Jonah: For a devastating analysis of “temporary worker” or “guest worker”
programs, of which there have been many, I refer you to the article titled
“The Mirage of Mexican Guest Workers” in the Nov/Dec issue of Foreign
Sample: “The theoretical benefits of temporary labor programs have seduced
politicians in many countries, just as they are now enticing the Fox and
Bush administrations. Many U.S. and Mexican proponents seem surprisingly
unaware, however, of the long and checkered history of such policies, and
quite innocent of the unwanted effects they have produced in both origin and
Note BTW that “guest worker” is a translation from German _gastarbeiter_.
The German program is universally recognized to have been a social disaster,
having created a huge population of non-Germans with very high rates of
unemployment and welfare dependency.
If this country has a need to import large numbers of unskilled workers
(which I do not actually believe), let’s create a category for them under
existing immigration rules.
I must confess I smiled at your statement that: “After all, they will be far
easier to locate once they’ve generated all that paperwork, declared their
residences etc. So, conveivably they will be easier to deport.” I don’t
know how things are in the DC suburbs, Jonah, but there is nothing the least
bit difficult about locating illegal immigrants here on Long Island. Given
the authority, I could easily round up a hundred before breakfast, any day
of the week.
There are no real difficulties about enforcing current immigration law, only
a failure of will.
Your second question relates to legal immigration, which I’ll be glad to
discuss another time. In the limited space of The Corner, one topic is
enough to be going on with.