Bernie’s position on the immigration reform bill came straight out of the Southern Poverty Law Center’s report on guest workers which concluded that guest worker programs were akin to slavery and that expanding the program would be very bad. The SPLC was against the immigration reform bill on those grounds. www.splcenter.org/…
I urge everyone to read this report. It’s a pdf and about 50 pages long, but there are charts and graphs and pictures.
The men had been recruited to plant pines in North Carolina, but after they arrived in the state, they were transported by van to Connecticut and forced to work nearly 80 hours a week in nursery fields. Their passports were confiscated and they were threatened with deportation and jail if they complained. --page 33
Guestworkers risk blacklisting and other forms of retaliation against themselves or their families if they sue to protect their rights. In one lawsuit, a labor recruiter threatened to burn down a worker’s village in Guatemala if he did not drop his case.
Guestworkers toil in some of the most dangerous occupations in the United States. Fatality rates for the agriculture and forestry industries, both of which employ large numbers of guestworkers, are more than 10 times the national average. Unfortunately, when H-2 workers suffer injuries on the job, all too often they are denied access to appropriate medical care and benefits. Those who are seriously injured face enormous, often insurmountable obstacles to obtaining workers’ compensation benefits.
Just go read it. But will anyone? Probably not. But anyway, this is the report that convinced Bernie Sanders to vote no.