The Scholar: St. Mary's Law Review on Race and Social Justice


Tory A. Cronin


In 2004, President George Bush offered a new proposal to provide temporary work permits to undocumented immigrants. His proposal, however, falls short of his goals to create an immigration system which serves the American economy and reflects the American Dream. This temporary worker program would provide labor for positions which Americans are not filling currently. For some reason, Americans seem averse to holding certain jobs even though these jobs are readily available. President Bush’s proposal, which he asked Congress to draft, alleviates pressure on American employers who wish to fill low-demand jobs with foreign laborers. The proposal accomplishes this by granting legal status to undocumented men and women who have employment offers or current jobs in America. The President’s goal is to provide employers with laborers in a quick and efficient manner. A laborer needs to have a job in America, or have a job offer in America, in order to participate in the temporary worker program. The biggest criticism of this proposal is the title itself. The title of the program implies a definite status for undocumented laborers. However, the program typically leads to permanent settlement. Additionally, the federal government does not have the capacity to carefully oversee such a program. President Bush’s proposal is unlikely to pass due to its many flaws. Further, the issue of terrorism is ever-present in any immigration scheme. America was built on the backs of immigrants and we should therefore exhaust as much energy as necessary to ensure this country is a welcome destination for those seeking work.

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St. Mary's University School of Law