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 Would Illegal Immigrants Register for Guest Worker Visas? 
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Post Would Illegal Immigrants Register for Guest Worker Visas?
by: Donna Poisl

They might if they believed that they wouldn’t regret it later.

When all the politicians talk about immigration reform, are they really planning or even wanting to do something new? It helps the economy and many businesses to have workers who earn very low wages. It would in turn, hurt the economy to lose all these workers.

The House plan to build a wall on the border probably won’t pass in the Senate. But they might approve President Bush's plan to have everyone register for guest worker visas. This plan wants them to work here for two or three years and then leave, which sounds fine until we realize people might not want to leave. This plan would make their work lives safer and better for those two or three years, but once they are making better money than they were before and have a better life than they had before, what will they do? Give it all up to go back to the problems and poverty they left? I doubt it.

If everyone has to register, these people must be given a good reason to do it and not fear that they will regret it. They have to be shown that there are many advantages if they were working here legally:

~ The money they pay to people who smuggle them in would be saved.

~ They wouldn't be walking across a desert and be injured or die.

~ They wouldn't be breaking the law every day just by being here.

~ They wouldn't live in fear every day that they will be caught.

~ They wouldn’t be exploited by unscrupulous employers and landlords who know they won’t complain about their treatment.

~ If these people were registered workers, many of them would be able to go home to visit families they left a long time ago and haven't seen since. Once they got here, they became trapped on this side of the border, never able to visit their families because they feared being caught at the border when they came back in.

If a plan is enacted to have illegal immigrants register, perhaps a small part of their wages could be deducted and put into an escrow account to be given back to them when they leave permanently. This money might be enough for them to start a small business at home and would help their family and also their hometown. Some of them might take this money and go home, not all of these workers came here with the plan to stay.

If they didn't show up, deciding instead to stay illegally and take their chances here, their money would be kept and they will be deported if caught. Because these people were all working with a registered ID number, they could be found more easily than when they were using fake numbers.

If these people state that they want to apply for legal U.S. status at that time, they would have to prove that they had stayed out of trouble, learned English, established themselves in their community, kept their jobs, paid taxes and learned some of the things needed to become naturalized Americans. Then some of that money could be returned to them, possibly with strings attached as to how they could use it. They can then apply for legal status, with no guarantee they will be accepted, of course. But the chances they would be accepted would be good if they had worked here that long with no problems.

This might solve the problem of getting them to register if this is the plan that the government enacts. It’s too bad we can’t spend a fraction of the money we have spent rebuilding Iraq and help the Mexican economy. If Mexico and other Latin American countries had stronger economies, the people would probably stay home. We would all benefit and have a stronger ally on our southern border.

About The Author

Donna Poisl is President of Live & Thrive Press and the author of "How to Live & Thrive in the U.S. / Como Vivir y Prosperar en Estados Unidos". She wrote this reference guide to help immigrants learn our system and succeed in this country. Contact Donna at or Immigrants in USA Blog at

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Tue Nov 24, 2009 11:02 am
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