Sanders adds amendment to immigration bill
By Bruce Edwards
Staff Writer | June 24,2013
There are some things Sen. Bernard Sanders likes about the immigration bill working it's way through the Senate. Then again, there are provisions in the bill he doesn't like, including billions that would be spent on enhanced border security.
One provision that Sanders supports is an amendment that he and four other senators sponsored that calls for spending $1.5 billion over two years to help 400,000 people between the ages of 16 and 24 find summer and year round jobs.
Sanders, an independent, said he offered that amendment over his concern that the immigration bill will allow hundreds of thousands of guest workers into the country. He said those guest workers will more than likely be employed in lower wage jobs, denying jobs that could be filled by young workers in this country.
He said the real unemployment in the country is close to 14 percent, counting those who have given up looking for work and who working part time. Among young people, he said it is "very, very much higher."
"So, I don't see the sense in bringing in hundreds of thousands of entry level workers from all over the world to take jobs that young Americans should be having," Sanders said Monday.
States like Vermont with a low unemployment rate would receive a minimum of $7.5 million over two years while states with higher unemployment would receive more.
Sanders said the details have yet to be worked out but the funds could be used for job training or to help subsidize wages to encourage employers to hire young workers.
The temporary youth jobs program would be funded with a $10 fee on employers who hire guest workers.
Sanders said while he supports added security along the southern border the bill goes too far and is boondoggle for private contractors.
A vote on beefing up border security, which includes Sanders' amendment, is expected later today.