Guest workers are employees who come to the United States temporarily to work, often in low- skilled jobs such as seasonal agriculture, manufacturing, and customer service.
Workers legally in the United States in a guest worker program must meet certain qualifications and file paperwork. Even temporary residence in the United States comes with certain privileges – including access to transportation, health care, and education – that cost taxpayer dollars, and thus regulating guest workers is a legitimate function of government. Guest workers must be supervised by their employers and abide by U.S. tax codes and laws.
The availability of low-wage migrant and guest workers affects the labor market for U.S. citizens, arguably limiting their employment opportunities and perhaps allowing employers to avoid improving working conditions.
Discussions at the national level of immigration reform proposals, including potential reform of guest worker programs, are ongoing and often contentious.