One of the most contentious parts of the immigration policy debate is the Guest Worker Visa Program. Its goal is to make available guest workers from overseas, willing and able to perform tasks the domestic labor pool will not or cannot do. The program involves legislatively issuing a yearly quota for visas of various categories to meet projected needs. To that end, Congress encouraged input from business and labor groups. As expected, business groups would argue for the highest possible number of visas, giving a greater labor pool to draw from, while labor organizations fearing potential wage suppression from too large a labor pool, would argue for the least. The contenting positions would generate recommendations bolstered by commissioned studies, polls and analysis that were lacking in objectivity and did not alwys adhere to accepted standard practices in data collection and validation. The process of arriving to an optimal quota level was in need of reform.
Recently, two Senators involved in crafting an immigration deal, Chuck Schumer of NY and Lindsey Graham of SC, requested a negotiated joint recommendation from the US Chamber of Commerce and the A.F.L.C.I.O.. After weeks of negotiations, a consensus was reached. They called for the establishment of a Professional Bureau in the Federal Executive Agency to inform Congress on labor needs. This Bureau, armed with latest of technology in big data and Analytics tools would bring objectivity and transparency to the process with data driven analysis. Accurate and realtime data collection with greater predictive capabilites will make for effective actionable reports. This benefits all!
To have traditionally contentious parties entrusting and deferring to Analytics and Big data technology should be viewed as more than an endorsement, but as an acknowledgement of the power and potential of these latest technology tools.
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