Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Another GOP Motive

First, it was former Republican Senatorial candidate Carly Fiorina of California telling GOP TV's Fox & Friends on July 2 (at 4:02 of the video, below)

We must have a temporary worker program that works.

Later that same day, former House Speaker Newt Gingrich told the network's Greta van Susteren

I think, in the end, both a solution to the border and a solution to having some kind of guest worker program that's real.

Arizona Senator Jon Kyl, on Fox News Sunday, was more specific when on July 11 he responded to a question from host Chris Wallace by maintaining (beginning at 1:58 of video, way below):

We do need a temporary worker program. But the labor unions in this country that -- at least some of whom were willing to support that three years ago are no longer willing to do it.

And you're right, a temporary worker program would have to be a part of any comprehensive immigration reform, and there isn't support for that in the Congress right now.

This is only three Republicans, but you would have to look long and hard to find a Republican who explicitly opposes a guest worker program.

In the short term, any form of comprehensive immigration reform faces nearly insurmountable obstacles. But the demand for the federal government to "do something" will only grow over time and the temptation to worsen the situation will grow. A temporary worker program is popular among Republicans- and some Democrats- eager to see increased comptetition for a diminishing number of jobs and an immigrant workforce beholden to employers. It may prove to be the component drawing enough moderates and conservatives to "reform" to enable passage of truly destructive legislation.

If so, we may go the way of Germany where, as The New Republic noted in an article no longer available online

more than two million Muslims of Turkish origin--whose families came as guest workers four decades ago--live today. They live in Germany not as Germans, but in a strange sort of nationless limbo--afforded certain benefits of citizenship (such as health care) but denied the privilege of actually being citizens. Which, of course, denies them any incentive to assimilate to their new country. The prospect of such a thing happening in the United States with mexican guest workers is only too real.

This possiblity is enhanced because the GOP fears nothing more than a wave of immigrants, currently in the U.S.A. or to come, which would have the right to vote. Republicans increasingly are staking their claim to office by appealing to non-Hispanics dead set against increased immigration. These voters generally are not partial to a temporary-worker program- but the GOP core of corporate interests and small business owners is.

The party may find a way to make the dreams of their economic base come true. After all, what this nation so desperately needs are more workers competing for an ever-diminishing pool of jobs with reduced benefits and incomes that don't keep up with the cost of living.

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