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What Are Guest Workers?

A guest worker is a foreigner who is working as a legal employee in the United States. These guest workers are sponsored by U.S. employers, and are allowed to work legally for approximately three years. They are required to work on their green card application within those three years, or else face deportation afterwards if the necessary documents are not ready.

A Mexican guest worker program known as the Bracero Program, ran in the period of 1942 to 1964. Although these foreigners were given employment opportunities and other benefits while staying legally on American soil, they were still considered second-class citizens and have never been granted citizenship. Some of the issues connected with the U.S. guest worker program are labor shortage and economic impact. Because some of these foreign workers are highly qualified and skilled in their own right, locals often perceive them as economic threats especially in difficult times like the global recession being faced today. Competition for employment amongst blue collar workers have become tougher since most of these guest workers are given low rank positions.

Other issues related to the U.S. guest worker program are people smuggling, human trafficking and population impact. Because legal fees for company sponsorship is generally high, some employers opt to accept workers who don't require legal papers for their employment. Although this is not considered a part of the guest worker program, may foreigners still fall for this bait for want to a better life than what they have in their own country.

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