Ultima Thule

In ancient times the northernmost region of the habitable world - hence, any distant, unknown or mysterious land.

Monday, April 03, 2006

A definitive answer to the question: guest worker, yes or no? No!

By Aussigirl

Tim Birdnow, in his excellent and insightful article from The American Thinker, Empty Womb, which I posted just below, has this link to a very interesting and instructive study that shows the mistake of advocating guest workers as a solution to our immigration problem.

Center for Immigration Studies

The Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands is no model when it comes to immigration

By Mark Krikorian

Never under any condition should this nation look at an immigrant as primarily a labor unit. He should always be looked at primarily as a future citizen.
-- Theodore Roosevelt, 1917

Over the next several months, Congress will debate whether our country needs to import more foreign labor. President Bush has made his position clear: "If an American employer is offering a job that American citizens are not willing to take, we ought to welcome into our country a person who will fill that job."

What would be the effect of such a policy? Some have looked for answers in our history, specifically the Bracero Program, which imported Mexican workers for about 20 years and ended in the 1960s. Others have looked to the experience of foreign countries, such as Kuwait.

But there's a corner of the United States where we can see right now the consequences of the president's willing-worker/willing-employer immigration approach: the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands, or CNMI. Over the past two decades, this tiny colonial possession has imported large numbers of contract workers for "jobs Americans won't do." The results should give us pause.

[...] DeLay wasn't the only one who saw the Marianas' guestworker program as an important experiment. Jack Abramoff, the CNMI's lobbyist at the time, brought many opinion leaders from Washington for canned tours in the 1990s, and they spoke upon their return of the CNMI as "America's Hong Kong," a "free-market success," a "laboratory of liberty," "a perfect petri dish of capitalism."

So, what grew in this petri dish? The same thing that grows in any society that succumbs to the temptation of "temporary" foreign workers: exploitation of the foreigners, distortion of the host society, and permanent settlement of the temporary workers.

[...] The CNMI's experience over the past 20 years is a clear warning against any of the foreign-worker proposals before Congress. A new guestworker program in the U.S. would have the same basic results: widespread permanent settlement, increased illegal immigration, exploitation of foreign workers, and distortion of our economy and society. "Only a few countries, and no democratic society, have immigration policies similar to the CNMI," wrote the bipartisan Commission on Immigration Reform. "The closest equivalent is Kuwait." This is not a club we should want to join.


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