A guest worker pro­gram could help

The Washington Times Weekly - - Letters To The Editor -

The il­le­gal im­mi­gra­tion sit­u­a­tion has be­come, if not ma­jor is­sue, cer­tainly a ma­jor is­sue in to­day’s pol­i­tics. What is amaz­ing to me is that peo­ple talk about it as if it is some­thing new. But, my friends, it is not.

Hav­ing grown up back dur­ing World War II, when we lacked work­ers be­cause most of our guys were in the mil­i­tary fight­ing, I saw and was in­volved with a guest worker pro­gram, and it did work. My fa­ther had a large fruit and veg­etable de­hy­dra­tion busi­ness. The gov­ern­ment, which oc­ca­sion­ally does some­thing right, put into play the guest worker pro­gram be­cause of the short­age of work­ers due to the war. Here’s how it worked.

My dad signed a con­tract with the gov­ern­ment to bring about 20 much-needed work­ers from Mex­ico to his plant. The con­tract stated he had to pay them a fixed amount, pay for their trans­porta­tion, and pro­vide hous­ing with a kitchen. The con­tract clearly stated that their stay was for only six


months but could be ex­tended if nec­es­sary.

There was a cou­ple I be­came friends with. When they left to re­turn home, it was a sad mo­ment. It turned out two of those guys did in fact re­turn for an­other six­month stay. One fel­low told me what he had earned while work­ing here was in their world a lot of money. He said he saved enough so that when he got home he was able to buy a small ranch for his fam­ily. So, there is one case where a guest worker pro­gram helped solve our worker short­age.

So, why not now? It’s called pol­i­tics. Our own gov­ern­ment “work­ers,” who should also be short-term “guest” work­ers,” al­ways need some­thing to grouse about. But se­ri­ously, a sim­i­lar guest worker pro­gram would in­deed be a so­lu­tion — af­ter we tightly se­cure our borders. H.K. Miller Weed, Cal­i­for­nia

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