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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: Ramius
How do we "seal" 22,000 miles of border

See post 19. If it's good enough for the Korean peninsula, hell it's good enough for us!

21 posted on 01/07/2004 6:58:05 PM PST by Nanodik (Libertarian, Ex-Canadian)
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To: sunryse
It is my understanding that if they aren't working, they have to go.

And you really think we will enforce this? We currently have people who enter the US on visitor, student or work visa's and violate the terms of the visa by overstaying or working. We don't deport them. We won't deport the guest workers either. By the way, when the "guest" workers have children here in the US, guess who is automatically a US citizen? How do you deport the "guest worker" then?
22 posted on 01/07/2004 6:59:43 PM PST by Kozak (Anti Shahada: " There is no God named Allah, and Muhammed is his False Prophet")
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To: Thumper1960

LOL! I know you meant for it to be taken seriously and dramatic and all, but thanks for the chuckle all the same.

23 posted on 01/07/2004 7:04:48 PM PST by Cultural Jihad
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To: Ramius
Consider the present cost: The Congress has quietly approved the most open-door policy in history, allowing up to l0,000 immigrants per day.
The number of illegal immigrants now in the United States is 8.7 million, and the INS is unable to deport them. U.S. services and benefits given to legal and illegal immigrants cost American taxpayers $68 billion per year - and that number is growing. Then basically the entire population would be mobilized..
Bilingual education doubles the cost of schooling aliens. In the Southwest, a new school per day would have to be built to keep up.
English as our language is under assault - with driver's licenses, voting ballots and citizenship ceremonies offered in dozens of languages.
American history and achievements are being replaced in schoolbooks with political correctness, self-criticism and America as "oppressor."
400,000 foreigners now collect Social Security benefits without ever working a single day in America. Immigrants get Medicaid twice as often as native citizens.
Immigration costs U.S.-born workers $133 billion per year in job losses.
On Sept. 11, legal and illegal Muslim immigrant terrorists killed 3,000 innocent Americans and destroyed tens of billions of dollars in property.
Over 25 percent of federal prisoners are immigrants. Illegals commit 12 percent of felonies, 25 percent of burglaries and 34 percent of car thefts.
Non-citizens collect $7 billion per year in welfare, including medical assistance, food stamps and housing - courtesy of U.S. taxpayers, whose representatives in the Congress allow this to happen.
Two-thirds of U.S. population growth is due to our immigration policy. American cities, parks, roads, schools, beaches, hospitals and water supplies are straining under increasing pressure for more and more freebies.

A bounty of even $100 paid to report illegals that would "result in the deportation" which would amount to a billion dollars which would be a bargain compared to what we are now paying in tax dollars and maybe American firms would have to begin to offer reasonable wages so Americans would be employed in those jobs that "Americans won't take"..

24 posted on 01/07/2004 7:08:22 PM PST by Zipporah (Write inTancredo in 2004 Primary)
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To: Thumper1960
The "they" in your statement to me means both Dims and Repubs. Dims are $breaking$ the worker and Repubs are breaking labor (wages) while wanting more money for the cause--but what is the cause?? I wonder why these countries that our corporations are rushing to don't demand their people be paid the same as the countries the corporations left. Then I would believe it was about people bettering themselves rather than power being the only benefactor in this economic struggle. Are we really fighting for jobs at McDonalds? My pea brain must not understand!!
25 posted on 01/07/2004 7:14:00 PM PST by Snoopers-868th
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To: Cultural Jihad
Which part was humorous?
26 posted on 01/07/2004 7:14:05 PM PST by Thumper1960
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To: Trout-Mouth
I'm beginning to wonder if there is a difference between Socialists and One Worlders.
27 posted on 01/07/2004 7:16:04 PM PST by Thumper1960
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To: Thumper1960
Wait until the "world tax" hits us!!
28 posted on 01/07/2004 7:18:10 PM PST by Snoopers-868th
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To: All
Why doesn't EVERYONE just step back and take a breath.
Why does it make sense to just "write off" our president after only a few hours of this "suggestion", which is all it is.
In the days to come, there will be much intelligent and not-so-intelligent discussions of this issue, I'm sure we will all learn a lot.
We should be open to listen and learn before making a decision in 3 or 4 hours after.
Even the politicians most likely discuss and learn about an issue before making decisions, we can be at least as good as they or even more intelligent in our decisions.
There are so many things that will adapt or change this embryo.
29 posted on 01/07/2004 7:21:14 PM PST by oreolady (Wanted: new tag line)
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To: Ramius
How do we "seal" 22,000 miles of border?

      22,000 miles?  The land border of the US is 12034 km (or 7478 miles), including the Alaska - Yukon border. Add a coastline of 19,924 km (or 12380 miles), and you get up to 19858 miles.  The Coast Guard does a decent job of patrolling the coasts already.  CIA World Factbook

Checkpoints every few miles on every highway?

      No.  Just 1 (one) per highway - at the border. 
30 posted on 01/07/2004 7:21:37 PM PST by Celtman (It's never right to do wrong to do right.)
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To: thoughtomator
The author does not understand the proposal he is commenting on.

      And what part does he not understand?
31 posted on 01/07/2004 7:26:15 PM PST by Celtman (It's never right to do wrong to do right.)
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To: Ramius
Oh and in addition, I didn't address the cost of family reunification according the the CIA website re Mexico
Total fertility rate: 2.53 children born/woman (2003 est.)

.. consider that a spouse would come to the US in addition to those 2.53 children... consider multiplying 10,000 times (the numbers of illegals admitted to) those children & spouse.

32 posted on 01/07/2004 7:28:34 PM PST by Zipporah (Write inTancredo in 2004 Primary)
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To: Celtman
So maybe I'm off by a little. Whatever.

I was in the USCG for a time... we estimated that we caught about 2% of the illegal traffic into the country. Maybe that's good enough to "seal" those borders. All we need is to be 50 times more effective.

The entire USCG is still smaller than the NYPD.

Some illegals will *always* get past the border. The only way to catch them is to put checkpoints in place all over the country.
33 posted on 01/07/2004 7:29:03 PM PST by Ramius
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To: eeriegeno
."our nation is a nation of immigrants".. name one country that is a nation of immigrants.
34 posted on 01/07/2004 7:29:43 PM PST by Zipporah (Write inTancredo in 2004 Primary)
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To: Zipporah
I wish you were right. Really, I do.

I only wish we had the workforce here in the U.S. lining up for those jobs picking lettuce, at any wage. That would solve any unemployment problem now and forever.

But it seems that people just don't wanna pay five bucks a head for lettuce or whatever it would cost once the unions got their fingers in it. Is... a puzzlement.
35 posted on 01/07/2004 7:33:20 PM PST by Ramius
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To: eeriegeno
..sorry I meant to ask: "name one country that is not a country of immigrants...
36 posted on 01/07/2004 7:33:22 PM PST by Zipporah (Write inTancredo in 2004 Primary)
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To: Zipporah
Yawn! A "country of immigrants" is not the point. "Controlled immigration" is.
37 posted on 01/07/2004 7:37:54 PM PST by Snoopers-868th
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To: Thumper1960

All of it.

38 posted on 01/07/2004 7:40:27 PM PST by Cultural Jihad
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To: Ramius
How ?

Landmines and a 20 foot high Concrete Wall on the southern border. . .
39 posted on 01/07/2004 7:43:11 PM PST by Salgak (don't mind me: the orbital mind control lasers are making me write this. . .)
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To: VU4G10
40 posted on 01/07/2004 7:45:04 PM PST by Pelham
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