Senate Hopeful Hyped Notorious Worker Policy

Schaffer pegs support for program to '99 Abramoff junket
By Jonas Oransky,  Newser Staff
Posted Apr 10, 2008 6:20 PM CDT

(Newser) – A Republican vying for Colorado's open Senate seat has said the Mariana Islands’ guest worker program—infamous for reports of forced abortion, slavery and child prostitution—should be a “model” for national immigration overhaul. Bob Schaffer’s support dates from a 1999 trip arranged by disgraced lobbyist Jack Abramoff, the Denver Post reports, where the then-congressman stayed on a beach resort, parasailing between factory visits.

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Abramoff’s job for the US protectorate, Josh Marshall adds on Talking Points Memo, was to find lawmakers who would travel to the islands and give a passing grade to sweatshops—and forestall changes to the immigration-law exemptions the Marianas boasted. A rep for Schaffer’s opponent called “pretty remarkable” how the Republican is “proud of his association with these sleazy Ambramoff-sponsored junkets.” (Read more Bob Schaffer stories.)

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