Designing Temporary Worker Programs
Some of the most vexing and persistent questions in US immigration policy involve whether and how to design programs to admit temporary workers to the United States. In addressing this topic, I start with a brief overview of temporary worker admissions in US immigration law today and then summarize the main points typically made by supporters and skeptics of temporary worker programs. I then explain how many specific points that others have made reflect four broader perspectives, and how identifying and analyzing these perspectives can help elucidate current disagreements. Overall, the broad assessment provided by a balanced combination of these perspectives generally suggests cautious support for temporary worker programs, but only if they are carefully designed and coordinated with initiatives outside of immigration law.