on this front before the end of the year.

The following article appeared in AILA Washington Update, Volume 6, Number 16, November 8, 2002

Immigration Reform and U.S./Mexico Discussions

At the end of October, President Bush and Mexican President Vicente Fox met during the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation meeting held in Baja, California. While the issue of terrorism dominated their conversations, many are urging the resumption of migration discussions. The Mexican government is continuing its efforts to urge the U.S. to reform migration laws, with President Fox facing difficult congressional elections next year due to, among other issues, rising criticism in Mexico that he has achieved nothing despite his efforts to work closely with the United States.

Just Prior to the Baja meeting, Senator Tom Daschle (D-SD) and Representative Dick Gephardt (D-MO) sent a letter to President Bush urging the President to re-energize efforts to "develop policies on immigration, economic development and counter-narcotics." Both reiterated their support for "comprehensive immigration reform that improves national security while recognizing the contributions hard-working immigrants have made to this country."

National Security Advisor Condoleeza Rice indicated in late October that the two Presidents "continue to keep (migration) on the agenda." Secretary of State Colin Powell weighed in on the issue during a November 4 State Department press conference. Acknowledging that September 11 has made it a more difficult issue, and that the U.S. needed to "needed a pause" to take a look at visas and border control, he stated that the U.S. "remains committed to immigration reform, remains committed to safe travel back and forth across our border and minimizing the risk to Mexicans who come into our country. We remain committed to finding a way to move forward with worker access and with regularization and all the other migration issues." He further noted that "there is an understanding in the United States political system that we have to do something about migration."

AILA strongly supports comprehensive immigration reform that includes three components: a regularization (or earned legalization) for hard-working people living in the U.S., a new temporary worker program, and the opening up of legal channels for family- and business-based immigration."

Posted on AILA InfoNet at Doc. No. 02110841 (Nov. 8, 2002)."

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