Why we shouldn’t have a “Guest Worker Program” for Illegal Immigrants

May 4, 2007

We hear politicians recommend a temporary guest worker program for illegal immigrants so they can be able to legally stay in the country.

Other than being amnesty for lawbreakers, there are other problems with such programs. For example, such programs can lead to exploitation of the workers, besides other problems.Reuters reported that they are used to recruit many thousands of unskilled foreign workers. And the employers are given a lot of power over the workers which make it little less than slavery.

Mary Bauer, the director of the immigrant justice project for the Center , said: “Workers are abused fairly systematically. This is not a question of bad employers. It’s built into the structure of the program. . . . There are few legal rights and the legal rights that do exist are almost never enforced …. Right now it (the program) is the subject of chronic, shameful abuses,” (1)

Many of the workers have to pay thousands of dollars to their employers for jobs ad visas and also sign over deeds of their own property and cars from their native countries, leaving themselves in a lot of dept. Then they also don’t get medical care in case of an accident and earn much less than the minimum wage. (2)

Despite these conditions, many don’t complain out of fear of getting fired or blacklisted. (3) However, others take the chance. In another report, many guest workers from India got fired for complaining about slave conditions in their guest worker program from Signal International, comparing it to slavery. (4)

The executive director of the Mississippi Immigrant Rights Alliance claims that “they were hired in India by a labor recruiter sent by Signal. They had to pay exorbitant amounts to the company, to the recruiter and to the attorney who did the labor certification for them.” (5)Many of the guest workers claimed that even though they were promised jobs, they ended up paying $20,000 to the recruiters. Then they were promised that they would be reimbursed. (6)

Joseph Jacob, one of the guest workers said:
“I had to pay $14,000. I worked for years in Abu Dhabi and Saudi Arabia, and I spent all the money I had to get the visa, which the recruiter promised would be a permanent residence visa. But that visa never came, and finally he said they could get us a H2B visa. That would give us ten months of work, and if the company renewed it, we might get as much as 30 months. I thought that was the only way I’d ever be able to get back the money they’d taken.” (7)

Other complaints of these guest workers include that they were promised to get paid about $18 an hour. But they only got half of that. And the wages of many of the workers were then reduced. (8)

Philip Martin of the University of California says:

“Guest workers everywhere are associated with distortion and dependence that lead to larger and longer-lasting labor imports than were anticipated. Whether in U.S. agriculture in the 1940s and 1950s, in Western Europe in the 1960s and 1970s, or the Middle East and Asia since the 1970s, importing foreign workers to cope with ‘temporary’ labor shortages inevitably distorts the economy and increases the dependence of some employers on foreign workers, while some workers, families, and regions come to rely on jobs and wages abroad.” (9)

Also, such programs are costly.

The Federation for American Immigration Reform calculates that the cost of a Guest Worker Program on local communities at the present costs $36 billion. It projects that in 2010 it will cost $61.5 billion, and $106.3 billion in 2020. (10)

Guest Worker programs displace American workers. And more guest workers, who are paid 15 to 30% less than native born American workers would cause wages to go down for Americans. (11)

FAIR also says:
“History shows that ‘guestworkers’ rarely go home. Why would we expect the participants in a new guestworker scheme to leave at the end of their participation in the program? If they can become legal aliens, they will stay, and if they can’t, they are still likely to remain. After all, many of them will have already lived here as illegal aliens before participating in the program. What enforcement mechanisms will ensure that they don’t simply remain as illegal aliens after their legal participation in the guestworker program is over? No ‘partial withholding of wages’ will convince them to go home when they can continue to earn more money by staying in the U.S. illegally.” (12)

Also, if we have economic problems then many guest workers will be laid off. And if that happens then they will most likely stay and become a greater burden to Americans. (13)
After researching the matter, my conclusion about guest worker programs is that, other than being amnesty for lawbreakers, they are also exploitive of the workers, they are really costly to local tax payers, and they displace other workers. And they hardly ever go home after their terms as guest workers expire.

I believe that, in the long run, it would be better to enforce the law than to reward illegal immigrants with the opportunity to be able to stay in the country.


  1. U.S. “guest” worker program exploitative: report,                    http://www.reuters.com/article/topNews/idUSN1237714820070312
  2. Ibid
  3. Ibid, page 2, http://www.reuters.com/article/topNews/idUSN1237714820070312?pageNumber=2
  4. Guest Workers Fired After Protesting Slave like Conditions,                                   http://www.politicalaffairs.net/article/articleview/4998/1/247/
  5. Ibid
  6. Ibid
  7. Ibid
  8. Ibid
  9. There is Nothing More Permanent than Temporary Foreign Workers, http://www.cis.org/articles/2001/back501.pdf
  10. The Cost to Local Taxpayers for illegal or “Guest” Workers, http://www.fairus.org/site/PageServer?pagename=research_localcosts
  11. How Guestworker programs Harm American Workers, http://www.fairus.org/site/PageServer?pagename=iic_immigrationissuecenters0787
  12. Ibid
  13. What’s Wrong with the Proposals for a new Guestworker program?, http://www.fairus.org/site/PageServer?pagename=iic_immigrationissuecenters03eb

The Cost of deporting Illegal Aliens against Permitting them to Remain

May 4, 2007

It is important to know the cost of mass deportation of illegal immigrants as well as keeping them in the United States.So I’m going to attempt to use sources to figure out which would cost more. Even though I fully support the enforcement of our immigration laws, it would be dishonest of me to say that it wouldn’t cost anything to just deport 12 million illegal aliens that are in the country. So I’m going to use the information available to me at the moment, starting with the cost of deporting illegal aliens.

The Cost of Mass Deportation

A study done by a liberal think tank, the Center for American Progress, shows the cost of the deportation of 12 million illegal immigrant to be $215 billion over five years.

The details of the study include the costs as such:

Finding and catching illegal immigrants: $158 billion

Detaining illegal immigrants: $34 billion

Beds for illegal immigrants: $3 billion

Legal proceedings: $11 billion

Transportation for deported illegal immigrants: $9 billion

However they study also concluded that three million illegal aliens would deport themselves if such a mass deportation happened. (1)

Dividing the cost of deporting all illegal aliens over the five years it would be charged would end up costing $43 billion a year. Admittedly, this is a huge cost. And to be honest, this is a cost that many on my side of the argument do not take into account.But we also need to take into account the cost of permitting illegal aliens to stay.

The Cost of Permitting Illegal Immigrants to stay


Now I am going to give estimates of the cost of allowing illegal aliens to stay in the country.

The Federation for American Immigration Reform has done estimates on the cost of illegal immigration that have been shown to be useful.FAIR says that the estimated cost of illegal immigration in 1996 was about $33 billion. Taxes payed by illegal aliens to the federal, state and local governments brought the final cost to the tax payers was $20 billion a year.

In 2004, FAIR estimated that the total cost now would be at least $70 billion a year. With the increased (sales) tax collections from illegal immigrants in consideration the net cost comes to be $45 billion a year, still leaving the American tax payers in the red.

Also indirect costs would now be about $10 billion a year now. (2) Assuming that this extra cost should be added, this would leave the cost of illegal immigration to tax payers as $55 billion a year.

The Center for Immigration Studies also says that even though illegal aliens contribute $4,200 per household to the federal governments (that is $16 billion a year) they also impose a cost of $6,950 each (that is $26 billion). So the final cost to the government would be $10 billion a year. (3)

So adding FAIR’s estimated cost of illegal immigration to tax payers to CIS’s estimated cost to the government I have to conclude that the final cost of illegal immigration to the United States is at least $65 billion a year.


Assuming that these estimates are right then the cost of permitting illegal aliens to stay in the U.S. may outweigh the cost of deporting them by $22 billion a year.

But we must also take into account that we would have to pay for the mass deportation of illegal immigrants for only five years. If we permit them to remain in the country then we will continue to pay for them for many more years to come.

Even if we should only count FAIR’s projection of $45 billion without the extra $10 billion of fiscal costs and also the and also without the CIS estimate of the cost of illegal aliens to the government alone then, in the long run, allowing illegal immigrants to remain in the United States would still be greater.
So in the long run, deportation would actually be cheaper.[I would like to add that I am not necessarily endorsing mass deportation. I am merely attempting to make a point that it is more expensive to permit illegal aliens to remain in the country. There are easier and cheeper ways of doing it, in my opinion.]


  1. Cost of expelling 12 million illegal immigrants: $215 billion, http://www.signonsandiego.com/news/nation/20060407-1140-wst-immigration-massdeportation.html

  2. The Estimated Cost of illegal immigration, http://www.fairus.org/site/PageServer?pagename=iic_immigrationissuecentersf134

  3. The Costs of Illegal Immigration
    Illegals Cost Feds $10 Billion a Year; Amnesty Would Nearly Triple Cost, http://www.cis.org/articles/2004/fiscalrelease.html

The Los Angeles Times LIES about the cost of Illegal Immigration

May 4, 2007
The Los Angeles Times LIES about the cost of Illegal Immigration
On the 14th of March 2007, a study from the American Medical Association said that illegal immigrants have driven the price of medicaid by 28%. Today, on the 19 the Los Angeles Times has twisted the number bringing it down to 1%.
First I give you the breif LA Times article followed by the what the study really says:
The health costs of immigrants
From Times wire reports
March 19, 2007

Less than 1% of Medicaid spending went to healthcare for illegal immigrants, according to a study that the researchers said defied a common belief that they are a bigger drain on taxpayer money.The study, published March 14 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Assn., appeared in an issue of the journal devoted to access to medical care in the United States.Concern has been growing over rising U.S. healthcare costs and the number of people lacking health insurance, as well as controversy over illegal immigration.
Now for the truth. The study that the LA Times claims to cite is below:
Trends in Emergency Medicaid Expenditures for Recent and Undocumented Immigrants
C. Annette DuBard, MD, MPH; Mark W. Massing, MD, MPH, PhD
JAMA. 2007;297:1085-1092.
March 14, 2007
Context Undocumented immigrants and legal immigrants who have been in the United States less than 5 years are excluded from Medicaid eligibility, with the exception of limited coverage for emergency conditions (Emergency Medicaid). New immigrant population growth has been rapid in recent years, but little is known about use of health services by this group or the conditions for which Emergency Medicaid coverage has been applied.

Objective To describe Emergency Medicaid use by recent and undocumented immigrants including patient characteristics, diagnoses, and recent spending trends in North Carolina, a state with a rapidly increasing population of undocumented immigrants.

Design, Setting, and Patients Descriptive analysis of North Carolina Medicaid administrative data for all claims reimbursed under Emergency Medicaid eligibility criteria 2001 through 2004 in North Carolina, a state with high immigration from Mexico and Latin America. Patients are recent and undocumented immigrants who meet categorical and income criteria for Medicaid coverage, but are excluded from full coverage due to legal status.
Main Outcome Measures Patient characteristics, hospitalizations, diagnoses, and Medicaid spending for emergency care.

Results A total of 48 391 individuals received services reimbursed under Emergency Medicaid during the 4-year period of this study. The patient population was 99% undocumented, 93% Hispanic, 95% female, and 89% in the 18- to 40-year age group. Total spending increased by 28% from 2001 through 2004, with more rapid spending increases among elderly (98%) and disabled (82%) patients. In 2004, childbirth and complications of pregnancy accounted for 82% of spending and 91% of hospitalizations. Injury, renal failure, gastrointestinal disease, and cardiovascular conditions were also prevalent.

Conclusions Childbirth and complications of pregnancy account for the majority of Emergency Medicaid spending for undocumented immigrants in North Carolina. Spending for elderly and disabled patients, however, is increasing at a faster rate. Among nonpregnant immigrants, injuries, other acute emergencies, and severe complications of chronic disease are major contributors to Emergency Medicaid use.

Author Affiliations: Cecil G. Sheps Center for Health Services Research, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill; Division of Medical Assistance, North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services, Raleigh (Dr DuBard); The Carolinas Center for Medical Excellence, Cary, NC (Dr Massing).
I hope this has helped you all.

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May 4, 2007

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