A. The first stage for our immigration policy is stop supporting oligarchs, dictatorships, authoritarian regimes that drive people to leave their native lands out of economic desperation or political repression. Lots of people from Mexico and Central America would now be in those countries, not in this country, if they had a decent chance in a democratic society to have an adequate standard of living. We cannot have open borders. Thatís a totally absurd proposition. It would depress wages here enormously, and tens of millions of people from all levels, including scientists and workers, would be pouring into this country. One way is to provide work permits for people who come in and do work for short periods of time that Americans donít want to do instead of criminalizing the border.
A. Yes, under work permits, so everything is above board. So they are not exploited. Right now, employers have the best of both worlds. They exploit workers, they make huge profits, and they escape prosecution. Farm labor, whether American or unlawful immigrants, donít have the protection under labor laws that industrial workers have. The idea is to bring all farm labor under the Fair Labor Standards Act.
A: We need work permits for people who come in this country and do work, as in farm areas, instead of criminalizing the process. Second, a foreign policy that sides with workers and peasants for a change in democracy, instead of dictatorships and oligarchies, will reduce enormously the pressure of people under economic pressure and political repression from coming across the border. Most people donít want to leave their native land. But thereís another immigration issue, which is the brain drain. Silicon Valley, trying to get more computer specialists, and others trying to get physicians from other countries in the Third World that desperately need them. Weíve got to stop being a hog for the skilled people abroad. Thereís an African-American group that just started protesting Silicon Valleyís H-1B visa, pressure on Congress, saying there are African-Americans who are trained or could be trained to meet these jobs in the computer industry.
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George W. Bush
War & Peace