Immigration Reform

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					Immigrant Workers and
  Immigration Reform

               Thomas R. Maloney
Department of Applied Economics and Management
                Cornell University

            GCSAA – New Orleans
              February 5, 2009
 Successful Immigration Reform
Requires Reconciling Differing and
  Strongly Held Points of View
Recent History
  Border Protection, Anti-terrorism and
     Illegal Immigration Control Act
           HR-4437 – 12/16/05
• Employers must verify legal status or risk
• Mandatory detention for non-Mexican
• Mandatory sentence for smuggling illegal's
  and for re-entry
• Makes illegal presence in the country a
• Strengthens border security

•   National Call to Action – May 1, 2006
•   Estimated 12 million illegal immigrants
•   Favor guest worker program
•   Favor path to citizenship
•   Without legal status, immigrants often live in
    “shadows” of American life
        Comprehensive Immigration
       Reform Act of 2006 – S-2611
      U.S. Senate Bill Passed 5/25/05

• Path to citizenship for illegals in U.S. more than 2
• Guest worker program – 200,000/year path to
  permanent residence
• Employers required to use electronic verification
• Penalties for smuggling immigrants
• Increase fencing, border patrol agents and vehicle
  Illegal Immigration:
How Big is the Problem?
                Unauthorized Immigrants
     Millions of Unauthorized Migrants Living in the U.S.


                        4                               5
3       3.3

    4-80 1-82           6-86      6-89       10-92     10-96   4-00   3-05
            Unauthorized in Lower Wage
 Management, Business, &
 Professional 10% – (35%)    Service Occupations
                                  31% – (16%)
  Transportation &
  Material Moving
     8% – (6%)

 Installation, &
     Repair                        Sales & Admin.
   15% – (10%)                      12% – (27%)

Construction & Extractive   Farming, etc. 4% –   (0.5%)
       19% – (6%)

 7.2 Million Unauthorized Workers, 2005
     2008 Immigration Survey –
 Percent of workers that are Hispanic
                      71 golf course superintendents
                 Quartiles based on % Hispanic peak workforce

                 First           Second     Third      Fourth   Total

Av. # Workers    16              19         31         25       23

Av. # Hispanic
Workers          6               13         25         23       16

% Hispanic       35.9            65.3       80.0       90.9     71.6
          Enforcement Issues

• More manpower and surveillance at the border

• More immigration raids on businesses

• New Social Security “no-match” rules

• Electronic verification

• High level of anxiety
     Employer Accountability

• I-9 Forms

• Social Security No-match

• Electronic verification, E-verify
                 I-9 Forms
• Complete an I-9 for every new hire
• Re-verify employees hired within 3 years of the
  previous date of hire
• Retain I-9 forms for 3 years after date of hire or
  1 year after employee terminates employment
• Employers must provide I-9 forms to ICE within
  3 business days of request
• Employers must use revised form issued on
  December 27, 2007
       Social Security Changes

• New Social Security “no-match” rules - September
  14, 2007

• If a Social Security no-match situation cannot be
  resolved within 93 days of receipt of letter the
  employee must be fired

• Employers face fines of up to $11,000 per violation

• Court injunction has stalled enforcement
    Verification of Worker’s Legal
           Status, E-Verify

• Reauthorized until March 6, 2009

• Still a pilot program

• Will likely see some version in the future
         The H-2B Program
• Permits employers to hire foreign workers
  to come temporarily to the U.S. and
  perform temporary nonagricultural

• Employer must apply for a temporary labor
  certification from the DOL

• Cap on participation currently at 33,000
 How concerned are you about:
   - worker availability over the next three years
   - immigration issues relating to the industry

                  Not concerned        Concerned     Quite concerned   Very concerned
                  Slightly concerned

         Worker availability
         next three years

Industry immigration issues

                               0%      20%         40%       60%       80%       100%
How important do you feel each of the following issues
    are to the golf course management industry?

                  Not important        Important   Quite important   Very important
                  Somewhat important

    Immigration reform

Legal status/citizenship

       More H-2B visas

                           0%    20%        40%         60%          80%       100%
       What about Congress?
• May not move fast on reform

• Democrat’s power increasing; may be less
  concerned about amnesty than Republicans

• Unions will weigh in
  - Do not like guest worker programs
  - Want to protect American jobs

• Unemployment now at 6.7%, highest level in 14
  years – may go to 8% or higher
The Obama – Biden Immigration Plan
 • Create secure borders - Support additional personnel,
   infrastructure and technology

 • Improve our immigration system -Increase the number of legal
   immigrants to keep families together and meet the demands for
   jobs that employers cannot fill

 • Remove incentives to enter illegally - Crack down on employers
   who hire undocumented immigrants

 • Bring people out of the shadows- Allow undocumented
   immigrants who are in good standing to pay a fine, learn English,
   and go to the back of the line for the opportunity to become

 • Work with Mexico - Promote economic development in Mexico to
   decrease illegal immigration
     Long Term Implications for
    Golf Course Superintendents
• Upward pressure on wages and benefits
• Employers will be more accountable for
  verifying legal status
• Enforcement likely to increase at the border
  and workplace
• Increased emphasis on good employment
• Superintendent involvement in the policy
  process will be critical

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