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date: 19 June 2021

Abstract and Keywords

This chapter discusses how agricultural guest worker programs fail to treat guest workers as moral equals. Such programs are typically justified on the theory that they enable host countries to cheaply meet labor needs while offering nonresidents access to higher wages than in their home countries. The chapter explains how, to participate in the programs, guest workers must rupture personal and political ties to then come to a new country and either not establish new relations or rupture the new ones when their work authorization expires. The chapter argues that adopting such programs to reduce the amount of farmwork host-country residents must perform treats guest workers’ interests in associational life as less valuable than the like interests of host-country residents. It concludes that even if the programs could ensure decent working conditions, the programs’ unjustified effect on associational life recommends ceasing such programs under their current formulation and, instead, extending a path to citizenship to guest workers.

Keywords: guest workers, migrant labor, farmwork, citizenship, associational freedom

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