In the debate over comprehensive immigration reform, various policymakers and business groups have suggested that Congress create a new or expanded guestworker program to ensure a steady supply of foreign workers for industries that rely on an abundance of cheap labor.

En el debate sobre la reforma migratoria comprensiva, varios de los creadores de las políticas y grupos de negocios han sugerido que el Congreso instituya un programa de trabajadores temporales nuevo o expandido para asegurar un suministro constante de trabajadores extranjeros para industrias que dependen de una abundancia de mano de obra barata.

This report demonstrates two key findings regarding the current u.s. work visa system: 1. regardless of visa category,employment sector,race, gender or national origin, internationally recruited workers face disturbingly common patterns of recruitment abuse 2. disparate rules and requirements for workers, employers and recruiters, as well as lax enforcement of the regulations that do exist, allow and even incentivize recruiters and employers to engage in abuses.

This report draws on in-depth interviews with these advocates and experts, as well as independent analysis, to piece together a fuller picture of the visa framework, the abuses under it, and the broader implications. Bringing these perspectives together, we are able to see a whole that is even more dysfunctional than the sum of its parts. While the combined insights of advocates, speaking from multiple perspectives and multiple countries, do come together in a powerful condemnation of the current system, they go beyond critique to frame different elements of the transformations necessary to make it better.

This report reveals the reality of international labor recruitment for low-wage, temporary jobs in the United States, examining recruitment in Mexico, home to the largest number of temporary migrants who labor under H-2 visas in the U.S.The findings are based on data gathered by Centro de los Derechos Migrante, Inc., (CDM) through a groundbreaking survey and lengthy interviews of hundreds of H-2 workers.

This report highlights H-2B worker abuse in the fair and carnival industry, including: unfair recruitment processes, retaliation, wage and hour abuses, serious health and safety risks, lack of access to workers' compensation, isolated and substandard living conditions, limited access to justice, and more.

GAO reviewed recent closed civil and criminal court cases involving H-2B workers, obtained data from Labor and USCIS on H-2B visas issued in fiscal years 2008 and 2009 and in first 6 months of fiscal year 2010, and interviewed advocacy groups that represent H-2B workers in litigation. In addition, GAO made undercover calls and site visits to recruiters, posing as H-2B employers and foreign H-2B workers and asked a series of questions related to legal requirements of the program. GAO also visited several H-2B housing and work site locations. Case studies and results of tests and site visits cannot be projected to the entire population of H-2B employers and recruiters

For many years, CDM has been organizing migrant workers through its Comité de la Defensa del Migrante (Migrant Defense Committee). CDM began to conduct outreach to various migrant-sending towns when complaints arose about discrimination in recruitment. Through these efforts, CDM became familiar with the experience of migrant worker women in the Maryland crab industry. 

The reality is that there was little, if anything, this Indonesian worker could have done to uncover that he was walking into a human trafficking situation. It was not the lack of education that turned him into a trafficking victim, but an H-2 recruitment process that operates practically clandestinely and keeps the balance of power tipped against workers who are desperate for jobs. This paper is motivated by these workers who, when provided with the proper tools, may be able to take steps to reduce their victimization under the H-2 system.

This particular investigation obtained 538 registered occurrences1 by interviewing people in 135 communities of 41 municipalities in seven states of Mexico: Baja California, Guanajuato, Guerrero, Oaxaca, San Luis Potosí, Sonora, and Veracruz. Information was also gathered from Aguascalientes, Hidalgo, and the State of Mexico from emigrants from those states who were in Monterrey, Nuevo León at the time of the interviews. The technique used was a semi-structured interview complemented with “snowball sampling” in order to include more diversity and the largest possible number of informants.

El proyecto Jornaleros SAFE es un esfuerzo por mejorar las condiciones de los trabajadores mexicanos temporales en los Estados Unidos. Con este fin, cinco organizaciones han sumado sus esfuerzos para investigar las causas de los problemas que sufren los jornaleros que laboran en EU con visa H2A.