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Greg Siskind on Immigration Law and Policy

Future Flow: The Key to Successful Immigration Reform

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Tamar Jacoby has a great op-ed at that explains that the most important part of immigration reform is the one no one is talking about - setting up a guest worker program to deal with the future demand of employers for lower skilled workers. Congress and President Reagan punted on setting this up in 1986 and within a few years, we had a huge illegal population again. We can't make that mistake this time.

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  1. Legal and no longer waiting's Avatar
    I wholeheartedly agree.
  2. S's Avatar
    What Mr Dick Durbin will say about more H1B(Legal) workers?
  3. Jack's Avatar
    Greg and Tamar make it sound like we don't already have guest worker programs.

    "For less-skilled foreigners who want to come to work legally in the United States, there is no 'line' -- no available visas."

    "Many, if not most, of the 11 million already here would have preferred to enter the country legally if that were possible. But they and others like them have no lawful option."

    "There simply is no avenue for an uneducated Mexican unless he has family members living legally in the U.S. who can sponsor him for a family visa."

    Really, Tamar?

    According to Jorge Casta?eda and Douglas Massey:

    "517,000 Mexicans entered the United States as legal temporary workers in 2010, while 888,000 entered on business visas and 30,000 arrived as exchange visitors. In 1995 the respective figures were 27,000, 256,000 and 5,000. In other words, Mexicans are coming to the United States to work as eagerly as ever, but they are doing so legally."

    And the "temporary" and "guest" workers aren't going to just be permanent this time right, Tamar? The guest worker as panacea types need to explain why the workers in their new plan will, in fact, be temporary. How will your new, different from all the rest plan counteract all the factors which historically undermine them leaving according to plan? How do you prevent them from putting down "roots"? If a "guest worker" marries, fathers a child, etc., they will all leave voluntarily (or be forced to leave--with your support), never be legalized (you'll oppose that), and new illegal workers take their place? If that is really your belief, what is it based on?

    Even if some of the guest worker proponents really want the plan to work, there will be plenty of politicians, various special interests and "immigrant rights advocates" who will insist that the supposedly temporary stay permanently. The Democrats, naturally, will want them to stay and become registered to vote (for them). We'll hear the same old demagoguery. Nothing will be solved--except we'll have an even huger population and even less political will to not just have de facto unlimited immigration.
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