The Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) will release a report today, titled "Close to Slavery: Guestworker Programs in the
Among other things, the
report charges that those workers are routinely cheated out of wages; forced to
mortgage their futures to obtain low-wage, temporary jobs; held virtually
captive by employers who seize their documents; forced to live in squalid
conditions; and denied medical benefits for injuries.
"Congress should reform our broken
immigration system, but reform should not rely on creating a vast new
guestworker program," said Mary Bauer, director of the SPLC’s Immigrant
Justice Project and author of the report. "The current program is shamefully
abusive in practice, and there is almost no enforcement of worker rights."