(Host) Senator Bernie Sanders says he’ll vote against an immigration reform bill unless some major changes are made to the legislation.
The bill being considered by the U.S. Senate is designed to allow an estimated 12 million illegal Mexican workers to remain in this country if they register for special visas.
The visa would not provide a worker with a path to citizenship. That would only happen if the worker returned to Mexico and reapplied to come back into the United States.
Speaking Tuesday night on VPR’s Switchboard, Sanders said he strongly opposes a provision in the bill that expands the current guest worker program.
(Sanders) “Does it make sense to me to be bringing into this country over a period of years millions of people who are prepared to work for very low wages? The answer is no, it does not make a lot of sense to me. Because what these large corporations are doing, is trying to bring in significant number of low-wage workers to drive wages down in America. And I think that is the last thing we need right now.”
(Host) Sanders says steps should be taken to help upgrade the job skills of American workers to help fill vacancies in the high tech industry.
(Sanders) “Then you have another program, which is called the H1B program, which is professionals. And that includes engineers. That includes college professors. That includes nurses, doctors, computer programmers. And there is also a major effort to expand the number of people coming from abroad into this country. And ironically, if this bill were to pass, almost all of the new jobs created in information technology would go to people from abroad.”
(Host) Senate leaders hope to bring the bill up for a vote by this weekend. But opponents have vowed to delay consideration for several weeks.