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Arizona Republic: Most support guest worker program for illegals

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Filed: Country: Philippines

(from today's editorial page)

One true thing rises above all the controversy over Senate Bill 1070: People know it is not the answer.

Yes, polls show the state's ill-conceived immigration law is popular.

But polls also show that the people understand complexities their political leaders ignore. An Arizona Republic poll found 62 percent support allowing illegal immigrants who are living here now to remain in the country if they have a job and no criminal record.

The same poll found 55 percent of Arizonans support SB 1070.

The strategy often damned as "amnesty" is more popular than the get-tough law.

This is not as contradictory as it may appear.

SB 1070 masquerades as a law-and-order solution. People want order. So do we. This editorial page has been calling for a federal overhaul of the immigration system since 2002 out of the same desire to replace the current chaos with an enforceable system.

Support for SB 1070 reflects bone-deep frustration with a broken system that brought death to our deserts and drophouses to our neighborhoods.

The feds have the authority, the duty and the ability to reform immigration laws. They've been unable to stand up to a vocal minority that opposes comprehensive reform.

Yet our poll - like previous national polls - shows people favor the elements of comprehensive reform.

Support for a path to legalization reflects an understanding that migrants crossed the border illegally on their way to jobs. Their labor contributed to our prosperity. Their spirit energized our communities. They are not disposable. They are human beings.

And their labor continues to be an asset to our economy.

Seventy-three percent of those polled favor a program to identify and put to work foreign workers when needed. This is the guest-worker component of comprehensive reform. It reflects the reality that our nation needs migrant workers.

The Republic's poll also shows people understand that controlling the border means controlling access to jobs. The vast majority of illegal border crossers come here to work - not collect benefits or ferry drugs.

Sixty-six percent support a law to require employers to verify the legal status of existing employees. Arizona has an employer-sanctions law. The federal government has long required employers to verify worker status. What's needed is an effective law that will be enforced. States can't do this. Congress must.

Blocking access to jobs is the key to controlling illegal immigration. Channeling workers through the ports of entry would allow the Border Patrol to focus on the real bad guys.

It will take years to resolve the court battles and sort out the social and political implications of Arizona's misbegotten immigration law.

But public opinion is clear right now.

The people of Arizona understand the complexity of a problem that politicians shrink down to bumper-sticker banality.

Our poll shows that people want comprehensive immigration reform, despite years of efforts to discredit the idea.

Read more: http://www.azcentral...l#ixzz0v1wdQlSl

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The bottom line is we've known all along that it is the responsibility of the feds and they haven't done their job!

'PAU' both wife and daughter in the U.S. 08/25/2009

Daughter's' CRBA Manila Embassy 08/07/2008 dual citizenship


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Filed: Timeline

So, by "guest worker", that means they come here to work for a limited period and go back home, without acruing any other legal status in the US?

Work-visa war: Critics claim guest workers streaming into state, taking jobs from Americans

WASHINGTON — While more than a million Floridians look for work during a crippling recession, tens of thousands of foreign "guest workers" are streaming into the state and other parts of the country to fill jobs that Americans supposedly will not do.

They install insulation in Pembroke Park, sell cosmetics in Sanford, tend stables in Wellington, clean hotel rooms in Orlando, wait on restaurant customers in Palm Beach Gardens and provide a wide variety of other unskilled labor throughout the state.

They earn as little as $7.25 an hour or as much as $12, $16 or $20.

Critics say some employers abuse this federal temporary-guest-worker program -- known as H-2B -- to exploit a low-paid and compliant work force while neglecting American job seekers.

"Ask yourself: Do you really think there are no Americans who can do these jobs?" said Greg Schell, an attorney in Palm Beach County for migrant workers, many of whom are Americans. "People right now are taking jobs way below what they used to do because they are desperate. Yet we are bringing in thousands under this program because of a so-called shortage of labor."


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