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June 20, 2013

Temporary agricultural workers: no workers comp coverage?

The farm guest worker program expansion as planned by the Senate immigration reform bill will leave many of these workers without workers comp coverage.

The International Association of industrial Boards and Commissions (IAIABC) reports the following (from Title 2 subtitle B, chptr 2 section 218A e4c of the Senate bill):

“U.S. Senate Bill 744 includes the development of a nonimmigrant agricultural program to allow non-U.S. workers to perform services or labor in agricultural employment for a temporary period. The establishment of this program requires employers to either provide State workers’ compensation benefits or other insurance that provides “benefits at least equal to those provided under and pursuant to the State workers’ compensation law for comparable employment.”

The nonimmigrant agricultural worker program is defined in Chapter 2 of Senate Bill 744, otherwise known as the Border Security, Economic Opportunity, and Immigration Modernization Act introduced by Senator Charles Schumer.”

Many states have exclusions from workers comp. They date back from the past, and they are largely indefensible in this age. The language of the bill says that these exclusions will be honored by the new law.

June 17, 2013

Strategies of opponents to immigration reform

Devin Burghart has written an insightful analysis of how the Tea Party and other anti-immigration forces are organizing a campaign to kill immigration reform.

Among their tactics is a search for an epithet against reform analogous to Sarah Palin's "death panel" characterization of an obscure passage in the Affordable Care Act.

June 12, 2013

prospects for immigration reform: good

This article from a business media publication cogently analyzes how immigration reform will pass both the Senate and the House.

June 7, 2013

House Republicans to Undocumented Residents: Drop Dead

House Republicans are promoting a provision in the immigration bill that will demand, on the penalty of deportation, that undocumented individuals pay for their own healthcare through privately purchased health insurance. They would be required to reimburse hospitals, and presumably also be refused treatment at federally-funded community health centers.

In sum, mandatory health insurance, privately paid for, for 11 millions people who can afford it least.