national legislation

Today’s Grads Face Mounting Pressure From Foreign Tech Workers

Writing in the November 15 issue of ComputerWorld, Patrick Thibodeau reminds us of the plight of today’s college graduates who have obtained pricey degrees in technical fields, but have become burdened with tuition debt while trying to compete in a tight job market with the estimated 650,000 foreign workers already here under H-1B visas.

Things could get worse under the Senate immigration reform bill, which calls for increasing the current annual H-1B visa cap of 65,000 to about 180,000...

Ironically, with an anemic economy and a stubborn unemployment rate of 7 percent, the nation’s blue chip companies continue to lobby for more H-1B visas at a time when many are shedding headcount to cut costs.

Last quarter, Cisco laid off 4,000 people, bringing its two-year total layoffs to 12,000. HP just completed a plan announced in 2012 to cut 9,000 American jobs. Pharmaceutical giant Merck announced it will cut 8,500 more jobs, bringing the total number to 16,000...

Mass layoffs are typically justified in terms of restructuring to meet changing market needs, retooling for the next phase of innovation, or remaining competitive in an increasingly dynamic industry. But there’s more to it than this. These goals can be achieved in large part by replacing American workers with foreign workers who will do more for less and not complain about it.

In September, IBM agreed to settle a claim with the Justice Department that its job listings for almost four years expressed a preference for foreign workers with temporary visas over U.S. citizens. According to one HR manager at the company, the cost difference is too great for IBM not to look for foreign workers first. Many firms routinely violate the “citizens-first” hiring rule, but because they are hit with paltry fines if caught, it is easy to dismiss them as a cost of doing business.

Tech companies like Apple, Microsoft, Google, and Cisco are among the many companies awash in cash, yet claim to need more foreign workers to stay on life support. If corporate profits are any measure, this line of reasoning falls squarely into the category of pure blather. The SP500 companies are sitting on a cash pile of $1.3 trillion.

Apple is widely hailed as the world leader in innovation. It has accumulated a cash hoard of $147 billion, which equates to nearly 10% of all corporate cash held by non-financial companies, according to Moody’s. Google pales in comparison with only $56 billion cash on hand and Facebook with $10 billion. All three companies are key players in petitioning Congress to lift the H-1B visa cap, as if they faced imminent extinction without a drip infusion of foreign workers.

The prospect of a big increase in H-1B visas could have serious consequences for American students and society...

Under the H-1B program, companies are allowed to pay foreign workers less than American citizens. When a company sees its competitors doing this, they have little choice but to follow suit to lower their own operating costs. This situation lowers wages across the board, making it difficult for American graduates to compete for jobs, pay down tuition loans, buy homes and raise families. With an uncertain job future in technical fields, high school students have good reason to think twice about pursuing expensive university degrees in preparation for jobs they are not likely to get.

In the ComputerWorld article, Karen Panetta, IEEE-USA Vice President for Communications and Public Awareness, and a professor of electrical engineering at Tufts University, warned that the cost of tuition in the U.S. is so unrealistically prohibitive that a class shift is underway. “The really wealthy are the only ones who can afford to send their kids to school,” she said. With her students owing $50,000 on average, “It’s the house you are not going to be able to buy for another 10 years.”

Also reported in ComputerWorld, Hal Salzman, a professor of public policy at Rutgers University, noted that the U.S. produces enough graduates to satisfy the demands of the labor market. But if the H-1B visa cap increase goes through, he sees a market that will be flooded with workers, with people under age 30 being especially hard hit by the increased job competition.

As the Wall Street Journal noted in its October 23 editorial, “With total employment at 144.3 million, for every three Americans over the age of 16 earning a paycheck there are two who aren’t even looking for a job. That’s an ugly portent for American prosperity.”

It’s hard to fathom how an annual influx of ever greater numbers of foreign workers will improve on this dire situation. It may very well accelerate the decline in workforce participation and increase dependence on the expanding array of government benefits as a substitute for work – both of which may trigger unforeseen consequences, including societal turbulence, followed by remedies we may prefer not to think about.

Read the full article.

Speaker Boehner: Immigration Reform Not Dead

Barely a week after he said the House will not go to conference with the 1,300 page Senate amnesty bill, House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) renewed his commitment to passing “immigration reform,” a term commonly used to mean amnesty for the country’s 11-12 million illegal aliens.

“The only way to make sure immigration reform works this time is to address these complicated issues one step at a time,” said the Speaker at a press conference Thursday. (See Bloomberg Government Transcript, Nov. 21, 2013) “I think doing so will give the American people confidence that we're dealing with these issues in a thoughtful way and a deliberative way. So I’m hopeful we can make progress on this very important issue,” he continued. (Id.)

In fact, when asked whether immigration reform was dead, the Speaker replied, “Absolutely not. I have made clear, going back to the day after the last election in 2012 that it was time for Congress to deal with this issue. I believe that Congress needs to deal with this issue.” (See Bloomberg Government Transcript, Nov. 21, 2013)

Speaker Boehner also signaled that several House Republicans are continuing to work behind the scenes on a plan to pass immigration reform. “There are a lot of private conversations that are underway to try to figure out, how do we best move on a common-sense, step-by-step basis to address this very important issue…because it is a very important issue.” (Id.) Similarly, during his press conference the previous week, Boehner told reporters that House Judiciary Chairman Bob Goodlatte (R-VA) — whose committee has jurisdiction over the immigration issue — was working on “principles” for the chamber to follow in pursuing immigration reform in the coming year. (Roll Call, Nov. 13, 2013)

The Speaker’s recent comments make clear that amnesty and mass immigration proposals are far from “dead” in the House this coming year. To be sure, passing immigration bills piecemeal—rather than in one comprehensive bill such as in the Senate—still gives GOP leaders room to push for amnesty legislation or massive increases in foreign workers. In reality, depending on the path Leadership takes, the House approach, even if it is more transparent, could still have the same result as the Senate’s 1,000+ page bill.

Indeed, even House Majority Leader Eric Cantor has acknowledged that the House’s piecemeal bills are intended to fit together in a comprehensive manner. Last week in a heated exchange with Minority Whip Steny Hoyer (D-MD) on the chamber floor Cantor said, “These [immigration bills] all fit into a larger puzzle,” he said. (See Congressional Record, Nov. 15, 2013, p.H7147)

Increasing the cause for concern, President Obama has given the GOP leaders his stamp of approval in taking this approach to achieving “comprehensive” immigration reform. “[House Republicans are] suspicious of comprehensive bills,” Obama said at a Wall Street Journal CEO summit. “But you know what? If they want to chop that thing up into five pieces, as long as all five pieces get done, I don't care what it looks like.” (AFP, Nov. 19, 2013)

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Now is not the time for us to relax

Alert date: 
November 11, 2013
Alert body: 

The holiday season is when some of the dirtiest tricks in Congress are played on the American public - they hope you aren't paying attention and are too busy thinking about Christmas shopping and holiday parties.

Congress has just nine work days left in 2013 and many American loyalists are heartened by the white flags being raised by illegal alien amnesty supporters, indicating that "immigration reform" amnesty will not take place in 2013.  DON'T YOU BELIEVE IT! 

Now is not the time for us to relax, let down our guard, and start slapping each other on the back in congratulations. Now is the time for us to focus, intensify, and advance on the white flags of our illegal alien invasion and amnesty supporting opponents.                                                                                                             

We need to prepare for the possibility that the white flags we see are subterfuge designed to put American defenders at ease in order to pass amnesty rapidly without as much public backlash, or to try to diffuse the growing backlash the GOP will face in the 2014 primaries.

In 2013 Americans were terribly defeated when the Senate passed amnesty. Now the House version of the Senate bill has over 190 sponsors including at least 3 Republicans! They only need about 20 more votes to pass amnesty for 20 million illegal aliens to Obama's desk.

Illegal alien amnesty disguised as "immigration reform" is the coup de grace to America. Sure, they will keep the name America for awhile, but those of us loyal to the traditions, heritage, and principles that made America great will be buried beneath an unending wave of humanity that does not share our beliefs and that is coming to take every thing of value they can take from us. They will come in such great numbers until America becomes the same kind of hell hole many illegal aliens are already fleeing.

American activists need to increase our activism and make a major move against amnesty during these final legislative days of 2013!

Pick up the phone or send an email to your Congressman today.  Remind them who they are working for and what they need to do.  They need to hear from YOU!
 

ICE's Chris Crane Blasts Lobbyists Pushing Amnesty

Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) National Council president Chris Crane, who represents about 7,000 ICE agents and support staff, wrote to a group of lobbyists, special interests, and political figures on Tuesday to question why they support granting amnesty to America’s at least 11 million illegal aliens.

“Each of you receiving this letter today has played a major role in pushing so-called ‘comprehensive immigration reform,’ the Rubio-Schumer immigration bill or is pressing the House to advance similar legislation,” Crane wrote to the group of special interests. “During recent years, ICE officers have documented extraordinary political abuses at the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and ICE that have threatened public safety and undermined the ability of ICE agents and officers to enforce the laws enacted by Congress."

"I cannot recall any of you speaking out publicly against these abuses or requesting a meeting with ICE Officers to address our concerns,” Crane stated bluntly.

Recipients of the letter included Karl Rove; Chamber of Commerce president Tom Donohue; National Council of La Raza president Janet Murguia; Casa de Maryland executive director Gustavo Torres; National Council of Chain Restaurants executive director Rob Green; American Action Forum president Doug Holtz-Eakin; casino mogul and major GOP donor Sheldon Adelson; Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg; and corporate executives from companies like:

  • General Electric
  • Disney
  • McDonald’s
  • Marriott Hotels
  • Coca-Cola
  • The Cheesecake Factory
  • Hilton Hotels
  • Hyatt Hotels
  • General Mills
  • Wendy’s
  • Johnson & Johnson
  • Darden Restaurants (Olive Garden, Red Lobster, Longhorn Steakhouse, Seasons 52, the Capital Grille, Bahama Breeze, Eddie V’s, and Yard House)
  • Hewlett Packard
  • Verizon

Also included on the letter were executive of lobbyist associations like the National Association of Home Builders and the American Hotel and Lodging Association.

“ICE officers arguably know more about our nation’s broken immigration system than any group in the United States,” Crane wrote. “Yet President Barack Obama and the Gang of Eight actively prohibited them from having input. Only influential and affluent groups and wealthy individuals like you were given an opportunity to provide real input on our nation’s new immigration laws."

"As ICE officers fought a very public battle seeking to add measures that would provide for public safety and national security, you did nothing to assist or support us, but in fact—through your advocacy – put officers and the public at risk,” he claimed.

“As a result, the Senate passed an immigration bill that will fail America,” Crane wrote. “While this legislation may satisfy your personal financial or political objectives, it undermines immigration enforcement and worsens the immigration problems currently experienced in the United States.”

Crane added that the letter recipients are using their lobbyist influence to “fight for special protections and legalization for violent criminal offenders and gang members illegally in the United States” but they “must realize that in doing so you sacrifice the safety of every man, woman and child residing in the United States, regardless of citizenship.”

“Certainly you must know that when you fight for legislation that protects criminal aliens who assault law enforcement officers, you increase the risk to every police officer, sheriff’s deputy, and federal agent across our nation; officers whose lives and welfare should hold some value to you and the organizations you represent,” Crane wrote.

Crane said it is up the House of Representatives to protect the safety of Americans from lobbyists.

“Only the U.S. House of Representatives now stands between the American people and the potential destruction of federal immigration enforcement,” Crane wrote. “Yet the groups represented on this letter are spending enormous sums of money or wielding enormous amounts of influence in an attempt to intimidate the House into passing a plan similar to that adopted by the Senate – a bill that not one member of the Senate had the time to read before voting on.”

Crane said that America’s future depends on these lobbyists being stopped.

“It is a sad day in America when the political class in Washington, and groups that can deliver votes and money, have more influence in writing our immigration laws than everyday American citizens and the law enforcement officers sworn to protect them,” Crane wrote. “I hope you stand with law enforcement and stand for the rule of law -- if for no other reason than out of compassion for the lives that we can protect if we finally begin to enforce our nation’s immigration laws.”

Crane then turned his attention to directly questioning the intent of these lobbyists’ and special interests’ push for amnesty.

“Are you really willing to support an immigration plan that will put officers and the public in danger simply because it includes special items that advance the financial or political interests of your group or company?” Crane asked. “Are we in law enforcement not worthy of your respect? Do you believe that our experience and advice is without value in creating new immigration legislation?"

"I am requesting a meeting with each of you to discuss the answers to these questions, as well as to speak to you about the field experience of immigration officers and agents who daily witness a side of our nation’s immigration crisis that many in the media and indeed our government actively work to conceal from the American public,” he said.

Many of these special interests actually met with President Barack Obama on Tuesday at the White House to plot out an immigration push on Capitol Hill. Obama met with McDonald’s, Marriott, and other CEOs and executives on Tuesday at the White House to plan an amnesty strategy.

“What's been encouraging is, is that there are a number of House Republicans who have said, we think this is the right thing to do, as well,” Obama said about the meeting, according to USA Today. “And it's my estimation that we actually have votes to get comprehensive immigration reform done in the House right now.”

House Republican Circulating Petition to Push Immigration Reform

The third House Republican to support the comprehensive immigration bill introduced by House Democrats is circulating a petition to House Republicans to pressure House Republican leaders to bring up comprehensive immigration reform legislation this year.

On Friday, Rep. David Valadao (R-CA) said he was "hoping to get a decent number" of signatures, according to the Washington Post.

Reps. Jeff Denham (R-CA) and Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-FL) are the other two Republicans who have come out in support of the Senate's immigration bill that provides a pathway to citizenship for the country's illegal immigrants with less stringent border security provisions.

Valadao said he is not calling on House Republican leadership to hold a vote on the Democrat bill but on immigration reform in general before the end of the year.

House Republicans are reportedly working on various piecemeal bills in order to go conference with the Senate, where a pathway to citizenship provision will most likely prevail. The Congressional Budget Office determined that the Senate bill would lower the wages of working class Americans.

If House Republicans do not bring up immigration reform this year, Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) recently said Republicans may try to pass comprehensive immigration reform next year--after the primaries--when Republicans do not have to fear challenges from the conservative wing of the party.

Anti-Amnesty Activists Call for Flags at Half-Mast for Those Killed by Illegal Aliens

Anti-amnesty activists have called on President Barack Obama to lower flags at the White House and other government institutions to half-mast on Sunday to honor Americans who have been killed by illegal immigrants.

The call is part of the Remembrance Project’s and the Tea Party Immigration Coalition’s “National Remembrance Day for Those Killed by Illegal Aliens.” In a statement provided to Breitbart News, Remembrance Project founder Maria Espinoza said that her group is planning vigils and events in states across the country.

“Our children are being ignored by politicians," Espinoza said. "It is time politicians ‘represent’ Americans or admit they cannot fulfill the job they promised to do and resign.”

In a letter to President Obama, the Tea Party Immigration Coalition wrote that this administration’s non-enforcement directives have drastic consequences leading to “unnecessary harm to Americans.”

“Mr. President, we are asking you to order all national flags to be flown at half-staff on November 3rd to honor our fallen citizens, victimized not only by illegal alien criminals, but by the federal government's refusal to secure the border and enforce our immigration laws,” the group wrote.

A press request sent to the White House from Breitbart News seeking a response to this call has thus far gone unanswered.

Events will occur across the country, Espinoza told Breitbart News, over the course of Sunday and Monday in an effort to honor the fallen. For instance, Jamiel Shaw, the father of Jamiel Shaw, Jr., will hold a vigil starting at 3:30 PM local time in Los Angeles at 2136 Fifth Street, the site of the Jamiel Shaw Memorial, where the young man was killed by an illegal immigrant a few short years ago. Shaw’s father has testified before the House Judiciary Committee about the incident and called for stronger border security and interior enforcement of the nation’s immigration laws.

At the Iowa State Capitol on Monday, Nov. 4, the Iowa Minutemen will be holding their First Annual Night of Remembrance from 5 PM to 9 PM on the grounds’ West Mall.

On Sunday at 5:30 PM local time in Phoenix, Arizona, activists will hold a vigil at Wesley Bowlin Park at the corner of 17th avenue and Adams street. There, activists will draw attention to the case of Robert Krentz—a border rancher who is believed to have been murdered by an illegal immigrant.

Those are just a few of the events. For others, Espinoza said to check her organization’s website or to contact local activists.

Who does Congressman Kurt Schrader Represent?

Alert date: 
October 31, 2013
Alert body: 

Please plan to attend Representative Kurt Schrader's upcoming Townhall meetings when he visits a town near you next week.  Ask him why he continues to support the S 744 the massive amnesty bill?  Doesn't he care about the nearly 16% unemployment rate here in Oregon?  How would an amnesty help that?  Ask him!

Invite a friend or neighbor to join you.  Remember - he works for YOU!

If you get a response, or he says anything about the immigration issue, jobs or anything else - please tell OFIR about it  -  ofir@oregonir.org

Dallas Town Hall

Tuesday, November 5th
6 to 7 p.m.
Dallas Civic Center
945 SE Jefferson St, Dallas 97338
 

Newport Town Hall

Sunday, November 10th
Noon to 1 p.m.
Newport City Hall
169 SW Coast Hwy, Newport 97365
 

Pacific City Town Hall

Sunday, November 10th
3 to 4 p.m.
Kiawanda Community Center
34600 Cape Kiwanda Dr, Pacific City 97135

 


 

Michael McCaul opposes immigration talks

A key House Republican said Wednesday that he was urging his leadership to back off any formal negotiations with the Senate on immigration reform, reflecting a growing refusal from the GOP to reconcile the Gang of Eight legislation with any immigration bill that the House may pass.

Texas Rep. Michael McCaul, who chairs the House Homeland Security Committee, has been advocating for a bipartisan border-security bill that cleared his panel with unanimous support in May. That bill has lagged on the way to the House floor since, but McCaul indicated that his legislation isn’t meant to be a jumping-off point for broader discussions on overhauling the nation’s immigration laws.

And McCaul said he has relayed that message to the chamber’s top Republican — Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) — directly.

“I am not gonna go down the road of conferencing with the Senate [comprehensive immigration reform] bill,” McCaul said on conservative radio host Laura Ingraham’s show Wednesday. “And I told Boehner that he needs to stand up and make that very clear that we are not going to conference with the Senate on this. We’re not going to conference with the Senate, period.

“I am not pushing for immigration reform, I’ve been against amnesty my entire career,” McCaul continued. “I’m just interested in getting the security piece done. And we have to do that, first and foremost.”

A handful of conservatives in the House Republican Conference have said for several months that they would oppose going to a conference committee with the Senate over immigration, going as far as warning that they would vote against any reform bill on the floor to deny it the votes it needs to pass. But that opposition appears more fervent now, particularly after a fiscal battle this month that left House Republicans bruised: Rep. Raul Labrador (R-Idaho), who has worked on immigration reform, has said it would be “crazy” for his party to negotiate with Democrats after the shutdown fight.

Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.), one of the Senate bill’s authors and arguably its most valuable conservative backer, also distanced himself this week from the legislation he helped write and threw his support behind the House Republicans’ piecemeal approach to immigration reform. His office has said any House-Senate conference committee should limit its scope to whatever the House passes.

McCaul also said he was invited to the White House to discuss immigration with President Barack Obama on Tuesday, but he declined. Rep. Mario Diaz-Balart (R-Fla.), who has been working for years on immigration legislation, had also been slated to head to the White House — but that meeting was abruptly cancelled with no clear reason.

“I saw it as a political trap,” McCaul said of a meeting with Obama.

White House spokesman Josh Earnest told reporters earlier Wednesday that those meetings didn’t happen Tuesday because of “some genuine scheduling challenges on both ends.”

“But we’re going to continue to be in touch with House Republicans,” Earnest continued. “And whether that is a meeting with the president or a meeting at the staff level, we’re going to continue to solicit ideas from House Republicans about how we can move this ball forward.”

Still, those advocating for a sweeping comprehensive bill got some good news Wednesday when a third House GOP lawmaker broke ranks to co-sponsor Democratic immigration legislation that the party has been circulating to pressure Republicans.

Rep. David Valadao, a freshman Republican from California whose district is 70 percent Latino, said the move was a way to bolster his message: “Addressing immigration reform in the House cannot wait.”

“I am serious about making real progress and will remain committed to doing whatever it takes to repair our broken immigration system,” Valadao said in a statement.

5% Think Feds Very Likely to Seal Border if New Immigration Law Passes

Most voters continue to put more border control first in any immigration reform plan, but fewer than ever trust the federal government to actually control the border if a new plan is passed. Voters also lean toward a go-slow piece-by-piece approach to immigration reform over a comprehensive bill.

The latest Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey finds that just 25% of Likely U.S. Voters think it is even somewhat likely that the federal government will actually secure the border and prevent illegal immigration if that’s part of new immigration legislation. Sixty-five percent (65%) consider it unlikely. This includes only five percent (5%) who say the government is Very Likely to secure the border if it’s part of legislation that would give legal status to those already here illegally and 24% who feel it’s Not At All Likely. (To see survey question wording, click here.)

Confidence in the likelihood of the federal government actually securing the border fell to a previous low of 28% in late June from a high of 45% in January. This skepticism continues to be perhaps the biggest problem immigration reformers face.

Republicans want proof that the border has been secured to prevent further illegal immigration before allowing legalization of those now here illegally to go forward. The president believes the legalization process and the implementation of more border security should take place at the same time.

But only 18% of voters believe those who are now in this country illegally should be granted legal status right away. Sixty-two percent (62%) disagree and think legalization should come only after the border is secured. Nineteen percent (19%) are not sure. These attitudes are unchanged from past surveys.

Voters are evenly divided over the immigration plan passed by the U.S. Senate that would further secure the border and give most of those who entered the country illegally legal status to stay here. Forty percent (40%) favor such a plan, while 40% oppose it. Twenty percent (20%) are undecided.

Support for the plan stood at 53% in early September when voters were asked, “If you knew that the border would really be secured to prevent future illegal immigration, would you favor or oppose this plan?”

Twenty-nine percent (29%) think the House of Representatives should pass the comprehensive immigration reform plan already approved by the Senate. But 44% believe the House should review that legislation piece by piece and approve only the parts it likes. Twenty-seven percent (27%) are undecided.

(Want a free daily e-mail update? If it's in the news, it's in our polls). Rasmussen Reports updates are also available on Twitter or Facebook.

The survey of 1,000 Likely Voters was conducted on October 20-21, 2013 by Rasmussen Reports. The margin of sampling error is +/- 3 percentage points with a 95% level of confidence. Field work for all Rasmussen Reports surveys is conducted by Pulse Opinion Research, LLC. See methodology.

Sixty-four percent (64%) of voters agree with the president that it is at least somewhat important for Congress to pass comprehensive immigration reform legislation this year, with 33% who say it’s Very Important. Twenty-nine percent (29%) don’t share that sense of urgency, including 12% who say it’s Not At All Important to pass immigration reform legislation this year.

Just 28%, however, think it is even somewhat likely that comprehensive legislation will pass the Senate and the House and be signed by the president this year.

As with most major issues these days, there are sharp partisan differences of opinion. Fifty-two percent (52%) of Democrats, for example, favor the comprehensive plan passed by the Senate that includes more border security and a pathway to citizenship for those here illegally, but 69% of Republicans oppose it. Voters not affiliated with either major party approve of the plan by a much narrower 45% to 39% margin.

Eighty-four percent (84%) of GOP voters and 70% of unaffiliateds feel legalization should come only after the border is secured to prevent future illegal immigration, but just 40% of Democrats agree.

Most voters in all three groups think the federal government is unlikely to follow through and actually secure the border if the new law is passed. But Republicans and unaffiliated voters are a lot more skeptical than Democrats are.

Sixty-two percent (62%) of the Political Class believe the government is likely to secure the border, but 71% of Mainstream voters disagree.

Fifty-seven percent (57%) of voters who favor the Senate bill want the House to pass it as is. Seventy-two percent (72%) of those who oppose that bill want the House to go through it piece by piece and approve only the parts it likes.

California recently became the latest state to authorize driver’s licenses for illegal immigrants, but 68% of voters think illegal immigrants should not be eligible for driver’s licenses in their state.

Only 32% now believe that if a woman comes to this country illegally and gives birth to a child here, that child should automatically become a U.S. citizen. That's the lowest level of support for the current U.S. policy to date.

But 45% say if a family is not in the country legally, their children should still be allowed to attend public school. Forty-two percent disagree.

Sixty-eight percent (68%) believe that immigration when done within the law is good for America.

Additional information from this survey and a full demographic breakdown are available to Platinum Members only.

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