Se­nate Passes Youth Jobs Plan

Stanstead Journal - - NEWS - Wash­ing­ton, DC

The Se­nate to­day passed an im­mi­gra­tion re­form bill that in­cludes a youth jobs pro­gram pro­posed by Sen. Bernie San­ders (I-Vt.). The bill passed the Se­nate by a vote of 68-32.

The im­mi­gra­tion bill in­cludes a path­way to cit­i­zen­ship for 11 mil­lion un­docu- mented im­mi­grants; the DREAM Act which of­fers con­di­tional cit­i­zen­ship to those who were brought to the U.S. as chil­dren; and stronger se­cu­rity for our bor­ders. This bill will also pro­vide le­gal sta­tus for agri­cul­tural work­ers – in­clud­ing those work­ing on dairy farms in Ver­mont.

“Like any piece of com­pli­cated leg­is­la­tion there are as­pects of this bill which

I strongly sup­port and oth­ers I dis­agree with,” San­ders said. “One of the ar­eas I have se­ri­ous con­cerns about and want to see im­proved as the bill pro­gresses is the huge in­crease in guest worker pro­grams. At a time when un­em­ploy­ment re­mains ex­tremely high, th­ese pro­grams bring hun­dreds of thou­sands of skilled and un­skilled work­ers into our econ­omy mak­ing it harder for U.S. cit­i­zens to find jobs. Ad­dress­ing that con­cern, I’m proud I was able to in­clude in this bill a sig­nif­i­cant em­ploy­ment pro­gram for young peo­ple.”

The San­ders pro­gram would pro­vide $1.5 bil­lion over two years for states and lo­cal com­mu­ni­ties to help find jobs for more than 400,000 un­em­ployed 16- to 24-year-olds. Cur­rently, the of­fi­cial un­em­ploy­ment for that age group is 16.2 per­cent.

“This pro­gram will help hun­dreds of thou­sands of young Amer­i­cans find jobs and earn the skills they need to build strong ca­reers,” San­ders said. “At a time when the un­em­ploy­ment rate for th­ese young peo­ple is twice that of the rest of the coun­try, it is absolutely im­per­a­tive that Congress help them find jobs. The es­tab­lish­ment of a youth em­ploy­ment pro­gram for 400,000 young peo­ple is a good step for­ward in ad­dress­ing our un­em­ploy­ment cri­sis. Ob­vi­ously more needs to be done in the months to come.”

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