Comprehensive Immigration Reform Act of 2006 (S. 2611): Potential Labor Market Effects of the Guest Worker Program [December 18, 2006] [open pdf - 197KB]
From the Summary: "In the 109th Congress, the Senate passed S. 2611, the Comprehensive Immigration Reform Act of 2006, which would have created a new H-2C guest worker program. The 110th Congress may consider similar legislation. The guest worker program included in S. 2611 would allow up to 200,000 foreign workers into the United States annually. An employer would have to pay an H-2C worker the greater of the "actual" wage paid by the employer to other workers who do the same kind of work and have similar experience or the "prevailing" wage. Employers would be prevented from hiring H-2C workers if the area unemployment rate for unskilled workers averaged more than 9% for the previous six months. The language in S. 2611 would allow employers to hire skilled, semi-skilled, or unskilled workers, but not agricultural workers or certain types of skilled workers. The kinds of jobs filled under the H-2C program could be similar to the kinds of jobs filled under an existing (H-2B) program, which is used mainly to hire lower-skilled workers. Initially, an increased supply of lower-skilled foreign workers could be expected to lower the relative wages of lower-skilled U.S. workers. If the H-2C program were enacted, an increased supply of lower-skilled foreign workers may have the greatest impact on young, native-born minority men and on foreign-born minority men in their early working years."
CRS Report for Congress, RL33772
National Agricultural Law Center http://www.nationalaglawcenter.org/crs/