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Hope for foreign workers in US

Feb 21 2013 20:15 AFP

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Washington - The leading business advocacy group and the largest labor federation say they have a deal on principles for a new visa programme to bring lesser-skilled workers to the US - a key component of any immigration overhaul bill.

The groups, the Chamber of Commerce and the AFL-CIO, announced the breakthrough on Thursday after weeks of closed-doors negotiations at the request of senators involved in crafting an immigration deal in Congress.

The principles include agreement to create a mechanism to let businesses more easily hire foreign workers when Americans aren't available to fill jobs. This will require a new kind of worker visa program that does not keep workers in permanent temporary status.

But the joint statement from the chamber and AFL-CIO makes clear that more work needs to be done to turn their deal into a bill.

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