immigration

The Subversive Trans-Pacific Partnership

The Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) has been described as a "stealthy delivery mechanism for policies that could not survive public scrutiny," and focuses on curtailing government at all levels. In addition, it encourages trade that would harm communities and the environment­.18 Recent revelations expose the Trans-Pacific Partnership as a transnational corporate coup.13 

The TPP is a multinational trade agreement, negotiated in secret meetings dominated by governments and 500 trans-national corporate interests16. Although still under negotiation, the media has virtually blacked out coverage of the TPP.8

It has been reported that former US Trade Representative Ron Kirk stated that if the people knew what was in the TPP agreement, it would raise such opposition that it could make the deal impossible to sign.

TPP Overview

The Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) is a fundamental component of President Obama’s continuing economic agenda. It would grant a broad range of powers to trans-national corporations based overseas. According to the New York Times:

Under the accord, still under negotiation but nearing completion, companies and investors would be empowered to challenge regulations, rules, government actions and court rulings — federal, state or local — before tribunals organized under the World Bank or the United Nations... critics, including many Democrats in Congress, argue that the planned deal widens the opening for multinationals to sue in the United States and elsewhere, giving greater priority to protecting corporate interests than promoting free trade and competition that benefits consumers.12

The TPP is the largest pending economic treaty in history and includes countries that represent more than 40 per cent of the world´s GDP. Current TPP negotiation members include the United States, Japan, Mexico, Canada, Australia, Malaysia, Chile, Singapore, Peru, Vietnam, New Zealand and Brunei.13

The TPP is a "docking" agreement, which means that any country in the TPP region (e.g., China) can add themselves just by signing on.15 The TPP would be forever. Unlike domestic laws, it would have no expiration date. It could be altered only by a consensus of all signatories.20

Ongoing TPP negotiations have been conducted in secrecy since 2008 and are now in the final stages. The Obama administration is attempting to "fast-track" the treaty through Congress so that elected officials will have no ability to review or comment on provisions. Fast track is implemented by Congress passing Trade Promotion Authority, which means that Congress surrenders all rights to amend the TPP treaty and is only allowed to vote yes or no on Obama’s final deal.9

Some of the more concerning aspects of the TPP are discussed below.

Immigration

The US Constitution gives Congress exclusive authority over immigration, immigrants, and work authorizations. Yet fast-track trade legislation essentially relinquishes that authority to the President.

NumbersUSA has pointed out that as a result of fast-track trade authority on the TPP, any President could much more easily expand guest worker programs without public debate. Indeed, that occurred under President Bush during five years of fast-track authority.17 As a result, in 2003, Congress objected to President Bush including immigration in trade agreements with a resolution that began:

Resolved, That it is the sense of the Senate that

(1) trade agreements are not the appropriate vehicle for enacting immigration-related laws or modifying current immigration policy; and

(2) future trade agreements to which the United States is a party and the legislation implementing the agreements should not contain immigration-related provisions.17

The Hill recently reported that:

TPP's provisions are largely secret but, according to Curtis Ellis of the American Jobs Alliance, the U.S. Trade Representative revealed that "temporary entry" guest worker visas are a "key feature" of the pact. Ellis said that Obama Administration previously used the U.S.-South Korea trade pact to expand the length of time a L-1 visa holder can work in the U.S. That pact is viewed as a model for negotiating the TPP.17

As a result of these concerns, NumbersUSA sent notices to members of Congress reading in part:

Despite a U.S. labor force participation rate that is at its lowest level since 1978, President Obama wants to use the TPP to further reduce the jobs available to U.S. workers and instead reserve certain jobs for foreign workers under the agreement. It is indefensible that Congress would now consider surrendering even more of its authority over immigration to this President in order to fast track a trade agreement that will harm American workers, and the text of which Congress has not even seen.17

Environment

In an analysis of the leaked TPP “Investment” chapter13, Public Citizen observes that:

The leaked text would empower foreign firms to directly “sue” signatory governments in extrajudicial investor-state dispute settlement (ISDS) tribunals over domestic policies that apply equally to domestic and foreign firms that foreign firms claim violate their new substantive investor rights. There they could demand taxpayer compensation for domestic financial, health, environmental, land use and other policies and government actions they claim undermine TPP foreign investor privileges, such as the “right” to a regulatory framework that conforms to their “expectations.”19

Thus, the TPP would elevate foreign-owned corporations to the same status as sovereign governments. These corporations would be able to challenge in foreign tribunals any environmental laws and regulations that they deemed a threat to their profitability. For example, provisions would disadvantage organic farmers and those who adopt more environmentally-sound farming practices.18

TPP will limit GMO food labeling and will allow the import of foods and goods that do not meet US safe standards.20 As US News reports:

Many jurisdictions have policies to promote opportunity and ameliorate the severity of market forces. These include minimum wage laws, laws requiring employers to offer health insurance, regulations covering product safety, work-place safety, environmental protection, and more. All of these protections are at risk under the TPP. For example, the pact would prevent communities from deciding whether or not they want fracking in their area.18

Intellectual Property

The TPP would extend copyright beyond the international 50 year standard after an author’s death by an additional 20 years, thus effectively prohibiting works from entering the public domain.3

Article 16 of the TPP wants signatories to find legal incentives to strong-arm ISPs into privately enforcing TPP copyright rules. The result could be arbitrary filtering of content, complete blockage of websites, and disclosure of ISP customer identities.3

The Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) has expressed serious concern that the TPP will:

  • Place Greater Liability on Internet Intermediaries, as noted above.
  • Compel signatory nations to enact laws banning circumvention of digital locks on movies on DVDs, video games, and players, and for embedded software.
  • Create New Threats for Journalists and Whistleblowers.
  • Enact a "Three-Step Test" Language That Puts Restrictions on Fair Use.
  • Adopt Criminal Sanctions: Adopt criminal sanctions for copyright infringement that is done without a commercial motivation.1

The EFF notes that:

TPP raises significant concerns about citizens’ freedom of expression, due process, innovation, the future of the Internet’s global infrastructure, and the right of sovereign nations to develop policies and laws that best meet their domestic priorities. In sum, the TPP puts at risk some of the most fundamental rights that enable access to knowledge for the world’s citizens."1

Critics of the TPP say it would result in increased drug prices and could give surgeons patent protection for their procedures.14

Corporate tribunals override national sovereignty

A TPP leaked document made public by Wikileaks reveals that:

Under the accord, still under negotiation but nearing completion, companies and investors would be empowered to challenge regulations, rules, government actions and court rulings -- federal, state or local -- before tribunals organized under the World Bank or the United Nations.13

The Huffington Post emphasizes the point:

Let that sink in for a moment: "[C]ompanies and investors would be empowered to challenge regulations, rules, government actions and court rulings -- federal, state or local -- before tribunals...." And they can collect not just for lost property or seized assets; they can collect if laws or regulations interfere with these giant companies' ability to collect what they claim are "expected future profits."16

The New York Times observes:

In all, according to Public Citizen’s Global Trade Watch, about 9,000 foreign-owned firms operating in the United States would be empowered to bring cases against governments here. Those are as diverse as timber and mining companies in Australia and investment conglomerates from China whose subsidiaries in Trans-Pacific Partnership countries like Vietnam and New Zealand also have ventures in the United States.

More than 18,000 companies based in the United States would gain new powers to go after the other 11 countries in the accord…

Under the Trans-Pacific Partnership, a member nation would be forbidden from favoring “goods produced in its territory.”14

This is really troubling,” said Senator Charles E. Schumer of New York, the Senate’s No. 3 Democrat. “It seems to indicate that savvy, deep-pocketed foreign conglomerates could challenge a broad range of laws we pass at every level of government, such as made-in-America laws or anti-tobacco laws. I think people on both sides of the aisle will have trouble with this.”14

Conclusion

From what we now know, the Trans-Pacific Partnership represents a distinct and significant threat to national sovereignty and the ability of any member nation – including the United States – to regulate its trade, intellectual property, environment, and immigration.

Most troubling is what we don’t yet know about the secretive TPP.

In the interests of America and all Americans, Congress is obligated to deny fast-track TPA authority on the TPP and to reject the TPP in its entirety.

 

The author, Fred Elbel, is the OFIR webmaster and director of Colorado Alliance for Immigration Reform.

References

1. What is TPP, Electronic Frontier Foundation

2. What Is Wrong With the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), Electronic Frontier Foundation, August 21, 2012 - one-page overview

3. What is the TPP, and why should you care?, Naked Security, August 28, 2012

4. Obama secretly signing away U.S. sovereignty, WorldNetDaily, October 16, 2013

5. Thanks to WikiLeaks, we see just how bad TPP trade deal is for regular people, The Guardian, November 13, 2013

6. Trash the TPP: Why It's Time to Revolt Against the Worst "Trade Agreement" in History, Occupy.com, July 19, 2013

7. Leaked TPP Intellectual Property Chapter from May 2014, Electronic Frontier Foundation, May 2014

8. Media Leave Viewers In The Dark About Trans-Pacific Partnership, Media Matters, February 9, 2014

9. Immigration, Outsourcing And Now Fast-Tracking TP - When Will GOP Stand Up For Americans?, Patrick J. Buchanan, VDare, January 31, 2015

Following the Immigration and Nationality Act of 1965, we threw open America’s doors to a flood of immigrants, legal and illegal. Some 40-50 million have poured in, an unprecedented expansion of the labor force.

Thus, “free-trade” Republicans and their collaborators in the Business Roundtable and U.S. Chamber of Commerce decided to drop the U.S. labor force into a worldwide labor pool where the average wage was but a tiny fraction of an American living wage.

Like NAFTA and GATT, the Trans-Pacific Partnership is an enabling act for multinationals to move freely to where it is cheapest to produce while securing access to where it is most profitable to sell.

10. Obama's next immigration scam - Guest workers get free pass in so-called free-trade TPP agreement, World Net Daily, March 14, 2015

11. Democrats Blast Obama’s Secret Trade Negotiations, Limits To Growth, March 18, 2015

12. Trans-Pacific Partnership Seen as Door for Foreign Suits Against U.S., New York Times, March 25, 2015

13. Secret Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPP) - Investment Chapter, Wikileaks, March 25, 2015

Read the full Secret Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPP) - Investment Chapter, Wikileaks, March 25, 2015

The TPP Investment Chapter is dated 20 January 2015. The document is classified and supposed to be kept secret for four years after the entry into force of the TPP agreement or, if no agreement is reached, for four years from the close of the negotiations.

Julian Assange, WikiLeaks editor said: "The TPP has developed in secret an unaccountable supranational court for multinationals to sue states. This system is a challenge to parliamentary and judicial sovereignty. Similar tribunals have already been shown to chill the adoption of sane environmental protection, public health and public transport policies."

Current TPP negotiation member states are the United States, Japan, Mexico, Canada, Australia, Malaysia, Chile, Singapore, Peru, Vietnam, New Zealand and Brunei. The TPP is the largest economic treaty in history, including countries that represent more than 40 per cent of the world´s GDP.

14. Trans-Pacific Partnership Seen as Door for Foreign Suits Against U.S,, The Guardian, March 25, 2015

15. Corporate Sovereignty Provisions Of TPP Agreement Would Massively Undermine Government Sovereignty, TechDirt, March 26, 2015

16. Now We Know Why Huge TPP Trade Deal Is Kept Secret From the Public, Huffington Post, March 27, 2015

17. We join unions, environmentalists and more in broad coalition against threat of anti-worker trade bill, NumbersUSA, April 14, 2015

18. Obama's Pacific Trade Deal Is No Deal At All - These trade negotiations are about corporations seeking to prevent competition, U.S. News and World Report, April 19, 2015

19. Analysis of Leaked Trans-Pacific Partnership Investment Text, Public Citizen, March 25, 2015

20. Stop TPP – The Facts

10 Ways The TPP Would Hurt U.S. Working Families

21  Stop The TPP, Communications Workers of America

It is critical to kill fast-track authority for the TPA - today!

Alert date: 
2015-04-15
Alert body: 

It is critical to kill fast-track authority for the TPA - today!

From NumbersUSA:

NumbersUSA is opposing the corporate lobbies, Pres. Obama and Republican congressional leaders who together are trying to pass a Trade Promotion Authority (TPA) bill that would likely lead to cutting the American people out of future decisions about certain flows of foreign workers.

International courts -- not American officials elected by the American people -- would have authority over these worker flows.

Will you help us try to stop this in at least one of the committees today? Take the action below:

OFIR members and supporters, Please call members of Oregon’s Congressional delegation and also as many of the Committee members listed below that you can.  Tell them to vote No on the Pacific Fair Trade deal.  You can call the Capitol switchboard at 202-224-3121 and ask to speak to any Senator or Representative.  Detailed contact information for the Oregon delegation is posted on the OFIR website at: http://www.oregonir.org/how-contact-oregon-congressional-delegation


Call Committee Members Today

Capitol Switchboard
(202) 224-3121


The vote to move the TPA bill to the floor of the House or Senate could come today in the House Ways & Means Committee or the Senate Finance Committee.

Below the red action box, you'll find a list of committee Members. Use the Capitol Hill switchboard number listed above or the direct-dial numbers that we've provided. Call Members from your state or a neighbor.

You can use any of the many talking points that are contained in the blog I've attached below the phone numbers. Or use this one:

I'm very troubled (concerned/frightened/outraged/upset) by the Trade Promotion Authority bill. I hope it is defeated. That bill would allow the President in trade treaties to commit America to giving guaranteed numbers of U.S. jobs to foreign workers without Congress' approval. Immigration should never be part of a trade agreement. Our elected officials should never have their hands tied to keep them from changing immigration numbers to best serve American workers.

 

Also, make sure you have sent your faxes from your Action Board.
 

Fax Congress

SENATE FINANCE COMMITTEE
 

Michael Bennet (D-CO) -- 202-224-5852

Tom Carper (D-DE) -- 202-224-2441

Bill Nelson (D-FL) -- 202-224-5274
Johnny Isakson (R-GA) -- 202-224-3643
Chuck Grassley (R-IA) -- 202-224-3744
Mike Crapo (R-ID) -- 202-224-6142
Dan Coats (R-IN) -- 202-224-5623
Pat Roberts (R-KS) -- 202-224-4774
Benjamin L. Cardin (D-MD) -- 202-224-4524
Debbie Stabenow (D-MI) -- 202-224-4822
Richard Burr (R-NC) -- 202-224-3154
Robert Menendez (D-NJ) -- 202-224-4744
Dean Heller (R-NV) -- 202-224-6244
Charles E. (Chuck) Schumer (D-NY) -- 202-224-6542
Sherrod Brown (D-OH) -- 202-224-2315
Rob Portman (R-OH) -- 202-224-3353
Ron Wyden (D-OR) -- 202-224-5244
Robert P. Casey, Jr. (D-PA) -- 202-224-6324
Pat Toomey (R-PA) -- 202-224-4254
Tim Scott (R-SC) -- 202-224-6121
John Thune (R-SD) -- 202-224-2321
John Cornyn (R-TX) -- 202-224-2934
Orrin G. Hatch (R-UT) -- 202-224-5251
Mark R. Warner (D-VA) -- 202-224-2023
Maria Cantwell (D-WA) -- 202-224-3441
Mike Enzi (R-WY) -- 202-224-3424

HOUSE WAYS & MEANS COMMITTEE

Xavier Becerra (D-CA) -- 202-225-6235
Devin Nunes (R-CA) -- 202-225-2523
Linda Sanchez (D-CA) -- 202-225-6676
Mike Thompson (D-CA) -- 202-225-3311
John Larson (D-CT) -- 202-225-2265
Vern Buchanan (R-FL) -- 202-225-5015
John Lewis (D-GA) -- 202-225-3801
Tom Price (R-GA) -- 202-225-4501
Danny K. Davis (D-IL) -- 202-225-5006
Peter Roskam (R-IL) -- 202-225-4561
Todd Young (R-IN) -- 202-225-5315
Lynn Jenkins (R-KS) -- 202-225-6601
Charles W. Boustany, Jr. (R-LA) -- 202-225-2031
Richard E. Neal (D-MA) -- 202-225-5601
Sandy Levin (D-MI) -- 202-225-4961
Erik Paulsen (R-MN) -- 202-225-2871
Jason T. Smith (R-MO) -- 202-225-4404
George Holding (R-NC) -- 202-225-3032
Adrian Smith (R-NE) -- 202-225-6435
Bill Pascrell (D-NJ) -- 202-225-5751
Joseph Crowley (D-NY) -- 202-225-3965
Charles B. Rangel (D-NY) -- 202-225-4365
Tom Reed (R-NY) -- 202-225-3161
James B. Renacci (R-OH) -- 202-225-3876
Patrick J. Tiberi (R-OH) -- 202-225-5355
Earl Blumenauer (D-OR) -- 202-225-4811
Mike Kelly (R-PA) -- 202-225-5406
Patrick Meehan (R-PA) -- 202-225-2011
Kristi Noem (R-SD) -- 202-225-2801
Diane Black (R-TN) -- 202-225-4231
Kevin Brady (R-TX) -- 202-225-4901
Lloyd Doggett (D-TX) -- 202-225-4865
Sam Johnson (R-TX) -- 202-225-4201
Kenny Marchant (R-TX) -- 202-225-6605
Jim McDermott (D-WA) -- 202-225-3106
Dave Reichert (R-WA) -- 202-225-7761
Ron Kind (D-WI) -- 202-225-5506
Paul Ryan (R-WI) -- 202-225-3031

 


WE'RE MAINLY DEPENDING ON DEMOCRATS

We have a chance for victory primarily because most Democrats in Congress appear ready to side against Pres. Obama and for American workers.

When you call Democrats, urge them to side with the many union organizations that oppose this bill. We need to work to hold as many Democrats as possible.

The margin of victory then will have to come from persuading enough Republicans to side against the corporate lobbies and for American workers.

We have sent notices to every Member of Congress that read:

NumbersUSA will score a vote for Trade Promotion Authority (TPA) as a vote against American workers.

President Obama has made it abundantly clear that he believes he has virtually unfettered authority to change U.S. immigration law. It should not be surprising, therefore, that his administration is attempting to use the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) trade agreement to commit America to immigration increases that Congress has neither debated nor approved.

Despite a U.S. labor force participation rate that is at its lowest level since 1978, President Obama wants to use the TPP to further reduce the jobs available to U.S. workers and instead reserve certain jobs for foreign workers under the agreement. It is indefensible that Congress would now consider surrendering even more of its authority over immigration to this President in order to fast track a trade agreement that will harm American workers, and the text of which Congress has not even seen.

Therefore, NumbersUSA will score a vote for TPA as a vote for continued executive overreach and a vote against American workers. Vote NO on TPA.


WE WON THIS SAME FIGHT WITH THE BUSH ADMINISTRATION

Hundreds of organizations of all kinds of ideologies and interests (unions, environmental, national sovereignty, civil liberties, populist and more) are opposing the trade bill for many different reasons.

OUR REASON: The consequence of passing fast-track trade authority is that any President can much more easily ram through international trade agreements that expand guest worker programs without any public debate.
 

That's what happened under Pres. Bush during the five years he was given fast-track trade authority. His Administration secretly negotiated trade agreements that guaranteed the opportunity for other countries to send certain numbers of their workers to take U.S. jobs. Congress was not allowed to amend the agreements in any way. It either had to approve the whole thing or to reject it entirely and throw international trade concerns into a tizzy.
 

Once a flow of foreign workers is included in a trade treaty, that takes away the ability of future White Houses and Congresses to change those numbers. Instead of the officials elected by the American people having control over immigration and foreign-worker policies, international courts basically are given control over the work visas written into trade agreements.
 

  • Our Constitution gives Congress authority over how many immigrants and work authorizations to approve each year.

  • Our Constitution doesn't give that authority to the President, but fast-track trade legislation essentially does.

  • Our Constitution doesn't give foreign powers and entities the authority over U.S. work permits to foreign workers, but fast-track trade authority essentially does.


In 2007, Congress declined to renew the fast-track trade authority for Presidents, allowing it to expire.

CONGRESS UNANIMOUSLY REJECTED THE IDEA OF IMMIGRATION BEING PART OF TRADE AGREEMENTS

In 2003 in reaction to the Bush Administration including immigration in trade agreements, Congress objected with a strongly worded resolution that was approved UNANIMOUSLY. The resolution began:

Resolved, That it is the sense of the Senate that (1) trade agreements are not the appropriate vehicle for enacting immigration-related laws or modifying current immigration policy; and (2) future trade agreements to which the United States is a party and the legislation implementing the agreements should not contain immigration-related provisions.
The U.S. Trade Representative and the Executive Branch have been on notice since 2003 that they do not have the authority to negotiate immigration provisions in free trade agreements.

Nonetheless, the Obama Administration has been doing just that with the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) trade agreement that is expected to come up soon.

 

Here is what was reported this week in The Hill newspaper:

TPP's provisions are largely secret but, according to Curtis Ellis of the American Jobs Alliance, the U.S. Trade Representative revealed that "temporary entry" guest worker visas are a "key feature" of the pact. Ellis said that Obama Administration previously used the U.S.-South Korea trade pact to expand the length of time a L-1 visa holder can work in the U.S. That pact is viewed as a model for negotiating the TPP.


NumbersUSA and its national network of citizen activists were often part of coalitions opposing the Bush abuses of trade agreements. And we were in the middle of pressures that led to the congressional pushback in 2003.

Remaining consistent, our network today is mobilized to stop Obama abuses of trade agreements that would guarantee that certain numbers of U.S. jobs may not be held by American workers.
 

 

 

 

Sen. Sessions advises about immigration

 
No one in Congress better understands the challenges facing American workers than Senator Jeff Sessions. This Alabama senator knows that the debate over immigration comes down to three simple questions: Does America have a right to control its borders? Should our immigration laws serve the national interest? And, do Americans have the right to demand that our laws be enforced?
 
The answer to all these questions should be a firm “yes.” But you couldn’t tell that, based on what’s going on in Washington. Most so-called “immigration reform” plans cater to business interests and open-borders activists. Senator Sessions says that so-called reform bills are influenced by 1.5 billion dollars of lobbying money.
 
They double the influx of foreign workers, give amnesty to millions of illegal aliens, and destroy enforcement. Special interests love this phony so-called “reform,” but it would leave the American people high and dry.
 
For four decades, the United States has taken in immigrants in vast numbers, but more Americans are now on welfare, and good middle-class jobs have been exported to cheap-labor countries. The so-called immigration reforms promoted by the Chamber of Commerce would make these problems even worse.
 
Senator Sessions recently provided all members of Congress with an Immigration Handbook, which offers guiding principles for immigration policy. Above all, he wants an immigration system that serves the interests of American citizens.
 
To keep our country safe, we must secure the border and keep track of everyone in our country on a visa. To help our country prosper, we need to limit visas and stop employers from hiring illegals.
 
Taking Senator Sessions’ advice would stop the downward pressure on wages and enable Americans to find better-paying jobs. Senator Sessions knows what sensible immigration policy should look like. …
 
 

What Is The Optimum Level of Immigration To The United States?

The above question presumes that there is a rational immigration policy that serves the national interest. But, there isn’t. What serves as a policy is a hodge-podge of disparate provisions that respond to particular interests. The largest of those interests is that of earlier immigrants who want to sponsor family members and other co-nationals. Employers in various sectors of the economy have vested interest in an increased supply of workers looking for work. Real estate developers and home builders are buoyed by a growing population fueled by immigration. And among these and many other special interests are those who simply believe the policy should be based on taking in the ‘tired and poor yearning to breathe free’ and one-worlders who reject the idea of borders.
 
All of those vested interests and ideological or religious positions fail to recognize a need for immigration limits – or at least a limit that would run counter to their position. Add to this mix of interests promoting mass immigration the fact that most politicians – at both the local and national level – see immigration as a political issue on which they can accommodate constituent interests by supporting increases in various categories of immigration.
 
FAIR is one of the few organizations that advocates for an immigration policy in the national interest. Our view that there must be rational limits to immigration is not unique, however. The last time a national commission was established to study immigration policy and make recommendations was when the U.S. Commission on Immigration Reform (USCIR) was established in the early 1990s. It issued a series of reports between 1994 and 1997. Among its recommendations, “It concluded that the current immigration system’s core element of chain migration [family–sponsored preferences] was not in accord with national interests and urged the adoption of a new system scaling back significantly on overall immigration levels. See U.S. Commission on Immigration Reform. The recommended base annual level was set at 550,000 immigrants per year. That was about a third lower than the level of entries at that time, and much lower than the current rate of more than a million new legal immigrants per year. The Commission also found that admitting unskilled immigrants sponsored by an employer made no sense because of the competition with the nation’s own unskilled workers, and it found no justification for continuing a visa lottery to promote greater diversity in the flow of immigrants.
 
FAIR supported the recommendations of the Commission, although they did not go as far as necessary, in FAIR’s opinion, in reducing immigration as would be necessary to bring immigration policy into line with long-term national interests.
 
What is the long-term interest? That focus is consistently missed in the plethora of speeches and policy papers and studies focused on immigration policy, including the reports of the USCIR. The long-term focuses on the fact that we live in a world of limited resources – land, food production, fresh water, hydrocarbons (wood, coal, petroleum, etc.), minerals, etc. The world’s rapidly growing population is increasingly challenging those limits. That is the consensus of national and international experts including those of the United Nations Population Division. There is international consensus on the need to stop the rapid population growth currently projected to result in a global population of about 11 billion people by the end of the century – up from about 7.2 billion today. That projection has dire implications for all of the reasons related to limited resources – especially food production.
 
The United States is much better able to cope with dwindling world resources than other countries because we are endowed with a vast area and natural resources, but that does not mean that we can ignore the fact that we too face finite limits. The country is already facing fresh water scarcity in large areas of the country and currently enhanced petroleum extraction does not mean that finite national supplies are limitless.
 
The U.S. population soared from less than 180 million persons in 1960 to 319 million today according to Census Bureau statistics. That is an increase of nearly 80 percent in 54 years. Immigration is the largest component of that increase. At the present time about 75 percent of U.S. population increase is due to new immigration and the children born here to those new immigrants. That share of overall population increase has been steadily rising and is projected by the Pew Hispanic Center to rise to about 82 percent by 2050, based on current immigrant intake. But Congress has been considering a so-called ‘comprehensive immigration reform’ proposal – passed by the U.S. Senate last year – that would vastly expand the volume of immigrant arrivals.
 
The proponents of this ‘comprehensive’ measure represent the same collection of vested interests that has resisted the reform recommendations of the USCIR and has asserted that the reforms that would benefit them would be in the country’s interest. They ignore entirely the issue of long-term limits. That is one of the key why FAIR has opposed this legislation even though it includes a few of the policy changes recommended by the USCIR.
 
So what would be the immigration limits that would be in the U.S. national interest and why?
 
Obviously, the United States cannot stop world population growth by limiting U.S. population growth, but it can contribute to it. By working towards a stable U.S. population at a level that is sustainable in the long term, the country will be increasing its capability to assist other countries that are not as fortunate in natural resources.
 
The first objective of a rational long-term immigration policy should be one that contributes to U.S. population stability. That does not mean stopping immigration, but it does mean bringing the quantity of newcomers admitted into line with the number of U.S. residents leaving the country to live abroad. That level at present is estimated to be about 350,000 persons annually. That level is significantly higher than the average annual immigration intake between1925-1975. Clearly with a reduced level of immigration, the policy should assure that those arriving are those invited to join our society rather than those who arrive in violation of our immigration law.
 
Longer term, immigration policy should be tied to the country’s ability to support the population, i.e., its carrying capacity. Within that limit, it is fair for the vested interests that benefit from immigration to make their case for their interests, but only within the limits dictated by the overall long-term interests of the nation.
 
A succinct academic look at the issue of international population increase and carrying capacity is here.    
 

How immigration became a big problem in the U.S.

 
by Elizabeth Van Staaveren
 
Many people who never thought much about immigration before are beginning to ask, how did our country get into the current situation, and why is it so hard to manage the out-of-control burgeoning of illegal and legal immigration.
 
The steady increase in volume of immigration began after a new law was passed in 1965, sponsored by Senator Edward Kennedy, which greatly expanded the rules, making it much easier for persons anywhere in the world, to immigrate here.
 
To understand what has happened since then, interested persons can learn much from the books listed below.  These are landmark books on the issue.  They’re arranged by date to show the progression of thinking and writing on the issue.
 
Landmark books on immigration issues
 
Auster, Lawrence, 1949-2013.    The path to national suicide; an essay on immigration and multiculturalism,    Monterey VA, American Immigration Control Foundation, 1990.    90 p.
       The text of this small book can now be viewed or downloaded as a pdf document on this website: http://jtl.org/auster/.  It describes the development of the 1965 law and its course through Congress.
 
Brimelow, Peter.    Alien nation; common sense about America’s immigration disaster.    New York, Random House, 1995.    327 p.
       This book became a national best seller, and Peter Brimelow went on to found the website, VDARE, which he still manages, at http://www.vdare.com/.
 
Beck, Roy.    The case against immigration; the moral, economic, social, and environmental reasons for reducing U.S. immigration back to traditional levels.    New York, W.W. Norton, 1996.    287 p.
       Just after the book was published Roy Beck created and still leads NumbersUSA, a website and organization, which now has over 2 million members.  See http://www.numbersusa.com.
 
Malkin, Michelle.    Invasion; how America still welcomes terrorists, criminals, and other foreign menaces to our shores.    Washington, Regnery Publishing, 2002.    332 p.
       She is a syndicated columnist and maintains a website at:  http://michellemalkin.com/
 
Graham, Otis L., Jr.    Unguarded gates; a history of America’s immigration crisis.    Lanham, Md., Roman & Littlefield,  2004.    242 p.
       Graham is a professor emeritus of history at the Univ. of California, Santa Barbara.  He has served on the Board of Advisors of the Federation for American Immigration Reform (FAIR) for many years.  See http://www.fairus.org/
 
Tancredo, Tom.    In mortal danger; the battle for America’s border and security.    Nashville, Tenn., WND Books, 2006.    224 p.
       Tancredo served in Congress as a Representative from Colorado from 1999-2009.  While there he formed the House Immigration Reform Caucus, an active group during his tenure.
 
Krikorian, Mark.    The new case against immigration.    New York, Sentinel, 2008.    294 p.   
       Krikorian is Director of the Center for Immigration Studies, Washington DC.
       Contents.-Assimilation: the cracked melting pot.-Mass immigration versus American sovereignty.-National security: safety in lower numbers.-Economy: Cheap labor versus modern America.-Government spending.-Population.-What is to be done?
 
 

Get informed - read the immigration positions of candidates in May primary

Alert date: 
2014-05-03
Alert body: 
 
OFIR is summarizing information on candidates’ positions on immigration issues.  Please view the postings listed at  http://www.oregonir.org/immigration-topics/2014-primary-election
and click on any race for which there is a report.
 

Elections can change immigration policies

Congress sets immigration law, and Presidents are supposed to carry it out.  Both branches of government have failed to protect the interests of citizens in regard to immigration.  The path to change is through electing new legislators and a president who will represent the interests of citizens and not the various special interests now in control of immigration policy.  While immigration laws come from Congress, States have many tools to use in helping the federal government enforce immigration law, so state legislators and officials are important too.
 
If citizens have adequate information about candidates and will actively support good candidates with financial contributions or other campaign assistance, they can make major changes in the current immigration situation.
 
Because the deadline for filing to run in Oregon’s May Primary election passed on March 11, we now know which candidates will be available to represent Oregon in Congress,  as well as the available candidates for the Oregon Legislature’s 60 House districts, 30 Senate districts, and other state offices.
 
OFIR will again collect and distribute information on the immigration positions of candidates.  NumbersUSA is also providing information on Congressional candidates whose positions are known, either through voting records or from the questionnaire they offer to candidates.  Most candidates now have websites where they introduce themselves, describe their qualifications, and often list specific Issues of importance on which they have taken a position.
 
You can help identify good candidates by checking candidate websites.  If you find nothing in the Issues section regarding immigration - please contact the candidate through the Contact links on his/her website and ask that they post their specific positions regarding driver licenses for illegal aliens, stopping illegal immigration, reducing excessive legal immigration, mandatory use of E-Verify, stricter controls on Visa applications, etc.  Let OFIR know if you get a response, or if you need further assistance contacting the candidate.
 
Candidates often refrain from posting anything about immigration - hoping the topic won't come up.  It is up to us to make immigration a topic in the upcoming debates - to call them out, if you will.   Election season is when incumbents and other candidates are most open to citizen input.   
 
At this time, one Oregon Congressional candidate has returned NumbersUSA’s questionnaire showing very good positions. This is Dennis Linthicum, running in the primary in Congressional District 2 against incumbent Rep. Greg Walden, whose grade on immigration votes is currently C+.  Please take a look at the candidate comparison for these two candidates at:  https://www.numbersusa.com/content/elections/races/congressional/house-e...
 
If the link doesn’t work for you, you can visit the homepage of NumbersUSA at https://www.numbersusa.com/content/, click Congress – Candidate Comparisons – then, on the map of U.S., click on Oregon – then on 2014 Oregon 2d Congressional District.  You will see a comparison of positions on a list of 12 immigration subjects.
 
Campaign websites of Linthicum and Walden showing their Issue statements are at: 
http://www.dennis2014.com/issues  (includes a statement on immigration)
http://www.gregwalden.com/category/issues/  (has no statement on immigration)
 
You can call or send emails to the candidates through the Contact links on their websites.
 
Three Democrats are vying for their party’s nomination in Congressional District 2:  
Aelea Christofferson -  www.aeleaforcongress.com  (has no page on issues)
Barney Spera -  no web site; email address: SpBrn3@aol.com
Frank Vulliet -  www.frankanswers.us (website pending)
 
OFIR plans to continue sending briefs on candidates in the May primary as information develops.  
 
Next in the series will be on the U.S. Senate race, where Rep. Jason Conger and Dr. Monica Wehby appear to be the leading Republican candidates.  The winner in the Republican primary will be challenging incumbent Sen. Jeff Merkley, who has a grade of F for his voting record on immigration issues, which you can see on NumbersUSA's website.
 

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.
 
 

Swiss voters approve limitations on immigration

Swiss voters approved a ballot initiative on Sunday that limits the number of foreign citizens from European Union countries that are allowed to live and work in the country and gives preference to Swiss nationals for open jobs. Although not a member of the EU, Switzerland agreed to the free flow of labor with other EU nations in 2000.

Currently, Switzerland has immigration quotas in place, but EU nationals were exempt from those quotas. This weekend's vote will remove that exemption. The country has the highest immigrant population in Europe with 27 percent of the country's population not of Swiss citizenship.

Switzerland joins another non-EU member, Great Britain, in looking to tighten up its immigration laws. Both nations are concerned about dealing with the economic impacts of large labor pools and the strain that population puts on public welfare systems.

Hillsboro Migrant Summer School brings in Mexican teachers for culture lessons

Osorio Pacheco was one of three elementary teachers from Mexico brought to the Hillsboro School District in June under a federal migrant education program. The teachers integrated lessons of culture into the Migrant Summer School's regular curriculum focus of reading, writing and math.

The Bi-national Migrant Education Teacher Exchange Program is part of an initiative that started in 1976 to help migrant students in California. The departments of education in Mexico and the United States have since partnered to improve schooling for children who travel frequently between the two countries.

Read the full Oregonian story here:   http://www.oregonlive.com/hillsboro/index.ssf/2013/07/hillsboro_migrant_summer_schoo.html

 

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