Construction workers build a new home in Houston. (AP)

Construction workers build a new home in Houston. (AP)


Guest Worker Visas for Central Americans Would Ease the Border Situation

By Antonio Garza

"It’d be a win for the border, for the U.S. economy, and for families looking for a hopeful future," writes AS Board Member Antonio Garza for San Antonio Express-News.

President Joe Biden’s first 100 days have been tested by tens of thousands of people arriving at the U.S.-Mexico border. It’s a situation we’ve seen many times before, but a variety of conditions have exacerbated the problem. A combination of COVID-19, climate change and the perceived open-door policy of the Biden administration have contributed to create (yet another) border crisis.

It’s not a surprise. Border and immigration issues are difficult, and there are no quick fixes. But there is one often-overlooked response where swift action could make a significant and immediate difference: expanding and targeting guest worker visas.

In March, U.S. authorities encountered an estimated 170,000 migrants at the U.S.-Mexico border. These individuals left their communities for multiple reasons, including violence, political instability and lack of economic opportunities in Central America. The pandemic-worsened economic crisis and November’s back-to-back hurricanes Eta and Iota also exacerbated tensions and food insecurity…

Read the full article.

Antonio Garza is currently counsel to the law firm of White & Case in Mexico City, and served as the U.S. Ambassador to Mexico from 2002 through 2009.