Saturday, April 08, 2006

The Sine Qua Non of Guest-Worker Programs

When a person suggets that what we need is a guest-worker program, I think the proper response is: "Fine. But we need to require that all guest workers get vasectomies (if male) or get their tubes tied (if female)." Any serious guest worker program that aims to avoid massive immigration into this country would require such a step. Anyone who does not support such a measure is not really serious about a real guest-worker program (i.e. one that is not just an indirect path to citizenship). Of course, if they agree to get rid of birthright citizenship first, that would work, too - but the citizenship must be gotten rid of with a constitutional amendment (so the courts cannot overturn it) first.

In any case, the real reason I make this suggestion (or my more blunt suggestion - "Be responsible! spay or neuter your guest workers!") is not because I support forced sterilization as a policy. Rather it is because putting it this way bluntly shows the folly of guest-worker programs as an alternative to citizen-track immigration, at least under current citizenship laws.

Of course, some folks will claim that it is unfair to use the Mexicans for back-breaking labor and then to throw them away when they are no good to us anymore. That it is unfair to let them do the work but not share in the benefits of our country such as taxpayer-funded health care for the indigent, taxpayer-funded education for their children, Social Security benefits, etc.

But the very point is that the assumption that you can do that with Mexican workers is the very reason why it is supposed to be so advantageous to hire them in the first place. Listen, either exploiting Mexicans as expendable, cheap labor without any benefits and practically no rights is right, or it's wrong. It can't be right to exploit them when the discussion is letting them work here, and then wrong when the discussion is over whether or not to give them benefits. If you give them the same rights as other workers, you have to calculate the costs of those rights into the discussion of whether they are a net benefit to the U.S. Unless you are simply a dishonest liberal who wants to get more voters who will support socialist policies.

That is all.

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