jobs

Liberty Headlines: Supreme Court OKs Denial of Green Cards for Those Likely to Need Gov’t Aid

(Liberty Headlines) The Supreme Court on Monday allowed the Trump administration to put in place a policy connecting the use of public benefits with whether immigrants could become permanent residents

House to Vote on a Union-Backed Bill that Rewards Illegal Immigration

Tomorrow the House will vote on a union-backed bill containing an ill-advised provision that enhances the primary motivator of illegal immigration – working in the United States. H.R. 2474, the Protecting the Right to Organize (PRO) Act upends federal labor law to reward illegal aliens while making it next to impossible for businesses to fire illegal aliens with union status. ...   

Apparently Washington is Never Too Divided to Capitulate to the Demands of Big Ag

At a time when lawmakers from our two political parties can barely stomach being under the same rotunda with each other, House members have managed to come together to approve a regressive labor and illegal alien amnesty bill, ironically labeled the Farm Workforce Modernization Act (H.R. 5038). Owing to the chaos swirling around the nation’s capital, this massive giveaway to the powerful agricultural industry lobby is largely escaping notice from the American people.

Under H.R. 5038, an estimated 1.5 million illegal aliens would be eligible for amnesty, but not before having to serve a decade or more in indentured servitude to their employers before achieving full legal status. “Granting amnesty to illegal aliens is always a bad idea, and merely attracts more illegal immigration,” stated Dan Stein, president of the Federation for American Immigration Reform (FAIR).

“The only thing worse than another large-scale amnesty is one that then forces people to continue to toil for poor wages and under poor working conditions for the same unscrupulous employers who hired them illegally in the first place,” said Stein.

Far from modernizing our agricultural workforce, the legislation ensures that the American agricultural industry will remain mired in the 17th century. “The foundation of a modern agricultural industry must be increased reliance on technology and mechanization to ensure that we can feed our population and export our surplus. Instead of offering incentives or subsidies for farmers to invest in real modernization, this bill incentivizes a continued reliance on inefficient, low-wage immigrant labor,” Stein charged.

H.R. 5038 is, at best, a short-term fix for an industry that relies on easily exploitable labor. The bill, which would designate current illegal farmworkers as Certified Agricultural Workers (CAW), is almost an exact replicate of the failed 1986 Special Agricultural Worker (SAW) amnesty. Under that fraud-ridden amnesty program, some 1.1 million illegal aliens received legal status prompting them to leave that industry in pursuit of better wages and working conditions in other sectors of the economy, and leading Big Agriculture to hire the next wave of illegal aliens.

“Mark Twain quipped that ‘History doesn’t repeat itself, but it often rhymes.’ Congress, in attempting to create a CAW amnesty after the massive failure of the SAW amnesty, seems intent on proving that history can repeat itself and rhyme at the same time,” Stein observed.

“While Congress continues to do nothing to secure our borders, passing a bill that rewards both illegal aliens and their employers, and calling it ‘modernization,’ is a slap in the face to the plurality of Americans who consider immigration to be the nation’s most pressing domestic issue,” concluded Stein.

Contact: Matthew Tragesser, 202-328-7004 or mtragesser@fairus.org

House passes farm bill that critics say grants 'large-scale amnesty' to illegal immigrants

The House on Wednesday passed a contentious agricultural bill that would likely put more than a million illegal immigrants on a pathway to legal status as part of what supporters say is a vital modernization of the industry’s workforce -- but that immigration hawks blasted as a “large-scale amnesty.”

The Farm Workforce Modernization Act passed 260-165, with support from both Democrats and Republicans. The bill provides a process for undocumented farmworkers to seek a temporary five-and-a-half-year “Certified Agricultural Worker” status if they have worked for approximately six months in the industry in the last two years.

That status can either be renewed indefinitely, or workers (along with their spouses and children) can begin a path to permanent legal status in the form of a green card. That path, according to the legislation, includes background checks and $1,000 fine.

To secure the green card, those who have worked in agriculture for 10 years or more must work for four more years, while those who've spent less than a decade in the sector would have to work eight more years. Once workers receive a green card, they are then free to pursue work in fields outside of agriculture.

The bill also streamlines the H-2A agriculture visa program, cutting processing time and costs for visa petitions. And it calls for the Department of Homeland Security to set up a pilot program that would give H-2A workers the ability to change jobs within the sector if they find work within two months.

Rep. Zoe Lofgren, D-Calif., the bill’s sponsor, said that it was a “historic” compromise and example of bipartisanship.

“This bill is a compromise, it’s not exactly what I would have written but it does stabilize the workforce,” she said on the House floor. “We have farmworkers who have been here for a very long time without their papers, living in fear and in some cases being arrested and deported.”

“We need to allow them to get an agricultural visa that is temporary and renewable so they can do the work we need them to do and their employers need them to do,” she said. “We need to stabilize the H-2A program, which this bill does. It simplifies it and also stabilizes wages.”

The bill had support from a number of farm groups, but has faced fierce opposition from immigration restrictionists, who claim that the amnesty component is similar to one in the 1980s that was rife with fraud ...

“The only thing worse than another large-scale amnesty is one that then forces people to continue to toil for poor wages and under poor working conditions for the same unscrupulous employers who hired them illegally in the first place,” Dan Stein, president of the Federation for American Immigration Reform (FAIR), said in a statement.

“While Congress continues to do nothing to secure our borders, passing a bill that rewards both illegal aliens and their employers, and calling it ‘modernization,’ is a slap in the face to the plurality of Americans who consider immigration to be the nation’s most pressing domestic issue,” Stein said.

The Heritage Foundation described the bill as a “clear cut example of amnesty,” warning that it "threatens the legal immigration system’s legitimacy and incentivizes aliens and farmers to ignore the legal immigration system in the future if it best serves their needs."

The bill's Republican support, with a number co-sponsoring the measure, raises the possibility that a form of such a bill could have a shot in the Republican-controlled Senate.

But while the bill has bipartisan support, it has also faced criticism from other Republicans lawmakers. Rep. Doug Collins, R-Ga., cited estimates from liberal groups that there are as many as 2.7 million farmworkers in the country, with more than half estimated to be in the country illegally, meaning that more than a million and a half could get a pathway to legal status.

“While the 224 pages of H.R. 5038 make many more changes to the H-2A program — some good and some bad — one need look no further than the first few pages to figure out the real point of this bill: a path to citizenship ...

He also said the bill’s document standards are low and could allow illegal immigrants with multiple DUI convictions and a history of Social Security fraud to get legal status.

As with most bills that include a path to legalization for those in the country illegally, there are some enforcement parts of the bill as well, but they come with major caveats.

While the bill would establish mandatory E-Verify (a DHS-run verification system for employers that has been seen as the holy grail for employment enforcement) for all agricultural employment, Lofgren’s office notes that that would be “phased in" and only "after all legalization and H-2A reforms have been implemented and included necessary due process protections for authorized workers who are incorrectly rejected by the system.” This fuels concerns from immigration hawks that it follows a trend of bills that go "amnesty first, enforcement later."

Adam Shaw is a reporter covering U.S. and European politics for Fox News.. He can be reached here.

URGENT - STOP AMNESTY BILL! Call Congress

Alert date: 
2019-12-08
Alert body: 

H.R. 5038 is called the Farm Workforce Modernization Act of 2019.  It’s a massive amnesty bill disguised as “modernization.”  It should be called the Ag Amnesty and Indentured Servitude Act.  Or just the "Ag Amnesty bill".  It’s on a fast track in the House, scheduled for Rules Committee on Tuesday, Dec. 10, with floor vote likely Wednesday, Dec. 11.

Please call your Representative and voice your objections. In speaking to the U.S. Representative’s office, refer first to the bill number, H.R. 5038.  Phone numbers are given below.

Here are a few key facts, compiled by NumbersUSA.  They have prepared a more complete analysis here.

Amnesty -- H.R. 5038 would give amnesty--including work permits, green cards, and a path to citizenship--to illegal aliens who have been unlawfully employed in agriculture at least part time during the past two years. In fact, illegal aliens who spent just most weekends working in agriculture over two years would qualify.

H-2A Expansion -- Rather than providing incentives for mechanization to reduce the need for manual labor, or even just streamlining the existing H-2A program, the sponsors of H.R. 5038 decided that it is time to complete the hollowing out of several other industries, in addition to seasonal farm work. They kept the numerically unlimited H-2A category for seasonal work, but created a new, non-seasonal, year-round category so that at least 20,000 (and potentially many more) low-paid foreign workers can be imported each year to work at dairies, meat-packing plants, fish canneries, nurseries, and more.

Indentured Servitude -- Congress knows that giving amnesty to illegal agricultural workers will fail to produce a stable, legal workforce, because they've tried it before. Congress passed an agricultural amnesty in 1986, as part of the Immigration Reform and Control Act (IRCA). But there was a catch: most of the amnestied ag workers left agriculture for better-paying jobs as soon as they got their work permits. The sponsors of the Farm Workforce Modernization Act decided to address this problem by regressing to the 17th Century practice of indenturing these newly amnestied agricultural workers for various durations, mainly four to eight years.

In its Alert on H.R. 5038, NumbersUSA says it's “important for every office's staff to know that WE THE PEOPLE know the amnesty vote is coming. And that WE THE PEOPLE probably know more about what is in the amnesty bill than their boss the Representative knows. For example, do they know this is a bill that re-establishes indentured servitude in this country.  Let's cause those staffers to start scrambling to see what is actually in this bill.”

If you have not signed up with NumbersUSA to receive its Alerts directly and to use its free messaging to Congress, we recommend that you do.  NumbersUSA staff watch Congress constantly, and the NumbersUSA website has a large fund of pertinent information.

The last thing the U.S. needs now is another massive amnesty for illegal aliens.  There have been too many amnesties already in recent decades, resulting in disrespect for immigration law and law in general. Amnesties stimulate further illegal immigration.  Oregonians face congestion already, along with widespread homelessness, expensive housing, climate crisis, drug crisis, etc. The future will be even grimmer as more and more people from other countries pour into the U.S.  See this trenchant commentary on H.R. 5038 by Bob Dane, of the Federation for American Immigration Reform.


Phone numbers for Oregon’s Representatives

You can reach the Washington office of any Representative by calling the U.S. Capitol switchboard number: 202-224-3121 (not a toll-free number). Then ask the operator to connect you with the Representative to whom you wish to speak. 

District 1 – Suzanne Bonamici – 202-225-0855

District 2 – Greg Walden 202-225-6730

District 3 - Earl Blumenauer – 202-225-4811

District 4 - Peter A. DeFazio – 202-225-6416

District 5 – Kurt Schrader – 202-225-5711

If you don't know the name of your Representative, you can find it here:  https://www.oregonlegislature.gov/FindYourLegislator/leg-districts.html

Media ignore rampant fraud in visa programs

More details are emerging about how businesses hire cheaper foreign labor in technical fields, undercutting Americans’ chances of employment and putting national security at risk.  However, many major media misrepresent the situation either intentionally or through ignorance. In Neil Munro’s article cited below, we get a fuller picture of what’s happening.  Unfortunately, Oregon’s Congressional delegation has done nothing to help U.S. citizens in this situation.  Better candidates may be on Oregon’s ballot in the May primary, and do-nothing incumbents could be retired.

ICE Sting Triggers Outrage from Progressives, by Neil Munro, Breitbart.com, Nov. 30, 2019

Excerpts only.  Read the full article here.

“A skewed news report triggered many progressive politicians, activists, and journalists to declare outrage towards the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) deportation of more than 200 Indian students — even though the ICE operation was launched under former President Barack Obama to block commonplace fraud against U.S. college graduates. …

“Many Indian visa workers are ready to participate in fraudulent tactics because fraud is endemic in India.

“Once in the United States, fraud is rational because it helps many — not all — Indian temporary workers win the hugely valuable prizes of Americans’ white-collar jobs and of American citizenship …

“Americans’ professional codes of ethics have minimized domestic fraud in U.S. workplaces.

“But those codes blind Americans to the diversity of tactics used by many of the Indian graduates, such as inflating resumes, trading bribes for jobs, hiring relatives, and excluding unsuspecting Americans from job interviews. Some Indian workers readily provide anecdotal evidence of these practices to American reporters who want to listen.

“But there is little legal enforcement of workplace laws.

“The result is that some Indian managers can run U.S. offices where the vast majority of new hires are Indians, apparently without any fear that American officials will investigate the obviously skewed hiring patterns for racial, sexual, and anti-American discrimination.

“Alongside the Democrat politicians, many progressive journalists rushed to condemn ICE’s successful operation.

“The denunciations came from Politico’s Natasha Bertrand, Mark Bergen at Bloomberg, Matt Pearce at the Los Angeles Times, and Kyle Griffin at MSNBC. ‘Abolish ICE,’ reacted Farhad Manjoo, an immigrant columnist at the New York Times. ‘Leave it to the Trump administration to use a fake university. … How is this anything but entrapment?’ said a tweet from Jamil Smith at Rolling Stone.

“Radley Balko at the Washington Post declared ICE’s success as ‘so goddamned evil.’ Matthew Chapman of The Raw Story tweeted, ‘How have these students even committed a crime?’ …

“The ICE sting at the fake Farmington University worked because many Indian visa workers have become complacent about the enforcement of U.S. workplace laws.

“Obama’s deputies created the fake university to target the Indians who use fraud to get work permits via the Occupational Practical Training (OPT) program for foreign graduates and the Curricular Practical Training (CPT) program for foreign students.

“Those work permits were created and expanded by U.S. presidents seeking to placate high-tech investors, such as Bill Gates, the founder of Microsoft. The OPT and CPT work permits allow the Indian graduates to fly into the United States, pay their tuition, and then compete for the many low wage jobs offered by Indian managers at many U.S. companies. Those started jobs then allow the Indians to compete for coveted H-1B work permits, which allow them to apply for the hugely valuable prize of citizenship.

“These OPT and CPT jobs are varied and range from starvation wage jobs in Texas software sweatshops to $100,000 prestige jobs in Silicon Valley. The actual wages are difficult to track, partly because employers frequently shortchange their Indian workers and demand kickbacks. Indians are willing to pay the kickbacks because their U.S.-based Indian managers have the legal power to send them home or provide the hugely valuable prize of U.S. citizenship.

“The huge number of Indian visa workers has also ensured that fraud, caste politics, and bribery are increasingly common in workplaces that were once dominated by American white-collar professionals. For example, many U.S. professionals report anonymously that a large number of Indian managers only hire Indians and also refuse to hire Americans who cannot be trusted to stay quiet about kickbacks. Some of these complaints are documented by a growing number of lawsuits against Indian managers in U.S companies.

“The federal government provides some data about the American universities that accept tuition payments in exchange for awarding OPT and CPT work permits to the Chinese, Indian, and other foreign competitors of their American graduates.

“The data also shows the companies where managers are using the programs to hire foreign graduates instead of Americans. … 

“Generally, establishment media outlets have ignored the many OPT and H-1B scandals — even though both have created political problems for President Donald Trump — but this progressive stampede may encourage more attention: …”

HR 5038, indentured labor dressed up as “modernization”

A huge amnesty for farm workers is pending in Congress now.  It’s already passed in the House.

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The Rotten Fruits of America’s ‘Farm Workforce Modernization Act’/, by Bob Dane, Federation for American immigration Reform,  Nov. 25, 2019

Conventional wisdom holds that bipartisan legislation is the best form of law. The “Farm Workforce Modernization Act of 2019” is a notable exception.

With 49 Republican and Democrat co-sponsors, HR 5038 sailed through the House Judiciary Committee last week. Because the bill was allowed to advance on a voice vote, there’s no official record of who voted which way.

Lawmakers had good reason to duck for cover while cheap-labor lobbyists and immigration enthusiasts exulted. Expanding the H-2A foreign guestworker program, HR 5038 would grant amnesty and a path to citizenship to more than 1 million illegal farm laborers. And contrary to its title, the bill doesn’t do a thing to “modernize” agriculture in this country. …

In essence, the bill tells illegal farm laborers: Work in unchanging conditions with no wage growth for around a decade and maybe you’ll get a green card. …

While illegal aliens account for 47 percent of U.S. farm workers, agriculture employs less than 1 percent of America’s labor force. Clearly, no one is going to starve if the industry’s illegal-alien spigot is turned off and immigration laws are enforced. We doubt anyone would even notice a difference on their grocery bill.

This counterproductive amnesty scheme has nothing to do with “farm workforce modernization” (in fact, it produces the opposite), and America doesn’t need HR 5038. It’s time Congress raised a bipartisan majority to reverse course and stop this cheap-labor combine.

------------------------------------------------

HR 5038, The Farm Workforce Modernization Act   [analysis and statement of opposition by the Federation for American immigration Reform]

 https://www.fairus.org/legislation/federal-legislation/hr-5038-farm-workforce-modernization-act

Contents. -  Farmworker Amnesty - Minor Changes to H-2A - Expansion of EB-3 Green Cards - E-Verify Only for Agriculture. - FAIR's Position on the Farm Workforce Modernization Act (H.R. 5038)

Victory for American tech workers

WASHINGTON � Today, the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals reversed a lower federal court ruling that displaced American tech workers lacked standing to challenge Department of Homeland Security (DHS) regulations authorizing alien employment in the United States.

In this case, the Immigration Reform Law Institute (IRLI) represents Save Jobs USA, which is made up of former employees of Southern California Edison. That public utility drew bipartisan criticism in Congress when it displaced 500 of its American employees after forcing them to train their cheaper foreign replacements.

As spelled out in federal law, the H-4 visa allows the spouses of H-1B guestworkers to “accompany” the alien to or “join” the alien in the United States. Under the Obama Administration, DHS added to the law governing the H-4 visa by allowing H-4 spouses to work in the United States. Since many of these foreign tech-workers’ spouses are tech workers themselves, Save Jobs USA filed a lawsuit in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia that challenged DHS’s authority to issue these work authorizations.

The district court held that Save Jobs USA lacked standing to bring the lawsuit because it did not suffer an injury from the employment of their H-1B competitors. Today, however, the D.C. Circuit, in reaffirming the “competitor standing doctrine,” held that Save Jobs USA did suffer injury from the regulation and had standing to sue.

The case will now return to the district court for a decision on whether DHS has the authority to permit H-4 spouses to work.

“The media has largely ignored the problem of DHS creating guestworker programs through regulation,” said John M. Miano, counsel for IRLI. “The Constitution gives Congress authority over the immigration system, but more labor now enters the U.S. job market through regulation than under laws passed by Congress.”

“The Save Jobs USA case has major implications for the immigration system,” said Dale L. Wilcox, executive director and general counsel of IRLI. “If the courts hold that DHS does have the authority it claims to permit alien employment through regulation, it can continue to wipe out the protections for American workers that Congress has enacted. We are pleased by the court’s decision on standing, and will press forward to get this unlawful foreign workers’ program overturned.”

The case is Save Jobs USA v. U.S. Department of Homeland Security, No. 16-5287 (D.C. Cir.).

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.”

-------------------------

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/

Woodburn School District discriminated against teacher candidate based on citizenship status, Justice Department finds

The Woodburn School District discriminated against an applicant who was the most qualified for a teaching job but was denied the position because of his citizenship status, the U.S. Department of Justice found.

The rejected candidate was a work-authorized, conditional permanent resident but not a U.S. citizen. He had applied for a Spanish teaching job at Woodburn Academy of Arts and Sciences.

In a settlement announced Tuesday, the school district must pay the candidate $5,774.81...

The Justice Department also found the district inappropriately prescreened the candidate by asking him for specific documentation to verify his citizenship status and work authorization...

The Immigration and Nationality Act prohibits employers from refusing to hire certain work-authorized, non-U.S. citizens because of their citizenship status...

The Woodburn School District "appreciates the Department of Justice’s investigation and guidance,'' according to a statement released by the district Tuesday.

"While the investigation involved a single incident that took place over a year ago, the District takes it seriously and will use it as a training opportunity to prevent future incidents,'' the statement said.

The Immigrant and Employee Rights section of the Justice’s Department’s Civil Rights Division received a complaint from the applicant on Aug. 20, 2018...

The Woodburn School District...must not discriminate against applicants or employees based on citizenship, immigration status or national origin, when recruiting, hiring or firing employees, the settlement says.

The district must ensure human resources staff, school supervisors and other staff are trained to comply with the law. New staff involved in recruitment or hiring decisions must view a Justice Department webinar on The Immigration and Nationality Act and document they’ve seen it within 60 days of their hiring or selection, the agreement says.

If any further violations are identified during the the three years of the agreement, Justice Department officials will give the school district 30 days to correct the problem without initiating a new investigation.

Woodburn School District Superintendent William Rhoades signed the agreement Oct. 10.

"The District is fully committed to compliance with the law and highly committed to supporting equity for our immigrant community,'' the district said in its statement. "We especially recognize the contributions of our immigrant staff, students and families and we continually seek to improve our practice.''


 

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