Last week, FAIR’s government relations team submitted its fifth public comment of the year, urging the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) to raise the wages employers are required to pay foreign workers and implement American worker-protection rules that were issued under the Trump administration.
The January 2021 rule, which was quickly delayed after President Biden took office, would establish more realistic wage scales aimed at discouraging U.S. employers from bypassing American workers in favor of cheap foreign labor.
“To ensure that employment-based visa programs operate in line with Congressional intent and are not administered to the detriment of U.S. workers’ interests while exploiting their foreign counterparts, FAIR supports implementation of DOL’s final rule to raise wage rate levels,” the comment reads. “More must be done, however, to improve the effectiveness of the updated prevailing wage rates. DOL must require that all wage levels conform to the statutory requirement of meeting or exceeding the prevailing wage and should implement additional safeguards to ensure that foreign workers are not exploited while U.S. workers are unfairly stripped of economic opportunity and high quality labor conditions in their own country.”
“Whether DOL requires employers to pay guestworkers market wages or not presents a true test for President Biden and the DOL,” said FAIR President Dan Stein in a press release. “On one hand, the president presents himself as an advocate for American workers, and DOL’s explicit purpose is to protect those interests. On the other, his administration has made it clear that they support a virtual open borders immigration policy. Those two interests are at odds as DOL considers the fate of the rule. The decision will make it absolutely clear which is more important to this administration: the jobs and wages of American workers, or unchecked immigration.”
FAIR’s position on a policy decision like this is unambiguous – the federal government must side with American workers by adopting rules that both eliminate incentives for employers to displace and undercut American workers, while ensuring that guest whose services are legitimately needed are compensated fairly.
Stay tuned for more updates on FAIR’s battles in the rulemaking arena.