national legislation

Swedish cops agree with Trump on statements about Islamic unrest

The denizens of our nation’s news conglomerates would have Americans believe that Sweden is a multicultural paradise and that Muslim asylum-migrants have not been committing violent crimes. This characterization reeks of fallacy, according to Sweden’s own police officers.

While President Donald Trump may have been wrong about a specific incident that he mentioned during a rally, the underlying truth is that Sweden — along with other European countries — is far from being a paradise especially with the recent tsunami of Muslim refugees.  “Just a day after ‘fake news’ criticizes Trump’s comments on Sweden, a riot in so-called ‘Little Moghadishu’ – the Swedish borough of Rinkeby,” said news commentator Tyler Durden.

sweden-riots-story-topOne week after Swedish government raised its terror alert level to the highest ever in that Scandinavian country, law enforcement officers delivered their own alert by telling their superiors and political leaders that their weapons are not sufficient to prevent a terror attack or respond to an Islamist perpetrated mass-shooting or IED (improvised explosive device) incident.

“We are sent out without adequate weapons, only [carrying] 9mm semiautomatic sidearms. We are also told that there may not be enough protective vests and military-quality helmets. It feels like being sent out on a lion hunt with a pea-shooter and a jumpsuit made out of zebra meat,” wrote one police officer identified only as “Christian,” in an internal incident report.

“It feels like being sent out on a lion hunt with a pea-shooter and a jumpsuit made out of zebra meat,” he added.

In the wake of the devastating Paris attacks, police officers in Sweden are disturbed over they fact that they have neither the protective gear nor the weapons needed to fight if Islamic protesters launched a full-scale jihadi assault in Swedish neighborhoods.

One of Christian’s colleagues, “Niklas,” wrote that he was forced to patrol a location considered a risk area for terrorist attacks without a protective helmet, as those available were the wrong size for his head. “Without the right equipment and with inadequate training in tactics and shooting we still had to work as live targets without any kind of chance to defend ourselves or our [locations] against a potential attack,” he wrote.

According to American law enforcement veteran Sid Franes (NYPD-Ret.), police departments and agencies in countries such as Great Britain, France, Germany, Switzerland, Sweden and others had dismissed American cops as gunslingers and cowboys. “The Brits, for instance, found it amusing that their officers controlled their city streets without the need for firearms, while American cops carried sidearms or concealed weapons and had shotguns at the ready in their prowl cars,” said Franes.

“But now you have heavily armed police in Britain and France patrolling city streets with automatic rifles and other impact weapons,” Franes noted. “Unfortunately, police officers will lose their lives while politicians — safe and secure — decide what cops need to protect themselves and their communities.”

Presidential candidate lays out detailed plan for voters

During an appearance in Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, Trump vows to act on these actions in the first 100 days in office.

“On November Eighth, Americans will be voting for this 100-day plan to restore prosperity to our country, secure our communities, and honesty to our government,” Trump says. “This is my pledge to you and if we follow these steps we will once more have a government of, by and for the people and importantly we will make America great again. Believe me.”

Here is the list of the “Contract with the American Voter” policies detailed by Trump:

  1. Propose a Constitutional Amendment to impose term limits on all members of Congress
  2. Institute a hiring freeze on all federal employees to reduce federal workforce through attrition (exempting military, public safety, and public health)
  3. Require for every new federal regulation, two existing regulations must be eliminated.
  4. Institute a five year-ban on White House and Congressional officials becoming lobbyists after they leave government service
  5. Create a lifetime ban on White House officials lobbying on behalf of a foreign government.
  6. Institute a complete ban on foreign lobbyists raising money for American elections.
  7. Announce intention to renegotiate NAFTA or withdraw from the deal under Article 2205.
  8. Announce withdrawal from the Trans-Pacific Partnership.
  9. Direct Secretary of the Treasury to label China a currency manipulator.
  10. Direct the Secretary of Commerce and U.S. Trade Representative to identify all foreign trading abuses that unfairly impact American workers and direct them to use every tool under American and international law to end those abuses immediately.
  11. Lift the restrictions on the production of $50 trillion dollars’ worth of job-producing American energy reserves, including shale, oil, natural gas and clean coal.
  12. Lift the Obama-Clinton roadblocks and allow vital energy infrastructure projects, like the Keystone Pipeline, to move forward.
  13. Cancel billions in payments to U.N. climate change programs and use the money to fix America’s water and environmental infrastructure.
  14. Cancel every unconstitutional executive action, memorandum and order issued by President Obama.
  15. Begin the process of selecting a replacement for Justice Scalia from one of the 20 judges on my list, who will uphold and defend the Constitution of the United States.
  16. Cancel all federal funding to Sanctuary Cities.
  17. Begin removing the more than 2 million criminal illegal immigrants from the country and cancel visas to foreign countries that won’t take them back.
  18. Suspend immigration from terror-prone regions where vetting cannot safely occur. All vetting of people coming into our country will be considered extreme vetting.
  19. Work with Congress on a Middle Class Tax Relief And Simplification Act.An economic plan designed to grow the economy 4% per year and create at least 25 million new jobs through massive tax reduction and simplification, in combination with trade reform, regulatory relief, and lifting the restrictions on American energy. The largest tax reductions are for the middle class. A middle-class family with 2 children will get a 35% tax cut. The current number of brackets will be reduced from 7 to 3, and tax forms will likewise be greatly simplified. The business rate will be lowered from 35 to 15 percent, and the trillions of dollars of American corporate money overseas can now be brought back at a 10 percent rate.
  20. Work with Congress on a End The Offshoring ActEstablishes tariffs to discourage companies from laying off their workers in order to relocate in other countries and ship their products back to the U.S. tax-free.
  21. Work with Congress on a American Energy & Infrastructure ActLeverages public-private partnerships, and private investments through tax incentives, to spur $1 trillion in infrastructure investment over 10 years. It is revenue neutral.
  22. Work with Congress on a School Choice And Education Opportunity ActRedirects education dollars to gives parents the right to send their kid to the public, private, charter, magnet, religious or home school of their choice. Ends common core, brings education supervision to local communities. It expands vocational and technical education, and make 2 and 4-year college more affordable.
  23. Work with Congress on a Repeal and Replace Obamacare ActFully repeals Obamacare and replaces it with Health Savings Accounts, the ability to purchase health insurance across state lines, and lets states manage Medicaid funds. Reforms will also include cutting the red tape at the FDA: there are over 4,000 drugs awaiting approval, and we especially want to speed the approval of life-saving medications.
  24. Work with Congress on a Affordable Childcare and Eldercare Act.Allows Americans to deduct childcare and elder care from their taxes, incentivizes employers to provide on-side childcare services, and creates tax-free Dependent Care Savings Accounts for both young and elderly dependents, with matching contributions for low-income families.
  25. Work with Congress on an End Illegal Immigration ActFully-funds the construction of a wall on our southern border with the full understanding that the country Mexico will be reimbursing the United States for the full cost of such wall; establishes a 2-year mandatory minimum federal prison sentence for illegally re-entering the U.S. after a previous deportation, and a 5-year mandatory minimum for illegally re-entering for those with felony convictions, multiple misdemeanor convictions or two or more prior deportations; also reforms visa rules to enhance penalties for overstaying and to ensure open jobs are offered to American workers first.
  26. Work with Congress on a Restoring Community Safety Act.Reduces surging crime, drugs and violence by creating a Task Force On Violent Crime and increasing funding for programs that train and assist local police; increases resources for federal law enforcement agencies and federal prosecutors to dismantle criminal gangs and put violent offenders behind bars.
  27. Work with Congress on a Restoring National Security Act.Rebuilds our military by eliminating the defense sequester and expanding military investment; provides Veterans with the ability to receive public VA treatment or attend the private doctor of their choice; protects our vital infrastructure from cyber-attack; establishes new screening procedures for immigration to ensure those who are admitted to our country support our people and our values
  28. Work with Congress on a Clean up Corruption in Washington Act.Enacts new ethics reforms to Drain the Swamp and reduce the corrupting influence of special interests on our politics.

Courtesy of  Breitbart

Feds: 275,000 born to illegals in one year, would fill city the size of Orlando

Moms in the United States illegally gave birth to 275,000 babies in 2014, enough birthright U.S. citizens to fill a city the size of Orlando, Florida, according to an analysis of data from the National Center for Health Statistics.

The data showed that newborns to illegals accounted for 7 percent of all births in 2014, according to the analysis from the Pew Research Center.

"In 2014, about 275,000 babies were born to unauthorized-immigrant parents in the U.S., accounting for about 7 percent of all U.S. births, and 32 percent of all U.S. births to foreign-born mothers," said Pew's newly released report.

The report reviews births to unmarried foreign-born and American born women....

"A third of all births to foreign-born mothers were to unmarried women...

The analysis also found that the growth in the birthrate of America is entirely driven by immigrants.

Forget the fence — E-Verify shuts down illegal immigration's magnet

Ten years ago today, President George W. Bush signed into law the Secure Fence Act, a bill requiring the kind of 700-mile partition on our southern border so controversially called for by Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump.

The mandate to build double-layered fencing, which was designed to stop not only illegal border-crossers on foot, but also drug-traffickers by car, passed breezily in both chambers and garnered a supportive vote from Hillary Clinton, then in her fifth year as New York’s junior senator.

Trump’s proposal, of course, shows we never actually got what our reps voted for, a scenario known all too well by immigration-control advocates.

While an advisor to former Mexican president Vicente Fox in the early 2000s, Fredo Arias-King led a delegation to discuss immigration policy with members of Congress; what he was told in closed-door exchanges has become lore in restrictionist circles.

Several dozen congressmen from either side of the aisle not only candidly voiced their absolute support for open-borders, but also admitted their active abuse of our immigration laws...

In any case, a reaffirmation of the decade-old Secure Fence Act is likely not even necessary...

The biggest magnet for illegal immigration is employment: the “linchpin” to deterrence according to the former chair of the 1994 Commission on Immigration Reform, Barbara Jordan.

In Mexico, for instance, a relatively wealthy country compared to many other immigration-sources, average wages are just 10 percent of what they are in America. E-Verify would go farthest in securing this linchpin, certainly more so than a longer and higher fence.

Co-administered by DHS and the Social Security Administration, the ‘electronic verification’ system allows employers to verify that their potential employees are actually authorized to work in the country...

Where it’s been most comprehensive, the results have been striking.

When Arizona made E-Verify mandatory in 2008, it was so successful in pushing illegal aliens back home that the neighboring Mexican state of Sonora sent a delegation to Tucson to complain that they couldn’t handle the returning influx.

Their burden was likely vast, judging by the immediate benefits experienced by Arizona. The state’s public school system immediately began experiencing relief with a $50 million surplus suddenly appearing on the books that year. Apartment buildings reported alien-tenants moving out by the thousands (leading, no doubt, to more affordable rents for American residents).

And, although the law went into effect around the time of the financial crisis, when many illegal aliens likely had additional motivations to leave, researchers have found that Arizona had by far the largest decline (20 percent) in illegal-alien figures in the country, breaking the ceiling, no doubt, on long-depressed working-class wages in that state.

Other benefits of the program abound. Since E-Verify uses government data rather than documents provided by potential employees, it removes the possibility of Social Security and identity fraud, a chronically underreported crime that’s created a giant mafia-run black market and which disproportionately hurts American children.

The system also reduces the threat of discrimination against applicants...

But like any law, a federal E-Verify mandate is good only to the extent it’s enforced.

Currently, it is illegal for employers to “knowingly hire” an illegal alien — a prohibition set out in 1986’s Immigration Reform Control Act (IRCA)...

A drywall company in Washington state recently became the first such defendant sentenced in the entire history of that state’s western district court. The attorney for the company pleaded with the judge that IRCA after all was a law “broken daily” and that his client’s “employment practices have been indistinguishable from thousands of other employers nationwide who have ignored IRCA at no peril.”

Returning the country to a nation of laws will require an amped up vigilance on the part of its citizenry. They’ll have to show the political elite that if they continue to ignore the American people, it will be at their peril, not America’s. 

Smith is an attorney in Washington, D.C.

Opposition To ‘Illegal Aliens’ Is Opposition To Borders

Those who are driving the effort to control and contort language in the immigration debate are not truly motivated by the notion that the term “illegal alien” is a pejorative. This is a distraction. The real goal of those demanding that media outlets, courts, and now the Library of Congress supplant accurate legal terminology with activist-created terms is to eradicate the distinction between citizen and non-citizen, between legal activity and illegal activity, between “us” and “them” so that the concept of borders and the nation state slowly slip away. Any official heading an organization or governmental agency who thinks they are being sensitive by bowing to demands to alter their use of language is being played by the open-border crowd.

The most vivid and honest example of the motivations of those demanding a change to language in the immigration debate happened last year after the Santa Barbara News-Press used the term “illegals” in a headline: “Illegals Line Up For Driver’s Licenses.” If there is any legitimate critique of this headline, it’s that the term “illegals” rings slightly crude. Using a legal term like “illegal aliens” would be preferable.

But a more accurate legal term would not have appeased the illegal aliens and their supporters who protested outside the newspaper’s headquarters. Their response revealed the true nature of this debate over language. In the middle of the night, the News-Press building was vandalized with paintball splatters and graffiti. The bold, red, spray-painted message that was left on the building is key to understanding this debate: “THE BORDER IS ILLEGAL NOT THE PEOPLE WHO CROSS IT”

No terms, adjectives, or descriptors that separate law-breaking foreigners from citizens are acceptable to the open-border crowd and they will push until the media and the courts refer to illegal aliens as simply “Americans.” This is not hyperbole — one California newspaper has done just that, while two others have referred to illegal aliens as Californians.

In 2012, the Los Angeles Times and the San Jose Mercury News described illegal aliens as “undocumented Californians” in articles about driver’s licenses. Of course, these individuals aren’t Californians any more than a citizen of Nevada who crosses the state line to visit Disneyland. Responses from the newspapers to my inquiries about why they felt foreigners who don’t even belong in the country deserve a title indicating state citizenship were lackluster.

A year later, the San Francisco Chronicle referred to an illegal alien from South Korea as “one of an estimated 2.1 million American youths” who might benefit from President Obama’s controversial Deferred Action (DACA) program. The paper never responded to my inquiry about why they consider illegal aliens registering for DACA to be “American.”

This transition didn’t happen overnight. The open-border crowd had its first success when the Associated Press decided to appease illegal aliens and their advocates by dropping “illegal alien” and warning against it in their stylebook. In 2012, the AP declared that it would use “illegal immigrant” but would not go as far as the advocates wanted, noting that terms like “undocumented” were problematic because they “can make a person’s illegal presence in the country appear to be a matter of minor paperwork.” The AP also noted that “many illegal immigrants aren’t undocumented at all,” on account of having many documents in their possession.

The AP also declared that it would not buy into the claim that the term “illegal immigrant” is offensive, noting that the AP’s writers “refer routinely to illegal loggers, illegal miners, illegal vendors” and that the language “simply means that a person is logging, mining, selling, etc., in violation of the law — just as illegal immigrants have immigrated in violation of the law.”Taking a cue from the AP, journalists with other news outlets around the country declared that they would also stop using “illegal alien” and instead use “illegal immigrant.” The reporters thought they were being righteous, not understanding that this change was but a stepping stone in the minds of open border advocates.

As soon as these journalists agreed to drop “illegal alien” the advocates moved to their next demand. Less than six months after the AP’s decision to stick with “illegal immigrant,” the AP caved, once again. This time the AP dropped “illegal immigrant” altogether, claiming that it was dropping use of labels noting that AP would use “illegal only to refer to an action, not a person: illegal immigration, but not illegal immigrant.” The AP did not acknowledge the ongoing “Drop the I-Word Campaign” by open-border advocates that clearly played a role.

Taking a cue from the AP, journalists with other news outlets around the country declared that they would also stop using “illegal alien” and instead use “illegal immigrant.” The reporters thought they were being righteous, not understanding that this change was but a stepping stone in the minds of open border advocates.

The AP now recommends journalists use “a person living in the country illegally” or “without legal permission.” Of course, one of the top rules in journalism is “be concise.” That rule is tossed out the window for illegal aliens. Why do so many journalists think foreigners who evade our Border Patrol or lie to the State Department and overstay a visa are deserving of special treatment? Is it that they’re worried their offices might be attacked by an angry mob?

Many media outlets have blindly followed the AP’s lead, marching the journalism world to a place where there is no such thing as illegal immigration. It has gotten so bad that news outlets seeking free content from people like myself feel the need to put disclaimers at the top of opinion pieces that use legally-accurate terminology, for fear that some people (read: open-border fanatics) might be offended.

The media’s bowing to illegal aliens and their supporters shows up in other areas as well. Not too long ago, everyone referred to mass legalizations of illegal aliens as amnesty. Today, the media has embraced the language of advocacy groups and regularly uses “pathway to citizenship” or “regularization of status” or “comprehensive immigration reform.” But the media still refers to tax amnesties as amnesty. It’s just another example of the media’s special treatment of illegal aliens.

The term “alien” is not, nor has it never been a pejorative. It’s a concise, legal term that helps with straightforward communication in a very complex area of law and policy. A foreigner can be a legal alien (e.g. a tourist) or an illegal alien (e.g. a visa-overstayer). The word “alien” was recently used 26 times in the Supreme Court during oral argument for United States v. Texas, most often by the Obama administration’s solicitor general, but also by Sotomayor, Kegan, Roberts, and Ginsburg.

Use of “alien” indicates a writer supports clean writing devoid of any value judgement, something journalists should aspire to. Use of “undocumented immigrant” or some similar euphemism suggests a lack of impartiality on the part of a writer, something journalists should avoid.

Furthermore, referring to every foreigner as an “immigrant” muddies the debate and makes it difficult to draw the line between “us” and “them” — this is a goal of the open-border crowd. If we’re all immigrants (aka “a nation of immigrants”), what right do you have to tell someone else they cannot come and live here?

In reality, we’re a nation of citizens. And as citizens, we have a right to decide who gets to immigrate here, how many people get to immigrate here, and also set the conditions they must abide by if they want to stay. Anything less than that destroys the concept of citizenship and sovereignty. Media shouldn’t help the open-border crowd achieve its goal.

Jon Feere is the Legal Policy Analyst at the Center for Immigration Studies.

OFIR President attends American Principles Liberty Summit in Fresno, CA

Cynthia Kendoll, OFIR President was invited to attend the American Principles Liberty Summit Conference in Fresno, CA Saturday, May 21, 2016.  the conference was fast paced with over 40 speakers and as many vendors booths to visit.

Interesting, knowledgeable speakers covered topics ranging from 2nd and 5th amendment rights, radical Islam and terrorism, legal and illegal immigration, the upcoming general elections and much, much more.


 

Main result of current prison reform bill likely would be release of criminal aliens into U.S. communities (with no deportations)

Unfortunately, the legislation being considered by Congress in response to concerns about overly-long prison sentences for Americans has been crafted to primarily benefit criminal aliens. (Those are not Americans but citizens of other countries who have been imprisoned for committing serious crimes in the U.S.)

That's the conclusion of our legislative affairs team after several weeks of scrutinizing documents and reports, and of meeting with a number of experts on the issue.

NumbersUSA takes no position on issues of sentencing reform for Americans.

But we have to get involved with the current sentencing reform legislation (companion bills S. 2123 and H.R. 3713) because most of the people who would benefit from it would be criminal aliens who would be helped to avoid deportation and to re-enter the job market to the detriment of struggling American workers.

Reports are surfacing in Washington that both chambers of Congress are preparing this spring to pass S. 2123 and H.R. 2713 which were approved by the respective Judiciary Committees last October.

Speaker Paul Ryan has called passing the legislation a priority. (See more on Ryan below.)

As currently written, the legislation would result in the massive release of criminal aliens from federal prisons into the streets. It could alternatively be called the Criminal Alien Prison Release Act of 2016, but that bill title probably wouldn't garner many votes in Congress.

The bills would retroactively reduce the minimum sentencing requirements for all individuals (regardless of their citizenship or immigration status) convicted of certain federal crimes. It would only apply to federal prisons, which comprise 9% of the entire incarcerated population in the United States.

Its impact on reforming sentencing guidelines for U.S. citizens would be minimal.

In a letter sent to Sen. Jeff Sessions last fall, the Federal Bureau of Prisons reported that 77% of individuals convicted of federal drug possession charges and more than 25% of individuals convicted of federal drug trafficking charges in FY2015 were non-citizens. Since these are the individuals who would most likely be released, you can see our concern with the legislation. Further, there is no requirement in the legislation that Immigration and Customs Enforcement take custody of a criminal alien who is released and remove them from the United States, even when theirconviction by current law should result in their immediate removal under current law.

In October of 2015, the Obama Administration released 6,600 inmates from federal prison after the U.S. Sentencing Commission revised its guidelines. One-third of those released were non-citizens. Shortly before the release, the Center for Immigration Studies uncovered a letter written by 14 immigration-expansionist organizations to the Department of Homeland Security, pleading with the Administration to consider the criminal aliens for prosecutorial discretion under Pres. Obama's 2014 executive actions.

"We urge ICE not to rush to judgment on these immigrants' cases, but instead to commit to ensuring individualized due process in each case. ...

"Each of these immigrants, including those with an "aggravated felony" and those with final removal orders, must be individually assessed for [Prosecutorial Discretion]. The 2014 DHS civil enforcement priorities memorandum specifies that removal of Priority 1 immigrants may be deprioritized if "there are compelling and exceptional factors that clearly indicate the alien is not a threat to national security, border security, or public safety and should not therefore be an enforcement priority."

The full letter can be read here.

Given the Administration's history on interior enforcement, the bills, as written, would allow tens of thousands of deportable criminal aliens to return to the American communities they victimized in the first place. Just last year, the Administration released 90,000 criminal aliens from custody -- roughly 60% of all criminal aliens it came in contact with. In fact, the criminal aliens who were responsible for the 2015 killing of Kate Steinle and the 2014 murders of California Detective Michael Davis, Jr. and Deputy Sheriff Danny Oliver had been earlier convicted for the same class of federal drug crimes that lawmakers seek to reform through this legislation.

Unfortunately, the provisions of the bills that would result in the release of criminal aliens are central to the efforts of both House and Senate-- and key to the Democrats' support of the bills. Unless the criminal alien issues are addressed, NumbersUSA must call for rejection of the legislation. Sentencing reform efforts should focus on new legislation that isn't a Trojan horse for yet another kind of amnesty.

Local American communities (disproportionately Black and Hispanic) into which released criminal aliens likely would return should not be asked to bear this burden under an Administration that has eviscerated immigration enforcement.

RYAN GETS A PRIMARY CHALLENGER

House Speaker Paul Ryan has learned that he'll face a Republican challenger in the August 9 Wisconsin primary. Not only has Wisconsin businessman Paul Nehlan thrown his name into the race, but he's also focusing on the immigration issue hoping to rekindle some of the voter angst that lead to Rep. Dave Brat's upset of former House Majority Leader Eric Cantor in Virginia in 2014.

Earlier this week, Nehlan completed a NumbersUSA immigration reduction survey and earned our True Reformer status. You can view the grid here.

Ryan has a troubled history on the immigration issue. He's a passionate supporter of the Trans-Pacific Partnership that would greatly increase the number of foreign workers allowed to work in the U.S. He's also pushed for work permits for illegal aliens and expanding legal immigration.

During Tuesday's GOP Presidential Primaries, Sen. Ted Cruz and Donald Trump combined for 83% of the vote in Ryan's district. Cruz and Trump have immigration positions vastly different from Ryan's. But Nehlan's positions are closer aligned with Cruz and Trump, so we'll be keeping a close eye on this race over the next 5 months.


 

Oregon Freedom Rally - Saturday, February 6

Alert date: 
January 25, 2016
Alert body: 

If you are interested in seeing Michelle Malkin, Dinesh De'Souza, Todd Starnes and Rep. Greg Walden and hearing what they have to say about the upcoming elections, then you won't want to miss the Oregon Freedom Rally at the Oregon Convention Center, Saturday, February 6 from noon - 3:00pm.

Register on line and get more information here.

OFIR will be hosting a table at the event.  Please stop by and say HELLO!

 

Post Mortem on Omnibus spending bill

 
The Republican leadership in Congress has shown itself uncaring about the prospects of citizen workers for job opportunities and adequate wages.  Neither Republican nor Democratic party leadership is working in the best interests of citizens, and both appear to cooperate in selling citizens short.  John Miano of the Center for Immigration Studies, details here their shocking conduct in pushing the Omnibus spending bill through with hidden giveaways to powerful, greedy businesses that have no regard for U.S. citizens’ well-being.
 
Oregon's Rep. Greg Walden voted to fund Obama's amnesty executive orders, the open border acceptance of Syrian refugees, continued funding for sanctuary cities and a quadrupling of the number of H 2-B low-skilled workers, from 66,000 to 264,000 this year.
 
Joining with Walden in passing this bill were Oregon’s Representatives Earl Blumenauer, Suzanne Bonamici and Peter DeFazio. Voting against the bill: Rep. Kurt Schrader.  Thank you, Congressman Schrader.
-------------------------------------------------
Speaker Ryan's Unpersuasive Response on H-2B Visas 
By John Miano, Center for Immigration Studies, December 23, 2015
 
[Slightly condensed version:]
 
On Monday I was one of many to write about the travesty of Paul Ryan's corrupt business-as-usual-in-Washington budget bill [passed on Dec. 18]. Yesterday [Dec.22], Speaker Ryan responded to the critics, a response that shows how deprived of reality the leaders are in Congress.
 
The main area of contention is the changes to the H-2B visa program. (My colleague David North also addresses Ryan's assertions about the program.)
 
The speaker's response starts off with the heading, "And Nothing Was 'Slipped' into the Bill Either."
 
To which I have to ask, how stupid does Speaker Ryan think we are?
 
The increase in H-2B visa is located on page 701 of the budget bill, nestled between two appropriations, with no heading, and no mention of H-2B. Only the few people who know that 8 U.S.C. 1184(g) deals with visa quotas would have a clue reading this passage would know that this provision has nothing to do with appropriations:  …
 
This visa increase could not have been slipped into the bill any better.
 
The title of Speaker Ryan's post is "No, the Omnibus Doesn't Quadruple Visas for Foreign Workers." 
 
As I explained, the increase falls within a range of between doubling and quadrupling the visas available. I also explained why these numbers are theoretical and that an actual quadrupling is unlikely.
 
Speaker Ryan goes on to say that that the increase is "Only 8,000 Workers". In support of this he cites a letter from the director of the Congressional Budget Office (a letter written the same day as Ryan's posting), that states "8,000 additional workers would be in the United States" under this increase.
 
Again the speaker misses the point. If the intent of the provision is only to increase the number of workers by 8,000, why does not the bill simply state that it increases the number of workers by 8,000?
 
The answer is obvious: the bill is written that way so that, as I wrote before, "to make the actual size of the increases obscure and debatable."
 
The speaker said of the increase that it is "Only Temporarily." True enough, that increase is for only one year; does the speaker's assurance mean he'll make sure it's not renewed next year? In addition, the speaker did not mention the other H-2B provision designed to undermine the wages of H-2B workers, found at page 888. That provision is permanent. (I discuss it toward the end of Monday's posting.)
 
The speaker goes on to downplay the visa increase because "it was introduced as part of the base appropriations bill funding the Department of Homeland Security." Pray tell, Mr. Speaker, why was a provision to increase the number of H-2B guestworker visas approved by the Appropriations Committee – and not the Immigration Subcommittee – when it has nothing to do with appropriations?
 
Again, we all know the answer to that question: By giving lobbyists special access to the appropriations process, their pet provisions get slipped into the budget, where they will not be considered separately; once in a budget bill, such a provision is nearly certain to pass.
 
That Mr. Speaker, is corrupt government.
 
We might be able to understand if you said that you were new in the office, that you did not yet have firm control over the budget process, and that in the future you were going to put a stop to allowing special interests to get their pet provisions slipped into the massive budget.
 
But no, here you are defending the corrupt practices that Americans have become sick of. Mr. Speaker, by doubling down on corruption here, you have demonstrated that you epitomize the problem in Washington and are not part of the hoped-for solution.
 

25 years of helping foreigners take US citizens' jobs

 
Citizen workers today find themselves in competition with millions of foreign workers, here both legally and illegally.  How did this happen?  Aren’t Congress and Presidents supposed to work in the best interests of Americans?  Unfortunately too many elected government officials do not.  
 
The article below traces how immigration policy has changed in recent decades to the disadvantage of citizens, and names some of those responsible.
 
Today, when presidential candidates are seeking approval from voters, we have better means of assessing their true positions than in the past.  We encourage voters to learn as much as possible about candidates at all levels. NumbersUSA’s ratings for Congress and presidential candidates are an important resource; these ratings are based on voting records in Congress and examination of public statements made by the candidates.  The presidential debates are being reviewed and analyzed by NumbersUSA, FAIR’s ImmigrationReform.com, and the Center for Immigration Studies to discover and report candidates’ thinking and intentions on immigration.  Pertinent information is reported on their websites. 
 
Twenty-Five Years of Helping Foreigners Take American Jobs
By Ian Smith, December 13, 2015, in PJ Media 
 
Twenty-five years ago, President George H. W. Bush signed into law the Immigration Act of 1990. Instead of reforming the corrosive effects of the Immigration Act of 1965, an act that birthed the mass immigration system we have today, the 1990 act made the situation dramatically worse and make it less likely Americans would fill American jobs.
 
The act raised the annual immigration ceiling from 530,000 to 700,000 (excluding other types of legal entry like refugee admissions) while creating a coterie of new immigrant and guestworker visas, mostly for semi-skilled and unskilled workers.
 
Perhaps the most controversial creation of the 1990 act was the H-1B guestworker program. This “grandfather of all American worker sellouts,” according to Michelle Malkin and John Miano in their latest book on the subject, is taken up mostly by bachelor degree-holders from India (where such degrees take only three years) and, according to critics, was really designed not for the “best and brightest” but simply for “ordinary people, doing work.”
 
Crucially, the 1990 act entrenched U.S. immigration policy with a system completely indifferent to the nation’s general labor conditions. The act’s selected intake numbers were not a product of any careful labor market study and, like now, in no way recognized the actual labor-needs of the country.
 
The number of immigrant-visas based on employment (rather than family connections) almost tripled from 54,000 to 140,000 while the number and size of non-immigrant guestworker programs increased dramatically.
 
In a study of the bill years after it was implemented, Cornell labor economist Vernon Briggs noted that between the year of its passage and its implementation there were one million fewer workers employed in the country. As he put it, “[c]ertainly the last thing that the slumping economy needed was an infusion of an additional inflow of immigrant job seekers of this enlarged magnitude”—Briggs rightly sees immigration policy as essentially a labor policy and has long suggested that immigrant visa allotments be adjusted annually according to economic conditions.
 
Still, the rhetoric surrounding the 1990 act’s passage was that the country was facing a massive “skills shortage.”
 
“It was a myth,” says Briggs. In reality, he notes, “If labor shortages did occur, industry leaders feared, higher wages would be required to hold present workers and to entice younger workers to aspire to enter these skilled occupations…[f]acing the reality of such a free market outcome, industry leaders sought to find a way for government to artificially swell the skilled labor pool.” In other words, the act was largely designed to insulate corporate executives from market discipline.
 
Regarding the H-1B, its effects were confirmed immediately after the act was passed. As Alan Merten, chairman of the fifteen-member industry and academic panel, the Committee on Workforce Needs in Information Technology, summarized, “we feel [the number of H-1Bs] is so large that we are totally dependent on it and it depresses wages.”
 
This "dependency" on low-wage foreign professionals wasn’t limited to IT executives apparently. When the House passed legislation to increase the H-1B cap to nearly 200,000 in 2001 it chose to do so by a voice vote which allows one’s vote to be kept secret.
 
When asked about the voice vote, then-Senator Robert Bennet (R-Utah), a lead sponsor of the Senate-version of the bill, said frankly, “a whole lot of folks are against [the bill], but because they are tapping the high-tech community for campaign funds, they don’t want to admit that in public.” On these sorts of bills, he said, “everyone signs up so nobody can be in the position of being accused of being against high tech.”
 
Bennet’s H-1B increase was approved by a vote of 96-1 in the Senate. On the House vote, Congressman Thomas Davis of Virginia, a state that’s always been one of the biggest H-1B-employers, candidly stated, “this bill may not be popular with the public but it’s popular with the CEOs.”
 
Why it’s popular with CEOs isn’t a mystery. There’s no reason why corporations, at least big, publicly traded ones, should like hiring in a tight competitive labor market. This is especially true for Big Tech firms, which are typically asset-light and have a high level of operating costs going to labor. Most would expect that the pressure on CEOs to meet analysts’ profit estimates each quarter will trump any free-market ethos they may have every time. Why else would the industry spend billions on lobbying and public relations related to immigration? Big Tech’s message to the American public might as well be, “the free market for thee, not for me.”
 
The 1990 act cemented in place the corporatization of our immigration system, producing disastrous externalities ever since. Cutting wages by artificially expanding the labor supply increases private wealth at the public’s expense, acting like a highly regressive tax on the lower and middle classes.
 
Two and a half decades of this "immigration tax" has doubtlessly attributed to today’s growing income inequality with over half the nation now earning less than $30,000 a year. What will we be the state of American labor if we let the immigration status quo persist for another 25 years? For the American worker and our tech professionals in particular, true reform of our immigration system cannot wait.
 
Ian Smith is a lawyer with the Immigration Reform Law Institute, Washington DC.

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