A Democrat Praises Tanton's Twenty-Four Questions For Guest Worker Advocates
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As we watch Mexican flags flying above massive street demonstrations in several major US cities and the Senate Judiciary Committee report out a bill that would legalize 11 million aliens who jumped to the head of the immigration line by crossing our borders without permission, it is interesting to realize that key questions about this proposed guest worker program are not really being asked and certainly not properly explored.  I'm a Democrat, but I say we citizens from both major parties deserve better and we simply are not getting the treatment we deserve.

Recently, in his usual thoughtful fashion, Dr. John Tanton, founder of the Federation for American Immigration Reform (FAIR), put together twenty-four questions about any guest worker program that need answering by guest worker advocates:

  1. Will spouses and children be able to accompany the guest worker?  Just minor children, or adult ones as well?

  1. Will any or all of the above be able to demand government services in the language of their choice, per President Clinton's Executive Order 13166?  Will the workers be required to have at least a minimal working knowledge of English?

  1. Will the children be eligible to attend school, and if so, at whose expense?  In what language(s) will they be educated?

  1. How will health care services - including birth control - be provided and paid for?

  1. Will any children born in the United States, automatically become U.S. citizens?

  1. Will the workers be eligible for the Earned Income Tax Credit?  Will children remaining in the home country count as deductions when calculating the EITC benefit?  How will the number of dependents claimed be verified?

  1. Will IRS and Social Security charges be deducted from their wages?  Will they be eligible for Social Security benefits, either here, or later in their home country?  How many quarters of work will be required for eligibility?  (Six years equals 24 quarters, less than the 40 quarters required for U.S. citizens.)

  1. Will workers be permitted to marry?  Will those who marry a U.S. citizen, or have a child while here, be able to stay beyond the six-year period?  Would a man who fathers an "illegitimate" child qualify for citizenship on petition by the child when it reaches legal majority?

  1. How about Worker's Compensation and unemployment?

  1. If the job for which the worker came to the United States evaporates or otherwise disappears, will workers be required to take a different job, or returned home?  If relocation is required, who will pay the expense?  Will they be eligible for unemployment?  If so, who pays the premium?

  1. Will child labor laws apply, especially in the fields?

  1. Will the workers be able to purchase a car, and obtain a U.S. drivers license?  If so, will they be required to purchase automobile insurance, and will this be available to them at a cost they can likely afford?

  1. Will children be eligible to attend college?  If so, at what tuition rate: in-state or out-of-state?

  1. Will minimum wage laws apply?  How about the Davis-Bacon Act?

  1. Will the workers be free to unionize to demand improved wages and conditions?

  1. Will there be requirements for immunizations, and initial and periodic health clearances?  On what schedule?  Who pays?

  1. Will workers come under any contract?  If so, enforceable in what courts?  Will public defenders be provided?  At whose expense?

  1. What system of identification documents will be required?

  1. If conditions have not improved in the home country after six years, what are the chances that the guest workers will go home?  Did the guest workers imported from Europe after World War II go home when they were no longer needed, or did they stay and send for their families to join them?

  1. Will workers and their adult spouses be able to vote in local elections?

  1. How will the workers (and families) be housed and fed?

  1. Will workers be permitted to travel home at will?

  1. Given these difficulties, won't most employers of the illegal aliens still prefer illegals?

  1. Taken as a whole, isn't this really just a system of Indentured Servitude?

We know the answer to that last question, but we are fearful that the answer will be another huge amnesty with no border security. 

Winning the current immigration reform debate means controlling our borders and not legalizing those who came here illegally. The outlook is desperate.

The greed of the businesses that have paid Congress to turn a blind eye to the growing immigration problem for 40 years has created 11 to 20 million illegal aliens here. Many of their legal relatives already here seem to think more is merrier.

The self appointed ethnic lobbies like La Raza and LULAC then piled on, with big money from many leading US corporations, and with the encouragement of religious leaders like Cardinal Roger Mahony of LA and many well-meaning bleeding hearts, this powerhouse, self-interested coalition so far has beaten back the objections of the 80 percent of us citizens who want real border security. 

We average citizens are without PACs.  We have the power of the polls to discipline our 2 major parties. But since both of them are on the payroll of this open border coalition, winning will be elusive—in the short run.

As I write this on Wednesday night, the issue hangs in the balance in the Senate. America as a whole, however, has long since voted no.

Donald A. Collins [email him], is a freelance writer living in Washington DC and a former long time member of the board of FAIR, the Federation for American Immigration Reform. His views are his own.

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