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Eric Hogue- Contributor

Eric Hogue is a talk radio host at Sacramento station KTKZ and s the principal behind the blog Hogue Blog. [go to Hoge index]

Guest Worker Program - Yes!
It's the right idea...
[Eric Hogue] 2/7/05

I'm tired of the 'banging of the pots and the pans' for ratings and attention - it will cost the Republican elections in the future, then we hand over to the Democrats this all important issue. Careful of those you listen to and follow to Washington DC...there is more to this issue than just driver's license and saying 'No' to everything.

I was also encouraged to read that Congressman Dan Lungren, (he was on the show today, I will have his interview text available at Hogue Blog site in the future.), has thrown his support behind the "Guest Worker Program" as well. People are beginning to understand that SOMETHING has to be done - it is a singular step in the right direction.

I've also been encouraged by the Senior Editor of the Sacramento Union, Ken Grubbs and my partner in Salem Radio Talk, Hugh Hewitt - they both understand this all encompassing national issue.

Congressman Issa is supportive, Congressmen Rohrabacher and Pombo are still at odds over the concept, but we are ALL talking about the plan on the show. Intelligent talk radio with dialogue and discussion; no "Tick Tock McLaughlin banging of the pots and the pans" for attention on KTKZ.

Let me address some of my discussion rules before we get started here. What I'm supporting is the "Guest Worker Program"; this is NOT to say that I don't support other measures like border security, strength or concerns surrounding items like the California driver's license. For the sake of singular debate, we need to separate some topics for this discussion.

When we discuss the "Guest Worker Program" we are NOT talking about the border(s).

I think we ALL agree that the borders need to be strengthened. In the end, the debate surrounding the "Guest Worker Program" may help this issue, but the merits of a "Guest Worker Program" should NOT be tied directly to the border solutions. They are related but not brothers.

In the end I believe there will be deal; "you get the "Guest Worker", we get fortified borders". Good for the party, good for America; this is why the Republican Party is the ONLY party that can accomplish 'something' of a solution to address illegal immigration.

We also need top separate the driver's license issue from the "Guest Worker Program".

There should be no driver's license for those who are NOT legal citizens of California (USA), but if you are a VISA, Green Card or the new "Guest Worker", you will need a means of transportation (in country and returning to country, back and forth for visitations.) Passing a test, acquiring auto insurance and a document that is NOT legal Driver's License needs to be determined.

Maybe the employer can be involved in this process. Maybe Congressman David Drier's "Social Security" data swipe can address this issue. The conflict over driver's license has yet to be resolved - except for one fact, only legal citizens can have a legal driver's license.

For the sake of "Guest Worker" dialogue, let's keep the License debate where it is, related but not married to the success of the 'Bush GW' concept.

The "Guest Worker Program" is about 10-12 million jobs that American's WILL NOT take and our economy is in dire need of filling.

How can a country that has been built by immigrant's hands say no to families (workers) who just want the same opportunity of labor and pay that we all enjoy? A Christian nation does not look the other way; A father who wants to feed his family, a mother who wants a better way of life for her family - these individuals need to be shown compassion, not radio rants and ridiculous antics. If they are here to work, then put them to work.

The combination of a very corrupt Mexican government with the 'land of opportunity' resting next door creates much (if not all) of the illegal status. What is the average time period for an immigrant to become a legal citizen in the US? The last I checked, wasn't it 3-4 years? The "Green Card" program and VISA program(s) have passed their prime.

The corrupt Mexican government starves their citizens and the temptation of America entices them...they risk it and come and herein lies the greatest problem - it has been worth the risk.

We have an immigration problem, NOT an immigrant problem.

I was shocked to hear another Sacramento talk show host claim that the driver of the SUV who attempted suicide in Glendale, California was an illegal immigrant. This host USED his claim as reason for immigration reform. First, what does this have to do with the event? Legal citizen's don't attempt suicide or crimes just illegal Mexican immigrants? The "Radical Radio rhetoric" comes across sounding a bit racist to me; how about to you?

This is the danger, sounding racial or radical will cost the Republican Party the majority and future elections.

Why do we want to return the 'new demographics' of Latino and Hispanic voters to the Democrat Party?

Why do we work so hard at gaining the majority only to lose it with issues like this, dividing the GOP?

In the end, the Sacramento Talker was WRONG, very wrong! The SUV driver was legal - he just had a Mexican last name. Talk about affording the 'left' the hammer to beat us up over immigration and the Latino/Hispanic vote. Thanks, but no thanks...I'll stay clear of the racial overtones directed at immigrants who just want what we ALL have in America. They are NOT evil, just normal human beings who desire what we all desire. (BTW, the talker has never offer an apology for his erroneous claim and racial overtone - don't hold your breathe.)

Now, back to solutions...

When you consider a problem, you must consider TWO elements; (1) the "cost" it has on society and then (2), the "contribution" it makes to society.

We must never forget that immigrant workers, whether legal or illegal, represent nearly 80% of the jobs that American workers WILL NOT fulfill. When we scream, 'round them up and send them home', what we are representing is 10-12 million economical holes.

Yes, the illegal status has a huge burden on our budgets when it comes to education, welfare and healthcare. Yet, what is the amount of benefit for our economy?

What we may save in the end on tax burden might damage our (American Farmer) economy so severely that we lose in the competition and revenue department even more.

The "Guest Worker Program" will:

1. Make for legal immigrant workers who do NOT have to wait 2-3 years to become legal, or apply for a 10-month worker's permit and work the job for only a portion of the year. It will bring 10 million 'unknowns' out of the dark and into the light, as 'known' immigrant workers. The program will entice more to come, but legally through a system, not a coyote! (Control the border and you can control the legal guest worker program.)

2. There will be background checks on ALL guest workers. Here we will have information (personal data) for those who are desiring to come to America and work. If they are here for crime, terrorism or other illegal purposes - we will have the knowledge of who they are and where they are to deal with them. I think you would agree, this is better than having no idea...our current system.

3. Our 'jobs demand' will be met and can even increase, helping the US compete with the global economy and marketplace. Right now, all we are suggesting - by returning immigrants - is a lowering of our ability for future competition and success.

4. The "Guest Worker Program" will enforce payroll taxes for education and healthcare. This will help the relieve the burden of the current 'secret worker' campaign. Plus, if wages go up so will revenue.

5. They will have the '3+3 option' - no amnesty. Apply for three years, re-apply for three more. Enough time to become legal or to determine the route back home to Mexico, with a Social Security retirement benefit that will support (encourage) such a move into the country. If they decide to become legal citizens, then they have done so through the legal process. The number of yearly "Guest Worker" applicants and workers will need to be determined.

6. The American worker will be protected. The US employer will have to prove the he/she cannot fulfill the job with a Legal US Laborer. Then they will go to the "Guest Worker Data Website" to contact a 'guest worker' for employment. The government, the employer and the employee are ALL involved - with full records and data. This is something that has NEVER happened before.

7. On of the 'unkown' benefits will be the salary. When (if) this "Guest Worker" is passed, there will be liberals who will be successful in passing government standards for both the employee and the employer. One area that will be greatly impacted will be 'rate of pay'. What will start out as a $3 an hour job will grow into a government forced $7 an hour job.

Yes, it will impact the costs on the products, but it will also increase the desire of the American worker. More American (legal citizens) desiring the job LESS illegal temptation and availability. In the end, the market will determine the rate and the market will contribute the adjustment of immigrant worker versus citizen worker - something that everyone debates. America will continue its competition in the global economy.

8. Severe consequences upon the business who hire illegally. There are some who disagree with me here. They don't want government involved in employment contracts between employer and employee. I agree to a point. This would be government involvement between an American business owner and a hired temporary worker. We will NEED government oversight for the protection of the country and the protection of the program. If it were between two legal citizens, then I agree with the libertarian concerns here.

I know it is NOT the best program - not perfect by any stretch of the imagination, but it has a result that can be successful.

My major concern; if we, the Republican Party, do nothing to address immigration, then we had this issue over to the Democrats who will elections and make immigration a deeper voter constituency than it already is for the liberals of this nation.

Time to be smarter than the average radio talk show host - time to live beyond the 'rants and the banging of the pots and the pans'.

Something is better than nothing very careful of those who create promotional antics for self-promotion. Be very, very careful folks! CRO

copyright 2005 Eric Hogue






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