Disagreement between the business and labor sectors about the need to bring in workers from abroad was one of the reasons why the attempt to reach immigration reform in 2007 failed.
It seems like today this obstacle has been overcome, increasing the real possibilities of forging an immigration dealeven if this is one of several factors to take into account.
However, it is a very important factor, since it puts traditional rivals (with large resources) on the same side, supporting the cause of comprehensive reform.
One of the reasons for the immigration phenomenon is the combination of U.S. labor shortages in several job categories and the willingness of immigrants to work in the United States to get ahead financially.
Given this outlook, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce reached an agreement with the AFL-CIO union federation on three basic principles: Americans should have priority in employment, protecting the salaries and labor conditions of workers; a new kind of worker visa; and a government system that uses “real-world data about labor markets and demographics” to determine needs.
This is a key pillar of a reform whose details and implementation will be arduously discussed in Congress.
It is very important that both the business and the labor sectors deploy their resources to defend these principles when they are endangered during the legislative debate. Without this real commitment, the agreement that is so significant today will only end up as empty words.