Friday, January 09, 2004

Second thoughts on Bush's illegal immigration program 

Reading this post from Mike at Begging to Differ makes me think that Bush's "New Temporary Worker" program isn't going to have much impact, or at least not as much as I first thought. Mike points out that the temporary-worker status granted to illegal immigrants are, um, temporary, with a chance at renewal, so many of them will be hesitant to sign up and be more visible for deportation when they get fired or when their term expires. I also think that most employers will not want their workers to sign up for this either. If they do, they'll have to pay their workers minimum wage, which most probably do not do now, as well as the 15% payroll tax. So even with the program, most employers will probably continue to hire illegals and pay them under the table.

PS Unlike Mike, I think that the chances that the workers would get to stay after the expiration of their term is pretty good. For the bill to pass Congress, Bush will need many Democrats to vote for it, since many Republicans will not, and the Democrats are going to insist that the requirements for the workers to stay be softened.
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