The AFL-CIO/Chamber of Commerce agreement allowed 200,000 low-skilled foreign workers into the U.S. The construction industry would get no more than 15,000 visas a year.Bear in mind, the AFL-CIO/Chamber agreement also doesn't allow the number of guest worker visas to go below 20,000. But despite high unemployment in the real world, Republicans are worried about an "artificial cap" on the number of guest worker visas allowed, not about an artificial floor. (Okay, duh, obviously.)
Republicans involved in the negotiations told POLITICO they could not support an “artificial cap” on the number of work visas the government could issue. They would seek to match the visa amount with market demand. The group also has not hashed out an agreement on agricultural workers.
Since the deal involves adjusting the number of guest worker visas allowed according to economic indicators like unemployment, are the Republicans for whom 200,000 new guest workers are not enough imagining that the U.S. will get to full employment sometime in the foreseeable future? Or are they just figuring that they can get around the prevailing wage part of the agreement, and get around the way the number of visas is pegged to economic indicators, but a hard ceiling on the maximum number of visas is the one thing they won't be able to get around in flooding the U.S. with vulnerable guest workers ripe for employer abuse?