But mostly, I worry about having a large number of people in the country who are, definitionally, not planning to stay here. There's something corrosive about transience: witness the way college students treat their neighborhoods. (And don't tell me they're young; they're prime guest-worker age.) Civic bonds can withstand culture clash, but I'm not sure they can withstand pockets of people who are just there for the job.
To what extent - if any - does life in Washington DC support Megan's theory? What lessons, if any, might be extrapolated from Washington's experience with what amounts to a sort-of-kind-of guest worker programme? Discuss.