Lazy Ignorance At The NEW YORK POST Over Guestworker Programs


One of the tiresome things about being engaged with immigration issues is the way important people—politicians, TV talking heads, newspaper editorialists—stubbornly refuse to inform themselves about basic facts.

Here is an example from the editorial columns of the New York Post a week ago:

The Post believes …  that America is desperately in need of a guest-worker program.  [NY City Council speaker’s immigration misstep by Post Editorial Board, New York Post, October 4th in the print edition.]

Always eager to help, I sent in the following to the Post’s “Letters to the Editor” e-address.

To the editors:

In your October 4th editorial you say: “The Post believes … that America is desperately in need of a guest-worker program.”

I assume that by “guest-worker program” you mean a category of U.S. visas allowing foreigners to work in the U.S.A. without permanent settlement rights.

Our country already has many such visa categories.  Under the heading “Temporary (Nonimmigrant) Worker” the website of the U.S. Customs and Immigration Service lists 21 guest-worker visa categories:  CW-1, E-1, E-2 (two types), E-3, H-1B, H-1C, H-2A, H-2b, H-3, I, L-1A, L-1B, O-1, P-1A, P-1B, P-2, P-3, Q, R-1, TN.  These categories encompass all kinds of workers, from seasonal agricultural laborers to concert pianists.

Why does the Post think we are “desperately in need of a guest-worker program” when we already have 21 such programs?

[The USCIS website is here http://www.uscis.gov/working-united-states/working-us.  Click on the down-arrow by “Temporary Workers” at left to see the list of visa categories.]

Alas, my letter did not find favor with the Post.  Perhaps they are embarrassed to expose the lazy ignorance of their editorialists.

Or possibly they read my 2006 Straggler column about letters to the editor and still bear a grudge.