economy

Open borders, anyone?

by Elizabeth Van Staaveren

In Thomas Stewart’s opinion piece, “The influx of people has a long, rich history,” (Oregonian, 4/6), we hear the voice of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce loud and clear, a voice that is always calling for more and more cheap labor.  To sensible citizens, this sales talk for open borders falls flat.
 
First, the U.S. has not “always been a nation of immigrants.”  It was founded by colonists almost entirely from England and the British Isles at a time when “immigrant” was a word in little use.  They were colonists, not immigrants; there was no nation here in the usual sense of the word.  For many years after the U.S. became a nation, “immigration” was negligible. 
 
We’ve been blessed with many wonderful immigrants who have contributed much to advance the U.S.  In recent years, however, for each immigrant founder of a Fortune 500 company, there probably are a million or more other immigrants who simply add to the population.
 
Stewart argues for keeping immigrant Ph.D. holders, but why shouldn’t they return to their own countries and devote their talents to improving the quality of life of their fellow citizens?  That would be a good thing.  We should expect them to use their knowledge to help their own countries and in their own countries.
 
U.S. citizens don’t object to limited numbers of immigrants. and we welcome those who truly contribute unusual abilities not found here.  Nor do we object to giving safe harbor to a fair share of the world’s bona fide refugees.  We do object to huge numbers of unskilled immigrants.  This country already has more than enough people to do unskilled labor.  It’s a fact that recent high immigration levels have already depressed wages and income, especially among the most vulnerable populations of citizens who do unskilled labor.  Joblessness is shockingly high and many people have been out of work for more than a year. 
 
Our visa system is riddled with fraud, in all categories, but especially in the H-1B group.  It has allowed companies to fire citizens and replace them with foreign workers that are kept in a kind of indentured servitude, paid less than American wages, and made afraid to complain.
 
There has not been adequate immigration law enforcement for many decades.  At this point, the most humane step would be to make E-Verify mandatory for all employers, for both new hires and current work forces.  E-Verify, the federal program that now enables employers to check the legal status of new hires, is accurate, despite false accusations made against it.  It is ready for expansion.  Over half a million honest, patriotic employers use it voluntarily, like it, give it high marks.
 
We should have another amnesty, Mr. Stewart?  No!  Seven amnesties have been enacted in Congress beginning in 1986, each one only resulting in more waves of illegal immigration.  Any proposal giving legalization of any sort to illegal aliens is amnesty and is wrong morally, economically, and socially.
 
There is not, as Stewart blithely claims, an unlimited capacity of this or any other country to absorb immigrants.  The U.S. is overpopulated now.  Our natural environment is in tatters from too many people.  Based on Census figures, the Center for Immigration Studies estimated that 80.4% of population growth between 2000 and 2010 was due to immigration (immigrants and children of immigrants.)  We need to reduce population by setting a moratorium on immigration for an extended period.
 
No nation can retain sovereignty without controlling its territorial borders and immigration into the country – witness Ukraine.
 

Still no evidence of a labor shortage

News release
 
WASHINGTON, DC (March 13, 2014) — Congress is currently considering immigration reform packages that include work permits for those in the country illegally, as well as substantial increases in future legal immigration. Many in Congress argue that the country needs more workers. Yet a new analysis of government employment data by the Center for Immigration Studies shows an enormous number of working-age Americans not employed, particularly those with modest levels of education who are among the poorest Americans.
 
“There is a profound disconnect between what Washington is doing on immigration, and what is actually happening in the U.S. labor market,” said Dr. Steven Camarota, CIS Director of Research. “Across the labor market the employment situation remains dismal, with the percentage of working-age Americans not working at a record high. Yet the Senate passed a bill that gives work permits to millions of illegal immigrants and also doubles the number of foreign workers allowed into the country.”
 
 
Among the findings:
 
• The share of working-age (18 to 65) natives holding a job has not recovered from the Great Recession. In the fourth quarter of 2013, 31 percent were not working, something that has barely improved in the last five years.
 
• In the fourth quarter of 2013, there were only two working-age natives holding a job for every one that was not employed. This represents a huge deterioration. As recently as 2000, there were three working-age adults holding a job for every one not working.
 
• The total number of native-born working-age adults (18 to 65) of any education level not working (unemployed or out of the labor force) was 50.5 million in the fourth quarter of 2012 — 8.8 million more than in the fourth quarter of 2007, and 14.7 million more than in the same quarter of 2000.
 
• Looking at the less-educated, only 38 percent of working-age adult natives who have not completed high school were employed in the fourth quarter of 2013. Back in the fourth quarter of 2000, 52 percent of these natives had a job.
 
• Even among adults who had completed high school, but had no additional schooling, just 65 percent had a job at the end of 2013. Back in the fourth quarter of 2000, 74 percent worked.
 
• Some of those not working do not wish to work, but looking at the broad measure of unemployment (referred to as U-6) shows that unemployment was 28.7 percent for native-born adults who have not completed high school and 16.5 percent for those with only a high school education. The U-6 measure includes those who want to work, but have not looked recently, and those forced to work part-time.
 
 

"Generation Jobless" Could Become "Generation Hopeless" Under Pending Immigration Legislation

A new report by the Federation for American Immigration Reform (FAIR) finds that younger American workers, also known as the Millennial Generation, are being disproportionally harmed by mass immigration. Generation Jobless: The Unemployment Crisis of Millennials finds that excessively high levels of immigration have become a significant impediment to younger workers gaining a foothold in the labor market. The phenomenon has adversely affecting both lesser skilled youth as well as those with college educations or higher.

The crisis facing the Millennial Generation may be compounded if the House of Representatives follows the lead of the Senate and enacts immigration reform legislation that makes some 12 million illegal aliens eligible to compete legally for every job in the U.S., and doubles the annual intake of new immigration, warns the report.

"One of the main factors contributing to the bleak employment situation faced by American workers, especially those just starting out in their careers, are high levels of immigration," noted Dan Stein, president of FAIR. "It's a plain fact that the U.S. working-age population is increasing faster than jobs are being created, and many new jobs are not well-paying career opportunities. Anyone who is serious about helping young people get a leg up in this economy cannot support immigration policies that put Millennials at a disadvantage," said Stein.

"Lower skilled youth — those who have a high school degree or less — find themselves competing with illegal aliens and poorly skilled legal immigrants who are arriving in large numbers under family chain migration policies. Better skilled Millennials — those who have invested significant money and time in training for what they were told were the 'careers of the future' — are confronted with the reality that employers can take advantage of guest workers and foreign graduates of U.S. universities to fill jobs. Increasingly, Millennials are finding that the doors to opportunity are closed to them," said Stein.

Among the key findings of Generation Jobless:

  • Half of unemployed workers in October 2013 were Millennials between the ages of 18 and 34.
  • 39 percent of 18- to 34-year-olds were not in the labor force in 2012.
  • There was an increase of 2.6 million Americans aged 16-34 between 2007 and 2012. During that same time span, the number of employed Americans 16-34 decreased by 2.9 million.
  • U.S.-born Hispanic Millennials of all education levels are the cohort most adversely affected by competition from foreign workers.
  • 32 percent of Millennials, 21.6 million people, were living with their parents in 2012.

"American immigration policies are betraying our young people," Stein charged. "There isn't much we as a nation can do to mitigate the impact of globalization or mechanization on kids entering the labor force. But there are things we can do to make sure that they get a fair shot at the jobs that are available, like limiting the number of foreign workers who have access to our labor market and enforcing laws against illegal immigration.

"Instead, our leaders are doing precisely the opposite. Congress, at the urging of corporate interests, is considering granting amnesty to illegal aliens and vastly expanding the number of foreign workers who would be admitted to our country. Doing so would turn 'Generation Jobless' into 'Generation Hopeless,'" concluded Stein. Read more about "Generation Jobless" Could Become "Generation Hopeless" Under Pending Immigration Legislation

Looking for the path less travelled - where will true Republicans go?

Ira Mehlman explains the problems House Republicans are facing in Congress. Poor babies - is it so difficult to do what's right?

Read Mr. Mehlman's Townhall article and share it with your friends. Read more about Looking for the path less travelled - where will true Republicans go?

Special guest Susan Tully - FAIR National Field Director to speak

Alert date: 
December 5, 2013
Alert body: 

Don't miss the meeting this Saturday, December 7 at 2:00pm at the Best Western Mill Creek in across from Costco in Salem.

Click here for more information about the OFIR meeting.

Check out our post meeting photo gallery.

Today’s Grads Face Mounting Pressure From Foreign Tech Workers

Writing in the November 15 issue of ComputerWorld, Patrick Thibodeau reminds us of the plight of today’s college graduates who have obtained pricey degrees in technical fields, but have become burdened with tuition debt while trying to compete in a tight job market with the estimated 650,000 foreign workers already here under H-1B visas.

Things could get worse under the Senate immigration reform bill, which calls for increasing the current annual H-1B visa cap of 65,000 to about 180,000...

Ironically, with an anemic economy and a stubborn unemployment rate of 7 percent, the nation’s blue chip companies continue to lobby for more H-1B visas at a time when many are shedding headcount to cut costs.

Last quarter, Cisco laid off 4,000 people, bringing its two-year total layoffs to 12,000. HP just completed a plan announced in 2012 to cut 9,000 American jobs. Pharmaceutical giant Merck announced it will cut 8,500 more jobs, bringing the total number to 16,000...

Mass layoffs are typically justified in terms of restructuring to meet changing market needs, retooling for the next phase of innovation, or remaining competitive in an increasingly dynamic industry. But there’s more to it than this. These goals can be achieved in large part by replacing American workers with foreign workers who will do more for less and not complain about it.

In September, IBM agreed to settle a claim with the Justice Department that its job listings for almost four years expressed a preference for foreign workers with temporary visas over U.S. citizens. According to one HR manager at the company, the cost difference is too great for IBM not to look for foreign workers first. Many firms routinely violate the “citizens-first” hiring rule, but because they are hit with paltry fines if caught, it is easy to dismiss them as a cost of doing business.

Tech companies like Apple, Microsoft, Google, and Cisco are among the many companies awash in cash, yet claim to need more foreign workers to stay on life support. If corporate profits are any measure, this line of reasoning falls squarely into the category of pure blather. The SP500 companies are sitting on a cash pile of $1.3 trillion.

Apple is widely hailed as the world leader in innovation. It has accumulated a cash hoard of $147 billion, which equates to nearly 10% of all corporate cash held by non-financial companies, according to Moody’s. Google pales in comparison with only $56 billion cash on hand and Facebook with $10 billion. All three companies are key players in petitioning Congress to lift the H-1B visa cap, as if they faced imminent extinction without a drip infusion of foreign workers.

The prospect of a big increase in H-1B visas could have serious consequences for American students and society...

Under the H-1B program, companies are allowed to pay foreign workers less than American citizens. When a company sees its competitors doing this, they have little choice but to follow suit to lower their own operating costs. This situation lowers wages across the board, making it difficult for American graduates to compete for jobs, pay down tuition loans, buy homes and raise families. With an uncertain job future in technical fields, high school students have good reason to think twice about pursuing expensive university degrees in preparation for jobs they are not likely to get.

In the ComputerWorld article, Karen Panetta, IEEE-USA Vice President for Communications and Public Awareness, and a professor of electrical engineering at Tufts University, warned that the cost of tuition in the U.S. is so unrealistically prohibitive that a class shift is underway. “The really wealthy are the only ones who can afford to send their kids to school,” she said. With her students owing $50,000 on average, “It’s the house you are not going to be able to buy for another 10 years.”

Also reported in ComputerWorld, Hal Salzman, a professor of public policy at Rutgers University, noted that the U.S. produces enough graduates to satisfy the demands of the labor market. But if the H-1B visa cap increase goes through, he sees a market that will be flooded with workers, with people under age 30 being especially hard hit by the increased job competition.

As the Wall Street Journal noted in its October 23 editorial, “With total employment at 144.3 million, for every three Americans over the age of 16 earning a paycheck there are two who aren’t even looking for a job. That’s an ugly portent for American prosperity.”

It’s hard to fathom how an annual influx of ever greater numbers of foreign workers will improve on this dire situation. It may very well accelerate the decline in workforce participation and increase dependence on the expanding array of government benefits as a substitute for work – both of which may trigger unforeseen consequences, including societal turbulence, followed by remedies we may prefer not to think about.

Read the full article. Read more about Today’s Grads Face Mounting Pressure From Foreign Tech Workers

Speaker Boehner: Immigration Reform Not Dead

Barely a week after he said the House will not go to conference with the 1,300 page Senate amnesty bill, House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) renewed his commitment to passing “immigration reform,” a term commonly used to mean amnesty for the country’s 11-12 million illegal aliens.

“The only way to make sure immigration reform works this time is to address these complicated issues one step at a time,” said the Speaker at a press conference Thursday. (See Bloomberg Government Transcript, Nov. 21, 2013) “I think doing so will give the American people confidence that we're dealing with these issues in a thoughtful way and a deliberative way. So I’m hopeful we can make progress on this very important issue,” he continued. (Id.)

In fact, when asked whether immigration reform was dead, the Speaker replied, “Absolutely not. I have made clear, going back to the day after the last election in 2012 that it was time for Congress to deal with this issue. I believe that Congress needs to deal with this issue.” (See Bloomberg Government Transcript, Nov. 21, 2013)

Speaker Boehner also signaled that several House Republicans are continuing to work behind the scenes on a plan to pass immigration reform. “There are a lot of private conversations that are underway to try to figure out, how do we best move on a common-sense, step-by-step basis to address this very important issue…because it is a very important issue.” (Id.) Similarly, during his press conference the previous week, Boehner told reporters that House Judiciary Chairman Bob Goodlatte (R-VA) — whose committee has jurisdiction over the immigration issue — was working on “principles” for the chamber to follow in pursuing immigration reform in the coming year. (Roll Call, Nov. 13, 2013)

The Speaker’s recent comments make clear that amnesty and mass immigration proposals are far from “dead” in the House this coming year. To be sure, passing immigration bills piecemeal—rather than in one comprehensive bill such as in the Senate—still gives GOP leaders room to push for amnesty legislation or massive increases in foreign workers. In reality, depending on the path Leadership takes, the House approach, even if it is more transparent, could still have the same result as the Senate’s 1,000+ page bill.

Indeed, even House Majority Leader Eric Cantor has acknowledged that the House’s piecemeal bills are intended to fit together in a comprehensive manner. Last week in a heated exchange with Minority Whip Steny Hoyer (D-MD) on the chamber floor Cantor said, “These [immigration bills] all fit into a larger puzzle,” he said. (See Congressional Record, Nov. 15, 2013, p.H7147)

Increasing the cause for concern, President Obama has given the GOP leaders his stamp of approval in taking this approach to achieving “comprehensive” immigration reform. “[House Republicans are] suspicious of comprehensive bills,” Obama said at a Wall Street Journal CEO summit. “But you know what? If they want to chop that thing up into five pieces, as long as all five pieces get done, I don't care what it looks like.” (AFP, Nov. 19, 2013) Read more about Speaker Boehner: Immigration Reform Not Dead

The George Soros-funded National Immigration Forum (NIF) is organizing a “fly-in” of what it calls conservatives from across the country aimed at lobbying House Republicans for an amnesty bill.

According to USA Today’s immigration beat writer Alan Gomez, NIF is planning to organize the fly in with the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg’s FWD.us, and New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s Partnership for a New American Economy.

“The fly-in is being organized not by conservative groups, but organizations that have focused on legalizing millions of people who are in the U.S. illegally and changing the legal immigration system to bring in more foreign workers,” Gomez wrote on Monday. He noted that the 300 activists for an immigration grand bargain were looking to make what he described as a “conservative pitch” for amnesty.

Gomez noted NIF’s Executive Director, Ali Noorani, who “has advocated for changes in immigration law to help legal and undocumented immigrants for three decades," claimed "the broad collection coming to Washington represents 'the conservative base of the Republican Party.'"

The event will take place on Oct. 28, coinciding with President Barack Obama’s and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid’s renewed push against House Speaker John Boehner for amnesty. Now that Obama, Reid, and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi are publicly pushing for amnesty after many mainstream media outlets declared it dead earlier this year, Soros’ groups are trying to make it appear as though conservatives support immigration legislation like the Senate-passed “Gang of Eight” bill. Ultimately, the left’s goal is to get the House to pass a series of piecemeal immigration bills and then combine them with the Senate bill in a conference committee.

Soros is heavily involved in funding the lobbying for amnesty. After Breitbart News exposed NIF for being Soros-funded while running a campaign to make it appear as though evangelicals support granting amnesty to illegal immigrants, Noorani admitted his group accepts funding from Soros. Noorani denies that the funding was being used for the Evangelical Immigration Table (EIT), a project that his group runs the operations of, but admits that millions of NIF’s dollars come from Soros and that about 10 percent of its budget this year comes from the leftwing billionaire.

Soros is also intimately connected to Facebook’s Zuckerberg’s FWD.us push for amnesty. Zuckerberg hired Soros’ former chief financial strategist Stanley Druckenmiller. Druckenmiller served as Soros’ chief strategist for more than a decade.

Mitt Romney's top 2012 campaign donor, Wall Street hedge fund manager Paul Singer, also funds NIF, as Breitbart News has reported. Read more about The George Soros-funded National Immigration Forum (NIF) is organizing a “fly-in” of what it calls conservatives from across the country aimed at lobbying House Republicans for an amnesty bill.

Obama plans immigration push after fiscal crisis ends

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - President Barack Obama said on Tuesday that stalled immigration reform would be a top priority once the fiscal crisis has been resolved.

"Once that's done, you know, the day after, I'm going to be pushing to say, call a vote on immigration reform," he told the Los Angeles affiliate of Spanish-language television network Univision.

The president's domestic agenda has been sidetracked in his second term by one problem after another. As he coped with the revelation of domestic surveillance programs, chemical weapons in Syria, and a fiscal battle that has shut down the U.S. government and threatens a debt default, immigration has been relegated to the back burner.

But Obama, who won re-election with overwhelming Hispanic backing, had hoped to make reforms easing the plight of the 11 million immigrants who are in the United States illegally.

In June, the Senate passed an immigration overhaul, but House of Representatives Republicans are divided over the granting of legal status to those in the country illegally, a step many see as rewarding lawbreakers.

Although the president had sought comprehensive reform, he said last month he would be open to the House taking a piece-by-piece approach if that would get the job done.

Obama on Tuesday blamed House Speaker John Boehner for preventing immigration from coming up for a vote.

"We had a very strong Democratic and Republican vote in the Senate," he said. "The only thing right now that's holding it back is, again, Speaker Boehner not willing to call the bill on the floor of the House of Representatives."

Boehner said the sweeping Senate bill would not pass the House and has said the lower chamber would tackle the issue in smaller sections that would include stricter provisions on border protection


  Read more about Obama plans immigration push after fiscal crisis ends

Senator Wyden just popped up for Eugene Townhall meeting

Alert date: 
August 27, 2013
Alert body: 

Hurry and perhaps you can still make it:

August 27, 2013 12:00 PM

Eugene Hilton

66 E. 6th Street

Eugene, OR

 

 


 

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