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Some fine print on the new "Coyote Law"

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  • Al Soto
    HispanicVista Columnists Fine Print on Bush’s Temporary Guest Worker Plan is not Immigrant Friendly By Erika Robles On January 2004, the Urban Institute
    Message 1 of 1 , Feb 1, 2005

      HispanicVista Columnists

      Fine Print on Bush�s Temporary Guest Worker Plan is not Immigrant Friendly

      By Erika Robles

      On January 2004, the Urban Institute Immigration Studies Program released a data sheet regarding the basic characteristics of the current undocumented immigrant population in the United States. According to the report, there are 1.     approximately 9.3 million undocumented immigrants in the U.S.  Of these 9.3 million,

      2.     approximately 65 percent are working, representing 5 percent of the labor force in the U.S.

      Despite the fact that two-thirds of the undocumented workers receive less than twice the minimum wage, among the undocumented men, an astonishing 96 percent are in the work force. This is due to the fact that "undocumented workers are less likely to be disabled, retired, or in school," the report stated.

      During Bush's 2000 campaign, he originally pushed the idea to push for a guest-worker program, but it took a back seat to national security after Sept. 11, 2001. On January 2004, Bush publicly proposed the new temporary worker program "new immigration laws should serve the economic needs of our country. If an American employer is offering a job that American citizens are not willing to take, we ought to welcome into our country a person who will fill that job. �

      We should not give unfair rewards to illegal immigrants in the citizenship process or disadvantage those who came here lawfully, or hope to do so.  �New laws should provide incentives for temporary, foreign workers to return permanently to their home countries after their period of work in the United States has expired..."

      He continued to explain that the program will only offer legal status as temporary workers to millions of undocumented workers. "This new system should be clear and efficient, so employers are able to find workers quickly and simply. All who participate in the temporary worker program must have a job, or, if not living in the United States, a job offer. The legal status granted by this program will last three years and will be renewable -- but it will have an end."

      The sentence "it will have an end" made it clear that this program will never grant legal permanent residence. let alone citizenship to those workers, no matter how long they have worked and lived in the United States. So, if there are still people out there thinking that this program is some kind of amnesty, please read those words again:

      "� it will have an end". Furthermore, the hiring employer, must report to the government the temporary workers they hire, and who leave their employ, so that they can keep better track of people in the program, and better enforce immigration laws.

      It is clear by the great number of people being deported since Bush took office, that his administration is committed in removing those who have entered the country illegally. Therefore, who is to say that they will not order the applicant removed once he/she apply?

      After all, if they do not get approved, the Citizenship and Immigration Services (CIS) will already know he is in the country illegally and will already have all the details to order him removed.

      This program expects temporary workers to return permanently to their home countries after their period of work in the United States has expired. "I oppose amnesty, placing undocumented workers on the automatic path to citizenship. Granting amnesty encourages the violation of our laws, and perpetuates illegal immigration," Bush stated.

      According to Bush's speech on the matter, "decent, hard-working people will now be protected by labor laws, with the right to change jobs, earn fair wages, and enjoy the same working conditions that the law requires for American workers." However, in order to make sure these temporary workers return to their home countries, the program supports the notion of making them contribute a portion of their earnings to tax-preferred savings accounts and be able to collect that money until they return to their countries.

      Bottom line, the proposal welcomes newcomers, but only for a temporary time. After their time expires and a renewal is denied, they will have to go back to their home country; if they don't, CIS would already have all the information they need to track and deport them. The idea of a temporary-worker program sounds fantastic; what it doesn't is the small print written below it. It is what I call "an incomplete proposal."

      Hispanics were important to Bush's re-election; but he still hasn't found a way to pay them back.
      Erika Robles, a contributing columnist to HispanicVista.com (www.hispanicvista.com), is a writer and translator now living in Eugene
      , Oregon. She was educated in Mexico City; London, England; and Melbourne, Australia. Contact at: erobleswords@....  Web page: http://www.geocities.com/oakspublishing

      The news is to be reported not to sway opinion. No more melodrama of constant entertainment trivia on news time. The founding fathers knew that government is always corrupt, that is why they gave us civil liberties.  The people must lead to survive corrupt governments. Read the constitution. (In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, this includes information for research and educational purposes.)  Al Soto (c) 2004

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