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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.

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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.”

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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.''


 

Petition Pres. Trump to stop H-1B Visa Abuses

Alert date: 
2019-09-25
Alert body: 

The H-1B visa program has already displaced U.S. workers on a grand scale.  Now comes S.386, pending in the U.S. Senate, which would dramatically change our system for awarding H-1B employment green cards to further enrich businesses such as Intel, Microsoft, Amazon, Google, etc. at the expense of U.S. workers. This bill, S.386, is misleadingly named the Fairness for High Skilled Immigrants Act.  It’s a companion bill to H.R.1044, which passed the House on July 10, with Oregon’s Congressional delegation all voting in favor of it.  Oregon’s Reps. Blumenauer and Bonamici were among the co-sponsors of H.R. 1044.  Both of Oregon’s Senators, Wyden and Merkley, are co-sponsors of S.386.

Groups of displaced U.S. workers are now organizing to fight against this injustice.  Many of them have been forced to train their foreign-worker replacements or lose any severance payments if they decline to train replacements.  Please help U.S. citizen workers by signing the White House petition.  President Trump’s office has set up a system enabling the public to initiate petitions, and any petition with enough signatures by a certain date will be reviewed by his office.  This petition (https://petitions.whitehouse.gov/petition/petition-not-pass-bill-hr-1044-s386-fairness-high-skilled-immigrants-act-2019) has been posted asking him to oppose both bills.

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Further Reading:  Excerpt from a report dated Sept. 18, 2019, by Jessica Vaughan of the Center for Immigration Studies:

This bill is anything but fair to U.S. workers, because it strengthens and perpetuates a system that is actively displacing them. It offers a major concession to employers who have bypassed U.S. workers for decades, without reforming the system to reduce guestworker admissions or prevent employers from replacing U.S. workers. This is one reason that DHS issued a statement opposing the bill when the House considered it earlier this year.

It eliminates a control known as the per-country cap, which meters issuance of green cards so that they are distributed to applicants from all countries before citizens of any one country can go above a certain number. Under this system, applicants from India now receive 20 percent of the employment green cards. Most of the applicants from India hold temporary visas (usually H-1B) as contract workers in technology occupations, and the number of green card applicants greatly exceeds the number of visas available, especially with the per-country cap. But according to USCIS, if the cap were eliminated, citizens of India would suddenly be able to claim nearly 100 percent of the employment green cards — for the next 10 years. So, applicants from all other countries would effectively be blocked for the foreseeable future. This also means that U.S. employers who want to sponsor new foreign workers for green cards from any other part of the world would no longer be able to do so.

The Indian contract workers who are waiting for the chance to apply for a green card may apply for a visa extension and are not forced to leave the United States. And they still have their jobs — unlike the Americans they replaced.

Sources tell us that an actual vote is highly unlikely; instead, a unanimous consent request from a senator is more likely, which allows them to bypass the committee process, hearings, amendments, and, most importantly, a public debate. Reportedly, even at this late hour, most offices still do not have a final version of the legislation to review.

The Senate version of the bill was co-introduced by Sens. Mike Lee (R-Utah) and Kamala Harris (D-Calif.). Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) had blocked it from unanimous consent because of concerns that it would reduce the admission of foreign nurses. Reportedly, Sen. Paul has recently agreed to let it come up if it includes a provision that would guarantee admission of 5,000 foreign nurses on temporary visas each year for the next 10 years. This will please U.S. hospitals, which generally prefer to import nurses from abroad rather than expand the number of slots for Americans to enter domestic nursing schools to fill the need. Since when is nursing a job Americans won't do?

The best solution to this issue is not to scrap the per country cap, or to increase the number of green cards, as some have argued, but to enact a merit-based system for awarding employment green cards that rewards the most qualified, talented, and likely to succeed, regardless of their country of origin.

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

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

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

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

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

B  :  Representative Greg Walden

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

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

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

Excerpts:

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

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

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

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

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Read the complete article here.

To Increase Wages, Mandate E-Verify, Shrink Labor Market

Democratic presidential candidates have unanimously embraced the $15 federal minimum wage. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi threw her support behind the wage hike that would more than double the current $7.25 rate. Pelosi claims that not only would the wage increase give Americans more money in their paycheck, but would also boost the gross domestic product. When people have more purchasing power, they’ll spend more, and, predicted Pelosi, the GDP will therefore rise.

But a far more credible economic source than Pelosi made the opposite calculation. The Congressional Budget Office calculated that overall the $15 hourly wage would “would reduce the nation’s output slightly.” The CBO found that as many as 27 million workers, assuming they remained employed, could benefit. On the other hand, up to 3.7 million workers might lose their jobs as employers respond to higher overhead. Goods and services costs to consumers would inevitably rise.

That’s the thing about the $15 minimum wage hype – only one side of the story is told. A wage increase won’t be effective if employers don’t hire or if they dramatically reduce their hourly payrolls to adjust for the steep bump.

Moreover, the $15 wage is an artificial solution to increasing Americans’ paychecks. The lasting correction is to tighten the labor pool. The federal government can tighten the employment market in two ways: first, reduce the 1 million-plus legal immigrants who, as employment-authorized lawful permanent residents, enter the labor force annually.

Further, the government could reduce the roughly 750,000 temporary guest workers that come to the U.S. to perform an assortment of jobs that, for the most part, Americans would do, assuming a fair wage. The second tightening variable, and more immediate way to drive up wages, is to use E-Verify, the online program that ensures only legally authorized workers hold U.S. jobs.

To analyze how large influxes of immigrant workers, in this case, construction workers, impact the market, the Los Angeles Times studied the Southern California building trade. The Times wrote that over a few decades, construction workers went from being majority union, and majority U.S.-born, to majority immigrant. In the article conclusion, journalist Natalie Kitroeff wrote, “Nonunion shops made aggressive inroads into home building with workers who had less experience. The result: Today slightly more than 1 in 10 construction workers are in a union, compared with 4 in 10 in the 1970s….an influx of immigrants who would work for less made it easier for builders to quickly shift to a nonunion labor force…” A footnote: in a relatively short time, immigration played a leading role in eliminating solid, blue-collar United Brotherhood of Carpenters jobs that paid middle-class wages, offered health care, paid vacations and pensions.

But since major immigration reductions are not in the immediate future, the government could help by passing mandatory E-Verify. If passed, the program that would prevent unscrupulous employers from hiring illegal aliens and slow the flow of unlawful job-seeking foreign nationals, once the word was out. A tighter labor market results in an increase in wages for U.S. workers.

E-Verify has the overwhelming support of Americans and of companies like Costco that have used it for years. Early this year, a Houston Chronicle editorial made the interesting point that E-Verify would not only help legally present workers keep jobs, but also would protect exploited illegal immigrant workers from low pay and harsh conditions that, because of deportation fears, they’re afraid to report. With E-Verify, the onus is on employers to hire only legal workers.

For all the ballyhoo about the $15 minimum wage, nothing is ever said about tightening the labor market through lower immigration or mandating E-Verify, two solutions that would help the U.S. pay rate, still stuck at 1970 levels, to increase through normal market functions.

After ICE Raids, US Citizens Flock To Jobs

Less than one week after ICE raided 7 food processing facilities in Mississippi apprehending nearly 700 illegal workers, American citizens are rushing to freshly-available jobs.

Koch Foods is headquartered in Chicago but maintains a chicken processing facility in Mississippi that employed 243 of the 680 undocumented Latino workers arrested in the raids last Thursday. Koch has since collaborated with the Mississippi Department of Employment Security (MDES), holding a job fair to recruit new, legal, workers, according to the Associated Press.

The fair raked in 200 applications before noon, according to local media. The company says it will require applicants to present two forms of identification before being hired, according to CNN. MDES will also vet all Mississippi workers for legality using the state’s E-Verify system, according to USA Today.

A Koch spokesman did not directly correlate the job fair with the raids. Instead he told the AP that holding job fairs is routine for the chicken processing plant, especially given America’s strong current economy. (RELATED: CNN’s Tapper: Is Trump Not Getting Enough Credit For The Economy?)

Job fairs “are part of normal efforts to employ,” Gilliand told AP. “In this environment of relative full employment, most businesses are looking for qualified applicants; Koch is no different.”

Dianne Bell of the Mississippi Department of Employment Security was involved in coordinating the job fair. She says that the immigration raid and Koch’s interest in recruitment of new legal workers went hand in hand.

“They reached out to us the very same day [as the raids],” Bell told USA Today, speaking on the collaborative recruitment effort between Koch and the MDES.

Those who are now seeking employment in the raided facilities cite high wages and frequent pay as reasons to take the exhausting job of a food processing worker, according to USA Today.

Last week’s ICE raids are “believed to be the largest single-state immigration enforcement operation in our nation’s history,” says to US Attorney for the Southern District Mike Hurst, according to CNN.

Many media outlets and commentators are attributing the raids to the Trump Administration or a racist agenda. However, acting ICE director Matt Albence maintained that immigration laws “are not new laws, nor is the enforcement of them new,” according to CNN.

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