I am not a Latino, and so I don't pretend to speak for them. For that reason, I ask: would Latino Americans prefer a "guest worker" program vs. no immigration reform bill (with a path to citizenship) passing during the second Obama term? Stated simply, would a "guest worker" scheme be better than nothing, better than the status quo?
I ask the question because it seems quite apparent that the current Republican Congress members (whether through a Senate filibuster and/or the House "majority of the majority" rule) will not pass an immigration bill that includes a path to citizenship component. We can pretend otherwise. Republicans can delay and dodge, but, if we are honest, at present the only achievable immigration bill will be some form of a "guest worker" bill - - something which is already being described as a "Non-Permanent Legal Resident."
It is a status which will be "legal," but it will not entail citizenship, voting, SS, Medicare or (probably) Obamacare, among other things. It will be "legal" and presumably eliminate the fear of deportation. It will allow a "resident" life in the U.S. - - something like a "green card," but also presumably less in terms of security. At bottom, it will be a "guest worker" status - - however advertised. And a "guest worker" program has been a long Republican aim, not a compromise on their part.
For myself, I think this is a fundamentally bad idea and a corrosive precedent. But I also recognize that I am considering policy somewhat (but not entirely) abstractly, rather than as a direct/personal/family experience. Plainly, the opinion of the community most affected should be given great weight. So what does the hispanic community think? Is it a "path to citizenship" or bust? Or does the Republican "guest worker" plan hold any appeal as a compromise?
I ask because I also think this will be the core question for the Left: smartly compromise or smartly fight longer? If a bi-partisan, immigration reform bill is is a guest-worker program, is that pragmatic progress? Or is it dumb policy and capitulation? Why not start the debate?