Mistreating The Guests

Bush insists on a new guest-worker program as part of immigration reform, but immigrant rights advocates argue that it will lead to exploitation

George W. Bush's insistence on a new guest-worker program as part of any immigration reform has infuriated many conservatives, but it is also sounding alarm bells among some immigrant-rights advocates. The Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) argues that many guest workers already in the U.S. are being cruelly exploited--sometimes in government jobs--and fears that any expansion will lead to more instances of what Mary Bauer, an SPLC lawyer, calls "indentured servitude."

About 10,000 guest workers, mostly Mexican and Guatemalan, have temporary visas to plant trees and clear brush on private land or tracts owned by the U.S. Forest Service. Called pineros...

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