Greenberg Traurig, LLP
Home  >  Publications  >  Alerts

Greenberg Traurig Alert

Need employees at lower skill levels?
Immigration breakthrough on the horizon. Now is the time to act and make a change for your company.

August 2001
By Laura Reiff, Co-chair, Essential Worker Immigration Coalition

Click for information on Adobe Acrobat.  View or download the PDF version of this Alert here.

This GT Alert is written to highlight an issue that is of critical importance to the Service Industries - hotels, restaurants, nursing homes, hospitals, construction, home builders etc. - extreme worker shortages in the lesser skilled ("essential worker") arena. Greenberg Traurig and the American Hotel and Lodging Association ("AHLA") have spearheaded a coalition of dozens of multinational companies and trade associations to try to amend U.S. Immigration Laws to allow greater utilization of foreign workers in the U.S. See our website at

Laura Foote Reiff

Given the existing immigration talks between Mexican President Fox and President Bush we are on the brink of major legislation that will help with both temporary and more permanent programs for foreign nationals.

The global workforce market should be more readily available to businesses in order to meet workforce needs. With continuing vigorous welfare-to-work, school-to-work, and other recruitment efforts, businesses are now finding themselves with no applicants of any kind for numerous job openings. Reliance on market forces has proven to be unsuccessful. There simply are not enough people to meet the demand.

Part of the solution involves allowing companies to hire foreign workers to fill the essential worker shortages. When companies can not fill jobs with U.S. workers, hiring foreign nationals should be a viable alternative. Current immigration law and recent tightening of federal immigration policy have greatly curtailed this potential source of workers.

We need your input now in order to push legislation through. We are currently focusing on three separate areas: (1) repeal of the employer sanction provisions that were introduced in 1986; (2) devising workable non-immigration visas for lesser skilled employees; and (3) regularizing the status of a portion of the immigrant population already in the U.S. workforce. The service industries have been severely hurt by the inability to find workers to fill lesser skilled positions. Now is the time to weigh in on this important legislation.


© 2001 Greenberg Traurig

Additional Information:

Please contact Laura Reiff at 703-749-1372/

For more information, please review our Immigration Practice description, or feel free to contact one of our attorneys.

This GT ALERT is issued for general purposes only and is not intended to be construed or used as legal advice. Greenberg Traurig attorneys provide practical, result-oriented strategies and solutions tailored to meet our clients’ individual legal needs. The Firm’s responsive approach to client service often cuts across legal subject matter, applying the right experience and resources to provide cost-effective solutions.