I am really skeptical of guestworker programs doing anything other than providing a structure to exploit vulnerable workers. The history of guestworker programs is basically terrible and the present isn’t much better. The Chamber of Commerce and AFL-CIO came to a deal last weekend on including guestworker programs in immigration reform. Let’s hope the guarantees, mostly around pay rates, mean anything.
Josh Eidelson has a long piece at Dissent on how guestworkers are exploited today and how there are some important examples of standing up and fighting back. It’s a must read for anyone interested in these issues.