Freedom Folks

Wednesday, February 28, 2007

Guest Worker Program Mysteries Revealed!

Source: NYT

Proponents of a Guest Worker scheme have one rather large liability in their ongoing efforts to destroy this coun..., excuse me, import cheap compliant slav..., pardon me, in their efforts to sell their tripe.

Two things in specific, the first is that America has a fairly long and unhappy history with guest worker programs. These programs were notable primarily for two things, increasing illegal immigration (the hardest part is done, you're already over the border) and abuse of the honored "guests."

The second is that there are currently several types of guest worker programs going on right now, I wonder if the current crop might provide any clues to the future efficacy of expanded guest worker programs in this country, if only we could know...
Labor experts say employers abuse guest workers far more than other workers because employers know they can ship them home the moment they complain. They also know these workers cannot seek other jobs if they are unhappy.

"I'd say a substantial majority of U.S. guest workers experience some abuses with their paycheck," said David Griffith, a professor in the anthropology department at East Carolina University and author of the new book "American Guestworkers: Jamaicans and Mexicans in the U.S. Labor Market." "It's the recruitment process especially where they get cheated."

The abuses take many forms. Guest workers often pay exorbitant fees and are frequently given fewer weeks of work and lower wages than promised. Many employers fail to make good on their commitment to pay transportation costs. The Thai workers, who were supposed to be paid $16,000 a year for three years, ended up earning a total of just $1,400 to $2,400. Most of the Thai workers had their passports taken away after they arrived, leaving them trapped.

"The program has been rife with abuses, even during the best of times," said Cindy Hahamovitch, a history professor at the College of William and Mary, who is writing a book about guest workers. "There will never be enough inspectors to check every labor camp, contract and field."

For decades, farmers, tree-planting companies, and hotel and restaurant owners have argued that they need guest workers, citing a shortage of Americans willing to fill jobs in their industries. In Washington, many supporters of an expanded guest worker program say they want to strengthen protections to curb abusive treatment.
Ah yes, the government will enact protections, of course they've done so in the past, in fact, they've had to do so with every single guest worker program. In a mystery novel this is what is commonly referred to as a "clue." Clues are useful in helping one determine the past actions or motivations of criminals.

If you had to guess why do you think that every single guest worker program has concurrently spawned laws against abuse of the workers? This is a mystery too deep for me guys, maybe you can splain it to me?

H/T Lonewacko

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