Border Security and Guest Workers Lumped Together for the Benefit of Special Interests in President Bush's State of Union Addres

Jan. 29, 2008

WASHINGTON, Jan. 29 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- In Monday's State of the Union Address, President Bush demonstrated his continued willingness to have U.S. immigration policy dictated by special interests instead of the American people. Stating "we will never fully secure our border until we create a lawful way for foreign workers to come here and support our economy," President Bush mixed together two distinct elements of immigration policy - border security and guest worker programs - in what appears to be a deliberate effort to obfuscate a sensible approach to both. Indeed, the President's statement implies that the government's only option is to surrender to big business special interests and their big appetites for more cheap foreign workers if we ever hope to attain true border security.

However, with the need for effective border security clearer than ever and the need for more foreign workers shown to be false, the country can not afford to confuse these issues, says the Federation for American Immigration Reform (FAIR).

When the President calls for more foreign workers "to support our economy," he is perpetuating the myth that there are jobs Americans won't do, parroting the demands for cheap labor from big business, and showing indifference towards middle class wages during the current economic downturn. A vast array of guest worker programs are already in place for high-tech workers, for seasonal agriculture workers, and for the tourism industry. If guest worker programs were in fact the true indicator of how secure our borders are, the plethora of existing guest worker programs should mean that illegal immigration is no longer a problem in America. We know this is not the case. The truth is that more guest worker programs mean greater profits for big business at the cost of the American taxpayer -- a fact that has been largely ignored.

Dan Stein , President of FAIR says "the President's claim that 'immigration is complicated' simply doesn't resonate with the American people. It may be to him, but the vast majority of Americans see simple workable solutions such as building the fence, penalizing employers who hire illegal aliens, and imposing reasonable limits on the vast array of guest worker programs that already exist. It isn't 'complicated' to protect American jobs and wages."

For more information on guest worker programs, see FAIR's The Guest Worker Amnesty Harms American Workers at:

About FAIR

Founded in 1979, FAIR is the country's largest and oldest immigration reform group. With over 250,000 members nationwide, FAIR fights for immigration policies that serve national interests, not special interests. FAIR believes that immigration reform must enhance national security, improve the economy, protect jobs, preserve our environment, and establish a rule of law that is recognized and enforced.


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