At least not for what landscapers want to pay
In June, representatives from North America’s Building Trades Unions said in a Senate hearing that the program is just a tool for roofing companies to pay $8 an hour to a foreigner instead of $22 an hour to a union member. The Southern Poverty Law Center has even gone as far as comparing the guest-worker programs to modern-day slavery. Yet there is hardly any independent research on how temporary workers affect the demand for American labor.
the vast majority offered between $12 to $18 dollars an hour for unskilled labor, ranging from canning seafood to cleaning stables
How can all this be worth the effort (and cost)? Wouldn’t it be easier to find American employees, and cheaper in the long run, by paying higher wages? In Martinez’s view, that’s not an option: “We’re already paying double the federal minimum wage, and we have to stay competitive as a business,” he says.
The approximately $1,750 in processing fees per work order only works out to about $1/hour for a year-long full-time position (40 hours per week for 50 weeks a year is 2000 hours).