By Mike Elk
(Jan 22) With President Obama vowing to push immigration reform, guest worker advocates want to ensure that the H-2 visa program—which grants temporary or seasonal U.S. visas to foreign workers in sectors such as agriculture—is on the agenda. All too often, advocates say, guest workers are forced by third-party recruiters to pay illegal recruitment fees, sometimes without receiving a job in return.
Hoping to jumpstart a conversation on these exploitative practices, the migrant-rights organization Centro de los Derechoes del Migrante (CDM) released a report on Thursday titled “Recruitment Revealed” that surveyed 220 guest workers from Mexico about guest-work recruiting abuses. CDM also unveiled a “Yelp-like” new online tracking tool that will allow guest workers to write reviews of the recruiters and their practices.