guest worker program draws mixed reviews
People in Santa Rita want their
young workers to stay home
Harkin: Make transit easier, legal
by art cullen
and many public officials here and in Mexico yearn for
a guest worker program that will bring foreign laborers
out of the shadows.
Police Chief Mark Prosser long has talked of the need
to get residents here properly documented so police
know with whom they are dealing: common laborer or
criminal. President Bush said early in his term that a
guest worker program was needed so Mexicans don’t
have to die in the desert; 9/11 pushed plans back.
Mexicans resent that Bush let down President Vicente
Fox. Many people in Santa Rita resent the fact that
their young leave, because every man who leaves is like
losing a son.
many people from Santa Rita are in Storm Lake and
Denison,” said Ruben Mendoza, who manages the
town’s pool hall. “They should be here, but
there are no jobs. We in Santa Rita are all good
friends, like family.”
the Administration signaled that it is ready to take
another run at immigration control and reform.
going to get control of our borders. We’ll make
this country safer for all our citizens,” Bush
said after signing a $32 billion domestic security bill
that includes 1,000 new agents and improved technology
for the Border Patrol.
Tuesday also called for a larger, more comprehensive
reform of the immigration system that includes a guest
is a system desperately in need of repair,”
Homeland Security Director Michael Chertoff told the
Senate Judiciary Committee.
proposes that immigrants in the US with a job would pay
a fee, and get legal documents that would allow the
immigrant to stay in the US for three years, renewable
for a second three-year term. After six years, the
immigrant would have to return to Mexico.
see, people are sneaking into our country to
work,” Bush said. “They want to provide for
their families. Family values do not stop at the Rio
immediately came under fire from conservatives and
liberals. Conservatives do not want amnesty for whom
they consider criminals. Liberals wonder why working,
otherwise law-abiding residents are not granted
Harkin, D-Iowa, does not anticipate a guest worker
program this year.
it comes to immigration, everyone takes a see no evil
hear no evil approach,” Harkin told The Storm
Lake Times on Thursday. “Nobody wants to do
whose mother emigrated from Yugoslavia, broadly
outlined his desired program:
have to straighten this mess out. We cannot go on like
this. We have 10 or 11 million illegal immigrants in
the United States now. They work hard. So let’s
make it a legal process so we can weed out the truly
illegal people, the criminals.
should be able to go to a place in Santa Rita and get a
work permit so you can work in Storm Lake, send money
home, travel back and forth and not live in fear.
wonderful people. And we need a workforce in America,
just as we did in previous waves of immigration like
the one my mother was in. We shouldn’t be afraid