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What's Wrong With the Proposals for a New Guestworker Program?
fairus ^ | jan 04 | fairus

Posted on 01/07/2004 6:12:00 PM PST by VU4G10

Proposals for a massive new "guestworker" program would:

The politicians pushing a guestworker amnesty know that Americans staunchly oppose amnesty, and so they shy away from calling it what it really is, instead cloaking it in terms like "earned legalization" or "normalization of status."  They are deliberately misleading the American public.

THEY SAY that the overwhelming majority of people entering the country illegally pose no threat to our country and that if we allow them enter in a lawful manner, we will enhance our homeland security.

THE TRUTH is that there are an estimated 8-11 million illegal aliens in the United States, and it only took 19 to perpetrate the attacks of September 11.  Our immigration system has become overburdened and unmanageable due to mass illegal immigration.  As a result, there is little reason to feel confident that, absent a massive infusion of new resources, which is highly unlikely given current fiscal realities, anything approaching thorough background checks can be conducted on applicants for a guestworker program.  Even without the added burden of an amnesty, people like Sheikh Omar Abdul Rahman, the blind Egyptian cleric who masterminded the first World Trade Center bombing, and Mohammed Atta, the leader of the September 11 attacks, managed to slip through the screening process.  There is every reason to believe that adding new responsibilities to an overtaxed system will make us less safe.

No one has yet explained how the millions of applicants would be given security checks or whether that’s even remotely feasible, given an already overburdened immigration enforcement system. Immigration officials would have to deal with hundreds of thousands of more applicants a year, to say nothing of how we would verify eligibility for any of the eight million potential applicants already here illegally, particularly with many of them armed with false identity documents.  When the immigration system can’t adequately perform its most essential mission, adding in the responsibility for security checks, tracking, and removal when necessary for millions of participants in a guestworker program will guarantee disaster.

THEY SAY that the legislation is not an amnesty, but that guestworkers who participate in the program will be eligible for permanent resident status.

THE TRUTH is that the proposal would be an amnesty with an “apprenticeship” provision.  Illegal aliens who are already in the U.S. would  be eligible to apply.  Thus, they would be excused for having violated our immigration laws in the first place, and then be rewarded again with permanent residency--thus making the law, in effect, a double amnesty.  Calling it something else does not change the reality that this proposal is a massive amnesty program.

THEY SAY the program will help regain control of the borders and stop illegal immigration.

THE TRUTH is that the proposal does nothing to discourage future illegal immigration or enforcement of our immigration laws, ensuring that any guestworker or illegal alien who wants to remain in the U.S. can and will.  In fact, about one-third of illegal aliens in the country right now arrived on legal visas and simply never went home.  In addition, it does nothing to strengthen border security to ensure that only guestworkers, and not terrorists, are being admitted.

THEY SAY that spouses and children of illegal aliens may also be eligible to participate in the visa program.

THE TRUTH is that this would be an amnesty not only for those who qualify for this “guestworker” program, but a simultaneous amnesty for their dependents, whether or not they are workers.  Aside from expanding the amnesty to include non-workers, it also grants a benefit to the dependents of illegal aliens that is not afforded to the families of other guestworkers who never violated the law.  Moreover, it undermines the stated – if flawed – purpose of a guestworker program:  that foreign workers come temporarily and then return home.  Employers would be able to utilize a virtually limitless supply of guestworkers at low wages, while the expense for services like education and health care for dependent family members would have to be picked up by taxpayers.

THEY SAY that an electronic job registry operated through the Department of Labor will allow employers to post jobs and American workers would have the first chance to apply.  Moreover, the jobs would have to be offered again at the end of the three-year period, and that workers’ visas would be renewed only if no Americans are willing to take them.

THE TRUTH is that in the estimation of the General Accounting Office and former Labor Secretary Robert Reich, the provisions in existing guestworker programs that are intended to ensure that American workers get first crack at jobs have been a complete failure.  Even if the political will existed to prevent employers from bypassing American workers in favor of foreign guestworkers – which there doesn’t – the Labor Department does not have the resources to monitor the hiring process.  A federal government that managed to fine a grand total of 13 employers nationwide in 2002 for violating employer sanctions laws cannot be counted on to enforce the provisions of a guestworker program either.

THEY SAY that BSIIA would be a market-driven program that will negate the reasons why employers hire illegal aliens.

THE TRUTH is that under BSIIA, there would not even be a prevailing wage requirement, meaning that employers will be able to offer wages far below what most Americans would be willing to accept, thereby creating an artificial need for guestworkers.  In effect, the law would grant legal sanction to employers who want to hire workers at low wages and limited leverage.  One of the primary purposes of our immigration laws is to prevent employers from undermining wages and working conditions of American workers.

THEY SAY that the program would prevent abuse of foreign workers by affording them mobility and the ability to file grievances against abusive employers.

THE TRUTH is that the mobility of guestworkers would still be very limited and their ability to change jobs would depend on finding another employer who was willing to go through the procedure of posting a job and wading through the bureaucratic red tape.  The primary interest of the workers would be to hold a job for six years in order to qualify for permanent residency.  Moreover, at the end of the “apprenticeship” period, when the guestworker would be granted permanent residency and would gain bargaining power, there is no reason to expect that the employer would not seek another guestworker who is willing to work at below-market wages.

THEY SAY that the program would prevent deaths along the border.

THE TRUTH is that U.S. immigration laws are not responsible for the deaths along the border – it is the violation of our immigration laws that is  responsible.  If there is any culpability on the part of the American government, it is in its failure to deter illegal immigration by aggressively enforcing laws that prohibit illegal aliens from working here or accessing public benefits.  Sending a clear signal that illegal entry to the U.S. will not be rewarded would have the desired effect of dissuading people from placing their lives and safety into the hands of unscrupulous smugglers.  Besides, when the Bureau of Immigration and Customs Enforcement (BICE) adopted a measure that demonstrably cut down the likelihood of border deaths – by repatriating illegal alien crossers who were apprehended in Arizona to border towns in Texas – the open borders lobby protested, charging that the program was unfair to illegal aliens.

THEY SAY the program will provide workers when and while they’re needed.

THE TRUTH is that when the economy takes a downturn, there will be millions of guestworkers in the U.S. without a job, without a home, without health care, and with no intention of returning to their home countries.  The guestworkers’ unemployment problems become the public’s burden.

TOPICS: Crime/Corruption; Culture/Society; Extended News; Foreign Affairs; Government
KEYWORDS: aliens; amnesty; guestworkers; illegalaliens; immigrantlist; mexico; nationalsecurity
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To: ableChair
Boy, where to start ...

First, you are abusing the term 'nihilist' mightily. Just because I disagree on your facts (not presented) and logic (imho exaggerating threats and making things black-n-white when the issues are complex) doesnt make me "nihilist". It just makes us in disagreement is all.

What you are reducing yourself to is name-calling.

This is an example of bunk:
"They must assimilate or destroy the culture they're in."
When my forebears came to this land, Know Nothings thought that Catholics would destroy America. Catholics didnt fully assimilate and become Protestants, and yet America survived. The Catholic Mexican workers here in the US have a challenge no greater than my great grandparents. You can maintain some differences in cultural backgrounds without 'destroying' the culture you are in.

This is an example of constructing a bogeyman wholly distinct from the proposal at hand:
"We're talking about rates hitherto unseen."
You may be talking about it, but it has nothing to do with the Bush proposal. We have already about 800,000 illegals each year coming across. We've had that for almost 20 years. People list out the horribles from immigration and I rightly point out that if that were so, we'd already be in the soup from the high levels of the past 20 years.

This Bush proposal creates nothing like what we've already had, and creates absolutely NO new incentives for illegal immigration. In fact, in my view it will - if and only if paired with law enforcement - help cut illegal immigration quite a bit. The legs to illegal immigration come from the abuse of documentation and the willingness of employers to 'turn a blind eye' to documentation fraud. End that, and you end large-scale illegal immigration.

"So, cliches and propaganda lines used as red herrings won't work with me." Truly an ironic comment.

I said that you engaged in hyperbole when you claim this would "destroy" our culture or "destroy" American. Then you say: "You really believe that has no impact at all on a culture?" Exactly my point! Of course immigration has *some* impact, but since when did "some impact on our culture" equate to "destroy our culture"? I think you are the one who needs to lay off the propagandistic phrases, my friend.

This is an example of strawman argumentation:
"A limitless spigot opened to allow anybody and his entire extended family a relatively high paying job in the United States, the wealthiest country in the world and to do so without fear of deportation."

The visa is not "limitless" but limited by the willing employees who cant fill those jobs with Americans.
"relatively high-paying" is a euphemism for the fact that
many of the jobs may in fact be quite low wage jobs relative to *our* standard of living, and high-wage only relative to a Mexican peasant.

"Nah, there's nothing in the Bush proposal to suggest uncontrolled migration as a result of this."
Quite so. No need for sarcasm. A temporary visa program is a controlled manner of migration. Again, you may not want that particular provision in our immigration law, but it is certainly a *controlled* program.

"It is evident to me that you are predisposed to conclude that illegal immigration is a great thing;"
More extreme rhetoric contrary to everything I've written on immigration on this thread and elsewhere. I've proposed solutions to enforcing our immigration law here, specifcally ways to end the documentation fraud the underpins illegal immigration, and suggested that we must enforce the law. Your ad hominems are uncalled for. Just because I think America can handle this problem successfully you distort that into it not being a problem at all in my mind. Please, grab a clue and read my posts.

Still waiting for a culture destroyed by immigration.
Something so 'obvious' that you neglect to back up your claim.

Lastly, let us to distinguish legal from illegal immigration.
What level of legal immigration should we have in this country? 1 million, 2 million, zero people?

101 posted on 01/07/2004 10:08:23 PM PST by WOSG (Freedom, Baby! Yeah!)
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To: wirestripper
Thankfully, Bush went the Cornyn route, not the McPain route. McCain proposal was an amnesty proposal.

There is also a Kennedyesque proposal to add to the current already existing guest worker program in the ag sector.
Bad idea.

The Bush/Cornyn route is the least harmful of the three.

"BTW, the current law says the sanction for illegal entry is a three year probation.(minimum) So, with that in mind, they all can apply for a green card in three years regardless."

Exactly. If the status quo were so great, we would have a problem, would we? :-)

102 posted on 01/07/2004 10:12:01 PM PST by WOSG (Freedom, Baby! Yeah!)
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To: Cultural Jihad
Once we have established a way to normalize those honest and productive immigrants

Honest and productive immigrants? Are you referring to those illegal aliens who have violated our immigration laws, our employment laws, and our driving laws (and probably other laws too)?

103 posted on 01/07/2004 10:15:39 PM PST by judgeandjury (The more numerous the laws, the more corrupt the state.)
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To: Kevin Curry
Someone needs to do those filthy, dreary, monotonous jobs that Massa CJ refuses to do.

That's how it seems --- certain people believe we must exploit people from the third world because some jobs are just so lowly, no American should have to do them. Not even Americans from poor neighborhoods who might be trying to climb out of welfare. Not like it used to be where middle class kids took these jobs to pay their way through college ---- no --- these are lowly jobs meant only for peons. We're starting to look exactly like the Mexican elite with these attitudes --- who don't see their college age kids from the elite families ever doing "peon" labor.

104 posted on 01/07/2004 10:16:08 PM PST by FITZ
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What level of legal immigration should we have in this country? 1 million, 2 million, zero people?

We should inversely match immigration with total unemployment rates --- combine the welfare cases, those on SSI, the NAFTA displaced worker programs, and unemployment figures. If greater than 4% of the American population is not working or working only marginally --- then we have no need for immigration. If this drops to 3%, it's time to bring in some immigrants --- preferably from a variety of countries.

105 posted on 01/07/2004 10:20:52 PM PST by FITZ
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To: Kevin Curry
Thanks for the courtesy ping, Kevin.
106 posted on 01/07/2004 10:22:27 PM PST by Cultural Jihad
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To: Kevin Curry
Maybe you should do the janitorial work, or the lawmowing, if it doesn't stain your tassled shoes.
107 posted on 01/07/2004 10:24:04 PM PST by Cultural Jihad
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To: judgeandjury
The law is not a religion. The law is not the highest arbiter of right and wrong. The law cannot give one a conscience. The law cannot compel you to stop and help someone in need. We need much more than merely human laws in order to have a healthy, functioning society. There are things one can do which are perfectly legal, which are also inherently immoral. In fact, everything which Hitler ever did was all perfectly legal according to the then-German Constitution, yet we rightly claimed at Nuremberg that one must always obey one's conscience above any merely human law. Still, the law does have an important role to play in our society.
108 posted on 01/07/2004 10:31:15 PM PST by Cultural Jihad
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First, stop using cliches and child-like phrases. Phrases like "black-and-white" are real, classic, leftist charmers. Alas, despite what some leftists may have led you to believe, some things in life are black and white. I'll respect your thoughts much more if you can stay away from leftist talking points and phraseology. It sounds too much like propaganda. Second, read my post carefully. I have characterized your thought processes with adjectives, and that is not the same thing as name calling. Again, you are resorting to cliches. I'm talking about your ideas, not you. This isn't about you, it's about the fallacious ideas you're repeating. Sophisticated arguments that are internally inconsistent and irrational are dangerous. Those are the kinds of ideas I've read in your posts tonight.

"Boy, where to start ..."

An explanation of how unbound rates of migration cannot harm a nation would be a good start.

With regard to nihilism, I am not abusing the term at all. Your ideas are manifestly nihilistic. It is obvious to any clear thinking, rational person that a population that receives migrants in sufficient proportions to it's own population will experience cultural change. How can you not see that? You claim that I must support that with facts? That's like asking someone to support the notion that bodies that have mass tend to fall in a gravitational field. It's obvious. We are both presumably educated beyond a need for that. By use of the word "destroy", that is what I mean. When a culture changes too much it ceases to exist, for all practical intents and purposes. Ask some of the ethnicities of Rwanda if you doubt it. Ergo, if the rate of immigration exceeds a critical threshhold, that culture will change "too much". Why is this so unclear to you? You stated:

"You can maintain some differences in cultural backgrounds without 'destroying' the culture you are in."

Again, that's an obvious red herring because you are not addressing my point. Yes, it can survive up to a point. If a population changes such that it's proportions reflect a switch in majorities and minorities; rest assured the culture will change. If that shift is a large enough percentage change your above statement is patently false. You see, I'm bored because I see this all the time in discussions. People simply can't use reason in discussions. This isn't differential topology either, it's a pretty simple topic.

You go on to state:

"You may be talking about it, but it has nothing to do with the Bush proposal."

Of course it does! That is the proximate contention at play. You claim that illegal immigration will not increase under Bush's proposal; I say it will and that to say otherwise is nihilistic. Why? Because as soon as someone physically crosses the border the majority of them will never leave. Everything about U.S. immigration in the past 30 years manifestly demonstrates that. People die to get here. They repeatedly try to cross 7, 8, 15 times until they succeed. Do you really think you can just nicely ask them to leave and expect them to comply? How are you going to enforce such a request in a nation of 300 million, with illegals spread all over the geographic confines of the nation? You see what I mean about nihilistic? THINK, man. Any proposal that involves physically allowing a migrant group into the United States is doomed to leave large percentages of that migrant group in-country indefinitely. It doesn't matter what Bush tells you. It's an actuarial reality. We know this from the insatiable desire of immigrants to get here in the past. It's an elephant in the living room but you deny it!!! And there's the nihilistic idea you have about green cards: do you really think, based on decades of past U.S. government behavior, that there will be any reasonable limit on green cards issued by this government? Does it even matter with the prospect of illegal immigration looming from such a policy change? This is not a "bogeyman", it is the power of reason. You refer to my comment about a "limitless spigot", a phrase aptly applicable to the above comments regarding physical entry into the U.S. But your reference contains no awareness of irony in that it only supports my contention that your ideas are nihilistic. Your entire belief system, or at least the subset pertaining to immigration, is based on a false view of reality. It is internally inconsistent. You say we simply disagree. True, but there are reasons why we disagree and I have outlined those reasons above.

Finally, you again refer to a red herring, trying desperately to inject it into the discussion. It is a red herring because any child with a decent education could answer the question themselves and there is no legitimate call for an answer. Boring. Stop with the red herrings and I'll respect your arguments more. Until then, I will continue to thrash arguments that I see as being insincere drivel parroted from the left, essentially propaganda, even if you yourself are not aware of the fact that you're doing that. Jeez a weez!, this is so irritating to have to walk people through formal logic, to have to be so explicit. You make a contention; I am bound to respond to that contention, not make up my own contentions. Then I make a contention and you are bound to address it just as I did. That's how formal logic works.

As for suggestions of legal immigration rates. Why do you want to know? So you can have another red herring to distract from the point? Let's stay on topic and try to be rational. How is it that we can expect the majority of immigrants who are supposed to return to actually return, in light of the aforementioned overwhelming historical data that suggests otherwise. You can follow that up by answering the inextricably linked question at the beginning of the long treatise (the part about unbound rates of immigration...remember?). But whatever you do, please address the contention.
109 posted on 01/07/2004 11:06:20 PM PST by ableChair
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To: ableChair
"I have characterized your thought processes with adjectives"

Yes, with stunning inaccuracy.
I kindly suggest you not attempt to characterize things you are ignorant of.
110 posted on 01/07/2004 11:20:13 PM PST by WOSG (Freedom, Baby! Yeah!)
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Is that all you've got? I was hoping you would counter the contention. Boring.
111 posted on 01/07/2004 11:39:20 PM PST by ableChair
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Well there is a way to end chain migration. Abolish it. Specifically, abolish the adult parents and siblings of immigrants from automatically getting in, or getting at the head of the line.
That's what was in the Jordan commission's report.
What's the status of the support on that?

Clinton made some favorable noises about the report, but ignored it and Barbara Jordan's sensible recommendations died along with her.

There may have been some consideration of cutting immigration categories in the 1996 welfare reform act (real reform not Bush "reform"), but that probably died under veto threat from Clinton, who signed the law, but didn't work too hard to enforce it. In fact the State Dept and HHS conspired to work around many of the welfare restrictions in the law, some of which Dubya has since recinded altogether.

112 posted on 01/07/2004 11:54:17 PM PST by dagnabbit (Tell Bush what to do with his Mexico Merger - Vote for or write in someone else in your GOP primary)
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To: VU4G10; gubamyster; Sabertooth; All; *immigrant_list; A Navy Vet; Lion Den Dan; Free the USA; ...
From: Brian Richard Allen


For Secretary Ridge, please:

Hi there, Mr secretary.

I notice that today's national terroristic "Threat Advisory" is "High" and suggest that if the administration of which you are part was "on the job" and was willing to accept its responsibility to protect America's Sovereign Borders and rid our nation of the millions of invading and colonizing criminal aliens with which we are becoming inundated -- there would be no appreciable danger.

I put it to you, that is, that President Bush's administration is an accessory to and after the fact of the threat.

A foreign born American [AMERICAN-American, that is] -- and one whose life's ambition was realized in the process of becoming American -- I joined the Republican Party [And the NRA] before I was even eligible for Naturalization. I have subsequently supported every Republican Candidate for public office it has been within my ability to support.

Now, however, I must tell you that -- especially after having spent thousands of hours of my life and watched my family members spend thousands of hours of their lives standing in lines in all weathers waiting while the [For the most part hatred-and-rage-consumed] employees of the so-called Immigration and Naturalization "Service" waded through the processing of the millions of invading criminal aliens by whom they have long been beseiged -- and get to me and to my family members; I am so disgusted by President Bush's administrative failure in the area of the protection of our beloved fraternal republic's borders, language and culture that until and unless the present policies are reversed and moves are made toward rounding up and deporting every last criminal alien, I will not support another Republican.

Interestingly, nor will any of my family members nor any of my hundreds of friends and political-activist aquaintances.

I thank you, Mr Secretary, for your anticipated kind attention to this note.

Best regards.

Sincerely -- Brian
113 posted on 01/08/2004 12:53:36 AM PST by Brian Allen ( Rebellion to tyrants is obedience to God - Thomas Jefferson)
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To: gubamyster
114 posted on 01/08/2004 1:01:54 AM PST by lainde (Heads up...We're coming and we've got tongue blades!!)
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To: VU4G10
Republicans have turned me from a staunch supporter into a staunch enemy. I vow to work against them at every single opportunity. I'll send a check to anyone running against any Republican who participates in this bonanza for illegals, and travesty for American workers and taxpayers.

If you've already contacted them...DO IT AGAIN! Do it morning, noon and night! Give them not one seconds peace!
Get on your homeboys, people. Unless we get the numbers which will make them fear for re-election, it will be all over. There will be no going back. This is the showdown on the Immigration Issue. If you've been following along, you know that these people are costing the American taxpayers billions per year. They're taking jobs away from hardworking American citizens. They're draining our resources and giving very little back. This is it. If this is allowed to pass, we can quite literally kiss this nation goodbye. The massive population transfer that will take place is unspeakable. Do it now! Fight for your country and way of life!@


It's NOT a migration, it's an invasion! Don't let them get away with this! SCREAM! Call toll free:

Whitehouse: 202-456-1414

Comment Line: 202-456-6213 and 202-456-1111

House and Senate: 1-800-648-3516

Rep. Nat'l Committee" 202-863-8500 (not toll free)



Department of Homeland Defense:

Department of Justice/John Ashcroft 202-353-1555

President Bush's Campaign 703.647.2700

Republican National Committee 202.863.8500

115 posted on 01/08/2004 1:17:58 AM PST by ETERNAL WARMING
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To: VU4G10

116 posted on 01/08/2004 2:42:30 AM PST by Prime Choice (Americans are a spiritual people. We're happy to help members of al Qaeda meet God.)
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To: VU4G10
Thanks for the post.
117 posted on 01/08/2004 4:02:15 AM PST by Klickitat
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This proposal is Bush's gimme-program for the service industries, to make up for the fact that the service industries can't offshore/outsource their jobs like hi-tech and manufacturing can. The whole purpose of this proposal is to bring in scads of "guest workers" to further depress blue-collar workers' wages.

This "jobs Americans won't do" mantra is BS. I come from a blue-collar family. I've done everything from hoeing watermelon fields to hauling hay to working in a drive-in to being a housekeeper in a nursing home when I was younger, and unskilled, to make a buck and to pay for college. I know several teen-aged boys who would be happy to have a few of these low-skilled "jobs Americans won't do" to make a buck to pay their car insurance, buy gas and pay for college or trade school.

My husband is a crane operator on a bridge crew. Guess what? Their crew is made up wholly of American citizens - even the lowliest shovel hand is an American. Not one illegal in the bunch. They still manage to bring in every bridge on time and under budget.

I have two brothers who own their own concrete curb and gutter business in Tulsa. They've been out of work for most of the last year because of the influx of illegals into the Tulsa area. These illegals who start up concrete companies (as well as scummy American companies who hire illegals) bid the jobs so low, no law-abiding American company can compete. The two American guys who were working for them are out of a job, too.

As far as I'm concerned, this proposal just takes a **** on small-business owners who are doing things the legal way and playing by the rules. It also takes a **** on American blue-collar workers who are doing these jobs "no American will do."

I have a feeling that my blue-collar family members, who voted for Bush in 2000, will be pulling a different lever in 2004. I've voted a straight Republican ticket in every election since the 1980s. This time, I'm writing Tom Tancredo in on the Missouri Primary - maybe in the real election, too. I like GWB as a man, but he is America's President - not President of the World - and he should start acting like it.
118 posted on 01/08/2004 6:50:00 AM PST by EagleMamaMT
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To: EagleMamaMT
I know the middle class has often done these jobs --- and the poor Americans who want to enter the middle class will do these jobs ---- that's why these are our good jobs, they are the key for many to make it to the middle class. To me to promote the idea that Americans are too good for these jobs is almost anti-American. Most middle class Americans have at one time done these jobs --- for many that's how they paid their way through college.
119 posted on 01/08/2004 7:08:03 AM PST by FITZ
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Exactly. There were lots of other kids besides just me who were happy to do low-skilled labor to provide us with the chance to better ourselves. That's still true today. A lot of the people on this forum have been middle or upper class for a couple of generations. They think all Americans just go from high school straight to college, with Daddy and Mommy footing the bill. That's not reality, though.

Also, what about those people who aren't college material? There are plenty of people who can work with their hands but aren't cut out for college. This proposal will make it much, much harder for them to find jobs, because businesses will now be able to take advantage of this "rent-a-slave" proposal instead of hiring Americans. It will be easy to get around the "hire Americans first" provision - just ask the corporations abusing the high-tech visa programs right now. Sheesh! My blood pressure...
120 posted on 01/08/2004 7:26:01 AM PST by EagleMamaMT
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