New immigrant worker rules will be in place Jan. 18

12/12/2008 | Seattle Times, The

Final rule changes in the federal guest-worker program, which will take effect two days before President-elect Barack Obama takes office, will make it easier for farmers to hire immigrant workers, allow wages to be cut and reduce requirements for transporting and housing workers. Still, labor advocates say the changes are not enough to fix the chronic labor shortage that makes farmers dependent on illegal immigrants.

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