Thursday, April 13, 2006

A Quick Question on "Guest Workers?" 

One of the proposals that I keep hearing mentioned in the immigration debate is initiating a "guest worker" program. Foreigners who can secure jobs in the U.S. would be allowed to enter and stay for as long as they keep those jobs.

So what happens if they lose their job or quit? Well, presumably they won't get packed on a plane bound for their homeland later that afternoon. That would create a huge, irrational inflexibility in the labor market. First, employers could abuse employees who couldn't quit without being deported. Second, it doesn't make much sense to require employers to hire foreign workers from abroad if we have some jobless foreign workers here. It makes far more sense to give some time period for the guest workers to secure another job.

But what if they don't? Right now we are constantly told that it is impossible and inhumane to remove the illegal aliens who are currently here. After the "get a new job" period elapsed, the unemployed guest worker would be obligated to go home and if he stayed, then he becomes an illegal alien. But we already know that it is supposedly impossible/inhumane to remove illegals, so aren't we going to be stuck with every single guest worker who enters the country, regardless of his employment status?

So here's my question: has anyone proposing a guest worker program outlined the procedures for removing guests who have overstayed their welcome?