By SeafoodSource staff
Published on 27 June, 2013
A compromise immigration measure that would dramatically increase border security also contains provisions sought by industries that use cultural-exchange programs to recruit youngsters from overseas to work as au pairs, camp counselors and in an array of other seasonal jobs.
One provision tucked into the deal brokered by Republican Sens. Bob Corker of Tennessee and John Hoeven of North Dakota, for instance, would allow Alaska's seafood processors to employ foreign youngsters on a summer-work travel program — overturning a ban the Obama administration put in place last year to protect foreign exchange students from jobs the U.S. government deems dangerous.
Another measure would designate fish processing in the state a “shortage occupation,” allowing the industry to quickly hire more overseas seasonal workers under a new “W” guest-worker visa program created by the bill. Alaska Sens. Lisa Murkowski, a Republican, and Mark Begich, a Democrat, successfully pushed for the language.