The theoretical basis for the minimum wage is the minimum 'living wage' at which a person can be self-sustaining. However, that wage represents a 'living wage' at U.S. standard-of-living values, not Mexican, Chinese, or Caribbean standard-of-living values.
The wage itself is not the issue, since it is only part of the cost of employment. McCain-Kennedy requires that the 'guest workers' be hired as payroll employees rather than contract workers, and thus become elegible for full benefits - Insurance, Retirement, union representation - as well as paying into to Social Security, Medicare, etc. Ideally, these workers, being non-citizens, are ineligible for both Social Security and Medicare. However, It is virtually guaranteed that, since they would have paid into the program, it would be only a matter of time before the courts rule that they are eligible for full benefits, particularly since McCain-Kennedy mandates that they are afforded the benefits of full employment status.
Illegal immigrants find work here because they are willing to work at a lower cost to the employer than their American counterparts. What is needed is a way to document and regulate this workforce. McCain-Kennedy will only drive it deeper underground. I don't think you are naive enought to believe that employers will begin to hire temporary-foreign workers at the same wages and benefits the law mandates for citizen employees. I'm sure you don't believe that the crews riding around in trailers mowing lawns and weed-eating are going to find themselves at full pay and benefits if the bill passes. I know you don't believe that all the rich legislators will suddenly start paying their nannies full pay and benefits. I don't know about the other aspects of the bill, but this provision should be enough to kill it, and hopefully it has.
We don't need to stop the influx of workers looking to put food in their bellies and on the tables of their families. We need to find a way to document them, regulate them, and tax their wages.
Quod scripsi, scripsi.