The United States Chamber of Commerce gears up to lobby for a guest worker program that affects high tech sector as well as service industries. Are you ready to compete?
Guest Worker Program and Immigration Enforcement in the News
Securing the border is Janet Napolitano’s job in Washington as the newly minted Secretary of Homeland Security. Within her home state of Arizona she was at the heart of the local guest worker program and immigration debate.
The Arizona Republic states that even as Napolitano was in favor of having a National Guard presence on the Mexican US border, she opposed illegal immigration legislation that failed to include a guest worker program.
REAL ID and Green Card Problems against Backdrop of Illegal Immigration
Those favoring a guest worker program are heartened by Napolitano’s stand with respect to the REAL ID issue. On the Issues reported that the program which was designed to make drivers’ licenses more secure, was slated for involving Arizona in the program after she negotiated with the Homeland Security Department.
In a somewhat surprising twist, she signed a bit of legislation that prevented the REAL ID standard to become part of Arizona’s way of doing business. Seeing that Janet Napolitano now heads the agency, it would appear that a guest worker program and a new immigration law are just around the corner.
U.S. Chamber of Commerce Successfully Lobbied for $700 Billion Bailout; $25 Billion Automaker Bailout and Guest Worker Program are next
Quoting the Associated Press, the Washington Post reports that the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, a lobbying group that looks out for the interests of big business, has set its sights on the 2009 Obama Administration.
With successful lobbying efforts for the $700 billion bailout package under its belt, Janet Napolitano the Secretary of Homeland Security, and more than $44 million in its coffers to fund such lobbying, immigration reform is on the schedule.
Immigration Rights Groups On the Heels of Big Business
Immigration rights groups are also looking to the Obama Administration for comprehensive immigration reform, including a guest worker program. The Desert Sun quotes Karan Kler, the executive director of the Coachella Valley Immigration Service, as stating that “immigrants are the ones who will help bring the economy” back.
Discussions for a non-amnesty guest worker program include not only the agricultural employers – usually identified with the need for seasonal manual labor to pick and process produce – but also the “service industry as well at the high-tech sector.”
What a Guest Worker Program Means To Your Job or Small Business
It is a common mistake to assume that immigration amnesty or a guest worker program only affects Mexican citizens. The latter have become stereotyped in American society as being less educated than American workers, and thus are perceived as not posing as much of a threat.
A racist stereotype, it served to accomplish two things: first and foremost, it fostered a sense of superiority-driven compassion that made turning a blind eye to illegal immigrant labor acceptable; secondly, it served to open the door for big business to have unfettered access to a new labor pool, some of which is undoubtedly coming from out neighbor to the north, Canada. A giveaway is the hope that immigrant guest workers will fill jobs in the high tech sector.
If you operate a small business, you are likely to find that competing against bigger businesses and their legions of guest workers will be a hardship that is going to drive your labor costs up – unless you join the fray.
Assuming that there will be a special tax attached to the hiring of guest workers, such as it was on the Yakama reservation as outlined by the Yakima Herald, the odds are good that you cannot keep up fiscally and will eventually have to close your doors.
As a resident worker – whether native born or legally immigrated – you will suddenly face a competition from a huge pool of thus far untapped labor that has not been since the reunification of Eastern and Western Germany.
If you thought getting a job was tough now, you may be dismayed to learn that after a guest worker program is instituted, it will be virtually impossible – unless you are willing to make a number of concessions with respect to pay, benefits, and working conditions.
Sources: http://www.azcentral.com/arizonarepublic/news/articles/2008/12/02/20081202napolitano1202issues.html; http://www.ontheissues.org/Cabinet/Janet_Napolitano_Homeland_Security.htm; http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2008/12/01/AR2008120101993.html; http://www.mydesert.com/article/20081201/NEWS0301/812010329/1026/news12; http://www.yakima-herald.com/stories/2008/11/19/guest-worker-program-raises-more-red-flags-than-solutions