A Voice of Reason: Sane Views for a Crazy World

May 23, 2007

Guest Worker Program Slashed in Half

The number of guest workers allowed entry into the US in the proposed immigration reform bill has been slashed in half from 400,000 to 200,000.  The Senate voted 74-24 to provide such a reduction, and was brought forward mostly by Democratic Senators aligned with unions.  The fear was that the number of immigrants being allowed to enter would cause destabilization among wages earned by “blue collar” labor.

This may have an effect of giving more support to the bill from some Democratic legislators, although there is still opposition to the bill from the left on the formulaic process which gives less weight to family members entering the country than those who have skills which are deemed important to the economy.  The rationale behind the crafters of the bill behind having a large number of invited guest workers would be that the large number of invited workers would limit the pressure of those seeking to work in the US illegally.

Clearly this bill has sparked great controversy with regard to its content – from both the left and the right – and the manner in which it was brought to the Senate.  With the bill going through a typical, and in this case high profile amendment process many are beginning to express doubt that immigration reform will be accomplished in the President’s term.

While the need for immigration form to many seems to be apparent, the large concessions made by both parties to reach this compromise, may not allow for this bill to have a chance to survive, and be signed into law.



  1. I will never understand why the same people who advocate for a higher minimum wage are also the ones saying that businesses “need” illegal aliens to work for sub-market wages. They essentially want to screw over businesses that follow the law, and, of course, disadvantage Americans in their own country.


    Comment by theobromophile — May 23, 2007 @ 10:32 pm | Reply

  2. You have a point, but there is a nether world right now where the undocumented workers are living and working.

    While I would be very happy if unions were more widespread, and I would be happy because of the current practices which are typically exploitative of working families, I highly doubt that stopping illegals will result in fairer wages for the working class and the working poor.

    This is also a historic argument against any form of immigration – both legal and illegal, and how it puts the lower stratospheres at risk. However, historically speaking, those arguments don’t seem to hold too much water.

    Comment by avoiceofreason — May 23, 2007 @ 11:21 pm | Reply

  3. Really? I read that wages in things like the meat-packing industry and the grocery industry have steadily declined as illegals have taken over those jobs.

    Supply and demand. If you can’t get anyone to pick fruit, slaughter cows, or unpack boxes of bananas for $8/hour, you’ll pay $15/hour. Unions only artificially decrease the supply of labour.

    Comment by theobromophile — May 24, 2007 @ 12:09 am | Reply

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