national legislation

Birthright Tourism

Birth tourism is a term which refers to the practice of foreign mothers-to-be traveling to the United States on tourist visas for the specific purpose of giving birth in the U.S. in order to obtain U.S. citizenship for their child. The secondary goal of the mother may be to eventually secure legal permanent resident status, also colloquially known as a “green card.” . . .

Trump Closes U.S. Mexico Border to Combat Covid-19

Supreme Court Allows Remain in Mexico Policy to remain in place

The Supreme Court on Wednesday upheld the Trump administration’s “Remain in Mexico” policy requiring asylum seekers to wait in Mexico while their applications are processed in the U.S.

The court’s decision overturns a 9th Circuit Court of Appeals injunction against the policy covering the entire U.S.-Mexico border. Justice Sonia Sotomayor was the only judge who dissented. However, the ruling does not dispel other legal challenges currently brought against the policy in other courts. . .

FAIR: ‘NO BAN’ Act Endangers Public Safety, National Security

(March 11, 2020, Washington, D.C.) — The following statement was issued by Dan Stein, president of the Federation for American Immigration Reform (FAIR), regarding an upcoming vote on legislation to dismantle the president’s travel ban authority at the height of the coronavirus outbreak:

 “Amidst a full-blown public health crisis driven by travel from abroad, House Democrats have demonstrated where their priorities lie: taking political shots at President Trump. This partisan hackery is both stunning and ill-advised. . .

 

 

Big! States can prosecute illegal aliens for identity theft

It’s hard to believe we needed a court case, that had to go to the Supreme Court, to allow state prosecution of illegal aliens who steal identities. But, we did.

The Supreme Court ruled on Tuesday that state governments can prosecute illegal aliens of identity theft, including aliens who use false Social Security numbers to unlawfully gain employment. . .

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. ...   

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.

H.R. 5038 won in the House but the battle is not over

Alert date: 
December 13, 2019
Alert body: 

The vote in the House of Representatives on Dec. 12 on H.B. 5038, Farm Workforce Modernization Act, was:  Ayes, 260; Nays, 160.   As you might expect all of Oregon’s House members voted in favor of rewarding law breakers.  Let’s hope President Trump will veto the bill if it makes it to his desk.

“Farm Workforce Modernization Act” would do George Orwell proud.  To return to stoop labor workers instead of mechanization is the anthesis of “modernization.”   To reward law breakers at the expense of farmers who obey laws is a slap in the face to the farmers who obey labor laws.

As Roy Beck of NumbersUSA reported: “226 Democrats took the side of law-breaking agri-business employers and their illegal workers against the legal workers in the ag industry.  Joining them in supporting the amnesty for employers who have massively broken immigration laws for years were 34 Republicans voting YES. …”

All 5 of Oregon’s Representatives voted to pass this betrayal of U.S. workers, increasing profits for employers by depressing workers’ wages and taking job opportunities away from citizens.  Standing up for U.S. citizen workers were 151 Republicans, 3 Democrats and one Independent.  You can see the record of the vote, showing how each member voted, here.

Hopefully the bill can be stopped in the Senate.  H.R. 5038 authorizes a major amnesty that will have far-reaching, harmful results for our country, now and in the future.  This article gives a vivid picture: 

FARMING LIKE IT’S 1699; It’s cheaper to invest in congressmen than in automation, by Mark Krikorian, in The National Review Dec. 10, 2019.    [Mr. Krikorian is a nationally recognized expert on immigration issues.  He has served as Executive Director of the Center for Immigration Studies (CIS) since 1995.]

Excerpt:

The House is expected to vote Wednesday on the hilariously misnamed Farm Workforce Modernization Act, which would “modernize” agricultural labor right back to the 17th century.

At the core of the bill are several indentured-labor schemes intended to tie current illegal aliens and future “temporary” workers to farm jobs for four to ten years before giving them green cards. The reason for the indenture system is that farmers know from experience that once the illegal aliens or visa workers get green cards, almost all will flee the medieval labor system that prevails in much of fresh fruit and vegetable agriculture.

Fact sheets on the bill are here and here. It provides immediate amnesty to illegal aliens (and their dependents) who have (or claim to have) worked at least part time in agriculture over the past two years. The number of beneficiaries is estimated to be at least 1.5 million. . . .

See the complete article here.

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)

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

Alert date: 
September 25, 2019
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.

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

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.

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