OFIR Blog

Welcome to the new OFIR blog!

OFIR invites you to pop in regularly and find out what's new, what's pressing and needing action and what other concerned citizens are doing in the fight to stop illegal immigration.

Governor Brown and AG Rosenbaum push for open borders

Governor Brown and Attorney General Rosenbaum show their true colors again, and they’re not red, white, and blue. 

Both Brown and Rosenbaum exalt the interests of migrants over the interests of U.S. citizens, and have done so repeatedly during their time in office.  See here and here.  Their actions in advancing unlimited immigration have harmed this state. 

Rosenbaum will be up for reelection in 2020. She already has a campaign website requesting donations and listing her recent edicts.  Gov. Brown’s term of office extends through 2022.

Here’s the latest evidence that their first loyalties are with international migrants, not U.S. citizens:  Oregon Challenges Trump Administration’s “Public Charge Rule.”

Oregon Attorney General Ellen Rosenblum and Oregon Governor Kate Brown today joined four other states in filing a lawsuit in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California challenging the Department of Homeland Security’s (DHS) “Public Charge Rule”.

Rosenbaum has also sued previously, usually with Brown’s enthusiastic approval, to stop several other actions by Pres. Trump that would control immigration.

The necessity of a public charge rule is obvious if we are to avoid inundation by all the poor of the world and the collapse of our nation.  Such a policy existed here even in colonial days before the U.S. became an independent nation, and was enacted into law long ago. 

In his article in The National Review, Mark Krikorian of the Center for Immigration Studies gives a concise history of the policy and explains why it’s important.

Excerpt:

The newly finalized rule about immigrant welfare use is 837 pages long, but it boils down to two things: Foreigners who can’t pay their bills shouldn’t be allowed to move here, and “welfare” doesn’t just mean cash benefits.

As to the first: The first comprehensive immigration law at the federal level was the 1882 Immigration Act, which, among other things, excluded anyone who was “unable to take care of himself or herself without becoming a public charge.” That principle — the “public-charge doctrine,” as it’s called — has been included in all subsequent immigration legislation, including the 1996 immigration and welfare-reform laws.

But the exclusion of “public charges” didn’t start in the 19th century, but well before that, when immigration law was handled by the states. In fact, preventing the immigration of people who couldn’t support themselves was the subject of the very first immigration law ever passed in the colonies, in Massachusetts Bay in 1645. It’s not too much to say that the public-charge doctrine is the founding principle of American immigration policy. …

U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) Acting Director Ken Cuccinelli, in an interview with Fox News, gives many interesting details about the new rule and why it’s needed.  He said that the rule “is entirely in line with the president keeping his promises to make the immigration system work better for America.”  Read Cuccinelli’s comments here.

What you're not supposed to know

Fortunately, some people and institutions dig around, find, and publish, solid information to measure the full scope of the crisis at U.S. borders now, where thousands of people are pouring in from all over the world, with no end in sight. 

Statistics are hard going to read and think about, but they do exist.  The Center for Immigration Studies deals with them routinely.  Here’s one of their reports, with information you’re not likely to see in the general media, nor hear from your Congressperson: 

Revealing Numbers from DOJ and DHS; Quantifying the scope of the border disaster, and its effects, by Andrew R. Arthur, July 21, 2019.

In his article, Arthur describes how figures in official releases “quantify the scope of the disaster that has been unfolding over the last few months on the border, the reasons for that disaster, and its effects on our immigration system.” He highlights the most important figures, for example:  "Recent initiatives to track family unit [FMU] cases revealed that close to 82 percent of completed cases have resulted in an in absentia order of removal." This means that 82% of the refugee or asylum claims among this group of migrants are bogus.

He quotes from a DHS report:  “The many cases that lack merit occupy a large portion of limited docket time and absorb scarce government resources, exacerbating the immigration-court backlog and diverting attention from other meritorious cases. Indeed, despite DOJ deploying the largest number of immigration judges in history and completing historic numbers of cases, a significant backlog remains. There are more than 900,000 pending cases in immigration courts, at least 436,000 of which include an asylum application [Emphasis added].”

Arthur concludes:

The situation at the Southwest border is bad and getting worse, as the figures in the IFR demonstrate. It is not only an issue for our overburdened immigration courts, and DHS employees and resources, but it also imposes a tragic toll on the migrants themselves, who are subject to abuse and exploitation on the way to the United States (as I noted in my last post).

Notwithstanding these facts, Congress has failed to act to plug the loopholes that are being exploited by smugglers and migrants alike. Instead, it simply holds hearings purporting to examine how the administration has acted "inhumanely" with respect to the flood of migrants with which it must contend, or its members send out sanctimonious tweets exploiting the human tragedy that is occurring on its watch and largely because of its inaction. As a former staffer, I can assure you that legislating is hard. The figures in the IFR demonstrate, however, that it is necessary, now more than ever.   [END]

And what do we hear from Oregon’s Congressional delegation?  Mostly wailing about the poor migrants and no concern for the effects of massive immigration on U.S. citizens.  Check out Oregon delegates’ voting records, tracked by NumbersUSA at: https://www.numbersusa.com/content/my/tools/grades/list/0/CONGRESS/or/A/Grade/Active.  For the current Congress, 6 of the 7 get F-. Senator Merkley and all 5 Representatives are up for reelection in 2020, Senator Wyden in 2022.

Ann Coulter: How we became the world's suckers on immigration

Looking at our immigration policies compared to the rest of the world, you’d think America lost a bet.

The United States is one of only two developed countries in the world (the other is Canada, and even it has some restrictions we don’t have) with full “birthright citizenship,” meaning that any child born when his mother was physically present within the geographical borders of the U.S. automatically gets a U.S. birth certificate and a Social Security card.

That means legal immigrants, pregnant women sneaking in on tourist visas, travelers on a three-week vacation, cheap foreign workers on “temporary” visas and, in some cases, foreign diplomats.

There are laws on the books that say the kids born to diplomats don’t automatically become citizens simply by being born here but — like so many of our immigration laws — these are treated as mere suggestions.

And that’s not all.

We’re the only country but two that confers automatic citizenship on children born to illegal aliens, or “anchor babies.” This is not “birthright citizenship,” which refers to children born to legal immigrants. (There’s nothing vulgar, bigoted, racial or sexual about the term “anchor baby.” It’s a boating metaphor: A geographical U.S. birth “anchors” the child’s entire family in this country by virtue of the baby’s citizenship.)

The other two countries that grant citizenship to anchor babies are Canada and Tanzania. Canada doesn’t have Latin America on its border, of course — and Tanzania is reconsidering the policy.

Here’s a fun fact: Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman — the notorious Mexican drug lord, sentenced on July 17 to life plus 30 years for drug trafficking and multiple murder conspiracies — has two children who are American, born in sunny California to his wife, who’s an anchor baby herself.

Why would any country make the calculated decision to reward illegal immigration by granting the full privileges of citizenship to the children of illegals or foreign visitors who arrange to have the births take place on its soil?

As a matter of fact, “we” didn’t make such a decision.

The late Supreme Court Justice William Brennan invented the anchor-baby policy out of whole cloth and snuck it into a footnote of an opinion written in 1982. Yes, this ancient bedrock principle, this essence of “Who We Are,” dates all the way back to the Reagan administration.

The Brennan footnote was not part of the decision. It does not have the force of law. Yet, today, we act as if Brennan’s absurd dicta is the law of the land for no reason other than: a) sheer ignorance and b) a fear of being called “racist.”

No U.S. Congress or Supreme Court ever debated and then approved the idea that children born to mothers illegally present in the country should automatically become citizens. Consequently, any president or Congress could simply state that children born to illegal aliens are not citizens. If only we had a president or Congress that would do so.

Which reminds me: No other country fawns over illegal immigrants brought in as minors, day in and day out, calling them “Dreamers.”

The U.S. is one of the rare countries that makes citizens of people who can’t speak the language — along with the masochistic Swedes. (How did they terrorize the world 800 years ago?) The United Kingdom, Canada, Germany, Australia, Norway and the Netherlands all have the crazy idea that citizens should be able to communicate with one another. We have a language requirement on the books but, it turns out, that too is merely a suggestion. 

No other country holds a “lottery” in which the prize is U.S. citizenship. Ireland has a lottery but, for whatever sick and twisted reason, the Irish give the winners money, not citizenship in their country.

We bring in 50,000 lucky lottery winners each year, literally for no reason at all. (Thanks, First President Bush!) To enter, you must be from a specified country, like the Congo, Nepal, Ethiopia or Uzbekistan. You submit your name to the State Department and, if your name is pulled out of a hat, WELCOME TO AMERICA!

This rigorous system for choosing our fellow citizens gave us, for example, Egyptian national Hesham Mohamed Ali Hedayet, who opened fire at the El Al Airlines ticket counter at Los Angeles International Airport in 2002, murdering two people. His wife had won the lottery five years after he came here on a tourist visa.

It got us Sayfullo Saipov, the Uzbeki who plowed a rented truck into a crowd of bicyclists and pedestrians on Halloween 2017 in New York City, killing eight and injuring many more.

It bestowed upon us Akayed Ullah, the Bangladeshi national who got in as the nephew of a lottery winner. Ullah enriched us by detonating a bomb in New York City’s Port Authority in December 2017.

Speaking of nephews of Bangladeshi lottery winners trying to blow up the Port Authority, no other major country in the world issues a majority of its visas to people based on the fact that they have a relative already living here. 

We’re not talking about the spouses and minor children of immigrants we really want. These are adult siblings, nephews and nieces — who have their own adult children, elderly parents and mothers-in-law. Two-thirds of all legal immigrants to the U.S. come in on these “family reunification” visas. (We wouldn’t want our immigrants to be illiterate, poor and lonesome.)

Even the New York Times — despite its decidedly anti-MAGA bent — has described our “family reunification” system as wildly out of step with the rest of the world. 

We’re in a buyer’s market but, instead of taking the top draft picks, we aggressively recruit the desperately poor, the culturally deprived, the sick and the needy. All because American elites seem to believe that it’s unfair — even snooty — to try to bring in the best immigrants we can.

Ann Coulter is a lawyer, a syndicated columnist and conservative commentator, and the author of 13 New York Times bestsellers. The most recent, “Resistance Is Futile! How the Trump-Hating Left Lost Its Collective Mind,” was published in 2018. Follow her on Twitter @AnnCoulter

http://www.oregonir.org/blog/ann-coulter-how-we-became-worlds-suckers-im...

In support of “deportation raids”

Pres. Trump’s new drive for swift deportation of illegal aliens began on Sunday, July 14.  Now we see the predictable hysteria from open borders advocates. 

Here’s a great explanation of the fundamental necessity of deporting illegal aliens. The writer, Brandon Judd, is president of the National Border Patrol Council (NBPC), representing approximately 16,000 Border Patrol agents.

We’ve added bold font for emphasis to parts of his discussion.

ICE DEPORTATION RAIDS – HERE'S THE TRUTH (THAT EVEN PELOSI AND CLINTON DON'T WANT TO ADMIT)

By Brandon Judd, Fox News, July 14, 2019

[abstract below; see the full article here]

Our nation’s capital is paralyzed by political gridlock. Democrats and Republicans often refuse to fight through the gridlock, and the American people they are supposed to serve pay the price. There is no better example of this than our illegal immigration disaster.

The United States became the greatest nation on earth because of our Constitution, which is the foundation of the laws that govern our land.  From the beginning of our country’s history, we’ve believed in the rule of law which has provided opportunity and prosperity to all who reside within our borders.  We are the envy of the world – which is the reason we face illegal immigration rates not seen by other nations year after year.

Given our prosperity, freedom and opportunity, it is unfathomable that Democrats are so intent on destroying one of the pillars that has supported our great nation for so long, the rule of law.

Consider three of the countries from which so many people are fleeing today –Guatemala, Honduras, and El Salvador.  All three countries are rich in natural resources. All three countries have seaports, which allow for trade with other countries. They all have an able and willing workforce. So why aren’t they prosperous? Because all three countries have governments that fail to uphold the rule of law.

Consider Mexico and its gun laws. 

Of all the nations that hold free elections, Mexico has some of the strictest gun laws.  Notwithstanding those laws, Mexico has the highest murder rate of all free nations. And most of the murders are committed with illegal firearms.

They have extremely tough gun laws, but because bribery runs rampant and the laws aren’t evenly enforced, they mean nearly nothing. Many of Mexico’s citizens who can’t bribe their way out of obeying gun laws are ruled over by armed mobs of drug traffickers, common thugs who have zero respect for laws.

Mexico’s gun laws sound eerily similar to our immigration laws. The United States has some good immigration laws. The laws are intended to provide for an orderly immigration system. Immigration is supposed to work for the benefit of the United States, not for the benefit of lawbreakers who have no respect for our laws.  We are a country of immigrants, most of whom came to the United States legally.  The U.S. accepts more legal immigrants than any other nation in the world, yet we still have an illegal immigration problem that is out of control.

The major breakdown and the key magnet drawing people to cross our borders illegally is our failure to enforce the laws that currently exist.

The highly-publicized Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) raids which kicked off Sunday are the only examples you need to see in order to understand the complete breakdown in the rule of law. This breakdown is why people from other countries feel so empowered to come to the U.S. illegally.

Some of the most powerful people in the United States, including Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi and former first lady, Senator and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, are helping people in the United States evade justice.

Nobody should wonder why we face a crisis at the border greater than anything we experienced during the Obama administration.

Powerful people are intent on upending the rule of law.  They would rather see the fabric that made our society the envy of the world torn to shreds, traded for personal power and political gain. 

Incessantly attacking, dehumanizing and endangering our law enforcement officers and agencies who are simply trying to enforce the laws that our legislators enacted in the first place is wrong.

Attacking the rule of law is wrong.

If this continues we face a fate similar to the countries so many are fleeing.

How Democrats flip off US workers in favor of foreigners

The Democratic party has come a long way since the days of Franklin D. Roosevelt and Harry Truman.  No longer are Democrats protectors of citizen workers against greedy, exploitative employers.  Today Democrats fall in line obediently when globalist billionaires tell them what to do.

Our present situation couldn’t be made plainer than in the recent vote on H.R. 1044, the mendaciously labeled “Fairness for High-Skilled Immigrants Act.”   It should be called the “Cheap labor for global businesses, Get lost U.S. citizens Act.”

224 House Democrats voted for H.B. 1044 on July 10, 2019, and only 8 voted against it.  Among Republicans, 140 voted Yea and 57 Nay.  Most House Republicans are certainly not heroes either, but many more R’s than D’s do respect their duty to protect the safety and well-being of U.S. citizens first and foremost.

All of Oregon’s Representatives voted Aye to expanding the employment of foreign workers and giving them an advantage over citizen workers – Reps. Blumenauer, Bonamici, DeFazio, Schrader, Walden.

This article from  the Center for Immigration Studies explains the ill effects of H.R.1044 very well: Fact Sheet on HR 1044, Fairness for High Skilled Immigrants Act.

The bill will still have to go to the Senate, where there’s a chance, small perhaps, that it may not pass.

President Trump’s position on the bill is unknown.  He seems to be receiving advice both from business-above-all lobbyists as well as from patriotic spokespersons who care about U.S. citizens and the future of our country.  He can be contacted at the White House here.  You can contact your Oregon Senators, Wyden here, and Merkley here.    

 

Why block the traditional Census citizenship question?

On the last day of its recent session, the U.S. Supreme Court voted 5 to 4 to block the traditional citizenship question from America's 2020 Constitutionally-required Census. While the court ruled the question is indeed constitutional, Chief Justice Roberts apparently did not like the "tone" of the Trump administration's insistence the traditional citizenship question be reinstated.

Our government has demographic information on legal immigrants and visa holders. The Census citizenship question would provide demographic information on those who are not citizens.

If the citizenship question were to be asked, then it would be a rudimentary process to subtract the set of legal immigrants and visa holders from the set of those who are not citizens. The result would be the set of those who are illegal aliens, complete with address of residence.

This is the information that the Democrat party does not want revealed, as they benefit from a mass influx of illegal aliens - and their descendants - who ultimately will vote Democrat.

Excerpts from articles analyzing this decision follow:

 

Supreme Court Votes 5-4 To Block Citizenship Question on 2020 Census, by Ken Klukowski, Breitbart, June 27, 2019:

Chief Justice John Roberts was the swing vote in a sharply divided Supreme Court that voted 5-4 in deciding the U.S. census can ask about citizenship, but by a separate 5-4 vote is sending the case back to the lower court.

Consequently, the citizenship question cannot be asked on the 2020 census, because the additional hearing cannot take place before the cutoff for printing the census forms for next year.

This decision will immediately be compared to the 2012 decision saving Obamacare. Roberts was joined by the four conservative justices to say federal law permits asking about citizenship, but then switched over to join with the four liberal justices to remand the case to the federal trial court for further evidentiary hearings....

Roberts noted “demographic questions have been asked in every census since 1790, and questions about citizenship in particular have been asked for nearly as long.”...

Conservatives and the Trump administration will be deeply disappointed by this decision, and are likely to harshly criticize the chief justice....

The impact of today’s decision reaches far beyond the 2020 census. Justice Thomas concluded in his dissenting opinion for conservative justices:

The Court’s erroneous decision in this case is bad enough, as it unjustifiably interferes with the 2020 census. But the implications of today’s decision are broader. With today’s decision, the Court has opened a Pandora’s box of pretext-based challenges in administrative law.

Today’s decision marks the first time the Court has ever invalidated an agency action as “pretextual.” Having taken that step, one thing is certain: This will not be the last time it is asked to do so. Virtually every significant agency action is vulnerable to the kinds of allegations the Court credits today. These decisions regularly involve coordination with numerous stakeholders and agencies, involvement at the highest levels of the Executive Branch, opposition from reluctant agency staff, and—perhaps most importantly—persons who stand to gain from the action’s demise. Opponents of future executive actions can be expected to make full use of the Court’s new approach.

 

SCOTUS sides with Trump on constitutionality of census citizenship question, but the question is still unlikely to appear on 2020 forms due to remand, Conservative Review, June 27, 2019:

In a complicated 5-4 ruling handed down on its last day of its recent session, the Supreme Court ruled that the Trump administration’s addition of a citizenship question to the census complied with the constitution, but also effectively blocked its implementation for the 2020 survey.

In short, the ruling finds that the executive branch has a right to reinstate a question about citizenship, but that it needs to come up with a better explanation for adding it....

 

Upshot of today’s SCOTUS rulings: Courts are God except for one ‘rare circumstance’, by Daniel Horowitz, Conservative Review, June 27, 2019:

Today’s Supreme Court ruling in the gerrymandering cases was a victory for those who believe in the proper role of courts, irrespective of political outcome. It’s a refreshing change of pace from judicial supremacy. Unfortunately, what the chief justice giveth in the redistricting case, he taketh in the census citizenship case where he reaffirmed the power of the courts to get involved in every other political question and litigate it to death....

in the census case, while recognizing that “our interpretation of the Constitution is guided by a Government practice [asking a citizenship question] that “has been open, widespread, and un-challenged since the early days of the Republic,” he refuses to reverse the lower court’s interference with its enactment.

In a complex and defragmented plurality ruling that morphed into a unanimous order, Chief Justice Roberts helped give liberals a majority in keeping the litigation against the census question alive by remanding the case back to the courts. Meanwhile, rather than rebuking the lower courts for getting involved in a political dispute in such an unprecedented way, he legitimized much of their ruling. Moreover, with this ruling, he gave them endless ammo to shut down any common sense and lawful executive actions governing the enforcement of many critical laws, which will reverberate in other spheres of policy such as border security.

The 2010 Census under the Obama administration was the first time since 1840 that the citizenship question was not asked in any form. The same way Obama decided to extirpate it from the Census without question, Trump had the power to reinstate it....

In comes Roberts and admits that nothing in the Constitution or statute could possibly preclude the secretary of commerce from adding the citizenship question. But in what has become a pernicious pattern of the courts over the past few years, Roberts decided that he didn’t like the administration’s motivation behind it and feels it requires further litigation in the district court. He didn’t even agree with the plaintiffs that the administration violated the Administrative Procedure Act (APA) by promulgating a regulation that is “arbitrary and capricious,” another favorite of the lower courts....

In reality, 13 U.S.C. §221 states very clearly that every resident is required to answer any question under penalty of fine unless it’s a question about religion. That is the only question walled off by Congress....

The Trump administration lawyers are going to have to come to terms with defending the prerogatives of the executive branch of government or risking the implementation of Obama’s third, and perhaps, fourth term in office....

 

Why the Citizenship Question Is So Important, Kris W. Kobach, Breitbart, June 27, 2019:

... From 1820 to 2000 a version of the citizenship question was asked in every census but one (in 1840). After the 1950 census, the Census Bureau decided to create two census forms—a short, basic form that all households would receive and a long form (which about 1/6 to 1/4 of households would receive) that would ask all of the information that the federal government needed. Thereafter, the citizenship question remained on the long form until the long form was terminated after the 2000 census. At that point the long form was replaced by the annual American Community Survey, which still contains the citizenship question. But only a tiny percentage of the population receives it.

The Trump Administration in early 2018 made the entirely-correct decision to restore the citizenship question to the census....

In a rational world, the Court would have issued a 9-0 decision rejecting each of these arguments. Instead, the Court ruled by a narrow 5-4 vote that asking the citizenship question was consistent with both the Constitution and the Census Act....

There are so many additional reasons for the United States to know how many citizens it has, that it is difficult to select any single one as the most important. Here’s my list:

1. The number of citizens is something that every sovereign country should know. Canada, Mexico, France, Germany, the United Kingdom, and dozens of other modern countries ask the question....

2. The principle of one person, one vote is at stake. Right now, state and federal legislative districts are drawn up simply based on the number of warm bodies in each district. Not only are legal aliens counted, but illegal aliens are counted too. As a result, citizens in a district with lots of illegal aliens have more voting power than citizens in districts with few illegal aliens.

3. The assumption behind moving the citizenship question to the long form turned out to be wrong. It was hoped in the 1950s that a recent federal statute requiring all aliens to register and notify the federal government whenever they moved would be followed and enforced. That data could be substituted for the information lost by moving the citizenship question to the long form. However, the assumption turned out to be incorrect....

4. The citizenship question provides important information about voting. Knowing who is a citizen and who isn’t allows the government to make a more accurate determination of what percentage of eligible citizens are voting in each state and each county.

5. It yields a wealth of valuable information about immigration. The question allows the government to determine which regions of the country see greater naturalization rates among aliens. This in turn reflects the assimilation of aliens into the American community. Citizenship data also enables the government to better calculate the number of illegal aliens in the country. Right now, estimates range from 11 million to 30 million. The open-borders Left doesn’t want the American people to know the true number.

And the list goes on....

 

SCOTUS Loses Its Census over Citizenship, by Daniel John Sobieski, American Thinker, June 28, 2019:

Supreme Court Justice John Roberts may go down in judicial history as the worst Republican SCOTUS pick ever. The man who found ObamaCare constitutional by inventing the fiction that it was a tax has joined the court’s four liberals to block a citizenship question on the 2020 Census, not because it is unconstitutional, but rather because he didn’t like the Trump administration’s reasons for asking for it.

The man who supervises the FISA Court, which blindly accepted every lie and fake document the Obama FBI and DoJ put before it to justify the deep state coup against the Trump presidency, says the reasons Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross presented for requesting its inclusion, well, didn’t smell right....

Asking this question is necessary to the functioning of a modern state and is an international norm, not the wet dream of white supremacists. As Hans von Spankovsky writes in the Washington Examiner:

To have an informed debate, shouldn’t we have accurate information about the citizen/noncitizen population of the country? In fact, even the United Nations recommends that its member countries ask a citizenship question on their census surveys, and countries ranging from Australia to Germany to Indonesia all ask this question. Only in the U.S. is this considered at all

Restoring the citizenship question to the Census is not unprecedented, not unconstitutional and absolutely necessary to help restore our national identity watered down by the “we are the world” globalists and denounced by the 2020 Democrats who want to decriminalize illegal border crossing and throw the borders open....

The importance of the Electoral College

Oregon Governor Signs Bill Granting State’s Electoral Votes to National Popular Vote Winner, D.C. Clothesline, June 20, 2019:

Fifteen states in total have jumped on the bandwagon to grant their state’s electoral college votes to  the winner of the national popular vote, in an attempt to try and elect a candidate from their own party.  Oregon Governor Kate Brown has now made her state the fifteenth to join the National Popular State Compact....

The Electoral College is established by Article II of the United States Constitution. It is important to understand why Democrats want to abolish the electoral college, as discussed below.

From the article Abolish the electoral college? Dream on, Democrats, The Washington Post, November 16, 2016:

Sen. Barbara Boxer (D-Calif.), as she has before, introduced a bill this week to get rid of the electoral college. In the below post from the wee hours of the day after Election Day, we discuss why it's not happening.... For the second time in 16 years, Democrats appear to have won more votes than Republicans, but lost the presidency. And while it was close in 2000, it may be a chasm in 2016....

So you can bet that are a whole bunch of Democrats right now that would like to put an end to this whole electoral college thing.

The bad news: They have virtually no power to make that happen -- and even they did have any power, it'd be immensely difficult.

The electoral college, after all, is enshrined in our Constitution, which means getting rid of it requires a constitutional amendment. That's a two-thirds vote in both the House and the Senate and the ratification of three-fourths (38) of the 50 states....

Back in 1934, a vote to abolish the electoral college failed in the Senate by just two votes. At the time, then-Sen. Alben Barkley (D-Ky.), who would later become vice president, labeled the system "useless." "The American people are qualified to elect their president by a direct vote, and I hope to see the day when they will," he said.

By 1966, Sen. Birch Bayh (D-Ind.) led hearings on the prospect of repealing the electoral college. He was a passionate advocate for the change for years. In 1979, the Senate debated a direct-election alternative, but it failed 51-48 -- shy of the two-thirds it needed.

More recent efforts have focused on workarounds, rather than repeal.

The National Popular Vote interstate compact has been assembling states who pledge to award all of their electoral votes to the winner of the national vote if and when they all combine for a majority of electoral votes (270). The effort has gained support from 11 states combining for 165 electoral votes, but so far only blue states have jumped on-board -- suggesting the red and swing state problems described above apply here too....

The Electoral College is an integral component of America's election process. From History Central: Why the Electoral College:

The Electoral College was created for two reasons. The first purpose was to create a buffer between population and the selection of a President. The second as part of the structure of the government that gave extra power to the smaller states.

The first reason that the founders created the Electoral College is hard to understand today. The founding fathers were afraid of direct election to the Presidency. They feared a tyrant could manipulate public opinion and come to power. Hamilton wrote in the Federalist Papers:

It was equally desirable, that the immediate election should be made by men most capable of analyzing the qualities adapted to the station, and acting under circumstances favorable to deliberation, and to a judicious combination of all the reasons and inducements which were proper to govern their choice. A small number of persons, selected by their fellow-citizens from the general mass, will be most likely to possess the information and discernment requisite to such complicated investigations. It was also peculiarly desirable to afford as little opportunity as possible to tumult and disorder. This evil was not least to be dreaded in the election of a magistrate, who was to have so important an agency in the administration of the government as the President of the United States. But the precautions which have been so happily concerted in the system under consideration, promise an effectual security against this mischief....

Hamilton and the other founders believed that the electors would be able to insure that only a qualified person becomes President. They believed that with the Electoral College no one would be able to manipulate the citizenry. It would act as check on an electorate that might be duped. Hamilton and the other founders did not trust the population to make the right choice. The founders also believed that the Electoral College had the advantage of being a group that met only once and thus could not be manipulated over time by foreign governments or others....

One aspect of the electoral system that is not mandated in the constitution is the fact that the winner takes all the votes in the state. Therefore it makes no difference if you win a state by 50.1% or by 80% of the vote you receive the same number of electoral votes. This can be a recipe for one individual to win some states by large pluralities and lose others by small number of votes, and thus this is an easy scenario for one candidate winning the popular vote while another winning the electoral vote. This winner take all methods used in picking electors has been decided by the states themselves. This trend took place over the course of the 19th century....

In the January 8, 2019 article, The Electoral College Must Remain, Elad Hakim states:

Rep. Steve Cohen, D-Tenn., recently introduced a proposed constitutional amendment that would eliminate the Electoral College. This was obviously done in response to the fact that Hillary Clinton lost the 2016 election despite winning nearly 3 million more votes than President Trump....

Cohen's position is clearly partisan, will almost certainly fail, and will face stiff resistance from many smaller states.

According to HistoryCentral, "[t]he Electoral College was created for two reasons. The first purpose was to create a buffer between population and the selection of a President. The second as part of the structure of the government that gave extra power to the smaller states." The first reason revolved around the possibility that a candidate could manipulate public opinion to such a great extent that it would lead him to secure the presidency. In other words, the Founders did not believe that the citizens could make the right decision on their own. Therefore, the electorate served as a system of checks and balances. This does not appear to be as much of a concern today.

The second reason, however, is still relevant. Generally speaking, the number of electorates in a given state directly correlates to the number of congressional representatives in the state. The minimum number of electorates for a given state is three. Therefore, the "value" of a vote in a smaller state with a lower population would "count" more than it would in a state with a higher population. For example, if a state had 90,000 votes and had three electorates, each electorate would represent 30,000 votes. On the other hand, a large state with 10,000,000 votes and 54 electorates would mean that each electorate would represent approximately 185,000 votes. Therefore, this system was initially used to appease the smaller states....

While the Electoral College is not perfect, it is the most legitimate system.  It is in line with the intent of our forefathers, protects the smaller states, and helps to protect against the possibility that several very densely populated cities will decide the presidential election for the entire nation.

Hakim's conclusion bears repeating: The Electoral College as established in Article II of the U.S. Constitution is the most legitimate system. It protects against the likelihood that densely populated cities - that tend to vote Democrat - could decide the presidential election for the entire country.

 


Related

2016 U.S. Presidential Electoral votes by county:

2016 electoral votes by county

 

 

Update: The Mob Is Right Outside the Constitution’s Wall, Breitbart, May 24, 2019:

On Tuesday, Nevada became the 15th state, along with the District of Columbia, to pass a measure that would grant its electoral college votes to the candidate that won the nationwide popular vote....

This movement is being led by an organization called National Popular Vote. The 501(c)(4) was co-founded by election law expert and attorney Barry Fadem and John Kaza (co-inventor of the scratch off lottery ticket).

The objective is to have a group of states that in total control 270 electoral votes (the number needed to win the presidency) form a compact wherein each of them will agree to cast those votes based on the nationwide popular vote, regardless of how their own state’s citizens voted....

Our Founding Fathers had the debate at the beginning of our nation as to how our system of election and governance would be structured. Democracy was rejected because of the well understood tendency of a majority to act as a tyrant. While much of what was created by our Founders was original, this concept wasn’t.

The critique of democracy dates back to Plato and the Republic. The demos, as they were called in Greek, couldn’t be trusted; they would just vote to satiate their voracious appetites at the expense of others or the nation at large....

In Madison’s mind, the structure of government and the process for electing the chief executive were designed to try to fragment the power of majority.

When you read Federalist 9> (Hamilton), Federalist10, and Federalist 51 (Madison), three key elements they felt existed to help give the new United States a chance for success were its population size, geographic size, and the differing interests of the independent states. Back in the late 1700’s, these factors would all make it more difficult for minority factions to attain the sort of critical mass required to do real damage....

We need these controls to prevent the very kind of efficiency in voting that can lead to majority dominance. The electoral college is one of those most fundamental controls. If we effectively neuter it through state collusion, then we move one step closer to a world our Founders feared, and that Plato described.

For those who are wondering, Plato’s next stage was total tyranny....

The Electoral College is still right for America, by Rob Natelson, Complete Colorado, January 29, 2019:

... it is not true, as some claim, that the Founders acted only out of distrust of democracy. Rather, the system was a brilliant response to...

Having created a unique office, the Founders needed an adequate process for choosing its occupant. They set forth several criteria:

  • The electoral process had to produce presidents competent to discharge their extensive responsibilities. Not only must the president be qualified for the job, but he must be able to exercise judgment independent of Congress and of the states. Thus, those directly choosing among the candidates should either know them personally or have reliable knowledge of their character and qualifications.
  • The process should give great weight to popular preferences, while minimizing dangers of “stampeding” and other mob-like behavior.
  • It should reduce the risks of foreign and other secret influence.
  • It should balance state and national interests.
  • It should produce presidents of national stature. A purely regional executive could tear the country apart, either by his election or by policies favoring some parts of the country at the expense of others.
  • The process should discourage states from trying to increase their influence by artificially inflating their vote levels....

Did the Electoral College worked as intended in 2016? Yes and no.

It worked insofar as it denied election to Hillary Clinton, who, although the popular vote choice, was largely a regional candidate. But it failed to work insofar as state statutes prevented electors from voting for any candidates other than two widely seen as unacceptable. Those statutes also discouraged qualified people from seeking the office of presidential elector.

An end-run around the Electoral College, by Peter Skurkissm, American Thinker, February 28, 2019.

Prelude to a Revolution, National Popular Voting, by Don Mellon, Canada Free Press, March 16, 2019.

Don’t let Colorado be an Electoral College dropout, by Mike Rosen, Complete Colorado, February 5, 2019.

The One-Two Punch to Knock Out Electoral Democracy, by Michael S. Kochin, American Greatness, June 16, 2019.

Colorado Moves To Bypass Electoral College: Will Assign Electoral Votes To Popular Vote Winner, by Marc Slavo, Freedom Outpost, February 28, 2019.

Colorado Gov. Polis signs national popular vote bill into law, March 16, 2019.

Democrats Want To Kill The Electoral College Because They Fear The Constitution - The Left is increasingly comfortable attacking foundational ideas of American governance, by David Harsanyi, the Federalist, March 20, 2019.

See the 270 To Win website for an interactive electoral college map (included below) and electoral college maps of Historical Presidential Elections.


Interactive 2020 electoral college map - 270 to win

 

 

Books:

 

Moving Closer to Mob Rule: No Choice, No Voice, by Ray DiLorenzo, Canada Free Press, May 25, 2019:


Half of the U.S. population lives in these counties

 

Deadly consequences of Oregon’s official protection of criminal aliens

The Oregon Legislature has just added yet another law, HB 2932, protecting criminal aliens, putting their welfare above the welfare of citizens.  HB 2932 requires that information on a prisoner’s immigration status be withheld from courts. The bill was passed in the Oregon Legislature on a party-line vote with Democrats voting Aye and Republicans Nay.

Oregon’s sanctuary policies deliberately risk the safety of citizens.  These policies tie the hands of local law enforcement causing them not to cooperate with ICE, a simple step only requiring sufficient advance notification when an identified illegal alien is to be released from jail.  

See this report by ICE showing examples of the results of such policies:

U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) - News Release, June 17, 2019

Excerpts only – read the full article here.

COOPERATION BETWEEN ICE, LOCAL LAW ENFORCEMENT MAKES FOR SAFER COMMUNITIES

SEATTLE – U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) relies upon the cooperation of local law enforcement officials to expeditiously remove dangerous criminals from our communities. ICE’s Enforcement and Removal Operations’ (ERO) mission is to identify, arrest and remove aliens who present a danger to national security or are a risk to public safety.

Without the cooperation of local officials, EROs ability to perform its federally mandated mission is hindered and dangerous criminal aliens, like those described below, could remain in our communities to reoffend.

  • Illegal alien arrested for murdering, dismembering victim after local police fail to notify ICE of his release.  In October 2017, ICE identified Rosalio Ramos-Ramos who is an illegally present Honduran citizen with prior criminal convictions and four prior removals from the United States at a city jail in Washington. ICE lodged a detainer, but he was released without notification to ICE. In January 2018, Ramos-Ramos was arrested again and booked at a local county jail for murder. ICE has lodged another detainer with local jail officials.
  • County jail ignores ICE detainer, illegal alien suspected of killing wife after release.
    In March 2018, ICE located and lodged a detainer on Martin Gallo-Gallardo, a citizen of Mexico who was unlawfully present in the United States, after locating him in an Oregon county jail. Jail officials did not honor the immigration detainer and released the convicted criminal two days later, without notifying ICE. Following his release, ICE made multiple, unsuccessful attempts to locate and arrest the man. In October 2018, Gallo-Gallardo was arrested again, this time on a felony murder charges for allegedly killing his wife.
  • County jail refuses to honor ICE detainer of man who sexually assaulted dog
    In February 2019, an illegally present Mexican citizen was encountered by ICE officials at a local Oregon county jail. ICE lodged an immigration detainer on the man the same day for violating immigration laws. In April 2019, the man was convicted of multiple charges involving animal abuse. The county jail did not honor the immigration detainer and released him without notice to immigration officials. ICE apprehended the man at his residence and served him a notice to appear. He is currently being held at the Northwest Detention Center in Tacoma pending immigration proceedings.

A detainer is a request to local law enforcement agencies that ICE be notified as early as practicable – ideally at least 48 hours – before a removable alien is released from criminal custody and then briefly maintain custody of the alien for up to 48 hours to allow ICE to assume custody for removal purposes. ICE lodges detainers on individuals who have been arrested on local criminal charges and are suspected of being deportable, so that ICE can take custody of that person when he or she is released from local authorities. When law enforcement agencies fail to honor immigration detainers and release serious criminal offenders onto the streets, it undermines ICE’s ability to protect public safety and carry out its mission.

------

Read the full news release at:  https://www.ice.gov/news/releases/cooperation-between-ice-local-law-enforcement-makes-safer-communities

Congress ignores the calamity at the border

The U.S. is being invaded while Congress, with a few brave exceptions, argues about fraud in past political campaigns, does nothing to stop the thousands of uninspected migrants pouring into the country, and denies our Border Protection agents the resources needed to control this flood of people.

Congress has the power to stop massive illegal immigration. Oregon’s Congressional delegation isn’t helping.  Note that in its records of Congressional votes on immigration issues in the current session, NumbersUSA rates the entire Oregon Congressional delegation F-

Read excerpts below from a detailed account that gives figures on the scope of the current problem and spotlights Congressional failure to protect the sovereignty and safety of this country:

McAleenan Details the Scope of the Disaster at the Border

By Andrew R. Arthur, Center for Immigration Studies, June 1, 2019

Excerpts only.  Read the full article here.

Acting Secretary of Homeland Security Kevin McAleenan and acting White House Chief of Staff Mick Mulvaney held a phone briefing on Thursday with members of the press. It revealed, in shocking detail, the scope and the effects of the disaster that is unfolding along the U.S.-Mexico border. Among the points therein:

"Over the past 21 days, an average of over 4,500 people have crossed our border illegally or arrived at ports of entry without documents. In May of 2017, that number was less than 700 a day. The month of May is on pace to be the highest month in crossings in over 12 years and will significantly surpass the record 109,000 in April."

"U.S. immigration authorities now have over 80,000 people in custody, a record level that is beyond sustainable capacity with current resources. Over 7,500 single adults are in custody at the border and Immigration and Customs Enforcement is holding over 50,000."

"Over 2,350 unaccompanied children – the highest level ever – are currently in custody waiting for days for placements in border stations that cannot provide appropriate conditions for them because Health and Human Services is out of bed space and Congress has failed to act on the administration's emergency supplemental request for more than four weeks."

… More than 75,000 families have already transited through Mexico to the Southwest border this month alone.

More than 4,000 foreign nationals appeared at the border this year with children that they fraudulently claimed were their own, a number that is increasing.

"At any given moment, up to 100,000 migrants are transiting Mexico on their way to the U.S. border."

These are massive numbers, and require context. The flow of aliens twelve years ago consisted primarily of single adult Mexican males, who could be processed by the U.S. Border Patrol (USBP) quickly and returned to Mexico with little or no expense. The statistics above demonstrate that the current flow consists primarily of family units (FMUs), largely from Central America, who require significant humanitarian assistance and take almost ten times as long for USBP to process (for reasons I explained in a February 2019 post).  …

Ultimately, … the responsibility for stopping this disaster is with Congress, as McAleenan alluded to: "We've also asked Congress to close the gaps in our laws that incentivize this unlawful flow." Incentivize? "Precipitated" would be the more accurate term.

Congress has the power to provide the resources to handle the current flow, and to fix the loopholes that these aliens are exploiting to limit that flow in the future. Don't hold your breath waiting, however. Congressional Democrats appear to be quite comfortable with this wave and the tragedy that it brings with it, and congressional Republicans failed to act when it was apparent that this wave was building in the last Congress. …

Read the full article here.

Reply to Rep. Bonamici on H.R. 6, the American Dream and Promise Act

Below is a letter sent to constituents by Rep. Suzanne Bonamici, Oregon Congressional District 1, in support of H.R. 6. It contains many statements that can be challenged. See rebuttal comments in italics, inserted in indented paragraphs below each of her questionable statements.

June 7, 2019

Dear [constituent],

Thank you for contacting me about H.R. 6, the American Dream and Promise Act.  I appreciate hearing from you.

I spoke on the floor about this crucial legislation. I shared the stories of two Oregonians, both Dreamers, that are living in and serving Northwest Oregon. It’s long past time for Dreamers like Brenda and Gustavo, Americans in every way except on paper, to live out of the shadows.

They are only “Americans” in the sense that they came from somewhere in the Americas, but not from the USA, and they are living here in violation of our immigration laws.  Furthermore, they do not “live in the shadows” – many and their supporters flaunt their presence very publicly.

The U.S. immigration system is broken and our existing policies are hurting families, communities, and the economy in Oregon.

That is true but it’s because excessive immigration and illegal immigration have depressed wages and destroyed job opportunities for citizens, allowing employers to hire illegal aliens who can be easily exploited instead of citizens not so easy to exploit and underpay. 

We continue to operate under an antiquated system that has left millions in the shadows, unable to fully contribute.  

Those truly “left in the shadows” are the homeless, destitute citizens who cannot get a job because of the easy availability of illegal labor, or who may hold a job, but must accept less than a living wage because of competition from illegal labor. Many citizens are having to live in RV’s; many have no shelter at all.

The United States is a country of immigrants, and our nation has grown stronger because of its diversity.

That is her opinion of the history of the U.S., not a universal opinion or a complete statement of fact.  

Unfortunately, instead of developing a smart, humane, and efficient immigration system, President Trump has issued Executive Orders, made statements, and promoted policies that have caused chaos and fear in our immigrant communities and throughout our country.

It’s high time a president did “cause fear” in illegal immigrant communities.  Legal immigrants have nothing to fear.

I am a proud cosponsor of the American Dream and Promise Act, which would expand protections for vulnerable members of our communities facing deportation by the Trump Administration. Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA), Deferred Enforced Departure (DED), and Temporary Protected Status (TPS) are all critical protections that provide legal immigration status to eligible individuals and families.

Her description of the bill fails to disclose the enormity of the numbers that would receive amnesty.  Read this for a more realistic description.

The American Dream and Promise Act creates a clear and achievable path to citizenship for those currently living under the threat of deportation,

 If they are here illegally, they should be deported asap.

as well as for those seeking to reunite with their families.

For legal immigrants, there is already a legal way to do that.

We should allow those who came here seeking refuge from war and strife, or who were brought to the U.S. as infants or children, to expeditiously obtain lawful status.

Note that she is not concerned with any verification of claims by persons claiming to be refugees, nor with the widespread abuse of young children as free tickets for admission, often by unrelated adults. In her view, anyone in the world who wants to come here should be able to enter at any time.  Has she ever advocated reducing the overall levels of immigration? 

Rescinding the legal status of these individuals and targeting them for deportation divides families, spreads fear among an already vulnerable population, and drives people into hiding.

If they are here legally, they have no need to fear deportation unless they’ve committed serious crimes or falsified their applications.

This bill passed the House of Representatives with my support on June 4, 2019, and was sent to the Senate for further consideration. Dreamers, TPS, and DED recipients are contributing members of communities across the country.

Let them contribute to their own countries.  Let them build the kind of country that U.S. citizens have built, not try to crowd in here and do nothing about problems in their own countries.

Deporting hardworking people with children, businesses, and longstanding ties to this country does not make us any safer.

A significant number of illegal aliens have committed terrible crimes here; some have been terrorists causing massive damage; many are involved in expediting movement of illegal drugs that trigger the current “drug crisis.”

Please know that I stand ready to work with my colleagues on both sides of the aisle to pass commonsense, compassionate comprehensive immigration reform that will strengthen our economy, enhance our security, and reflect our core values as Americans.  

Immigration control is too complicated to’‘reform” in one sweeping bill.  See a good lineup of necessary reforms here.

Thank you again for writing to me. If you would like to know more about my work in Congress, please sign up for my newsletter at http://bonamici.house.gov or visit my Facebook page at http://www.facebook.com/CongresswomanBonamici.

Sincerely,

Suzanne Bonamici, Member of Congress

 

The nightmare on the border is real

To get a shocking, unvarnished picture of what’s happening on the U.S.-Mexican border now, look at this account by John Wahala, of the Center for Immigration Studies, who for several years has been leading annual group tours to the border to see activity there first-hand.

 He describes findings of this year’s tour in vivid detail. It’s a long article, worth reading in full.

 Here are some excerpts:

Most of the families that are being released into the United States are simply not eligible for asylum. What is worse is that some of the "family units" are not families at all. A top Border Patrol agent told us they apprehend men traveling with children who have either been kidnapped or bribed along the way.

… the only reason the Tucson Sector has yet to experience the volume of asylum seekers that are arriving at other areas of the border is because the local drug cartel on the Mexican side has started turning them away. Sources on both sides of the border told us that the cartel is redirecting the migrants who are heading north to Nogales and Agua Prieta because they do not want the attention on the area. …

…  But what everyone did acknowledge is that no institution in Mexico can effectively challenge the cartels. Drug money drives the local economy, creating wealth and corruption that has spilled over into neighboring Douglas, Arizona, where U.S. customs agents and others have been reportedly bribed over the years.  …

… Approximately 40 percent of drug seizures nationwide are conducted in this [Tucson] sector and, according to a top Border Patrol official, there was enough fentanyl seized in the past year to kill the entire population of the United States, twice. Since marijuana became legal in parts of the United States, authorities have increasingly been dealing with hard narcotics. …

… February saw the highest apprehension rate ever for the Tucson Sector. We were told that smugglers pay close attention to the enforcement techniques and adjust accordingly. For example, most of the crossings used to occur at night until the National Geographic "Border Wars" television show revealed how effective night vision was in spotting incursions. Smugglers realized that crossing during the day neutralized this technology, giving them a better chance to evade the apprehension. Now most of the crossings occur during the day. …

… Today, agents encounter a high volume of illegal crossers and also "rip crews," which are armed groups of bandits who rob the migrants as they make their way north. Most of the bandits are American citizens but some are foreign nationals who come across the border to commit various crimes before returning to Mexico. All of this activity poses a danger to the agents and other law enforcement officials, whom we were told are more likely to get assaulted while making an apprehension the closer they are to Mexico because migrants know they can escape prosecution if they can just make it back across the border. Smugglers and other criminals often go right through the southbound port of entry with drugs and other contraband, easily bribing Mexican officials. There are no southbound checks by the United States.

The relentlessness of this illegal influx heading north can be defeating for those who have dedicated years of their life to securing the border. Even young agents, who signed up for the excitement of being out in the field, get discouraged. Their frustration stems mostly from the persistent lack of political will to enforce the law. Morale was excellent when President Trump took office but the agents have not seen enough change. They know the steps that are needed to stop the influx, which are more extensive than simply erecting a wall, but for complex social and political reasons these steps have not been implemented. This has led to cynicism and contributed to attrition within the ranks. We were told that five hundred new agents are being hired each year but eight hundred are leaving.  …

… East of Nogales, we visited ranchers who deal with the fallout from the illegal influx every day. They explained that the situation is constantly changing and that things there are simply not normal. A theme of the discussion, which we have heard repeated elsewhere, is that the border region is a country unto itself with its own laws and customs. Illegality often goes unprosecuted and certain societal norms cannot be taken for granted. They gave us a string of anecdotes in support of this claim: vandalism and burglaries are common and there have even been murders; raw sewage flows from Mexico into the United States at several points along the border, a local hospital closed because it could not cover the costs of treating illegal crossers; a group of teenagers just got paralyzed by a batch of tainted cocaine; a group of men from India seeking asylum jumped on the top of one of their vehicles as they were driving down the road. One of the most poignant moments of our visit was when one of the ranchers asked rhetorically, "How do you raise a daughter in such lawlessness?"

The ranchers cited a study finding it costs 33 percent more to raise cattle on the border and another claiming it costs 75 percent more per animal.  … That rancher told us that the cartels cut right through the steel border wall. In the last three years, 54 trucks have driven right through his land, ripping up pastures and destroying fences.  …

… whether people can see it or not, failing to secure the border is not just a problem for overwhelmed federal agencies or migrant shelters or hospitals or schools or ranchers along the border. It is a moral, social, and political problem for the entire nation, one that threatens the very idea of nationhood.

 

-- A Growing Border Crisis; A report from Arizona, by John Wahala, Center for Immigration Studies,  May 24, 2019.   https://cis.org/Wahala/Growing-Border-Crisis

The answer to ag labor shortages

Mark Krikorian of the Center for Immigration Studies makes a persuasive pitch for mechanization in agriculture, ending dependence on humans to do stoop labor and other exhausting manual chores on farms.

In his blog of April 26, “A Robot in Every Field, he says:

“… An individual farmer is understandably concerned with the next crop, but policymakers should have a longer time horizon. Americans get wealthier when productivity grows, and in agriculture that means, among other things, the development and adoption of labor-saving technologies.  …

“Foreign-worker programs that import stoop labor represent an intervention by government specifically designed to prevent the inevitable rise in farm-labor costs in modern societies caused by urbanization and increased employment opportunities elsewhere.

“Increasing wages and benefits will undoubtedly help draw some people into (or back into) the farm-labor force, but it's true that few Americans are going to cut broccoli all day in the hot sun. Even Mexicans aren't going into farm work anymore; as two scholars write, 'Mexico is following the pattern of countries around the world: as its income rises, workers shift out of farm work into other sectors.'

“The solution isn't to give in to the lobbyists and scour ever-more remote corners of the world for people still willing to submit to a medieval-work regime. Instead, we need to allow Julian Simon's scarcity/innovation dance to proceed, so that robots continue to replace humans in the fields. In fact, if the White House feels the need to service the ag lobby, why not propose mechanization-loan guarantees to help small farmers wean themselves off stoop labor? Rather than promise a chicken in every pot, why not a robot in every field?”

Read the complete blog here.

Later, Neil Munro, of Breitbart.com, gathered comments on Krikorian’s proposal, and, in his article of April 28, also describes the current progress of mechanization in agriculture.  His article can be viewed here.

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