Farm-Worker Plan Aims – Wall Street Journal

Update: 2/23/08 – I wanted to link to this post on Citizen Orange as it pertains to the guest worker program and how it exploits workers. My previous thinking about the guest worker program is that it gave people from other countries an opportunity to come here to make money which they could use back home if they preferred not to remain in the United States. I in no way believe in the unfair treatment of workers and if the guest worker program is a form on exploitation I have to oppose it.

It’s great to see that the guest worker program is being addressed here as I haven’t seen too much about it in this debate. However, I don’t see why we cannot utilize those workers that are already involved by granting them guest worker visas.

Guest workers from south of the border have been our friends for many years so I don’t understand what has happened in recent years. This article sites the high cost of hiring guest workers legally, but is that really the issue? Are these farmers treating their workers unfairly, allowing them to work in poor conditions, or is it merely the requirement necessary to accept guest workers that are so burdensome? I’ll have to revisit my copy of “The Working Poor: Invisible in America” as it spends time with some of these migrant farm workers.

Of course, I was happy to see that FAIR got to chime in at the bottom of this article. Please see their founder’s quote, John Tanton, on the Scary Quotes page.

Farm-Worker Plan Aims To Curb Illegal Hires – Wall Street Journal

By JOHN D. MCKINNON and MIRIAM JORDAN
February 7, 2008; Page A10

The Bush administration rolled out a set of proposed rules aimed at stanching the flow of undocumented workers who have been crossing the border to work on U.S. farms.

The rules would encourage farmers to hire more legal guest workers from other countries under a 20-year-old visa program covering agricultural workers. The changes would modernize what is known as the H-2A visa program by loosening many of its stricter requirements, particularly on wages that must be paid to guest workers and on housing. Currently, critics of U.S. immigration policy say, farmers are encouraged to hire illegal workers because they are so much cheaper than legal guest workers or U.S. residents.

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