Congress

Employer discrimination against U.S. citizen workers exposed

The Center for Immigration Studies recently completed a study of cases brought before the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission to document some of the negative effects of immigration on the labor market.  Specifically, CIS looked at EEOC cases dealing with preferences shown by employers for non-citizen workers.

The results of the study quantify what many citizens are encountering today when seeking employment – employers who pass over citizen job-seekers and, instead, hire foreign workers to keep wages low and get greater profits for the business or institution 

What is the Oregon Congressional delegation doing about this problem?  See their voting records linked at end of this message.

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The CIS report is titled:  No Americans Need Apply; EEOC lawsuits reveal how employers are eager to replace low-skill native workers with immigrants.

NumbersUSA summarized the report briefly in its Weekly Newsletter, emailed on Friday, Oct. 25, to subscribers:

“On Thursday, the Center for Immigration Studies held a panel discussion at the National Press Club in coordination with the release of a new report: ‘examining real-world case studies in which the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) has sued employers for systematically favoring low-skill immigrants over native workers.’

“On the panel was Jason Richwine, the report's author, Peter Kirsanow, partner at a law firm specializing in labor and employment law who is also a member of the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights, and Kevin Lynn, executive director of Progressives for Immigration Reform.

“Richwine highlighted that his report was qualitative research and that he ‘did not go beyond the facts as alleged in the lawsuits’ brought by the EEOC. It is his contention that the pattern of accusations of employer discrimination ‘calls into question [claims] there are zero negative effects from immigration.’

“Kirsanow, who has testified several times before Congress, talked about the total lack of interest shown by the Congressional Black Caucus in credible reports forwarded to them by the Civil Rights Commission of discrimination against black Americans in favor of illegal immigrants. He found their silence on this issue ‘an abomination.’

“Lynn spoke out against discrimination in the tech industry, which is particularly pronounced against women in STEM fields and recent college graduates, who are increasingly being passed over by companies in favor of cheaper foreign labor.

“CIS is bringing attention to a very real problem, and one that has existed for many years. Unfortunately, many in the media who cover immigration issues have shown little interest in looking at the existing evidence of discrimination against American workers in favor of foreign ones, but the evidence is clearly visible to those who do care to look.”

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Oregon’s Congressional delegation has done nothing about this serious problem and continues to support virtually unlimited immigration.  All Oregon Representatives will be up for reelection next year, and one Senator also: Jeff Merkley.

The Oregon delegation’s voting records on immigration issues are here.  

For the years 2017-2019, Sen. Merkley gets F- on “reducing unnecessary worker visas” and F- on “reducing illegal jobs and presence.” So do Sen. WydenRep. BlumenauerRep. Bonamici, Rep. DeFazio, and Rep. Schrader.  Not only on bills specifically supporting U.S. citizen workers vs. legal and illegal foreign nationals, did they all say No, but they also said No to many other bills that would control immigration and stop the enormous population growth caused by excessive immigration.

To see good condensations of their histories on important areas of immigration policy, click these links:

Sen. Merkley - https://www.numbersusa.com/content/my/congress/1341/gradescoresheet/

Sen. Wyden - https://www.numbersusa.com/content/my/congress/667/gradescoresheet/

Rep. Blumenauer - https://www.numbersusa.com/content/my/congress/676/gradescoresheet/

Rep. Bonamici - https://www.numbersusa.com/content/my/congress/7047/gradescoresheet/

Rep. DeFazio - https://www.numbersusa.com/content/my/congress/677/gradescoresheet/

Rep. Schrader - https://www.numbersusa.com/content/my/congress/1323/gradescoresheet/

Labor Day, Sept. 2, 2019: Four decades of peanuts for workers, courtesy of Congress

Enormous levels of immigration over recent decades have caused wages for all U.S. workers to fall behind. Large numbers of citizens’ wages are now so low that they live from payday to payday and cannot save anything for emergencies or for a comfortable retirement. We see widespread homelessness due partly to rents beyond the reach of many low-paid workers.

Who’s responsible for these developments?  Congress sets the immigration laws, including numbers of immigrants.  Oregon’s Congressional delegation has consistently voted for increases in immigration, lax-to-no enforcement of immigration law, and expensive benefits to illegal aliens, enticing further illegal immigration.

To see the Oregon delegations’ grades over their entire careers, click here.
Here are their grades based on their recent voting records in Congress, as documented by NumbersUSA:

F- :  Senator Jeff Merkley, Senator Ron Wyden, Representatives Suzanne Bonamici, Earl Blumenauer, Peter DeFazio, Kurt Schrader

B  :  Representative Greg Walden

Senator Merkley is up for reelection next year, as are all of Oregon’s 5 Representatives.

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Labor Day: Four Decades of Dramatic CEO Income Growth; Peanuts for Workers

By Joe Guzzardi, Progressives for Immigration Reform,  August 29, 2019

Excerpts:

A recent Economic Policy Institute Study titled “CEO Compensation Has Grown 940% since 1978” is a Labor Day lament for American workers whose wages during the same period have only increased a meager 12%. EPI’s analysis found that this exorbitant, unconscionable earnings differential is the major income inequality contributor, and has persisted through equally indifferent Democrat and Republican administrations. …

CEOs have unquestionably taken full advantage of their power to enrich themselves, and suppress lower-echelon employee wages. But another variable that contributes to 40 years of flat wages for hourly workers is the executive suite’s addiction to cheap, foreign labor. With what has been an unbroken inflow of illegal immigrant and legal guest workers, between 750,000 and 1 million annually, corporations have no incentive to increase domestic workers’ salaries – and they haven’t. …

That immigration grows the economy is the age-old, half-truth argument. Sure, more people and more workers create a bigger economy. But immigration does not help the per capita income. Immigration’s benefits accrue to the immigrants and to their employers, and not the general public. The traditional solution to filling job openings is to offer higher wages, not import more cheap labor. With more than 6.1 million people unemployed, that pool should be tapped first.

Congress will soon reconvene, but as it has been for too many legislative sessions, creating a fairer immigration system that protects instead of harms American workers isn’t on the agenda.

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Read the complete article 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.

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.    

 

Can we accommodate the poor of the whole world?

We hear so much angst from the media about compassion, welcoming the stranger, the Statue of Liberty, immigrants made this country, etc. – below is a sober, up-to-date, realistic account showing the fast-approaching consequences of open borders policies being forced on citizens by current politicians.

We need to elect sensible, honest people to Congress and state legislatures who put the interests of U.S. citizens first, respect our history and laws, and will actually enforce necessary limits on immigration.  “Throw the bums out!”   See here to learn who the Oregon bums in Congress are.  Some more information on Oregon’s bums and braves is here.  Let’s look around for replacements of the bums.

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The Next Influx: The Entire World's Poor and Dispossessed;

Tens of Thousands of "Exotics" and "Extra-Continentals" from around the Globe Moving Through Panama, by Todd Bensman, Center for Immigration Studies, July 1, 2019

EXCERPTS ONLY: See the complete article here.

Like the proverbial "bulge in the belly of the snake," unusually high numbers of non-Latino migrants, obviously not from Central America, are now reportedly passing from Colombia through Panama on their way to the U.S. southern border. Their numbers range to the tens of thousands, whose vanguards we have already seen at the U.S. Southwest Border in recent months: Cameroonians, Ghanaians, Congolese, Haitians, Cubans, and some from the Middle East.

Word of their successful entries into the United States this year clearly reached home countries because now a swell numbering as many as 35,000 is on an infamous migrant passage through which migrants have long funneled from South America to North America: the Darien Gap.

I am told this by two eye-witnesses who have just returned from the Colombia-Panama region on either side of the Gap. One of them is Panama-based author and freelance journalist Chuck Holton, who just visited the Colombian side in the frontier border town of Turbo, which is notorious as a migrant staging area for U.S.-bound migrants to be smuggled through the Darien Gap passage into Panama. The other source is Diane Edrington, a Mississippi-based nurse practitioner who has worked for years as a Panama Missions volunteer and who just returned from camps I visited in December on the Panama side of the Darien Gap.  ...

Holton told me he interviewed many migrants on the Colombian side who uniformly told him they decided to go to America, claim asylum, and take advantage of the disarray and laws about which they've all heard, from media reporting and those who already made it, that guarantee they will get to live and work for years in the United States, and probably permanently.

"'Trump wants to keep us out, but he can’t do it,'" Holton said he was repeatedly told in Turbo, Colombia as African migrants were preparing to board boats to the jungle trails for 10-day, smuggler-led wilderness treks into Panama. "They were very clear about that. 'If I can get in now, I'm going to get while the getting’s good.'"

Holton said everyone knew to go to American "sanctuary cities," where local authorities won’t cooperate with Immigration and Customs Enforcement.

"They have some level of understanding of what a sanctuary city is. 'If we can get to one of those they won’t mess with us; They won’t get us out.'"

The migrants he interviewed also were well aware of the time it takes for their asylum claims to be processed in a severely backlogged American system and that this was a major factor in deciding to leave home. (Migrating for improved lifestyle or economic reasons is not among the factors covered by U.S. asylum law).  ...

Control Flow Policy Out of Control

After my own trip to Panama and Costa Rica, I disclosed the existence of a formal bilateral policy by which both countries systematically transport migrants coming off the Darien Gap through their own territories and on to Nicaragua, where the smugglers can pick them up and keep them moving to the U.S. border.

Controlled Flow would likely spark controversy in the United States if anyone knew about it. The way it works is that Panama feeds, houses, shelters, and medically treats the migrants it collects out of the Darien jungle, then puts them on buses and hands them off to the Costa Ricans, who likewise move them to Nicaragua’s border. In this way, neither country gets stuck for long with large numbers of unwanted migrants, even though this just passes the hot potato problem to the U.S. southern border.

But now, according to Edrington and Holton, the policy is out of control due to the overwhelming pressure of the new influx. …

Of National Security and Marshall Plans

The policy implications of this new higher traffic coming at the border is at the very least two-fold.

During the Democrat presidential debates, candidates put forth as a primary solution to the Central American illegal immigration crisis at the southern border a "Marshall Plan," ala the economic rehabilitation of Europe after World War II, by which Americans would invest billions to build the economies of Honduras, El Salvador and Guatemala. The idea, according to candidates like San Antonio’s Julian Castro, is that a Marshall Plan would reduce the economic push factors driving hundreds of thousands of migrants to the southern border.

The new influx on its way to the American border puts this idea to a harsh logic fallacy test.

If a Marshall Plan is the ideal solution for mass migration influxes from wherever, what then about Cameroon, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Ghana, Haiti, Cuba and any other country whose population suddenly decide to transfer over the American border? How about a Marshall Plan for the entire world of impoverished nations? These questions should be raised when this particular influx hits the border in earnest.

Secondly, the new influx also must raise security questions when it starts to wash over the border. Migrants from the Middle East and Muslim-majority nations where terrorist organizations operate are in this extra-continental flow and often arrive with no verifiable identification. That’s a national security vulnerability that must be adequately acknowledged and dealt with, especially when one considers reporting about this reputed ISIS plot to send operatives over the U.S.-Mexico border and the recent apprehension in Nicaragua of two Iraqis and two Egyptians reputed to be affiliated with ISIS.  …

Lastly, American lawmakers will need to consider the broader question of how to turn off this flow at its Panamanian and Costa Rican spigot, wide open now due to the Controlled Flow policy. One way, as I've also suggested among this list of eight policy recommendations, is for the United States to help Panama pay for a nonstop airlift of repatriation flights to homelands all over the world. …

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Read the full article at:  https://cis.org/Bensman/Next-Influx-Entire-Worlds-Poor-and-Dispossessed

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.

Trump administration prepares to release Central American migrants 'across the entire nation'

The Trump administration is preparing to send Central American migrants caught along the southern border to Border Patrol stations "across the entire nation," according to a senior Border Patrol official who confirmed the plans Friday.

With more than 4,500 people being caught each day crossing the U.S.-Mexico border, the agency has run out of room at its Border Patrol facilities in the four border states. The agency has started looking at its facilities around the country, which are mostly along the northern border with Canada and coastal states.

That means states from Oregon to North Dakota to Maine may begin receiving planeloads of migrant families in the weeks to come. On Tuesday, Customs and Border Protection sent its first plane full of migrants from Texas to San Diego.

The official confirmed reports on Thursday that the Florida counties of Broward and Palm Beach are under consideration given the size and capabilities of Border Patrol stations in the South Florida region. But he did not say if the decision is final or when the flights would start.

More: Record number of migrants puts 'severe pressure' on Border Patrol facilities

Asked whether any federal funds would be provided to help local communities deal with the relocation of migrants, the CBP official on Friday said he was not "aware" of any such plans.

The CBP official, who spoke on the condition of anonymity to brief reporters on the agency's internal discussions, said politics is not playing a role in its search for places to process and release migrant families despite President Donald Trump's commentsthat he wants to send migrants to so-called "sanctuary cities" that do not fully cooperate with federal immigration officials.

"Due to the fact that Democrats are unwilling to change our very dangerous immigration laws, we are indeed, as reported, giving strong considerations to placing Illegal Immigrants in Sanctuary Cities," Trump tweeted last month.

Instead, the CBP official said they are searching only for Border Patrol facilities with the space and computer systems necessary to process large number of migrants each day. The official said the agency is not sending migrants to parts of the U.S. closest to their requested destinations, but making transportation decisions solely on each Border Patrol station's ability to receive large numbers of migrants.

Palm Beach County Sheriff Ric Bradshaw said on Thursday that he was told by local Border Patrol officials to expect flights to start arriving in the area within two weeks, and that South Florida would receive about 1,000 migrants a month.

Officials in both counties complained that the transfers are coming with no apparent plan to house, feed, or care for the migrants after they're released from custody.

Migrants to Florida? Broward and Palm Beach officials worry about migrants dumped in their communities

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, a Republican and ardent supporter of Trump, said he didn't know much beyond news reports about plans to release migrants in his state. But he said that if true, it would be a big problem.

"We cannot accommodate in Florida the dumping of unlawful migrants into our state. I think it will tax our resources, our schools, the healthcare, law enforcement, state agencies," he said after a bill-signing ceremony Friday, according to the Miami Herald.

The CBP official could not estimate the average cost of each flight. But on Monday, Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), which operates the flights, issued a public request for a contractor to handle up to 60,000 migrant transfers a year, with the vast majority of them (88%) being transfers by air.

Border Patrol has complained that its facilities have been overwhelmed by the record number of migrant families crossing the border, most of them requesting asylum to stay in the U.S.

Immigration and Customs Enforcement, which is responsible for interior immigration enforcement and has more detention space available, has also said it's running out of space.

That led Border Patrol agents in March to begin releasing migrants directly into local communities, at bus stations, community shelters, churches and other places along the border. That's been happening in Tucson since March.

CBP tried shuttling migrants between Border Patrol stations along the southern border, sending busloads of migrants from the flooded Rio Grande Valley sector in eastern Texas to other Border Patrol facilities in central and western Texas.

Now, the agency is looking all around the country to find more facilities that can help process the migrants. The migrants would be processed, given a date to appear in immigration court and then released into the community.

Pres. Trump tells it like it is

In an interview last Sunday, April 28, President Trump describes the crisis at the border in plain terms.  His colorful language is well-suited to getting the meanings across without cover of diplomacy.

From a Fox News report:

Excerpts:

President Trump told “Sunday Morning Future”’ that illegal immigrants are pouring into the country at unprecedented rates “because our economy is so good’’ and ‘‘everyone wants a piece of it’" -- and, he asserted, Democrats have now provided major incentives for illegal immigrants to bring children with them as a legal shield.

‘’You have to have Perry Mason involved” in order to fight some immigration challenges and enforce border security, Trump said, alluding to the backlog of immigration cases and a recent Ninth Circuit ruling requiring that asylum applicants be allowed to go before a federal judge.

"We’re moving people out so fast," he added. "The problem is we have to register them, we have to bring them to court.  Another country just says sorry, you can’t come into our country and they walk them out.  In our country you have to bring them to court, you have to have Perry Mason involved, I mean, you know, it’s all legal.  You have lawyers standing at the border, our people, lawyers, wise guys standing at the border, signing people up."

Trump continued: "Every time they catch a cold they try and blame Border Patrol.  It’s a disgrace what’s going on, and it could be solved in 15 minutes if the Democrats would give us the votes, it would be over."

"What we need is new laws that don’t allow this so when somebody comes in we say sorry, you got to go out.  . ... We have a court system with 900,000 cases behind it. They have a court that needs to hear 900,000 cases," Trump said, referring to overloaded immigration and asylum courts. "It's a system Congress can fix -- and they don't get off their ass."

Trump called the situation at the border like "Disneyland" now that purported family units cannot be separated for sustained periods. Under the administration's "no-tolerance policy," adults who crossed the border with children were charged with illegal entry into the U.S. -- and, shortly afterwards, had to be separated from minors in their group under the Flores decree.

"We -- we go out and we stop the separation," Trump said. "The problem is you have 10 times more people coming up with their families.  It’s like Disneyland now.  You know, before you’d get separated so people would say let’s not go up.  Now you don’t get separated and, you know, while that sounds nice and all, what happens is you have -- literally you have 10 times more families coming up because they’re not going to be separated from their children."

Read the complete news report here.

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You can send comments to the President here.

To your U.S. Representative here.

And to your U.S. Senators here.

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.

Migrant Caravans Prove a Successful Formula for Mass Illegal Entry to US

Portillo, 38, said she joined the migrant caravan after hearing about it on social media. She brought her 6-year-old daughter from Honduras.

"I was coming with the original caravan that was going to Tijuana, but the first people that arrived in Tijuana were causing trouble, so I decided to sidetrack and not continue on with the group," Portillo said on Feb. 15, through a translator.  "When this other caravan started coming over here, I joined it."
 
She arrived in Piedras Negras, Mexico, on Feb. 4 with 1,800 other mostly Central American migrants, and has been staying in an old factory. Mexican officials say the de facto migrant camp will be cleared out by Feb. 21.
 
Portillo said that while she was in Tapachula, Mexico, the United Nations gave her 3,700 pesos (US $193) for her daughter, to help with food and other necessities.
 
As with many other migrants, Portillo had been told she could easily walk into the United States and claim asylum. However, in reality, it's not quite so simple, as she discovered when she arrived at the old factory after being transported in buses and trucks most of the way.
 
Mexican authorities issued Portillo and her daughter humanitarian visitor visas that are good until July 2020. But she wants to cross to the United States and apply for asylum as soon as possible.
 
Dispersing the Caravan
 
Over the past week, the caravan of mostly Central Americans has been broken into smaller groups and bused to other border cities in Mexico, including Juarez, Acuata, Reynosa, and Matamoros. On the U.S. side of those cities are El Paso, Del Rio, McAllen, and Brownsville.
 
Piedras Negras Mayor Claudio Bres told Mexican media that about 500 of the migrants have had their legal stay in Mexico rejected and now have 30 days to leave the country. Many others were granted a one-year humanitarian visa to live and work.
 
At least 100 criminals were identified among the migrants and subsequently deported, according to Secretary of Public Security of Coahuila José Luis Pliego Corona.
 
About 25 MS-13 gang members who travelled with the caravan also have been deported, according to Coahuila Gov. Miguel Riquelme.
 
"We had around 10 gang members identified. Today, there are around 25 identified, who have been deported by [our] joint efforts with the Mexican government," Riquelme told Mexican media on Feb. 18.
 
President Donald Trump signed a national emergency declaration on Feb. 15, saying the southern border is in crisis. The administration has identified $6.1 billion in the defense budget and $600 million from the Treasury Department to reappropriate toward building more fencing along the border.
 
"If you're going to have drugs pouring across the border, if you're going to have human traffickers pouring across the border in areas where we have no protection, in areas where we don't have a barrier, then it's very hard to make America great again," Trump said on Feb. 15.
 
Marvin Ruiz, 26, said he's fleeing the MS-13 gang, whose members tried to recruit him in Honduras. He said he heard about the caravan on social media and left his wife and child to join it.
 
"My wife and child are in danger now, but I didn't have the finances to bring them," he said.
 
Ruiz has a visitor visa for Mexico that expires in February 2020, but his goal is to get into the United States.
 
"Yes, I will cross river illegally. At the right time, I will go across," he said. He said he has a relative in Georgia.
 
Araceli Davila, 42, traveled from El Salvador with her two children, aged 24 and 14. She also heard about the caravan through social media. She only has a 45-day temporary permit, which expires on Feb. 23. Davila said she applied for a humanitarian visitor visa when in Tapachula, but left with the caravan before she received it.
 
"My brother lives in North Carolina, and I want to go there and work," she said.
 
Illegal Crossings Spike
 
Even running at 150-percent capacity, Customs and Border Protection in Eagle Pass, Texas, can only handle around 20 asylum claims per day.
 
Consequently, illegal crossings into the United States have surged in the area, and Border Patrol has been busy rescuing migrants who attempt to cross the deceptively swift and deep Rio Grande.
 
Many small groups cross easily from Mexico onto one of several small islands in the river under the international bridges; but the second part of the crossing is highly risky.
 
On Feb. 18, border agents saved a 12-year-old Honduran boy's life after hauling him unconscious from the Rio Grande, as he tried to cross with his brother and a Nicaraguan man. Agents pulled the boy's limp body onto their boat and resuscitated him with CPR, according to Customs and Border Protection.
 
"This incident highlights the dangers of attempting to enter the United States illegally," said Del Rio Sector acting Chief Patrol Agent Matthew Hudak. "If not for the training and quick response by our marine agents, this young boy would have lost his life."
 
On the same day, Border Patrol agents arrested a 35-year-old Honduran who crossed illegally into the United States. The man was a confirmed member of the MS-13 gang who had previously been deported in 2006.
 
"Violent criminals continue to illegally cross the border and attempt to enter the United States," Hudak said.  "Our agents remain vigilant to prevent these types of criminals from entering and harming our communities."
 
The Epoch Times watched several groups attempt to cross the river on Feb. 16, with most getting into distress and having to be rescued, while some retreated to Mexico.
 
Border Patrol agents joked that their boat is called "the ferry"—as they basically ferry illegal crosserrs to the United States.
 
Border Patrol apprehended almost 400,000 illegal border crossers in fiscal year 2018. The volume this fiscal year is on target to hit 600,000. Border Patrol agents have encountered 58 groups of 100 or more people so far this fiscal year, compared to 13 total in fiscal 2018.
 
On Feb. 19 Mexican media reported violence on the country's southern border, as a group of at least 600 migrants from Central America forced its way over the border, throwing rocks at police.
 
Caravan Rumors
 
Rumors and folklore are rife in the migrant caravans and this one was no exception. When asked who was organizing it, several people mentioned a Honduran man named Carlos, an unnamed Mexican man, and a lawyer.
 
Portillo said a Mexican man joined the caravan as it passed through Oaxaca, Mexico, and took over the organization, escorting it all the way to Piedras Negras. She said the migrants were told to do what the man said, and that he was getting paid a lot of money to make sure they got to the U.S. border. Portillo couldn't provide the man's name, but said he had already gone back to get another caravan organized.
 
Ruiz said the lawyer was advising them on what to say, what to watch out for, and what to expect when entering the United States.
 
San Diego-based open borders group Pueblos Sin Fronteras ("People Without Borders") has been involved in assisting previous caravans, but there were no verifiable ties to this one. The group provided major assistance to last year's caravan that ended up in Tijuana, Mexico.
 
Another group, Los Angeles-based Al Otro Lado ("To the other side") was also in the Tijuana migrant camp advising migrants on the asylum process and how to deal with certain questions.
 
"It's important to be eligible for asylum," the organization's litigation director, Erika Pinheiro, said over a loudspeaker at the migrant camp at the Benito Juarez sports complex on Nov. 19.
 
"[Withholding of removal] is not a road towards residency and citizenship. That is, you'll only have a work permit; you'll never be able to leave the United States; you can't apply for your family members; you can't vote in the United States. Basically, you won't be deported but it doesn't have many benefits."
 
Department of Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen traveled to El Salvador on Feb. 20 to meet with her counterparts from Guatemala, Honduras, and El Salvador to discuss migration and security issues in the region.
 
The meeting is part of a campaign to step up cooperation in the region to bolster border security, target human-smuggling and trafficking organizations, prevent the formation of new migrant caravans, and address the root causes of the migration crisis, according to a Homeland Security statement.
 
The Trump administration announced a $10.6 billion foreign aid package for southern Mexico and Central America on Dec. 18.
 
The administration is also expanding the scope of the Alliance for Prosperity plan that began at the end of 2014. It was started by Guatemala, Honduras, and El Salvador and has been supported each year since by a U.S. congressional allocation of $460 million to $750 million.
 
The plan was based on a similar one in Colombia that helped to dismantle drug cartels, increase security, and foster economic activity.
 
About half of Central America's population located in El Salvador, Guatemala, and Honduras—lives in poveerty, according to State Department estimates.
 
In 2015, El Salvador and Honduras had the highest global rates of intentional homicides, respectively, according to data from the United Nations. And although the homicide rates in both countries dramatically declined in 2017, according to State Department data, they still exceed those of most countries in the region.
 
However, the migration flow is primarily driven by economic concerns and lack of economic opportunity, and poverty and localized violence aren't grounds for asylum under United States and international law.
 
Asylum-seekers need to prove that they have suffered past persecution or have a well-founded fear of future persecution in their home country because of their race, religion, nationality, political opinion, or membership in a particular social group.
 
But persecution is generally considered state-sanctioned or -condoned, which means the government of the alien's home country is the sponsor of the persecution. For example, in North Korea, the regime itself persecutes Christians

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