Monday, March 27, 2006

Guest Workers

(All emphases by Always On Watch)

Over the past several days, we have seen on our television screens the masses of demonstrators objecting to the Congressional bill making illegal immigration a felony. Of those marching in our streets and demanding their rights—and waving the Mexican flag, no less—how many were themselves illegal immigrants?

On Saturday evening, I heard an immigration advocate say something like this:
"We don't use the term illegal aliens any more."
The talk-show host was duly chastened and changed his terminology to the more acceptable illegal immigrants.

Illegal alien—another term to add to the list of offensive and politically incorrect terms, never mind the definition of alien (Illegal is self-explanatory):
"1. An unnaturalized foreign resident of a country. Also called noncitizen."
Of late, the various talk shows and President Bush frequently mention the immigration solution called "the guest-worker program." When I was logging into my Yahoo email the other day, I happened across an article on the topic of such programs; the following is an excerpt:
"'[The] historic role [of the guest-worker program] has been as a national emergency program,' Cornell University economist Vernon Briggs wrote in a 2004 paper. 'They are extraordinary policies to be used as a last resort — and then only as temporary measures.'

"In 1917, during World War I, an agreement was reached with Mexico to let in unskilled workers. During the program's five-year life span, 77,000 Mexicans were admitted but fewer than half returned to Mexico. 'The program spawned illegal immigration,' Briggs said.

"A much larger exchange, the Bracero program, began in 1942, during World War II, and continued in varying forms through 1964. Some 4.6 million Mexicans came to the United States, with a peak of 439,000 in 1959.

"The program stipulated that guest workers were to get free housing, medical treatment, transportation and prevailing wages. The reality was often different.

"Avendano of the AFL-CIO said workers were underpaid or cheated out of wages, exposed to unsafe conditions, faced racial discrimination and were saddled with debt from recruiters and employers. Workers were unable to exercise their rights because the employer could have them deported. Under such conditions, she said, 'Workers would rather be undocumented because they have full mobility.'

"Others argue that guest worker programs create an underclass of foreign workers and stigmatize some jobs associated with foreign labor....

"In 1995, the U.S. Commission on Immigration, headed by the late Rep. Barbara Jordan, D-Texas, reported to Congress its unanimous conclusion that an agriculture guest worker program 'is not in the national interest and...would be a grievous mistake.'

"Sen. Dianne Feinstein (news, bio, voting record), D-Calif., at recent Senate hearings on the immigration bill, said the recent tide of illegal immigrants raises 'the question of whether guest worker programs become magnets for more undocumented populations.'..."
Senator Edward Kennedy says that such problems will be avoided this time:
"'[This latest proposal] will avoid those problems by streamlining the application process for employers and strengthening key protections for the workers.'"
Certainly allowing for guest workers to have job portability might help to prevent the potential for abuse caused by a guest worker's having to be attached to one specific employer, a serious problem under Bracero. Nevertheless, such mobility can have its own problems, particularly if a guest worker would rather not work or if he desires to disappear within our borders.

According to the above-cited article, the 1986 amnesty for many illegal aliens produced the result that almost one million applications were accepted and, in effect, rewarded those who had illegally entered the United States. In addition, experts in immigration matters now concede that fraudulent documents were accepted in that 1986 process.

One argument we consistetly hear from those opposing certain restrictions on immigration is that we need immigrants for cheap labor. But cheap labor has costs: the overburdening of our school and health-care systems, to name just two of areas affected. And I must also mention this article, which I found at Woman Honor Thyself; the article speaks to offenses and untoward events on our roads.

Furthermore, by allowing unbridled and especially illegal immigration, we are tacitly reinforcing the backward policies of many of those nations from which immigrants are fleeing so that those nations have no incentive to fix their own problems which spur their population to crossing our borders. It seems to me that a wall along our southern border might well be a good idea. From what I can observe, the majority of illegal aliens present today in the United States are from Mexico and Latin America.

America is the land of opportunity. Is it any wonder that people want to come here? But illegal immigration is, well, ILLEGAL.

In this blog article, I have barely touched on the ramifications of illegal immigration. Readers, how do you see the issue of immigration and the bills before our Congress?


At 3/27/2006 12:29 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Ah, great minds...I was blogging on this apparently while you were. I have a link to the SABA bill on my blog. I read the entire bill this morning. It's good. I only hope the million-illegal-alien-marches out west won't spook the folks in DC.

At 3/27/2006 12:33 PM, Blogger American Crusader said...

Changing the terminology from "illegal alien" to "illegal immigrant" doesn't really bother me as long as the definition remains the same and that is that they are Illegal.

If we're not going to enforce the laws we already have, I don't really see the point in creating new ones. The best solution, is that we need to seal off our border and enforce the laws that are already in place.

This isn't only a question of creating an undocumented class of workers but this is a security question. Does anyone believe that Al Qaeda or other organizations such as MS-13 aren't using the border to bring in drugs and possible weapons to be used against United States?

When I was watching the demonstration, I was wondering what if INS did a law enforcement scoop through the crowd to find undocumented "illegal immigrants". My guess is that they were the ones waiving the Mexican flag.

At 3/27/2006 1:00 PM, Blogger Always On Watch said...

Here is the link to Frist's bill. It's a pdf file.

I found the above at this site, which is that of Truth Hurts. He has commentary as well.

At 3/27/2006 6:36 PM, Blogger WomanHonorThyself said...

o gosh the border nightmare saga continues!...thanks so much for the link AOW!

At 3/27/2006 8:21 PM, Blogger Iran Watch said...

I'm not sure why we are passing new laws when the old ones aren't even been enforced. I think this is pre-election posturing. Meanwhile Al Qaeda is free to cross our borders.

At 3/27/2006 8:50 PM, Blogger Always On Watch said...

Iran Watch,
In the run-up to last November's gubernatorial election here in Virginia, immigration advocates were saying that immigration would not be an issue and soft-pedaled Kaine's open-borders position. Then, when Kaine won, immigration advocates said that open-borders had won out. Talk about having it both ways!

But you're right about what's going on right now: pre-election posturing. I think that the citizens of this country see the immigration issue as a very important matter, though until recently our elected representatives have pretty much ignored it. Well, now that an election is coming, those in our Congress are looking as if they will take action. Call me a cynic, but I see this as fear of each party's losing seats. It remains to be seen if any action will be taken, of course.

Meanwhile Al Qaeda is free to cross our borders.

Maddening, isn't it?

At 3/27/2006 8:51 PM, Blogger Always On Watch said...

When I was watching the demonstration, I was wondering what if INS did a law enforcement scoop...

Where was INS, anyway?

At 3/27/2006 8:53 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Judging from the useless bill coming out of the Senate Committee this evening, I think we are seeing a whole lotta nothing...

At 3/27/2006 9:11 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Forgive my cynicism, but I agree with Iran Watch. Frist is simply stirring the base and floating a political trial balloon. And the MSM has already shot and deflated it with its' usual cannon loaded with stock political punditry.

Besides, Frist's chances at winning the nomination are about as good as getting any meaningful reform of ANY kind getting passed during this lameduck session... the proverbial snowball's chance.

It's already off-to-the-races for '06 & '08 races. And with razor thin margins for victory, no professional politician is going to risk upsetting any potentially viable voting block... even one as tenuous and nefarious as illegal aliens.

This bill is the Frist equivalent of the Feingold censure motion. A fishing expedition for donor-dollars, that will reward BOTH sides...


At 3/27/2006 11:58 PM, Blogger kevin said...

It's important to remember that we're at war. No sane country has a wide open border policy whilst being constantly threartened by terrorists.In other words; all 19
of the 9/11 hijackers were here illeagally.

At 3/28/2006 3:18 AM, Anonymous Crystal Clear said...

The term "undocumented worker" has actually been used for a long long while in Mexifornia...the term alien is seen as disparaging...Another term to be seriousoly considered when there is this large of number of individuals in your country when they didn't/wouldn't sign the guest book is "invasion"...

At 3/28/2006 3:43 AM, Blogger David Schantz said...

Instead of making all illegal aliens (if calling them that offends them, to bad) felons I'd support making anyone that gives them any kind of aid a felon. Anyone that hires a known illegal would be a felon. It would be a felony to sell or rent them a house or apartment, same thing if you sell them a car. INS should be contacted as soon as an illegal shows up at the hospital ER. As soon as their condition is stabilized they should be handed over for deportation or the doctor that treated them becomes a felon. I'm thinking that word would soon get back to Mexico (or where ever)that there is no good life for illegal aliens in the United States.

God Bless America, God Save The Republic.

At 3/28/2006 5:08 AM, Blogger Mr. Beamish the Instablepundit said...

David Schantz,

INS should be contacted as soon as an illegal shows up at the hospital ER. As soon as their condition is stabilized they should be handed over for deportation or the doctor that treated them becomes a felon.

Your approach is what Hillary Clinton demogogues as "outlawing Jesus."

We need to annex Mexico. It's time to stop pretending America has sovereign nations on it borders.

At 3/28/2006 7:21 AM, Blogger Always On Watch said...

From this source, for what it's worth:

"We have an aging white America ... They are dying ...We have got to eliminate the gringo, and what I mean by that is if the worst comes to the worst, we have got to kill him." Jose Angel Gutierrez, professor, University of Texas, Arlington and founder of the La Raza Unida political party...

The definition of illegal isn't racist or racism. If you break into someone's house to steal, that is an illegal act, not racism. If the law says a man cannot force a woman to have sex against her will, it's called rape and if you commit such an act, it's an illegal one, not racism. Our immigration laws prohibit any individual, regardless of country of origin, to smuggle themselves across any of our borders. This is a matter of federal law...

Fabian Nunez, California assemblyman, at the Latino Summit Response to Prop 187 at U.C. Riverside (Jan. 14, 1995): "Each of you, get ten people to go with us on that march in Washington, D.C., and I guarantee you just as we mobilized 150,000 to the streets of Los Angeles on October 16, we will mobilize 1 million people and bring Washington to a standstill, and those rednecks that are out there making decisions for the betterment of their communities will think twice before they push forward anti- immigrant legislation against our community."

"... Brown Berets, we're here today to show L.A., show the minority people here, the Anglo-Saxons, that we are here, the majority, we're here to stay. We do the work in this city, we take care of the spoiled brat children ... We're here in Westwood ... to show white Anglo-Saxon Protestant L.A., the few of you who remain, that we are the majority, and we claim this land as ours, it's always been ours, and we're still here, and none of the talk about deporting.

"If anyone's going to be deported, it's going to be you! ... Get out!
We are the future. You're old and tired. Go on. We have beaten you – leave like beaten rats. You old white people, it is your duty to die. Right now, we're already controlling those elections, whether it's by violence or nonviolence. Through love of having children we're going to take over." Augustin Cebada, information minister of Brown Berets, militant para-military soldiers of Aztlan shouting at U.S. citizens at an Independence Day rally in Los Angeles....

More at the above link.

At 3/28/2006 7:39 AM, Blogger Always On Watch said...

Today's WaPo states that we can look forward to two weeks of Senate debate and then an indefinite period of negotiation with the House.

On the front page of today's WaPo:

"'There is no issue outside of civil right that brings out the kind of emotions we have seen,' said Sen. Edward M. Kennedy..."


From an analysis in the WaPo, "Tougher Enforcement May Jeopardize Support":

Both Republicans and Democrats risk alienating coveted supporters as they attempt to find the right balance between toughening enforcement and expanding legal opportunities for millions of low-skill foreign workers to take jobs in the United States.

As the Senate begins debate on revamping the nation's immigration laws, the issue poses multiple challenges for both political parties, while offering no clearly expedient solution. Two huge electoral prizes, the Southwest and Florida, are potentially up for grabs, as are millions of Hispanic votes elsewhere. But also in play are the votes of angry residents in border states and beyond who feel overwhelmed by the rising tide of illegal immigration....

At the same time, however, lawmakers face the potential ire of voters who want more done to crack down on the estimated 11 million illegal immigrants now in the country. The problem led Democratic governors in both Arizona and New Mexico to declare states of emergency in counties along the border with Mexico to combat illegal immigration. Talking points circulating among Democrats on Capitol Hill stress, "if you do not seem credible on enforcement, you may lose credibility which will jeopardize other components of immigration reform."

Tougher enforcement is an idea that resonates among frustrated voters, particularly in parts of the country where public services including schools and hospitals are strained by the influx of new residents....

At 3/28/2006 11:43 AM, Anonymous Old Soldier said...

This is certainly a very exasperating problem that draws sharp comments from open-boarder and save-the-country advocates alike. However, it should not be a political hot potato. We have enacted and signed laws regulating immigration that are being ignored by illegal aliens and those who benefit from them alike. Politicians should have no greater quandary than to specify that the laws are being broken and to fund their enforcement.

I certainly understand why people would want to immigrate (or migrate as the case may have it) to the U.S. However, if you want to come to this country, do it legally, through lawful immigration of regulated and controlled guest worker programs. Do not come into this country illegally and claim you have “rights”, because you DO NOT. Come into this country lawfully if you desire to be protected by its laws.

As for the current millions of aliens; we need to start the biggest roundup in the history of the world, and deport these folks to whence they came. When they lawfully seek entry, they are welcome to come back. I do not want the laws changed to grandfather lawbreakers and give them the opportunity to gain citizenship over folks that have been waiting years for approval to lawfully immigrate.

At 3/28/2006 12:16 PM, Blogger Mr. Ducky said...

I remember when everyone's favorite, Ronald Raygun, granted amnesty and said he would close the borders and that was that.

Another raygun curiosity right up there with the fact that the right doesn't realize what a screw-up old Dutch really was.

Well, illegal immigrants are a fact of economic life in America and there isn't going to be much of anything done without stepping on some wealthy toes (not likely under Bush). Largest employer of illegal aliens in my area - George Bush Sr. since Carlyle Group bought Dunkin' Donuts.

Wake up folks. You're being chumped by this administration.

At 3/28/2006 1:19 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...


You really should stop using alway's "wake up" motto. We can all read from your avatar your true intentions.


At 3/28/2006 2:50 PM, Blogger Mr. Ducky said...

Well Farmer, I'd like to point out that the crew like "old soldier" who are barking the same old "don't come here illegally" message got their heads handed to them over the last few days.

Largest demonstration in L.A. history? Demonstrations were everywhere and once more the far right is going to get a good 'ol face plant.

I'm just watching the wheels go 'round and reminding myself that the far right couldn't organize a damn block party let alone immigration legislation.

You lose again.

At 3/28/2006 4:25 PM, Blogger MissingLink said...

America is the land of opportunity. Is it any wonder that people want to come here?
If your "immigration" issues aren't regulated it won't be for much longer.

At 3/28/2006 7:30 PM, Blogger Timothy Birdnow said...

Great post!

A Nation that does not control its borders will not remain a Nation for long.

These demonstrations should act as a wake-up call; many of these illegal immigrants want to form their own country (they`ve named it Aztlan). Groups like MECha want an Hispanic America. Are we prepared to partition the United States? If we continue with this madness we may have no choice.

Illegal immigration brought down the Roman Empire.

At 3/28/2006 9:50 PM, Blogger Always On Watch said...


Check this blog article.

At 3/29/2006 8:42 AM, Blogger Toni said...

AOW - thanks for the link. I have been trying to find this article on the History of Guest Worker Programs in the US and finally found it. I posted about it today.

At 3/29/2006 8:53 AM, Blogger Always On Watch said...

Here is a must-read from Toni's link above:

This article is from March 2004. It’s interesting because the common theme on Guest Worker Programs back to the early 1900’s is they don’t work and do nothing to stop the entry of illegal aliens.

One of the points you always hear about is President Reagan issued the huge amnesty in 1986. Do you know who stuck an amendment into the bill resulting in the amnesty?

snip……Over the ensuing five years as the various versions of what would become the Immigration Reform and Control Act (IRCA) worked its way though the legislative process, no issue proved to be more difficult or controversial than efforts to add a guestworker program for agricultural workers to the bill. Numerous efforts were made. Indeed, after failing to pass Congress in both 1982 and 1984, it appeared that the legislation would die in 1986 for this very reason.22 It passed only after the adoption of an extremely controversial amendment offered by Rep. Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.) that eventually would give permanent resident alien status (a green card) to any person who could prove he or she had worked in perishable agriculture for 90 days between May 1, 1985, and May 1, 1986. It was, in reality, a second amnesty added to the general amnesty provided for elsewhere in the legislation. The provision set off a firestorm of protest but it was given a debate rule that prohibited any changes in this particular provision to be made on the House floor. Representatives opposed to the compromise had only one choice: kill the whole reform package or accept this amendment as is. The idea could not withstand a vote on its own merits. Despite such criticism, the amendment enabled IRCA to be passed and signed into law by President Reagan in 1986. As a consequence, this adjustment program ? known as the Special Agricultural Workers program (SAW) ? led to 1.2 million persons applying for its adjustment of status benefits. Of these, 997,000 applications were approved. The number of applicants far exceeded anyone?s estimation of the number who would be eligible. The explanation for the large number of applicants was the widespread usage of fraudulent documents that were used to claim eligibly. Indeed, The New York Times described the SAW program as being “one of the most extensive immigration frauds ever perpetrated against the United States government.”23

Yes, it was Charles Shumer who hijacked the whole bill and created that amnesty. Can you imagine the NYT’s ever writing anything like this today? Not a chance.

There was a bipartison commission (editor: yes another investigation to be ignored) created called “Commission on Immigration Reform (CIR) which studied and studied and studied for 6 years. Know what they found? Pretty much the same thing found back in 1950’s.

1. “Guestworker programs have depressed wages.”

2. Those whose wages are most adversely affected are “unskilled American workers, including recent immigrants who may have originally entered to perform needed labor but who can be displaced by newly entering guestworkers.”

3. “Foreign guestworkers often are more exploitable than a lawful U.S. worker, particularly when an employer threatens deportation if workers complain about wages or working conditions.”

4. “The presence of large numbers of guestworkers in particular localities ? such as rural counties with agricultural interests ? presents substantial costs in housing, healthcare, social services, schooling, and basic infrastructure that are borne by the broader community and even by the federal government rather than by the employers who benefit from inexpensive labor.”

5. “Guestworker programs also fail to reduce unauthorized migration” [because] “they tend to encourage and exacerbate illegal movements that persist long after the guest programs end.” ?[and]? “guestworkers themselves often remain permanently and illegally in the country in violation of the conditions of their admission.”

Conclusion after 100 years and numerous studies on Guest Worker Programs?

The heart of the problem is that guestworker programs seek to reconcile two sharply conflicting goals: the need to protect citizen workers from the competition of foreign workers who are willing to work for wages and in conditions that few citizens would tolerate versus the wishes of some employers who rely on labor-intensive production and service techniques to secure a plentiful supply of low-cost workers. In addition, there are always unforeseen side effects that harm the wider society.

snip……Except in national emergencies, guestworker programs are bad public policy. They may meet the short-term pleas of private interest groups, but they can never meet the higher standard of being public policies that serve the national interest.

Center for Immigration Studies

Tony Blankley has an outstanding editorial today: Mexican illegals vs. American voters. The polls have consistently told our Legislators we the American public are overwhelmingly in favor of tougher enforcement on illegal aliens. Yet, our legislators ignore us.

The Senate is attempting to legislate into the teeth of the will of the American public. The Senate Judiciary Committeemen (and probably a majority of the Senate ) are convinced that they know that the American people don’t know what is best for them.

Seems to me that guest-worker programs create a sort of slave class. Is that what America stands for today?

At 3/29/2006 9:44 AM, Blogger Mr. Beamish the Instablepundit said...

Seems to me that guest-worker programs create a sort of slave class. Is that what America stands for today?

Is there a Democratic Party in America?

Do Mexicans have dark skin?

At 3/29/2006 11:06 AM, Anonymous old soldier said...

"I'd like to point out that the crew like "old soldier" who are barking the same old "don't come here illegally" message got their heads handed to them over the last few days."

ducky, a few hundred thousand demostrators do not make a mojority in this country. The vast majority of this country's citizens still believe in the rule of law and controlled borders and immigration. Your and my opinions just really don't matter in the grand scheme of things.

At 3/29/2006 1:55 PM, Anonymous the merry widow said...

Dr. Yeagley at Bad Eagle, has an interesting article, but Bad Eagle has declared war on Mexico City! He says that M.C. is the root of the problem and Zapata's followers didn't fulfill his revelution.


P.S. Love the avatar!


At 3/29/2006 3:51 PM, Blogger Mr. Ducky said...

Old's the bet, you and your "law and order" crowd are going to get reamed by Bush once again. You must love it because you keep letting him do it.

You want the illegals run out of town. Won't happen. Too much of the economic growth of recent years has been "productivity" growth caused by depressed wages.

At 3/30/2006 2:41 AM, Blogger Mark said...

But illegal immigration is, well, ILLEGAL.

Yes indeed, Always. It is! So why do the authorities in your country allow this to go on? My guess is that 1.) they want the cheap labour, 2.) they don't wish to upset commercial interests, and 3.) they haven't got the stomach to deal with the issue.

Like everything else in this topsy-turvy world we now live in, chaos rules!

They say that they don't know who these illegal immigrants are, and that they don't know where they are. Really? If this is true, then shame on them!

In these days of high-tech, it should be easier than ever to track these people down. Satellites can even spy into people's houses these days. So I don't want to hear this sort of guff from the politicians. And I'm sure you don't, either.

We get the same old dross being told to us here in the UK. But it's all a load of baloney.

The fact is this: The will isn't there to deal with the issue. If the will were there, a way would be found.

At 3/30/2006 8:42 AM, Blogger Brooke said...

Let's just annex Mexico. After their 25 billion per year oil industry, the second largest source of income is the 17.5 billion US dollars that are sent south of the boarder by immigrants to their families.

Is it any wonder Fox doesn't want the boarder closed?

Let's put him out of a job and start all of those Mexicans paying taxes, already!

At 3/30/2006 11:01 AM, Blogger Mark said...

I've just picked up on the BBC that the UK is now considering an amnesty for all those illegal immigrants (they supposedly can't find).

First of all they let them in against the wishes of the people. Then they say they can't find them. Now they want to give them an amnesty. What next? And what must one conclude from all of this? That breaking the law pays?

This Prime Minister has a hell of a lot to answer for. I hope Peter closes the Gates on him!

At 3/30/2006 5:49 PM, Blogger benning said...

Dunno what the answer is, but I want them to stop coming here. It's my taxes they're sucking up. Screw 'em!

At 3/30/2006 6:29 PM, Blogger Always On Watch said...

an amnesty for all those illegal immigrants (they supposedly can't find)

Here come the fraudulent documents! The same thing happened here in the U.S. in 1986.

Our dhimmi leaders aren't satified with selling us all into dhimmitude; they want immigrants who will not assimilate to take over the nation.

At 3/30/2006 6:29 PM, Blogger Always On Watch said...

an amnesty for all those illegal immigrants (they supposedly can't find)

Here come the fraudulent documents! The same thing happened here in the U.S. in 1986.

Our dhimmi leaders aren't satified with selling us all into dhimmitude; they want immigrants who will not assimilate to take over the nation.

At 3/30/2006 6:32 PM, Blogger Always On Watch said...

Not just your taxes, but causing the rise in health-care premiums too!

At 3/31/2006 7:28 AM, Blogger Always On Watch said...

Of course Fox doesn't want the border closed. He's pushing off his problems onto us.

At 3/31/2006 11:09 AM, Blogger Mark said...


Yes, isn't it unbelievable?

At 3/31/2006 2:17 PM, Blogger Mr. Ducky said...

No, it isn't unbelievable. If something like this continues as long as it has, it's because someone wants it to continue.

Now that someone isn't just the Mexican government. ake the profit out of this if you want it stopped.

At 3/31/2006 6:06 PM, Blogger Pim's Ghost said...

Crystal, exactly. This is an invasion clear and simple.

And also YES, YES, YES! They DO want to create a cheap little slave labor force who will keep voting for them and who they will always condescend to! These people are nothing more than pawns and pets to the Left. They don't see them as people at all.

And no Ducky, nothing original yet. But I'll keep you posted.

At 3/31/2006 7:55 PM, Blogger Always On Watch said...

If something like this continues as long as it has, it's because someone wants it to continue.

I agree. But I see business as a big player in this.

I've never been happy about GWB's borders policy. But I don't see the Dems any better on that issue--in fact, worse.


Post a Comment

Links to this post:

Create a Link

<< Home