national legislation

Paying the bill for illegal immigration

Our conflicting immigration policies and rules in the U.S. can lead to some amazing true-life stories. Here’s a shocker that wouldn’t have happened had Congress not passed so many loopholes and dodges in immigration laws, making immigration law enforcement extremely complicated and often misreported in the media.

How about a little sympathy for the needs of U.S. citizens, and not so much for the millions of foreign nationals who enter and stay in the country illegally? 

1. Check out the immigration voting records of your members of Congress here.

2. Vote YES on the Stop Oregon Sanctuaries initiative (Measure105) in the Oregon general election, November 6, 2018.

LOOK WHAT THIS ILLEGAL ALIEN IS COSTING THE U.S.:

Paying the Cost — Literally — for Alien Criminals in the United States

By Dan Cadman, Center for Immigration Studies,  on July 31, 2018

[Excerpt only.  For emphasis, we’ve put some parts into bold font.  Read the full article here.]

I've been reading about the case of an illegal alien from Mexico who was arrested and criminally charged in a county in Utah for serial sexual abuse of his 8-year-old stepdaughter. He has also been charged with multiple counts of document fraud and identity theft, almost certainly because once arrested for the pedophilia crimes, law enforcement officials determined that he was living and working in the United States with phony documents involving someone else's Social Security number or name.

The alien, 49-year-old Gerardo Valerio-Romero, since being jailed, has been diagnosed with cancer and run up hundreds of thousands of dollars in medical bills. Worse, the treatments have necessitated postponements of his trial, which results in the need for more treatment, and so forth, in a downward financial spiral that is bankrupting the county sheriff's office.

Two media accounts show some of the troubling aspects that crop up in such cases.

KUER public radio, for instance, quotes his lawyer as suggesting that the sheriff's office simply drop the charges and let him be deported to Mexico (Immigration and Customs Enforcement, "ICE", that much-reviled agency of late, has filed a detainer seeking custody after the disposition of Valerio-Romero's criminal charges.) The sheriff's office responded that they don't wish to, because of the uncertainty that he will actually be deported should that occur. Almost as an afterthought, the sheriff suggested that such a recourse permits the man to avoid accountability.  …

It seems to me that criminal accountability is vitally important in this case. As a retired ICE official, it's something I'm confident current ICE agents also feel strongly about, because they know the system. The truth is that, even if he were removed, policing our border is such a difficult proposition these days — with resistance to border barriers, continual pushes to play the catch-and-release game, and the big money to be made in human smuggling — it's entirely likely that Valerio-Romero would illegally return in a relatively short period of time and simply relocate someplace else with new fraudulent documents bought cheaply from a storefront vendor.

As to the sheriff's assertion that he "does not believe Immigration and Customs Enforcement will push to deport Romero should the county release him", that needs put into context:

If the Utah County district attorney's office foolishly drops the charges, then Valerio-Romero may be an illegal alien, but he's not a criminal alien. He drops to the bottom of the priority list not only for ICE, but also for the immigration court. If ICE attempts to detain him without bond, or with a high bond, his immigration attorney will undoubtedly at that point say, "But judge, he's not a convict, he's simply illegally in the United States like the other 11 million or so aliens in his circumstance." ICE is consistently hammered for allegedly deporting aliens who have no criminal convictions. That sometimes is so, but Valerio-Romero is exactly the kind of case that gets statistically misreported by the hundreds in the press or by opportunistic migrant advocates, who choose to obfuscate the facts behind each of those cases, leaving the public with serious misunderstandings of the work going on behind the scenes.

The other article about the case, in the Daily Caller, quotes Utah County Commissioner Nathan Ivie as saying:

We're looking to the federal government and federal delegation to step up. It's their responsibility to enforce these laws. It's their failure to act that's created this situation.

Oh? How does that follow? Does Utah County step up and take responsibility for the medical cost of victims of violent crimes since it is clearly "their responsibility" to enforce laws against such crimes?

How about pedophiles? Putting aside the man's immigration status, isn't it Utah County's job to protect children against predators, which they failed to do in this case? Will they be paying for the years of psychological treatment that the victimized child should receive? If not, why not?

I don't want to suggest that I'm without sympathy for the plight of the county sheriff's office. On the contrary, they have been caught in the cross-hairs of a myopic county commission that apparently was too foolhardy to obtain catastrophic inmate health care insurance on one hand, and a federal Congress on the other hand that even now cannot bring itself to pass overdue and sorely needed immigration enforcement reforms.

Instead, Congress is reduced to such foolishness as introducing bills to abolish ICE on the Democratic side of the House, and nonbinding resolutions "in support" of ICE on the Republican side, even as their Appropriations Committee adopts a series of measures in the 2019 budget that would turn a bad situation even uglier. Read more about Paying the bill for illegal immigration

Sessions Shuts Down Stealth Amnesty

WASHINGTON Attorney General Jeff Sessionss has ordered an end to a longstanding practice of immigration judges (IJs): administratively closing cases to make them disappear from the docket. Immigration judges did this so often in past administrations that the procedure amounted to a vast amnesty-by-stealth for deportable aliens. When an alien’s case is administratively closed, the alien gets to stay in the United States until the case is reopened—and most such cases, once closed, are never reopened.

The Attorney General noted that out of fourteen briefs he received from various groups, the brief of the Immigration Reform Law Institute (IRLI) was the only one to oppose administrative closure. Again and again, this lopsidedness in briefing is the reality in these cases, with dozens of groups pushing open borders, and IRLI, standing alone, advocating enforcement.

Agreeing with IRLI’s brief, the Attorney General noted that no statute or regulation confers general authority on IJs to employ administrative closure. And Sessions declined to grant IJs this authority. Instead, he expressly overruled prior Board of Immigration Appeals cases that had recognized it.

Sessions’ ruling means that IJs will be unable to use administrative closure except in certain narrow circumstances where its use is provided for in regulations. As for cases that previously have been administratively closed, Sessions ordered that they must be reopened if either party that is, either the Department of Homeland Security or the alien so requests. Thus, his ruling ends stealth amnesty going forwward, and frees the government to roll back the massive stealth amnesty that has already happened.

“We are pleased that the Attorney General agreed with us and not the thirteen briefs on the other side,” said Dale L. Wilcox, executive director and general counsel of IRLI. “This ruling chokes off an abuse that has gone on far too long: letting deportable aliens stay by making their immigration cases just disappear. Immigration Judges undoubtedly are overworked,” Wilcox added, “but they are charged with applying our immigration laws, and have no authority simply to erase deportable aliens’ cases from the docket. Now the administration’s duty is clear: to step up, recalendar these prior cases, and finally bring them to a conclusion.”

The case is Matter of Castro-Tum, 27 I&N Dec. 271 (A.G. 2018). Read more about Sessions Shuts Down Stealth Amnesty

Big swindle on U.S. workers

The “Optional Practical Training” program -- what a benign-sounding name for a program that has devastating consequences for job-hungry citizens!

“OPT” is a program that’s legal, thanks to colluding bureaucrats and ignorant or corrupt elected officials.  It gives employers the legal right to hire foreign workers instead of citizens for mostly computer-related jobs, and not only gives employers the right, it incentivizes them to do so by excusing them from paying the Social Security taxes they would have to pay if they hired a citizen for the same job.

Then business and politically-correct media fudge the truth about the program, keeping the public in the dark about it.

David North, of the Center for Immigration Studies, exposes the Wall Street Journal and other media in his blog:  Wall Street Journal Describes Foreign 'Student' Work Program, but Omits $2 Billion Taxpayer Subsidy.

“There's a government program that rewards American employers for not hiring American college grads — for hiring foreign alumni instead — by draining about $2 billion a year from the government trust funds for the elderly (Medicare and Social Security) to pay those employers.

“It is the Optional Practical Training program.”

Read the rest of the blog here.

In a detailed history of how this program developed, John Miano, of CIS and co-author of the book, Sold Out, writes:

“OPT is an example of the administrative state run amok. Instead of law coming from Congress, we have law coming from bureaucrats working hand-in-hand with lobbyists. OPT also illustrates the slippery-slope problem of regulation. Work on student visas started innocently as an integral part of a course of study to give foreign students an experience not available in their home country, but eventually was transformed into a full-blown guestworker program whose stated purpose is to provide labor to American business.

“Congress's definition of student visa status cannot possibly encompass aliens who are either working full-time or are unemployed years after they have graduated.”

“The question now is whether the courts will ever make a decision on OPT or whether the Trump administration will realize that OPT is an unlawful program that should be terminated.”

See the history at: https://cis.org/Report/History-Optional-Practical-Training-Guestworker-Program Read more about Big swindle on U.S. workers

News media get F on immigration reporting

How trustworthy are the major newspapers and news media in this country?  Judging from recent reports, not very.  Critical information about the amnesty bills before Congress was omitted by major media.  Here’s proof:

Media Fail: June 30th, 2018 provision goes unreported

By Jeremy Beck, NumbersUSA, Friday, Feb. 16, 2018

Excerpts:

54 Senators voted yesterday in support of an immigration proposal put forward by Senators Senators Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.), Susan Collins (R-Maine), Mike Rounds (D-S.D.), and Angus King (I-Maine), the self-described "Common Sense Caucus". Did they know what they were voting for?

The proposal's language was still being tweaked on Wednesday but by Thursday morning, Stephen Dinan of the Washington Times had the scoop on some extraordinary details:

Not only would the bill enshrine Obama-era deportation rules, protecting most of the current 11 million illegal immigrants from fear of removal, but it extends those same protections to any illegal immigrants who can jump the border between now and June 30....

.... The key language is on the last page of the amendment which Mr. Schumer introduced last Wednesday.

The bill reads: "In carrying out immigration enforcement activities, the secretary shall prioritize available immigration enforcement resources to aliens who arrived in the United States after June 30, 2018."  …

The "Obama-era deportation rules" effectively exempted 87 percent of unauthorized aliens from immigration law by requiring enforcement agencies to only prioritize convicted felons, gang members national security threats and "recent" border crossers.

The "Common Sense Caucus" attempted to reinstate the Obama rules legislatively, but changed the "we-promise-to-get-serious-now" date from January 1, 2014 to June 30, 2018. Doing so would ensure that people who entered the country illegally after January 1, 2014 wouldn't be held accountable for the Obama administration's failure to keep its promise and (inexplicably) extend that assurance to people who successfully enter the country illegally at any point over the next four months. …

If American voters had asked Congress to devise a plan to cause another border surge, they could not have asked for much more than what the "Common Sense Caucus" came up with.

Rosemary Jenks, Director of Government Relations for NumbersUSA, has read more immigration legislation than anyone on Capitol Hill and she told the Washington Times that she had never seen anything like the June 30th provision. …

… in the hours leading up to the Senate vote...

The New York Times did not report the June 30, 2018 provision.

The Washington Post did not report the June 30, 2018 provision.

The Associated Press did not report the June 30, 2018 provision.

The Wall Street Journal did not report the June 30, 2018 provision.

Reuters did not report the June 30, 2018 provision.

McClatchy did not report the June 30, 2018 provision.

USA Today did not report the June 30, 2018 provision.

The Los Angeles Times did not report the June 30, 2018 provision.

We've seen this kind of epic fail before. In 2013, the Senate voted on - and passed - the "Gang of Eight" bill that included what would have set off the largest immigration increase in United States history, yet in the months leading up to the votes, none of the above newspapers reported the size and historical nature of that provision. The focus back then - as it was this week - was on the legalization provision. The proposed increases in immigration were deeply unpopular with the public and one would imagine the June 30th provision would be as well. By keeping those details out of news reports, the media helped the sponsors of both proposals present their ideas in the best possible light without having to defend the deeply unpopular aspects. …

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

Read the entire article here. Read more about News media get F on immigration reporting

Dick Durbin: It's unlikely we'll reach a DACA deal, but 'I don't see a government shutdown coming'

Sen. Dick Durbin said Sunday senators are unlikely to reach an immigration deal before government funding expires later this week, and there won’t be another partial government shutdown over the issue.

“There is not likely to be a DACA deal, though we're working every single day on telephone calls and person to person to try to reach this bipartisan agreement,” said Durbin, D-Ill., the second-ranked Democrat, in an interview on CNN’s “State of the Union." "I don't see a government shutdown coming.”

Durbin said he is encouraged about negotiations occurring between moderate Democrats and Republicans...
 
Trump announced last year that he would end the DACA program, and he gave Congress until March 5 to address the status of the immigrants, known as “Dreamers.”
 
Durbin said lawmakers are unlikely to reach a deal before Feb. 8...

Parts of the government temporarily shut down last month...

The government shutdown ended when Senate Democratic leader Chuck Schumer, of New York, said he received a promise from Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., to allow debate and a vote on an immigration bill.

“We're making real progress,” Durbin said. “I want to salute the moderates in both the Republicans' and Democratic caucuses in the Senate. I do see a promise by Sen. McConnell to finally bring this critical issue that effects the lives of hundreds of thousands of people in America, finally bringing it to a full debate in the Senate. That's what we were looking for when there was a shutdown. We have achieved that goal. We're moving forward.”

The White House has said President Trump won’t sign an immigration bill unless it also funds a border wall and changes other parts of the immigration system, such as ending the visa lottery program and limiting family-based immigration. Read more about Dick Durbin: It's unlikely we'll reach a DACA deal, but 'I don't see a government shutdown coming'

'Dreamer' amnesty now but an end to chain migration in 15 years? No, thanks.

Why Cutting Chain Migration Must Be Part of an Immigration Deal

Immediate relief for ‘Dreamers’ but an end to chain migration in 15 years? No, thanks.

By Jessica Vaughan, Center for Immigration Studies, February 1, 2018

Excerpt:

...  Trump's proposal is to offer immediate legalization to 1.8 million Dreamers, some 700,000 of whom currently have work permits issued, unconstitutionally, under President Obama, and more than a million others who also arrived as children but did not qualify for DACA because of age or failure to complete high school, or some other reason.

To offset these numbers, the Trump plan would cut off sponsorship of adult relatives outside the nuclear family, including parents, and end the visa lottery. Those changes would reduce legal immigration by about 33 percent from today's levels.

Unfortunately, in an effort to mollify high-immigration fans from both parties in Congress, the chain-migration cuts under the Trump plan would not go into effect until the entire waiting list of family chain-migration applicants is cleared. This would take at least 10 years. Then it would take another five years or so before the future chain-migration cuts could offset the 1.8 million new green cards for the Dreamers.

So, if the proposal becomes law, the Dreamers will obtain relief from deportation immediately upon passage of the bill, but Americans will have to wait 15 years for relief from chain migration.

Even more concerning, a proposal now being hammered out by Senate Republicans reportedly would create a new form of residency visa for parents of naturalized citizens, including the parents of the Dreamers. In this scenario, there would be very little decrease in immigration to offset the amnesty, which could then cover about six million people.

No one thought that reaching a deal for the Dreamers would be easy, but it's not urgent, either. Now that a federal judge in California has ordered the government to resume renewing DACA work permits for the foreseeable future, there is no deadline on DACA. Given that Trump's initial offer of a deal has gone over like a lead balloon with Democrats, and that squishy Senate Republicans are likely to take his proposal and dilute it beyond recognition or value, Trump should step back from the table. Making a deal for the sake of a deal will be a bad deal for Americans. Take a break and let the Democrats (and GOP amnesty-pushers) ponder their choice: permanent status for the Dreamers, or preserving future chain migration? Americans won't tolerate both. Read more about 'Dreamer' amnesty now but an end to chain migration in 15 years? No, thanks.

End DACA now

Alan Gallagher, of Canby, writes in the Capital Press of September 21 that “Systematic breaking of American law should not be rewarded. Illegal aliens and DACA recipients have broken American law by illegal entry or overstay, and violated American law every day — every day — by using false/forged/stolen documents to obtain work and benefits, by lying and using false documents on I-9 forms, by tax fraud, driving without licenses and insurance, and so on. These are not minor crimes, and are deeply corrupting to America’s Rule of Law.”

His article is titled “Congress has already passed an immigration law” and subtitled “DACA recipients, and their parents, have no respect for rule of law, and believe that they may pick and choose which laws to obey.”  Gallagher presents a strong case for immediately ending DACA as well as DAPA.
 
He concludes:  “ … We would not be sending DACA recipients or illegal aliens to Hell, but to a great country, which needs and wants them (in spite of the potential loss of billions of dollars in remittances, $120 billion in total, $23 billion to Mexico).
 
“Mexico exports its problems to the U.S., and receives $23 billion in remittances annually, while U.S. employers gain cheap employees. The economic advantages to some are clear, but it is morally wrong.”
 
Read the full article here.
 
Gallagher’s letter resulted in editorial comments clarifying the newspaper’s position.  See their editorial here.
 
 

House Passes Verify First Act

The House of Representatives passed the Verify First Act, H.R. 2581, introduced by Rep. Lou Barletta (R-Pa.), on Tuesday. The legislation, which would block illegal aliens from taxpayer-funded health insurance credits, passed by a 238-to-184 margin.

The Verify First Act would require the Social Security Administration (SSA) and the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) to verify the citizenship or immigration status of every applicant for a credit under the AHCA before the Treasury Department issues the credit.

According to a 2016 Senate report, the government issued $750 million of Obamacare subsidies to individuals whose immigration status couldn't be verified as of June 2015.

Voting was mostly along party lines, but seven Democrats sided with the Republican majority in voting in favor of the Verify First Act, including:

Rep. Tom O’Halleran (Ariz.)
Rep. Kyrsten Sinema (Ariz.)
Rep. Stephen Lynch (Mass.)
Rep. Collin Peterson (Minn.)
Rep. Marcy Kaptur (Ohio)
Rep. Peter DeFazio (Ore.)
Rep. Henry Cuellar (Texas)

Rep. Mario Diaz-Balart (Fla.) was the only Republican to vote against the bill. Read more about House Passes Verify First Act

Three Ga. U.S. House members co-sponsor official English bill

There are still a large number of Americans who are not aware that the United States has no official language. We don’t.

That can be changed– and logic says it should be an easy task with a Republican-controlled Congress and White House. We’ll see.

Introduced by U.S. Rep. Steve King, R-Iowa, HR 997, the English Unity Act of  2017 establishes English as the official language of the United States. It requires that naturalization ceremonies and official functions of the U.S. government, subject to exceptions, to be conducted in English. And the bill declares that all citizens should be able to read and understand generally the English language text of U.S. laws.

The official English bill currently has 43 House co-sponsors, but only three from Georgia: Reps. Barry Loudermilk, Jody Hice and Doug Collins. (Sen. Johnny Isakson is a co-sponsor of companion legislation S. 678 in the Senate.)

One can’t help but wonder what reasons any lawmaker would have for not supporting English as our official language. More than 50 other countries make English their official language. Also, an August 2014 Rasmussen poll found that 83% of Americans support making English the official language of the United States.

Here is the contact info for the Georgia delegation. In fact, InsiderAdvantage encourages readers of this column to provide feedback after checking with their own congressman and letting them hear the reasoning behind not signing on to help passage of this official English bill.

Also, a warning: Critics of the concept of a nationally unifying language – and there are many – will try to redefine official English as “English only” which is an intentional falsehood and misrepresentation of the legislation. These radical anti-English activists regard official English as “anti-immigrant.”

The goal of King’s legislation is to have a federal government that operates in English whenever possible, with clear exceptions to aid non-English speakers when necessary.

Georgians who want more information on official English, the many negatives of bi-lingual education and tips on how to take action on convincing their congressman to help should see the website of the highly respected ProEnglish group in Washington, D.C.

There is also an interesting comparison of priorities and interests on the part of House lawmakers. More than 200 representatives have quietly signed on to an immigration amnesty bill that sees nearly zero exposure in the media.

“Rep. Jeff Denham, R-Calif., introduced the ENLIST Act, H.R. 60, that would give illegal aliens who meet certain requirements Legal Permanent Residence (LPR) status if they join the U.S. military. Denham first introduced the ENLIST Act in 2013” says NumbersUSA on its website.

Check out who the co-sponsors are, too. Two of the co-signers on this amnesty bill are Georgia congressmen.

The writer is president of the Dustin Inman Society. thedustininmansociety.org Read more about Three Ga. U.S. House members co-sponsor official English bill

Ring the caution bell

 
While it’s great to read the reports of decreases in illegal immigration and more arrests of illegal aliens now here, there are also disturbing signs that Pres. Trump is yielding too much to those who exploit the immigration system for profit and to the politicians in Congress and elsewhere who serve those interests.
 
Dan Cadman, of the Center for Immigration Studies, is a retired INS / ICE official with thirty years of government experience. He served as a senior supervisor and manager at headquarters, as well as at field offices both domestically and abroad.  He is well-informed on details of immigration law enforcement and writes in understandable language on current immigration issues.  In his blog below posted on the CIS website, he points out some pitfalls in the path toward what voters hoped to achieve through Pres. Trump’s election.
 
 
By Dan Cadman, Center for Immigration Studies, May 18, 2017
 
Even as border crossings have plummeted and interior arrests have soared since inauguration of the president — due, no doubt, both to his tough campaign talk and his unshackling of federal immigration agents through executive orders — there are warning signs that we may be sliding back toward the Washington business-as-usual mentality of unacknowledged virtually open borders where legal immigration is concerned.
 
First there was the cave-in on budget negotiations in which provisions maintaining controversial accounting methods for the notorious H-2B program for unskilled workers got slipped into the short-term appropriations bill, along with a reprieve of the corrupt and useless EB-5 "investor" visa program.
 
Then there was the deeply disturbing incident involving the sister of Jared Kushner (son-in-law and advisor to the president) pimping his name and connection to the White House in presentations to EB-5 investors in China.
 
And then we find that Mr. Trump is alleged to have promised Big Agriculture that they have nothing to fear from his administration where immigration enforcement and unfettered access to high-volume temporary worker programs are concerned. 
 
Now there are the rumors that Trump may be favorably disposed toward the ENLIST Act, a bill that would give illegal aliens the right to enlist in return for green cards — a poor idea that has been floated before without success, and that has been panned as unnecessary by distinguished retired military service members. No wonder, given that present enlistment programs are working just fine at keeping the armed forces supplied with excellent candidates, and indeed turn away many American citizen applicants for inability to meet the high physical, mental, emotional, and educational standards the military is able to maintain. Why compromise those standards to open the doors to aliens whose very presence in the country is illegal, who may or may not speak competent English, and who cannot easily or inexpensively be adequately vetted (as we have seen again and again and again)?
 
As our Executive Director, Mark Krikorian, recently discussed, none of these things is necessarily a betrayal, per se, by Mr. Trump of his vocal base of immigration restrictionists, given his campaign remarks about big, beautiful doors inside the big, beautiful (unfunded) wall. But it's going to feel like one. 
 
How could they see it otherwise if the market is flooded with hundreds of thousands of cheap foreign laborers on the bottom and middle, and with fat-cat foreign "entrepreneurs" at the top, despite all of the president's campaign rhetoric and promises to open up new jobs for un- and under-employed Americans?
 
The short-term problem seems to be that he thought everything could be done by executive orders and, having discovered that isn't true and that he needs the help of recalcitrant congressional Republicans — including those of the "more is better" immigration school like Sen. Ron Johnson (R-Wisc.) — the president appears to be inclined to give these foxes the run of the henhouse where guestworker and other "legal" immigration programs are concerned, perhaps in the belief that they will then support him in his other endeavors.
 
The long-term problem, though, is that whether he wishes to acknowledge it or not, Donald Trump's base did indeed "hire" the president not just to eliminate illegal immigration, but to rein in an out-of-control legal immigration system that brings in 1.5 million aliens annually, thus depressing wages at the lower end of the economic ladder, and making jobs difficult to find in the middle of the ladder, particularly for new college graduates seeking employment in certain industries (such as information technology) that have relied heavily on in-sourcing of long-term guestworkers who underbid them to get those jobs. 
 
And then there are those millionaires and billionaires buying green cards in corrupt programs that in truth employ nobody in any meaningful, direct, or permanent way. They merely serve as a plentiful source of funds to real estate and business developers. Many of these investment projects have proved to be fraudulent, and many others didn't get built or finished. The program is riddled like the proverbial Swiss cheese with lawsuits, prosecutions, and civil enforcement actions.
 
You just can't square the circle between continuing unfettered access to massive guestworker and investment programs by greedy employers and shady project-selling middlemen on one hand and, on the other, giving the people who constitute Mr. Trump's base a fair shot at good jobs with decent pay.
 
Lose your base, Mr. President, and you will be a one-term president. There is no art of the deal in which you can maintain their trust and confidence while giving way to congressional Democrats and Republicans who are catering to those employers and middlemen, who don't believe in your agenda anyway, and who will in the end drop you like a hot potato at the first sign of trouble. The warning signs are already there, are they not?
 

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