Dan Griswold, and other enthusiasts for the Senate immigration bill, lay much emphasis on the temporary worker program. as if this was a wonderful new development in U.S. immigration practice.
But we have had temporary workers programs for ever. There are currently six categories of visa covering temporary workers, listed on the USCIS website
H-1B: Specialty occupations, DOD workers, fashion models
H-1C: Nurses going to work for up to three years in health professional shortage areas
H-2A: Temporary agricultural worker
H-2B: Temporary worker, skilled and unskilled
H-4: Spouse or child of H-1, H-2, or H-3
So the right question to ask is not "Do we need a temporary worker program?" but "Why do we need another temporary worker program?" If, for instance, we need more fruit pickers, why doesn't Congress just up the H-2A quota?**
And of course, as the immigration wonks have told us till they're blue in the face, there is nothing temporary about temporary workers. Once you're in, you're in.
Case in point: me. I came here in October 1985 as a temporary worker, on an H-1B visa—good, in theory, for only six years.
I'm still here.
"Temporary worker program" is hogwash. There are no temporary workers, only settlers. I'm here to tell you.
**Answer: Because employers don't want lawful, visa-ed temporary workers. They want illegal immigrants, who are cheaper.