4th Floor, Woodrow Wilson Center

Quo Vadis? Recruitment and Contracting of Migrant Workers and their Access to Social Security

Event Co-sponsors

The Woodrow Wilson Center’s Mexico Institute and Latin American Program and the Institute for Studies and Communication on Migration (Instituto de Estudios y Divulgación sobre Migración, INEDIM) were pleased to host a presentation of the following study: Quo Vadis? Recruitment and Contracting of Migrant Workers and their Access to Social Security: The Dynamics of Temporary Labor Migration Systems in North and Central America.

The study stems from a two-year investigation and assessment of temporary worker programs in the United States, Canada, Mexico and Central America. Its presentation adds to recent assessments of the H-2A and H-2B temporary worker programs in the US, and affords recent discussions of immigration reform further evidence of the problems and challenges of consolidating well regulated, rights-based temporary worker programs.

The research document, commissioned by INEDIM and written by Alejandra Ancheita and Gisele Bonnici, uses in-depth interviews and policy, legal and comparative analysis to probe six temporary migration systems in the region. The report assesses how the migration systems protect, ensure and promote the rights of temporary workers. The study focuses on two areas of policy: 1) worker recruitment and related regulation mechanisms and 2) social security schemes and related protection mechanisms.

While the study looks at six systems in seven countries—Canada, Mexico, the United States, El Salvador, Guatemala, Costa Rica and Nicaragua—the presentation and dialogue focused specifically on the H2 visa temporary program in the United States. We expect the good practices, lessons and recommendations of the study will be useful for the ongoing and impending discussions linked to immigration reform in the U.S.