In an provocative and contrarian op-ed in today's Washington Post, Robert J. Samuelson challenges the idea that American industry really needs access to immigrant labor, including illegals, in order to thrive.

"What we have now -- and would with guest workers -- is a conscious policy of creating poverty in the United States while relieving it in Mexico," Samuelson writes. "By and large, this is a bad bargain for the United States. It stresses local schools, hospitals and housing; it feeds social tensions (witness the Minutemen). To be sure, some Americans get cheap housecleaning or landscaping services. But if more mowed their own lawns or did their own laundry, it wouldn't be a tragedy." (To read the article, click here.)

What do you think? Is a guest worker program a good idea? And does your industry employ a significant number of people who are in the country illegally?