In 1917, during World War I, an agreement was reached with Mexico to let in unskilled workers. During the program's five-year life span, 77,000 Mexicans were admitted but fewer than half returned to Mexico. "The program spawned illegal immigration," Briggs said.Well, we have that now. There are 11 million illegal immigrants in the U.S. and we have no idea how many of them go back.
A much larger exchange, the Bracero program, began in 1942, during World War II, and continued in varying forms through 1964. Some 4.6 million Mexicans came to the United States, with a peak of 439,000 in 1959.Like illegal immigrants don't face discrimination and don't get cheated out of wages? Or are they not an underclass right now?
The program stipulated that guest workers were to get free housing, medical treatment, transportation and prevailing wages. The reality was often different.
Avendano of the AFL-CIO said workers were underpaid or cheated out of wages, exposed to unsafe conditions, faced racial discrimination and were saddled with debt from recruiters and employers. Workers were unable to exercise their rights because the employer could have them deported. Under such conditions, she said, "Workers would rather be undocumented because they have full mobility."
Others argue that guest worker programs create an underclass of foreign workers and stigmatize some jobs associated with foreign labor.
A small effort to help build a modern economy in Afghanistan was launched by Paula Nirschel in 2002, when she founded the Initiative to Educate Afghan Women. Her goal is to match qualified women with at least a GPA of 3.5 or more with U.S. colleges, where they can pursue a degree. The initiative grants all its women full four-year scholarships. They come to college prepared; none need remedial classes. (That's something that can't be said of all U.S. students. Last year, only 52% of entering freshmen in the California State University system passed the English placement test.)
As The Wall Street Journal reported in an editorial Friday, Ms. Nirschel sent a letter to Yale in 2002, asking if it wanted to award a spot in its next entering class to an Afghan woman. Yale declined, as did many other schools. Today, the program enrolls 20 students at 10 universities.
Zacarias Moussaoui, the only person convicted in the US for his connection to the September 11, 2001 terror attacks, appeared to sign his own death warrant today when he told a jury that he knew of the plot to attack New York’s World Trade Center.You know what'll be a real bit of fun, asshole? Your lethal injection.
In an extraordinary admission that dismayed his defence lawyers and rescued what had been a disastrous prosecution case, Moussaoui took the stand and within minutes declared: "I had knowledge that the Twin Towers would be hit. I didn’t know the date."
But, crucially for the prosecution, he added: "I knew it would happen after August."
The self-incriminating testimony was a gift for the Bush administration, whose lawyers are seeking to have Moussaoui executed.
During a morning of stunning testimony Moussaoui, who has given different accounts of the events leading up to 9/11, also claimed that he and Richard Reid, the British would-be shoebomber, was supposed to hijack a fifth airplane on September 11, 2001 and fly it into the White House.
The claim about him and Reid was in stark contrast to Moussaoui’s previous statements in which he said he had been training to take part in a separate and later suicide attack on the White House. Reid, subdued by passengers on December 22, 2001 after trying to ignite a shoebomb on a US flight, was sentenced in January 2003 for that plot and has never claimed to be part of the September 11 operation.
Moussaoui, 37, a Frenchman of Moroccan descent, attended flight training school in Minnesota in early 2001. After arousing suspicion in August of that year for trying to learn how to fly a Boeing 747, he was arrested by the FBI and held on immigration charges.
In custody on September 11, 2001, he has confessed that he was training to become a pilot for a later attack on the White House, but has always denied prior knowledge of the attacks on New York and Washington. He pleaded guilty last year to conspiracy charges.
The Administration argues that he should be executed because if he had told investigators the truth after he was arrested, the FBI would have had enough information to stop the September 11 attacks. The jury is being asked to decide whether he should be executed or spend life in prison.
He agreed yesterday with Robert Spencer, a prosecutor, that he lied to investigators after his arrest so that he could allow the September 11 operation to go forward.
"The reason you told lies was so you could allow the operation to go forward," Mr Spencer said.
"That is correct," Moussaoui replied.
He told the court he knew the attacks were coming some time after August 2001 and bought a radio so he could hear them unfold.
"You were looking forward to what happened in that operation," Mr Spencer said.
"Yes, you can say that," Moussaoui responded.
Before he took the stand, his state-appointed lawyers, to whom he does not speak and whom he frequently abuses in court, made a last attempt to stop him from testifying, but failed.
Moussaoui said that he was not part of the September 11 plot. Asked by his lawyer why he signed his guilty plea as"the 20th hijacker" - 19 men were involved in the September 11 attacks - Moussaoui replied: "Because everybody used to refer to me as the 20th hijacker and it was a bit of fun."
In the wake of last month's torture and murder of Ilan Halimi, a 23-year- old Jew, attention has focused on an undeniable problem: anti-Semitism among France's second-generation immigrant youth, whose high jobless rate the government is trying to address with a law drawing widespread protests across the country.
Schools are the battleground over anti-Semitism and teachers complain that the government has done little despite many proposals.
"The minister of education has done nothing," said Jean-Pierre Obin, an inspector general of education in France, who wrote a report in 2004 that called anti-Semitism "ubiquitous" in the 61 schools surveyed. "He prefers not to talk about it."
Baroness Warnock, the leading medical ethics expert, has said that Britain should follow the example of Holland, the only European country that says such babies should die. She believes that it would prevent doctors from competing to keep alive babies that may not survive in the long-term.But why try, right? They're just taking up space.
The UK has the highest rate of low birthweight babies in western Europe. About 800 babies are born each year under 25 weeks but medical advances suggest that almost 40 per cent of them can survive.