From a piece in Green Left by Peter Boyle:
An article in the January edition of the Reason written by Kerry Howlett supports President George Bush’s call for a guest worker program that partly legalizes the illegal migrant workers in the US in the same manner that this is being done in Singapore, where foreign labor contributed 3.2 percentage points of its annual growth rate of 7.8% in the 1990s.
But the dark side of such programs can be seen in countries like Malaysia. A March Newsweek piece entitled “Bottom of the Barrel” describes a large percentage of its estimated 2.5 million workforce fits the UN definition of forced laborers: “Malaysian law effectively makes every foreign worker a captive of the company that hired him or her. In the name of immigration control, employers … are required to confiscate guest workers’ passports and report any runaways to the police.”
Relying on a foreign workforce engenders complex questions about rights and freedoms that don’t have easy solutions.
Read the piece “Guest Workers or Modern Slavery?” by Peter Boyle in GreenLeft.org.