Significant federal legislation almost never passes without the support of powerful industry lobbies. You can see big business’s fingerprints on even on the significant legislation that ultimately fails — usually the bills come out of committee or make it to the floor only after the most connected relevant lobbies have signed off.
So what will this mean in the bipartisan push to overhaul our messed-up immigration system? What does K Street want? It’s obviously complex, with competing interests and moving goal posts, but here are some basics:
1) Guest-worker program: Businesses say there’s a labor shortage. Many conservatives get worried about the cultural impact of mass immigration that doesn’t allow for assimilation. That makes a guest-worker program seem like a compromise. But of course, a guest worker is the ideal thing for a business — he’s labor, but he depends on YOU, the employer, for his right to stay in the U.S.
2) Liberal rules high-tech workers: Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg has announced he’s getting very involved in policy, and the Washington Post thinks they’ve found Facebook’s fingerprints on a provision liberalizing how many high-tech workers U.S. companies can import, rather than turning to domestic labor.
3) Border security: Lots of government contracts are to be had with border security.
4) E-Verify: Government might bust you if you hire someone not authorized to work. If you’re an employer, you want the government to help defray some of your costs of determining who’s legal for you to hire and who’s not.