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June 22, 2006

los pineros -- men of the pines

A key point in the bill that passed the Senate is "portability" of guest worker status - the right to move to a different company without jeapardizing immigration status. Current guest workers do not have that privilege and many essentially work as indentured servants -- without knowledge of their labor rights.

The Southern Poverty Law Center is currently working on a class action law suit on behalf of many forestry guest workers. Bear in mind that these are legal immigrants -- and this is yet another reason why our broken system must be reformed. In this article, Beneath the Pines: Stories of Migrant Tree Planters you can read first-hand accounts of the abuses endured.

Then watch this PBS video Be our Guest.

The crumbling immigration policy cannot be repaired by politicians filled with self-ambition. It long ago became less about fixing policy and more about fixing an election year. It is tragic -- not necessarily for the taxpayer, but for the human lives that broken laws allow to be abused each day.

Posted by almamia at June 22, 2006 12:08 PM


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