As mad as I am about the Dems bending over and dropping trou for the Decider on the Iraq war bill, there’s actually another case of “surrender monkeying” that bothers me more, and that’s the much-heralded “guest worker” immigration compromise that is also (in all likelihood) going to fly its way to Bush’s seal of approval soon.
Why does this bother me?
I don’t think it’s coincidental that this bill came up concurrently with the Dems tying domestic spending–including the long-awaited minimum wage increase–to the Iraq bill. Businesses are apoplectic at the idea of actually having to pay their workers more, so the concept of flooding the country with hundreds of thousands of “guest workers” who’ll work for less than $7.25 seems like an attractive sop indeed. The Senate, at least, showed some gumption by halving the number of approved guest workers from 400,000 to 200,000. But that’s still 200,000 more workers who will be able to drain bargaining power away from American workers through their will to work for less. On top of that, many of those workers will have to go back to their home countries between stays in America if they’re heads of a household–and how easy do you think it’ll be for them to get back in once the gates slam behind them?
So it’ll be an endless revolving door of cheap labor that American workers in the retail and service industries will have to compete against, reducing their strength to bargain and overall market power.
But business doesn’t get a free hand in this bill–no, sir. The onerous new reporting and eligibility requirements have employers seeing red:
The bill would require all employers to enroll in the Basic Pilot program within 18 months of the lawâ€™s enactment, but the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) says it would have to add from 30,000 to 40,000 employers per day to meet that deadline, Aitken said. In addition, employers would have to re-verify their entire existing workforce within three years of the bill becoming law, he said. â€œA longer phase-in time would be more realistic,â€ he stated. The bill increases the amount of paperwork related to the employment verification process and requires employers to keep each employeeâ€™s documents on file for up to seven years, he added.
Over at Dr. Identity, I note what a tremendous security disaster and potential privacy invasion this bill will be. Imagine a gigantic database of taxpayer and employee information that stays on record for seven years, is searchable by DHS, and may contain inaccurate information that no one can verify? It makes REAL ID look like a lazy Sunday afternoon.
They say that compromise is a solution everyone hates. If that’s the case, then this bill definitely fulfills the definition. It screws pretty much everyone without lube, and the idea that the Dem leadership would so willingly hand this to Bush just so he can claim victory disappoints me to no end. People keep talking about the urgency of solving this, and I just don’t see it. Iraq is urgent. Global warming is urgent. This is a huge problem that will take years to solve, and ramming through a miserable failure of a bill like this does a disservice not only to the complexity of the issues, but to the public’s ability to tell truth from pandering bullshit.