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"An appeaser is one who feeds a crocodile, hoping it will eat him last."
Sir Winston Churchill

5.30.2007

Permanent Temporary Workers and Other Immigration Abominations

Immigration "reform" is a realm where Orwellian Newspeak is the lingua franca:

As to the first, economist Philip Martin, one of the world’s top scholars in this field, draws these three lessons from our experience with guestworker programs:

1. “There is nothing more permanent than temporary workers.”
2. “The availability of foreign workers distorts the economy.”
3. “Employers invest in lobbying to maintain the program, not in labor-saving or back-saving alternatives.”

The first point is especially pertinent. Didn’t it occur to anyone why Ted Kennedy was agreeing to something that the labor movement has been fighting against since it won passage of the Alien Contract Labor Act in 1885? He knows perfectly well that guestworker programs always lead to increased immigration, both from “temporary” workers who don’t leave and from parallel flows of legal and illegal immigration sparked by the program. Our most recent experience was the “Bracero” program, which imported Mexican farm workers until it was abolished in 1964. During the 22 years the program lasted, annual Mexican immigration — permanent immigration, leading to citizenship — grew from little more than 2,000 to as high as 61,000, for total permanent settlement of more than a half-million Mexicans. This compares with a total of only a million or so Mexican men who actually took part in the Bracero program. During that same period, arrests of Mexican illegal aliens totaled 5.3 million, more than the 4.6 million admissions of guestworkers (some representing the same men multiple times).

Germany had the same experience with its postwar “gastarbeiter“ program for Turkish and other workers. When it was discontinued after the 1973 oil embargo, the government expected the “temporary” workers would complete their contracts and go home, because of the supposedly “circular” movement of such people, going back and forth between Germany and Turkey (the same story that today’s guestworker boosters are telling about Mexicans). Instead, the “temporary” workers not only stayed, they brought their families, too, causing Germany’s foreign population to nearly double over the next 25 years.

Sen. Kennedy knows this full well — one more indication that Ted Kennedy negotiating with Republicans over immigration is like Gary Kasparov playing an elementary-school chess team. In fact, a congressional source tells me that last year Rep. Howard Berman (career grade of F from Americans for Better Immigration) was privately trying to persuade skeptical Democrats to agree to a guestworker program with the promise that, after all, they’d never really have to go back.


How's this sound instead: temporary workers must skip every other cycle. If you're here on a six month temporary visa, you can't renew it until you return home for six months.

This helps ensure that employers are using the system for what it was intended---to ease temporary labor shortages.

God forbid we actually expect temporary workers to be, you know, temporary.

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