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The New Immigration Reform Push

A big, bipartisan push on immigration reform got sidelined by the Boston attacks.  It’s back in play this week. We take its measure.

Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., left, and Sen. Charles Schumer, D-N.Y. take questions during a news conference on immigration reform legislation, Thursday, April 18, 2013, on Capitol Hill in Washington. (AP)

Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., left, and Sen. Charles Schumer, D-N.Y. take questions during a news conference on immigration reform legislation, Thursday, April 18, 2013, on Capitol Hill in Washington. (AP)

The brothers named in the Boston marathon bombing did no favors to supporters of immigration policy reform in this country.  But immigration reform seems to be moving forward anyway.  A big new bipartisan push is on to create the long controversial “path to citizenship” for the 11 million-plus undocumented residents in this country.

There were tears and anger at a Senate committee meeting on the push yesterday.  Debate on the economic impact and border security.  But also some unusual agreement that it is time.

This hour, On Point:  the big new push on American immigration reform.

- Tom Ashbrook

Guests

Fawn Johnson, covers immigration for the National Journal. She’s reported on immigration matters for 14 years. (@fawnjohnson)

Doug Massey, professor of sociology and public affairs at Princeton’s Woodrow Wilson School, and director of Princeton’s Office of Population Research. Co-author of “Brokered Boundaries: Creating Immigrant Identity in Anti-Immigrant Times.”

Roy Beck, executive director of NumbersUSA, which calls for strict limitations on the immigrant population in the country. Author of “The Case Against Immigration: The Moral, Economic, Social, and Environmental Reasons for Reducing U.S. Immigration Back to Traditional Levels.” (@roybeck_nusa)

Daniel Gonzalez, covers immigration for the Arizona Republic.

From Tom’s Reading List

The Los Angeles Times “A Republican senator shouted in protest Monday as a top Democrat complained at a Senate hearing that opponents of immigration reform were improperly using the Boston bombing as a reason to delay changes to immigration law.”

Roll Call “Two immigration trains have left the station in the House, but no one knows which one Speaker John A. Boehnerwants to eventually arrive on the floor. A secretive bipartisan working group — akin to the Senate-side ‘gang of eight’ — is trying to finalize its ‘comprehensive’ proposal. But House Judiciary Chairman Robert W. Goodlatte is flexing his muscles by launching a piecemeal-type legislative push, causing tension between the two factions and questions about who will take the lead.”

The Washington Post “The Senate’s leading supporters of overhauling the nation’s immigration system sought Sunday to blunt a conservative effort to slow the pace of debate over their bill, saying the Boston Marathon bombings are a reason to move quickly to make changes. ‘What happened in Boston and international terrorism I think should urge us to act quicker, not slower,’ said Sen. Lindsey O. Graham (R-S.C.), a member of a bipartisan group of eight senators who last week introduced a bill that would rewrite U.S. immigation laws, including for the estimated 11 million illegal immigrants.”

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  • No Reform

    Dictator Leahy does not allow free speach anymore…We should be concerned with Foreign Green Card Holders committing Mass Murder on Americans..seems relevant…maybe politically incorrect to speak the TRUTH in AMERICA….Schumer iS degrading witnesses….America IS concerned with Safety when dealing with these Foreign Nut Jobs!!! Schumer is getting PAID so MUCH he will Ducktape the Mouth of anyone who does not help RAM HIS Bill thru.

  • No Reform

    Ductape Schumer!!! He will tape your mouth shut if you speak up!! TREASON……La Raza and the Union Goons didnt PAY to hear the TRUTH….they just want to Ram this Bill thru!!

    • NrthOfTheBorder

      NR Your comments are getting out of line…cool down will you? 

    • jefe68

      I wish there was a virtual version of duck-tape.

      • hennorama

        Or an [Ignore poster] button.  I often use the handy [Collapse thread] “munus sign” all the way to the right of the poster’s name on such occasion.

  • No Reform

    The TRUTH is AMERICANS are being SLAUGHTERD by Green Card Holders….Americans are MORE concerned with THIS part of Immigration than how we can Kiss mexican butt.

    • JGC

      Crazed, obsessed former immigrant  ^   (See activity profile, if in doubt. Approach “like” button with caution.)

    • Duras

      Did you hear about that story in Immokolee, Florida about migrant workers taking over private farmlands and forcing hard working, real Americans to till their own fields for nothing? 

  • No Reform

    Dictator Leahy and ductape Schumer will tape the mouth shut of any American who does not like his crappy BILL.
    Tyrants…..TREASON!!!

    • Shag_Wevera

      Why five consecutive posts all saying essentially the same thing?  Were the first four rough drafts?  Democrats can’t get ANYTHING done without at least a little Republican support.  This has been proven by the failure of the milk-toast gun reform bill.  If a bill passes, you won’t be able to hang it on liberals, as much as I’m sure you’d like to.

      • http://profile.yahoo.com/JXSANCUDPIKQSPID5KT2U4XK5Y TF

        “Why five consecutive posts all saying the same thing?”

        My guess: It saves time. For the likes of you and I, I mean. Because do you and I really risk missing anything by not reading NR’s posts in the future?

        • 1Brett1

          Yes, in one short flurry of rants, NR can be ignored in future, so we were don a favor of sorts.

    • JGC

      Be sure to tune in to the second hour of On Point today, for the interview with Chilean-American author Isabelle Allende. You will be enraptured by her stories of magical realism, her compelling personal history of how she became an American citizen and how she is secretly plotting to ruin your day.

    • Ray in VT

      Are they going to come to your house and do it personally?  Pat’s kind of getting up there in age.  Are you worried that an old man will overpower you?

    • jefe68

      A tad hyperbolic with a nice level of anger and paranoia thrown in for effect.

  • Wm_James_from_Missouri

    There is no people shortage.

  • Yar

    If we are going to look at acts from crazy people to argue against immigration reform, we must also look at how we treat people as a cause for those terrible acts.  We are a nation of exploiters! We call it capitalism, and when unregulated, it makes slaves out of workers. I farm in a state where my labor is devalued by employers of immigrant labor. My complaint is with the low wages paid, not with those who are doing the work.  I want a fair path to citizenship, and I am troubled by the (with all deliberate speed) slow path this legislation provides. It is wrong to replace one form of slavery with another. Subjective evaluation of status over the next ten years is rife for exploitation. Yes, we have a few crooked cops, some unscrupulous business owners, two face politicians, and a few people who hate.  Do we really want our newest citizens to navigate a gauntlet of abuse along their path?  
    I have a better idea, two years of public service for all youth 18 to 24, and a path to citizenship for parents of all citizens. Two years of fair treatment and then full citizenship.   We should treat immigrants just like our own children, this is also a path to a just society. Isn’t that what we want for our children?We need a living wage for all workers, regardless of status. We can balance the budget, pay off the debt, care for the elderly all with fair immigration policies.

    • http://read-write-blue.blogspot.com/ RWB

      I’m troubled by your use of the word fair.  How is what you are proposing fair to all of the legal immigrants?  How will it encourage people to obey our immigration laws in future?

    • William

       What would you consider a “fair path to citizenship?”

  • Duras

    I never really understood why republicans – even during my conservative upbringing – are against immigration.  Immigrants are people doing all they can to better their own lives.  Isn’t that the mantra of conservativism? 
     
    I guess it’s okay for Swedes to come over here and take our doctor jobs, while Mexicans are taking our jobs that most Americans generally don’t want to work. 

    I don’t know much about the farming industry, but I know that during the Depression, it came close to being nationalized.  I guess labor exploitation has kept it going (I don’t know). 

    It’s obvious why the republican politicians don’t want immigration reform: they get a lot of votes scapegoating the ills of society on brown and black people.  The republican politicians need the scapegoats to get people to vote against their own economic interests and for the interests of their own skin color. 

    But for the good old conservative mantra, “work hard,” it is once again, “arbeit macht frei.”  If they actually believed in “hard work,” they laud the plight of immigrants. 

    • Gregg Smith

      There’s immigration and there is illegal immigration.

      • Duras

        Yeah, and there are people who fight for a better life and there are people who hold people back with unjust laws.

        • Gregg Smith

          Go to Mexico illegally, get caught and see what happens. Are you for open boarders?

          • Duras

            Just because one country is unjust doesn’t mean we should be.  That type of conservative attitude is flawed.

            I don’t know what you mean by open boarders.  I’m all for an Ellis Island approach in order to get a younger generation of tax payers to pay for our aging population.

    • http://read-write-blue.blogspot.com/ RWB

      How much race baiting and socialism can be put in one post? Duras has shown us, and it is an awfully lot.

      • Duras

        I’m not race baiting.  I’m saying that republicans range from twisted bigots to aloof racists. 

        Sorry dude, but not many people cared about taxes on the rich before republicans started the imfamous “southern strategy.”

        • http://read-write-blue.blogspot.com/ RWB

          How will your immigration policies affect inner city black males?

          • http://www.facebook.com/people/Amber-Dru/100002491478976 Amber Dru

            Badly..Father Patrick J. Bascio, a Catholic priest, discusses why illegal immigration into the United States is fundamentally immoral. Illegal immigration penalizes less developed countries such as Mexico that are sources of illegal aliens who sneak into United States and evade capture at our borders. Illegal immigration penalizes American workers who suffer job loss. Illegal immigration penalizes American society and culture and future generations of Americans.

            Father Bascio is author of the book “On the Immorality of Illegal Immigration”
            http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YMaNa1K8lJo

          • Duras

            Read what I told Amber.

    • NrthOfTheBorder

      Duplicity is a concept lost on many conservatives. Don’t see it, don’t care to try.  

    • http://www.facebook.com/people/Amber-Dru/100002491478976 Amber Dru

      Sounds like you’ve led a very privileged life.This is a case study of what happens when you remove illegal aliens from their jobs. 

      First, Pei Wei had to close its doors because it didn’t have enough legal workers left. 

      Second, Pei Wei immediately started recruiting workers from among legal residents. 

      Finally, and triumphantly, as this newscast video so well shows, unemployed Americans created long lines to take the jobs. 

      Well, this video shows all kinds of people willing to wash dishes for $8 an hour. You’ll see Latino Americans say they are willing to do so. You’ll see White Americans willing to do so. Young. Middle aged. One with a masters degree. 

      “I’m desperate,” a young woman says. A middle-aged woman says if she were younger she would look for yard work but is happy to wash dishes. “A job is a job,” says Vince Flores, who refuses to be embarrassed about wanting a job that the elites of America sneer at. 

      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Y34U07CxVm0

      • Duras

        My approach to this issue is different than yours.  I’m concerned about an aging population who doesn’t have enough younger tax payers to support the boomers. 

        (Japan has the same problem, but they don’t want to let immigrants in because they don’t want to lose their Japanesseness.)

        Labor laws and labor unions are a different issue – of which I am certainly on the side of working people. 

        Your answer to how it would effect black communities misses the point that we need more labor.  Black communities should unionize like any other community.  FDR and the unions created the
        the middle class, and where is FDR and where are the unions now?   FDR taxed the rich, but the local and state governments that took the money were still racists and much of the public sector jobs went to white people…?   You don’t think that helped bring white people out of poverty.  Now public employment is around 14% of the economy.  Get out and vote so we can tax the abundant supply of capital and actually create good public sector jobs for all races, increasing our public employment back to its historical average 25% or so.

        In the end you are arguing two different issues–neglecting the fact that immigration reform would help Social Security and medicare, which ultimately help everyone including black people.

  • Shag_Wevera

    I’d like to see really tight control of immigration.  Who comes and why, and for how long.  Who is permanent and who is temporary.  Resolution for the millions already here…

    None of the above will be accomplished by this congress.  Many don’t want it, and we over-estimate our ability and will to control such things.  I’ll give you an example;  We are going to tell someone who is living here illegally to pay a fine, pay back taxes, and jump through other hoops in order to become a citizen!!??  Who in the world would submit to that process?  Keep your citizenship, and I’ll keep living here in broad daylight as I’ve been doing.

    I’m anxious for congress to pass an immigration reform bill.  I’m not anxious because I think it will be a good bill or work, but because then I may not have to hear about this issue again for awhile.

  • Shag_Wevera

    In a previous life, I was a deputy sheriff jailer in a county in Wisconsin.  We would take overflow from Chicago and hold them.  We would receive inmates a busload at a time who could speak no English.  I mean NONE.  They couldn’t tell me what size shirt or pants they wore.  These clearly were not citizens, and had committed fairly serious crimes.  We would house, feed, and medicate these individuals for no charge at all.  The INS and ICE would not deport THESE individuals!  What in Hades makes us think we’d ever deport the the guy with his head down, working a construction or food job? 

    • jefe68

      Speaking of the English language, that’s some great sentence structure you have there.

      How do you know if they were not citizens?
      There are plenty of people who come here late in life who do not learn the language.  My great Grandfather never spoke a word of English. My Grandmother spoke Yiddish to my Grandfather and English to my sister and me.

      Unless you have proof, then methinks it’s wise to forego the accusations based on how well one knows our native tounge or not.

      • Shag_Wevera

        How did I know they weren’t citizens?  Uh, I was the booking officer.

        • jefe68

          Well you wrote that they were clearly not citizens. Which implied that you were not sure. That still does not mean that they should be deported without due process.
          It is my understanding that if they are illegal and even if they are Green Card holders that they can and should be deported if they commit a felony.

          Speaking English, which I think anyone coming here should, does not a mean they are illegal aliens.

        • 1Brett1

          So you were a public employee and knew they were not citizens…Did you report them to ICE? Had they committed crimes? What was their reason for being in the system?

  • JGC

    Concerning refugee status, it was a fair observation this morning on NPR as to why the elder Tsarnaevs are now living back in Russia, supposedly the country they were fleeing in fear for their lives. 

    In Canada, we have a revolving door for dual immigrants (of which I am one).  In the past it was not unusual for certain groups to gain refugee status from war-torn areas: they come to Canada until things settle down, and  return to their homeland when things are calm again. Then, when strife breaks out again, they demand evacuation assistance back to Canada on the dime of the taxpayer.  Lather, rinse, repeat.

    • http://read-write-blue.blogspot.com/ RWB

      Careful you are sounding like a Tea Party member.

      • JGC

        Uh oh…

        • Gregg Smith

          Embrace it.

          • JGC

            NNOOOO!!!!

    • NrthOfTheBorder

      Canada has a great immigration policy and notably different from the US.  

      I did hear they are planning to tighten up residency requirements tying to whether or not they receive taxpayer assistance when living abroad. 

      • JGC

        I think you are right about that. I don’t know what the exact follow-up was to the Lebanon debacle a few years back. 

        I have had the chance to sit across the table from  Canadian and U.S. Immigration officials. By far, the smoother, more welcoming, more dignified experience came from Canada. The U.S. experience was a cattle call, and my husband and I agreed that if we (as an American citizen and a British citizen, both with advanced degrees) found it overwhelming and confusing, how do other immigrants with less of a handle on the language and possibly less education get through the process? U.S. Immigration is a foreboding, threatening,bizarre gauntlet, even to the immigrants they supposedly desire to welcome on board.

        • NrthOfTheBorder

          What we’ve both experienced is a difference in how both countries regard their government.  

          Of course, I simplify. Both are different places: Canada’s population is 1/10th that of the US and does not assume the burden of empire. Further, and increasingly responsible for America-the-divided, the enduring shadow of civil war and slavery.  

      • JGC

        P.S.  I recently got an e-mail from the Overseas Vote Foundation about a U.S. House Resolution to create a committee on overseas American issues, H.R. 597, “ensuring our concerns are heard and addressed by lawmakers”. More information found at American Citizens Abroad.

        For me, one of my issues is the family education plan (RESP) we have established here in Canada. Even though the U.S. has there own tax-deferred education savings plan, there is no reciprocal agreement with Canada so we may be subject to taxes from the U.S. side, even though the education money was earned in Canada, saved in an education fund in Canada, for children who will go to college in Canada. 

        Now, excuse me; it is time for me to go prepare my FBAR… 

    • William

       Can they receive welfare payments even if they are out of the country? I know people that were getting SSI into their bank account here but living overseas (Philippines). They came part of the “chain migration” got a green card then left to retire back in the Philippines with a retirement check via SSI.

      • http://read-write-blue.blogspot.com/ RWB

        There are too many ways to scam “the system” and too few people who won’t do it.

        • jefe68

          How is receiving SS payments abroad scamming the system? 

        • http://www.facebook.com/people/Amber-Dru/100002491478976 Amber Dru

          Yes they do..Aunt Zeituni, as she has come to be known, first surfaced in the public light in 2008, in the final days of the Presidential election. Then-candidate Obama said that he was not against the possible deportation of his aunt. “If she has violated laws, then those laws have to be obeyed,” he told CBS’s Katie Couric. “We are a nation of laws.” …(Really, seems he changed his mind!)

          Onyango had violated the law, and she knew it. 

          “I knew I had overstayed” she told WBZ-TV’s Jonathan Elias when the two sat down one-on-one. ..Zeituni Onyango Obama’s aunt still scamming system
          Obama’s aunt Zeituni Onyango says U.S. obligated to make her citizen
          still lives in public housing and collects $700 monthly disability
          http://www.masslive.com/news/index.ssf/2010/09/obamas_aunt_zeituni_onyango_sa.html

      • jefe68

        If they paid into the system, which it seems that they have, they are allowed to live abroad.

        Plenty of people retire to countries such as Mexico, Thailand because it’s cheaper to live there. 

        You’re chasing windmills here.

        • William

           Not exactly. People come here under refugee status get total access to welfare. So they sign up for direct deposit, and go back home. Other people bring in grandma, sign her up for SSI (which might not be legal now) and she goes back home and receivers her retirement check via SSI.

          • jefe68

            That post was about people getting SS, not disability. At least that was how it was worded.

            What your on about now is a different thing. You can’t get a retirement check without paying the FICA tax. What are you on about?

            As long as were changing the subject how about the billions in taxes a year that are being lost to corporations finding loopholes so they pay almost nothing.

        • http://www.facebook.com/people/Amber-Dru/100002491478976 Amber Dru

          SSI does not require you to pay into it. 

      • 1Brett1

        Are you talking about SSI (Supplemental Security Income) or Social Security?

    • http://www.facebook.com/people/Amber-Dru/100002491478976 Amber Dru

      Funny how they were refugees because they feared for their lives then went back to visit for 6 months. Great job DHS.

  • Gregg Smith

    I am for immigration reform but that can mean anything. The problem is multi-faceted. I certainly think we need to secure our boarders but I have always said I didn’t think that was a matter of National security regarding terrorist. I am not so worried about a terrorist coming across the boarder. As with 9/11 and the Boston bombing, they are already here.

  • Gregg Smith

    Off topic:

    There was a show on Sunday evening’s On Point about a composer in the days of Lincoln. It was absolutely wonderful. I can’t find it on the site. Does anyone know when it was first aired?

    • JGC

      “A Pop Star in the Age of Lincoln”, on Louis Moreau Gottschalk, aired November 21, 2012.

      • Gregg Smith

        Thanks JGC!

  • NrthOfTheBorder

    I’m never sure of where this arguments breaks.  

    It seems there are plenty of people who are very willing to take advantage of illegal immigrant labor – call it if you like, a form of indentured servitude from which there is no escape. 

    Americans like their lettuce cheap. Don’t want to wash dishes and are horrified if their sons or daughters want to marry a Latina or Latino after being raised by a mamacita. 

    • http://www.facebook.com/people/Amber-Dru/100002491478976 Amber Dru

      Is this you and your family?. My family does “those jobs Americans won’t do”. ..Latinos can be racist too!…Henry Louis Gates Jr. did a series on Latino racism in on PBS

  • William

    Gang of this, gang of that, why is it always a gang that gets to make these critical decisions and try to convince everyone else “it is for the best”?
     

    • MrNutso

      The intent of “gangs” seems to be that a small group from  both sides of the aisle can come up with a bill to be presented to the Senate as a whole.  It’s a smaller version of the existing Committee system.  One advantage is that Committees, and especially the Chairman may have a secret agenda, whereas the gang is usually a group that is outside of the regular interests of the bill.

      • William

         Is it a “get out of jail” card for the rest of the Senators? They are elected to make tough decisions but keep ducking it and get a “gang” to do it. So, if it goes the wrong way “don’t blame me, blame the gange of __”

    • WorriedfortheCountry

       Look at the picture above.  You can TRUST them.  Right?

  • DrewInGeorgia

    Leave it to US to turn what has arguably been one of this nation’s greatest strengths into a crippling weakness.

  • creaker

    You should mention that while we were busy dealing with the bombing last week, our “can’t agree on anything” Congress quietly repealed their self-imposed ban on insider trading, and was able to do it in mere seconds, no discussion, and pretty much unanimously.

    http://nyulocal.com/national/2013/04/15/congress-quietly-repeals-congressional-insider-trading-ban/

  • William

    Paying back taxes is always a laughing point. So, these millions of illegals are going to step forward and say “yes, I owe tens of thousands of dollars in back income taxes and now I will pay”….

    • glenn keefer-mcgee

      While picking your grapes/apples/lettuce.  You know it.

    • hennorama

      William – the main tax-related issue for undocumented workers often will be the extreme difficulty in getting the information needed in order to be able to file income tax returns, rather than the likelihood of having to pay large amounts of back taxes.

      Here’s what I mean:

      It’s estimated that about half of all undocumented workers are on payrolls, with the other half working “off the books.” Some but not all undocumented workers file tax returns using an ITIN (Individual Taxpayer Identification Number) and either receive refunds or pay additional taxes.

      The half of all undocumented workers who are on payrolls can obtain needed records the usual way, by getting a copy of their W-2. One problem with that is that the Social Security Number (SSN) on the W-2 issued by the employer will not be the same as the worker’s ITIN. This means that the worker cannot go to the nearest IRS office to get a printout of their W-2 and other income information. So unless the worker has retained a W-2 copy themselves or can get one from their employer, they will have to make a SWAG (Scientific Wild Ass Guess) about their income.

      The other half of all undocumented workers who work “off the books” have no real option other than a SWAG, unless they can use their bank account or other information to try to recreate their income.

      Imagine how difficult it would be for yourself or anyone to recreate multiple years of income tax information without benefit of the usual documentation.

      As to the issue of income taxes, according to information compiled by the Pew Hispanic Center, “In 2010, nearly two-thirds of unauthorized immigrants had lived in the U.S. for at least a decade and nearly half (46%) were parents of minor children.” This means that a large chunk of undocumented workers would be able to take advantage of the considerable tax benefits related to dependent children, thereby lowering potential income tax liability.

      Source:http://www.pewhispanic.org/2013/01/29/a-nation-of-immigrants/

      In addition, the median annual income of foreign-born workers as a group (both legal and illegal) is onlya bout $32K, which is about 78% of the median for native-born workers. There are a variety of reasons for this, but the main one is that foreign-born workers are more
      likely to be employed in lower-wage service occupations. I don’t have stats on the median income of undocumented workers, but it’s reasonable to conclude that it is lower than the $32K overall figure
      for all foreign-born workers, as they tend to get lower paying work and also are more likely to be taken advantage of and be underpaid by their employers.

      Such relatively low income combined with the high incidence of dependent children (and likely marriage as well, with its tax advantages) leaves fairly low potential income tax liability overall.

  • creaker

    Immigration reform is really about taking employers using illegal, cheap, imported labor and giving them legal, cheap, imported labor.

    It will also open imported labor to those trained and capable of making a good living elsewhere who would never come here illegally, and make it possible for them to come here and work legally – under the auspice of being “low level” workers – and probably for much less.

  • WorriedfortheCountry

    Since we are now using eVerify for employment, we can start using it for government benefits and voter registration.

    • Ray in VT

      In principle I don’t see why not.  Some sort of national ID would certainly address some of those issues.  Could we also link it to a person’s criminal and mental health records and also use it for fire arms sales?

      • adks12020

        That might be too efficient for the federal government to consider.

        • Aaron Miller

          Hey, a fellow Adirondacker! I’m from Keene Valley.

      • WorriedfortheCountry

         I’m not so sure about mental health records.  While I agree that we don’t want anyone mentally unstable to have access to firearms the devil will always be in the details of due process.  How do we create objective criteria for something that is so subjective?

      • 1Brett1

        touche, Ray!

  • Aaron Miller

    Senator Grassley suggested that last week’s bombing in Boston somehow demonstrates significant gaps in the asylum status of our immigration system. Is he aware that at the time these brothers entered the US they were nine and 16 years old, respectively?

  • donniethebrasco

    I think Boston puts a wooden stake through the heart of immigration reform.

    • northeaster17

      Lets fence in the whole country

      • nj_v2

        Not enough. We also need moats, with alligators. Armed-guard towers every quarter mile. Minefields. Satellite surveillance.

        • http://read-write-blue.blogspot.com/ RWB

          We need a pack not a herd. 

    • JGC

      Boston was a twofer for the Republican Party:  they get to gum up immigration reform, and to accuse the Obama administration of lax security. (At least that has taken their minds off Benghaz- D’oh!!! Don’t mention the word “Benghazi”!)

  • alsordi

    Why focus on the political charade rather than the concept of immigration?
    The USA is lost without immigrants.   Forget the clown show in congress,  the banksters know they have to fill all those apartments they lent money to their best buddies to build all over the place (while restricting mortgages to home buyers).  And who is going to fill the empty retail space?  Whose going to shop at Walmart.
    Get past the kabookee fraud theatre in washington and pray to the heavens that immigrants keep choosing to wash your floors and pick your vegetables.
     
    BTW “Lindsey, McCain, Bipartisan, across the isle, on the hill”  these are real channel changing words.  A waste of time and an insult to our intelligence.

  • MrNutso

    What about undocumented crossings from Canada, and those overstaying visas?

  • Unterthurn

    Questions: If an American goes to, say, Mexico or Germany to give birth do these babies acquire citizenship of the prospective countries? Why do we automatically give citizenship if the parents aren’t US citizens?

    • glenn keefer-mcgee

      I had dual citizenship in Germany and America until I was 18 and had to choose.  I was born in Augsburg while my dad was in the Army.  We give citizenship to people born here because that is where they were born.  No one born here has to take a test to be a citizen.  My great-greats were German, Irish and Scottish.  Maybe even Jewish, but we son’t have that confirmed.  Should their kids have been considered “anchor babies?”  If you are born here, you are one of us.  Even if you are brown.  It doesn’t matter what other countries do.  They aren’t us.

    • mozartman

      The US is one of the few countries that confers automatic citizenship to those born here, even if the parents are illegally in the US.  In Europe, you get the citizenship of your parents.  So a person born in Germany to Turkish parents is a Turk, not a German. That person can apply for German citizenship and many do, but it’s on their own merit, not because he was born there.  

      The US law came about when the country was huge and empty.  It was a way to attract people and to keep them here.  Now with 320 million people, it may have outlived its usefulness though. 

  • LambdaCube

    It is worth noting that NumbersUSA was
    founded and funded by John Tanton, as were two other prominent
    organizations which advocate curtailed immigration, the Center for Immigration Studies (CIS) and
    Federation for American Immigration Reform (FAIR). Once one becomes
    aware of the views and ideas of John Tanton, it is hard to not be
    skeptical of the real motive of these organization, no matter what
    rationale they present to favor their argument.

    Since the
    ethno-centric ideas driving the pre-1946 US immigration laws (eg the
    National Origins Formula, the “Asiatic Barred Zone Act” of 1917), until
    the Luce-Celler Act of 1946, are now out of fashion in the mainstream
    consciousness, and cannot be made comfortably anymore, the only
    rationale left to these organizations are the ones more acceptable eg
    economy, rights, jobs, labor. But the motives remain the same. They can
    of course argue, as they have done, that guilt by association is unfair,
    it is fair to say they still need to answer and/or clarify where they
    stand on the views, agenda and writings of their founder Tanton.

    • http://www.facebook.com/people/Amber-Dru/100002491478976 Amber Dru

      Lies. I’m a member and so is my legal immigrant husband who became a citizen while in the U.S. army. Disagreement is hate, xenophobia, racism. Anyone can go to Numbersusa.com and check out their articles and positions for themselves..Get facts. Don’t take it on faith or in LambdaCube’s case hate.

  • chuck monjak

    Why do we still allow anchor babies? 

    • WorriedfortheCountry

       Excellent question.  The simplest illegal immigration reform is to remove ALL illegal immigration magnets — including government benefits, employment and the benefits of anchor babies.

    • JGC

      Would that involve changing the 14th Amendment? 

      • WorriedfortheCountry

         That is the question.  There are legal scholars on both sides and a new restriction would certainly be challenged.

        • JGC

          Well, good luck trying to legislate a change to an amendment – that would be a real hornet’s nest. By the way, a little appreciated consequence of automatic U.S. citizenship to babies born here, is if the parents were here on a temporary work or student visa then return to their home country, Junior grows up not realizing the implications of his U.S. citizenship, and is often shocked and aghast to learn he should have been filing U.S. tax reforms and is a tax evading criminal, even though he may only have lived in the U.S. for a year as an infant.

  • MadMarkTheCodeWarrior

    We have a job shortage of jobs that do not condemn workers to a life of poverty.

  • creaker

    Many who come here illegally, most of those using illegal border crossing as entry are often driven by sheer desperation. That desperation will not stop merely because we pass an immigration bill.

    • http://www.facebook.com/ilze.choi Ilze Choi

      The US can often be faulted for the sheer desperation of people crossing our southern border.  We never let borders or sovereignty stop us from overthrowing governments we did not like or starting civil wars to depose them.  These desperate people may as well have been subjects of the US.  Any look at how we have applied the Monroe Doctrine and otherwise routinely pulled the strings in Guatemala, El Salvador, etc, etc. will put a different perspective on this controversy.  The new law will provide documentation for those here but not for future migrants.  It will also therefore ensure a level playing field as far as wages and working conditions for everyone looking for work.

    • http://read-write-blue.blogspot.com/ RWB

      Socialism always leads to desperation.

      • creaker

        As soon as we shut down all the public schools, highways, police, fire, SS, Medicare and all the other socialist programs in this country, we should be good. So don’t despair.

        • http://read-write-blue.blogspot.com/ RWB

          Yes, before carl marx there were no roads. 

          • creaker

            And before the government imposed it, we had no national highway system.

          • http://read-write-blue.blogspot.com/ RWB

            So you are claiming Ike was a socialist or Henry Ford?  

          • creaker

            Henry Ford’s career was in the private sector – Ike’s was not. Biggest socialist operation in the world then and now is the US military – government owned and operated.

            Ike would not be accepted by today’s Republicans, anyway.

          • http://read-write-blue.blogspot.com/ RWB

            Are you of the opinion that President Obama is a Right-winger? 

          • creaker

            Right or left all depends on where you’re standing.I don’t know what Obama is, but I think what he’s done in office is much further to  the right than I had hoped for.

          • Ray in VT

            I suppose that it depends upon how one defines socialist.  The interstate highway system was certainly a large and expensive public work, so I do not think that one could really argue that he was really any sort of small government sort of guy, and he was certainly willing to exercise federal power in order to take actions regarding civil rights issues when the states were unwilling to act.  McCarthy certainly claimed that Eisenhower, as well as Marshall, were a part of the global communist conspiracy, but, then again, McCarthy was a whacked out, lying drunkard.

      • nj_v2

        Have you told Scandinavians yet? You might want to warn them.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1408098372 Mari McAvenia

    Which countries permit native-born Americans, economic & political refugees since the collapse, to enter, work & live in “freedom” ? 

  • Kevin

    Please don’t forget the third group of people this legislation is meant to benefit: US citizens! First we have the lawful immigration system focus, the second are those illegally present — including border security.

    The third group are those US citizens suffering because their family members are forced to remain outside the country for up to 10 years while awaiting visa waivers. Or worse: If an alien is determined to have made false claim to US citizenship, the US citizen will never see their immigrant spouse able to enter the country again as an immigrant. Under current law: Never, because no waiver is currently permitted.

    This legislation eases the draconian restrictions on waivers and aims to help reunite US citizens with their immigrant family members.

    The legislation could go further to help those US citizens waiting more than 10 years for their spouses to become eligible to immigrate. For some US citizens, the only recourse has been to move outside the US to reunite with their non-US family members.

    This legislation will make a difference to benefit US citizens in this predicament.

    • chuck monjak

      Why does family take precedence?  What does Grandpa bring to the american economy? Or a non-working spouse?

      • DrewInGeorgia

        Consumption.

      • Kevin

        No, Chuck, I’m not talking about family members of immigrants. I’m talking children and spouses of US citizens.

        Say you are a US citizen. Your immigrant spouse renews her driver’s license, and due to a misunderstanding, the DMV worker registers her to vote during the renewal process. (And she signs, because she doesn’t understand what was happening, and because in her country, you don’t register to vote at the same place you get your driver’s license.)

        Due to the accidental voter registration, your wife is not allowed back into the country next time you leave with her on vacation.

        When you go to DHS to get her back in, DHS tells you, “Sorry, she’ll never be able to come back to the US as an immigrant, and even though you are a US citizen, you have no recourse.”

        That’s the current law.

        The proposed changes to the law will allow the US citizen to request a waiver for extreme hardship.

  • LambdaCube

    It is worth noting that NumbersUSA was founded and funded by John Tanton, as were two other prominent organizations which advocate curtailed immigration, the Center for Immigration Studies (CIS) and Federation for American Immigration Reform (FAIR). Once one becomes aware of the views and ideas of John Tanton, it is hard to not be skeptical of the real motive of these organization, no matter what rationale they present to favor their argument.

    Since the ethno-centric ideas driving the pre-1946 US immigration laws (eg the National Origins Formula, the “Asiatic Barred Zone Act” of 1917), until the Luce-Celler Act of 1946, are now out of fashion in the mainstream consciousness, and cannot be made comfortably anymore, the only rationale left to these organizations are the ones more acceptable eg economy, rights, jobs, labor. But the motives remain the same. They can of course argue, as they have done, that guilt by association is unfair, it is fair to say they still need to answer and/or clarify where they stand on the views, agenda and writings of their founder Tanton.
     

    • http://www.facebook.com/people/Amber-Dru/100002491478976 Amber Dru

      Lies. I’m a member and so is my legal immigrant husband who became a citizen while in the U.S. army. Disagreement is hate, xenophobia, racism. Anyone can go to Numbersusa.com and check out their articles and positions for themselves..Get facts. Don’t take it on faith or in LambdaCube’s case hate.

      • LambdaCube

        First of all, you say you’re a member of NumbersUSA, so naturally you’ll not like facts that run counter to the talking points of your org. No one should take anything on faith, that is precisely why I did not post anything that John Tanton, the founder of these orgs (NumbersUSA, CIS, FAIR) wrote, so that leaves readers to do their own research on his writings.

        Btw here are two quotes from Tanton:

        [Writing to a donor]: “One of my prime concerns, is about the
        decline of folks who look like you and me.”

        [Writing to a friend]: “…For
        European-American society and culture to persist requires a
        European-American majority, and a clear one at that.”

        Source: http://www.nytimes.com/2011/04/17/us/17immig.html?pagewanted=all

  • MrNutso

    I disagree with the how “people (South Carolinian’s) don’t want to do the jobs”.  The problem is the jobs do not pay living wages and/or benefits.  Pay me my current salary/benefits, and would much prefer to be working outside doing landscaping rather than sitting in an office.

    • adks12020

      I’ve been saying that for years. I worked for a general contractor during college.  It was hard work but I felt a real sense of accomplishment when we finished jobs and I loved being outside all the time. I definitely would have kept at it but it just didn’t pay enough.

      I’ve been working in an office for the past 6 years and make more than twice as much doing something I really don’t like but I have to do in order to pay my bills and student loans.  Now I’m searching for a job that doesn’t require me to sit at a desk all day because it’s driving me nuts.

    • Cid172

      … and then food prices would go so high no one would be able to afford.

      • VinceD2

         No, the labor component of food costs is small. Paying a fair wage would not add much to the cost. And think of all of the money we’d save if we were not subsidizing illegal workers and their employers.

  • creaker

    This is just an expensive government program to provide cheap, legal imported labor. All the talk about “path to citizenship” is just pretty window dressing.

    Watch what happens – as time goes on, we’ll see endless stories of more and more lazy poor Americans who don’t want to work when the actual cause is employers dropping wages and benefits to the point that the only people willing to take these jobs are those fleeing other countries. And that employers need more and more imported labor to fill these jobs Americans aren’t willing to work.

  • WorriedfortheCountry

    When we remove these 11 million from the shadows will they be eligible for the Earned Income Tax Credit?

  • happygoluckyactivist

    I don’t know why anyone, including one of your guests, thinks he is better than any other immigrant.  Unless one is pure Native American, he is the child of generations of immigrants.
    Sue Gibson
    native Texan
    Jefferson City, Missouri

  • S_Mangion

    “Reform” ?
    A proposal to rewrite the immigration law is a proposal to “change” the law, and not necessarily a reform.
    Whether the change will be a reform is/could be a matter for debate.
    Let’s be clear about what is afoot.  Calling something a “reform” loads the debate.

  • MadMarkTheCodeWarrior

    Doug, you’re talking about advancing the country, but what with regard to attracting talent, you’re talking about attracting cheap talent for the benefit of corporate America at the expense of Americans in America. Having lost my job twice to incompetent, imported cheap labor, I’ve seen the good, the bad and the ugly, and you’re talking about no darn good.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1408098372 Mari McAvenia

    “It’s a global market” for slaves. What the hell has happened to us? I hear Tom trying to get the focus on American people, with American spouses, children & extended families all BORN here. Nobody is interested in us or OUR futures. Certainly not corporate lobbyists or the twisted politicians.

  • creaker

    This is about cheap, legal labor – and nothing else.

  • JGC

    Again, for any one interested, Coursera is having an online course on “Citizenship and U.S. Immigration”, starting on 29 April 2013, offered through Emory University, and lasting 5 weeks. Free, and no prerequisites other than wanting to learn more about policy and issues. 

    • http://read-write-blue.blogspot.com/ RWB

      Excellent idea!!  Now how do we get the politicians to take the course?  Could it involve tar and feathers as motivation for completing course work?

  • rich4321

    I don’t get it. Why can’t they do it in phrases, focus on one issue at a time? With already millions working and getting paid under the table, why not bring them out of the shadow first, if someone are proven not having a criminal record, grant them the permissions to work. 

    As they make more money, they pay taxes, they spend in the community, indirectly giving back to the society, they get proper health insurance, which reduces ER overload, reduces hospital costs. 

    They are human too, most of them just want to work, not to harm the society.

  • ThirdWayForward

    Republicans want to allow “guest workers” here, both for low-wage and salaried IT jobs because it depresses wages for the rest of us and keeps everyone fearful about retaining our jobs.

    They don’t want a path to citizenship because then those people will end up becoming part of the electorate and will likely vote against them.

    Conservatives don’t care a whit about creating another underclass — that is what they have been doing to the middle class for the past 4 decades.

    Maybe it would be best just to do nothing for the time being — this all seems futile anyway with the House of Representatives in effect being controlled by a Tea Party veto..

    • http://read-write-blue.blogspot.com/ RWB

      If only we had a veto.  (CISPA would never see the light of day if we did.)

      • Ray in VT

        Here is the roll call on the vote:

        http://clerk.house.gov/evs/2013/roll117.xml

        Who do you mean by “we”?  Hopefully you don’t mean the Tea Party Caucus, because by my count only 7 members of the Tea Party Caucus voted against it, and 3 more didn’t vote, so that would be 39 for it.

  • te

    American Unemployed Engineer vs H1B Visa International Coporate Slaves–(Reuters) – As the wrangling over immigration reform intensifies in the Congress, the tech Unemployed Industry is lobbying hard to raise the limit on H-1B visas, which allow non-U.S. citizens with advanced skills and degrees in “specialty occupations” to work in the country for up to six years.Demand is so great that the annual cap of 65,000 was hit last week, just days after the application period opened. Technology companies support raising the H-1B quota almost five-fold, to 300,000, arguing universities are just not turning out enough American math and science graduates and they need to cast their net abroad to stay competitive.
    Yet some U.S. tech workers and academics say that the shortage of talent is exaggerated, that many of the jobs could go to out-of-work computer professionals in the United States, and that the program serves mainly as a source of cheap labor.
    The 200,000-member U.S. chapter of the Institute of Electrical andElectronics Engineers rejects the claim of a broad shortage of tech workers and opposes more H-1Bs.
    “What these companies are doing is to replace Americans with lower-cost foreign workers,” says Russ Harrison, senior legislative representative at the IEEE.
    Rather than more H-1B visas, the group favors giving foreign workers permanent residency, which Harrison said would help boost wages and increase job mobility for newcomers.
    In Silicon Valley, stories of ferocious competition for engineering workers and a lack of qualified job-seekers abound.
    Tech companies point to an unemployment rate of around 3.5 percent for those with advanced computer and math experience, less than half the national rate, though in line with other professional occupations.
    But wages in the tech industry are rising more slowly than those in theeconomy as a whole. For example, pay for applications softwaredevelopers, a specialty in high demand, have risen just 8.9 percent in the five years through mid-2012, compared with a 12.5 percent increase for all occupations in the U.S. economy.
    “It is extraordinarily unlikely for a severe shortage to happen in a way that doesn’t result in very large wage increases,” said Kirk Doran, an economist at the University of Notre Dame who studies immigration and labor.
    “We know what a labor shortage looks like: there should be both much lower unemployment than other professions and much higher wage growth. If either of these are not present, then I don’t buy the shortage hypothesis.”
    Others say that when industries grow fast, wage growth can be stifled because of an influx of relatively inexperienced and lower-paid workers.
    “Even if you look at data from one year to the next, it may not tell you what you think,” said Stuart Anderson, executive director of the National Foundation for American Policy, a think tank backed by the pro-entrepreneurship Kauffman Foundation and others. He says sub-industries sometimes move from one category to another one, and that industries are growing more specialized, complicating the data.
    I SPY … A VISA
    The United States issued 129,000 H-1B visas last year – almost double the official cap, since workers at universities and some other workplaces don’t count toward the limit. Those with graduate degrees from U.S. universities have their own quota of 20,000, a limit the tech industry hopes to see removed.
    The three-year visas can be extended to six years, so there are likely hundreds of thousands of H-1B workers, half of them in computer-related fields, according to government data. There is no exact count of H-1Bs in use at any given time.
    Companies hiring H-1B workers are required by the Department of Labor to pay either the prevailing local wage for the job or the wage that would be paid someone with equivalent qualifications, whichever is higher.
    But critics of the program say these rules give employers too much latitude to discriminate, for example, by age. Tech companies recruit heavily at U.S. universities, where many science andengineering students are foreign nationals. Younger and less experienced workers generally receive less pay.
    According to the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, a division of Homeland Security, 90 percent of all H-1B holders are 39 or younger.
    Bea Dewing, 61, a database designer, blames growing competition from immigrant workers for hampering her career over the past decade.
    “It’s very unfair from the standpoint of American workers,” said Dewing, who has been out of steady work since August, when she said she was laid off from Tata Consultancy Services, an Indian software services firm which had placed her at a New York-based financial services company.
    Tata declined to comment on specific employees but said, “As a matter of corporate policy, TCS does not lay off its employees in order to replace them with H-1B visa holders.”
    OUTGUNNED
    The IEEE and others who see flaws in the H-1B program say they are outgunned politically on the issue.
    Computer and Internet companies spent an estimated $132.5 million on lobbying last year, according to the Center for Responsive Politics. Tech executives including Cisco Systems IncChief Executive John Chambers and venture capitalist John Doerr of Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers flew to Washington last month to discuss immigration reform with the White House and Congressional leaders.
    “Most of our members aren’t really rabble rousers,” said the IEEE’s Harrison, who urges members to call their representatives, armed with facts about how many H-1B workers are in their state, to stop any increase in H-1B visa quotas. “We are constrained by the personality of our members.”
    For some Silicon Valley executives, the issue is larger than filling vacant jobs. To compete in a global economy, they argue, the United States needs all the talent it can find, and the fact that its preeminent universities draw the best and brightest students from all over the world is a competitive advantage that should not be squandered.
    Especially in a small start-up, they say, more than expertise is required: The right fit is critical.
    “When you’re creating something from scratch you need somebody outstanding,” said Nathan Blecharczyk, co-founder of the red-hot short-term rental company Airbnb.
    The firm currently has only two engineers working on its search capability, he explained – a critical function that could be improved if he could find just the right caliber of engineer.
    “There isn’t enough of the talent that we need to basically create this business in the U.S.,” he said. “We do need to look globally for that talent.”
    Michael Moritz, a partner at Sequoia Capital, concurs.
    “The rare individual is so often capable of doing the work of several other people, in engineering like other creative art forms,” he says. “Barriers to hiring slow down everything.”
    Joe Golden, a former software developer at Microsoft Corp who is studying the effects of immigration in the tech industry as a graduate student in economics at the University of Michigan, is also a proponent of opening the doors further to skilled workers.
    But he says that as long as companies are free to headhunt employees from rivals and woo qualified professionals from other industries, it’s difficult to say shortages exist.
    “If companies want more workers they can all raise wages and attract more people,” Golden said.
    (Reporting by Sarah McBride and Noel Randewich; Editing by Jonathan Weber and Tim Dobbyn)

    • NrthOfTheBorder

      Since the tech industry treats people like commodities anyway why not put tariffs on workers from abroad? 

      If these foreign-can’t-be-found-here wunderkind are such hot tickets you should have to pay them a min 25% above the industry pay grade. There. Done. 

      Unfortunately H1B visas are not about super talent, but about qualified techies to be had the cheap.  And, if one company does it other companies will feel compelled to follow. 

      A larger question is how long everyday, hard working Americans are going to put up with this non-sense? 

      • ThirdWayForward

        Ideally they would be paid at industry standard, but in order for this idea to work, we think the hiring company would also need to pay a 50% tax to the government. 

        The problem with wrangling over industry pay grades is that it is easy to underestimate those  by 25% or more (we can just imagine the ruses that would be used in redefining formal job credentials downward, while using those workers for higher grade tasks), such that it would be still cheaper to hire foreign workers. Another way of doing it would be a flat $50k tax on each foreign H1B worker hired. That would be easier to enforce.

        In any case, the number of workers hired by any one company for working here in the US should be capped at 10 people for or 5% of their workforce, whichever is higher.

        Nothing prevents American companies for hiring foreign workers as independent contractors or consultants for limited periods of time — just like many of us technical professionals have been forced into as more permanent job positions have dried up. 

        This whole issue about H1B visas is just a smokescreen to get cheaper skilled labor, and as usual, it’s mostly Republicans pushing for them, unfortunately, with tacit support from many centrist Democrats.

  • ptnv

    In the discussion we forget about the class of Visa The L1 (intra company transfer)This needs a fix. There are many companies has branch here is US bring people on the L-1 visas in the name of intra company transfer and they suppose to work at the employers work place, but in reality these people were deployed at different locations other than the employers work place, and they work at the employers client places and take away the jobs that is other wise available for the US workers. The employers of the L1 workers does not have to pay the US wages for them, and the employers use this loophole to provide a cost advantage to the US companies and replace the US workers with L1 workers. On top of this The L1 workers does not need to pay any taxes. Along with that these L1 workers spouses are eligible for the EAD(Employment authorization Document) as soon as they get the EAD they compete for any jobs, and there are so many low paying jobs were takes by them.

    Intracompany transfer is necessary in global economy, but it is being exploited by the “body shopping” companies.

    This classifications has UNLIMITED in Numbers, there are IT companies has thousands of people in the US under this classification. Why no one is talking about it.

  • mozartman

    Our immigration system is so screwed up and it’s best to burn the current laws and start from scratch.

    First of all, with today technology, it should be rather easy to verify if somebody is in the country legally.  But so  many Americans are paranoid and resists any federal govt. ID which could be anonymous and contain only hard to fake bio metric data.  Let’s say at age 18 you have your irises  or face scanned and entered into a database with no name.  When you apply for govt. benefits or a job, the employer or govt. agency issues a temporary 20 digit code that’s used only once for that particular job or benefit.  It’s issued randomly and is encrypted.  You go to a local office that has a face or iris reader and verify that it’s you and that you are legally in the country.  Maybe have those readers in super markets or at gas stations.  They don’t cost very much.  The system has that access code and matches you with the code.  You go back to the employer and they use the results to verify that you are here legally.  There are many variations on that theme, but with today’s technology it should be possible to do better than the hacking and accident prone e verify system.

    Moreover, we have to move to a skills based immigration system like Canada and not a family based one.  I think 80% or more of all green cards are issued to people who have relatives here, even if they are barely literate.  A PhD on the other hand may have to wait for years for a visa.  How stupid is that? 

    Lastly, as they say – if you build a 20 foot wall at the Mexican border, they will come with a 21 foot ladder.  You cannot control a 3000 mile border with nobody getting through unless you have an East German like border   Even that border was breached many times.  if you make five times as much across the border, you will have an incentive to come here. We need and want those workers and they want to work here.  Do it like Singapore or Switzerland - issue a visa for say three years to work here, but the family cannot come here too.  if the job is gone, you go to.  Immediately.  Most Mexicans don’t want to stay here anyway – they want to earn enough money to build a home or business at home. 

  • JGC

    On Marketplace yesterday, they mentioned a senator from Colorado wants to secure more places for foreign ski instructors to obtain work visas. Are Americans so lazy they won’t even give skiing lessons at exclusive Coloradan resorts, or are they trying to push down the pay of the ski instructors?

    • http://read-write-blue.blogspot.com/ RWB

      If you think the problem is lazy Americans then you have been listening to NPR too much.

      • JGC

        No, I don’t think Americans are lazy- anything but! I mean, isn’t is strange there is some kind of shortage of American ski instructors?  This is not like working at the abattoir or picking fruit out in 98 degree heat.  

        • chillj

          I am not at all sure why you would think an industry that wants to import cheaper labor of any kind would imply a shortage of the specified labor in that industry.

    • http://profile.yahoo.com/JXSANCUDPIKQSPID5KT2U4XK5Y TF

      Maybe the suave contintenal foreign accent is so valued as a ski instructor it’s almost a “job skill”.

      (But seriously, I’m going with “trying to push down the pay”.)

    • Ray in VT

      I thought that it was Hatch from Utah, but I may be wrong.

      • JGC

        “Senator Michael Bennet of Colorado threw in a provision to make it easier to hire foreign ski instructors”, or words to that effect, off the Marketplace site.  Actually, it would make more sense if Hatch was behind it. Maybe it is a joint effort?

        • Ray in VT

          Thanks JGC.  I guess that I mis-remembered.  Both would make sense, as would either of Vermont’s Senators or maybe California.

    • VinceD2

       I used to work in the ski industry. Yes, pushing down wages is a major goal. The cost of living in a ski town is astronomical, the wages are pitiful. That said ski instructing is somewhat specialized and a lot of instructors “chase the snow” including plenty of ours that go South for our summer.

      But look behind the scenes next time you go skiing. Who’s in the kitchen. Who’s making the beds. In the summer, who’s landscaping, who’s building. Illegal aliens are everywhere! And with the prices the resorts charge, they have no reason except greed not to pay fair wages.

  • Mari Gillis

    My name is Mari. I work with Brazilians documented and
    undocumented. The biggest problem I see with undocumented immigration is the
    fact that since they have no driver’s license the government have no way to
    track them down, and because they need to work, drive to work  a market  of fake documentation is created benefiting
    neither the country or the undocumented immigrant. Most Brazilians I know would
    be happy with permission to work, a driver’s license and a permission to visit
    family members in Brazil.
    Everybody I know will apply if something comes up and will pay any fees
    stipulated by the government. They are here to stay, whether we like or not,
    some are here for 19 years, paying takes under a tax ID number issued by the
    government (ITIN) but they are not allowed to drive. We can’t have it both ways

     

    • http://www.facebook.com/people/Amber-Dru/100002491478976 Amber Dru

      Attrition through enforcement works! When Barbara Jordan testified before Congress in 1995 on behalf of her bi-partisan U.S. Commission on Immigration Reform, she said, “one-half of the nation’s illegal alien problem results from visitors who entered legally but who do not leave when their time is up. Let me tell you in three simple words why that is: they get jobs.”

      Jordan’s explanation neatly explains how the Obama administration can spend approximately $18 billion on immigration enforcement and still fail to open up millions of jobs for America’s unemployed. Whereas Jordan believed the jobs held by illegal workers rightfully belonged to citizens and legal immigrant workers, President Obama believes illegal workers who successfully violate immigration laws deserve to keep their jobs. The gulf between Jordan and Obama could not be wider.

      Those of us who take Jordan’s view believe that when the laws are enforced and the jobs magnet is removed, many illegal aliens will decide to stop violating U.S. immigration laws and return home. Advocates who take the president’s view say attrition through enforcement is a fantasy, yet evidence to the contrary is readily available.

      The Chicago Tribune recently told the story of the Barcenas family who came to the U.S. on tourist visas in 2004, not long after president Bush proposed his own large-scale amnesty. They overstayed their visas and the two boys went to public school while the parents illegally bounced from job to job. Over the years, the state of Illinois made illegal employment easier for the Barcenases by certifying the father to remove asbestos and passing a law to prohibit the use of E-Verify.

      Nevertheless, in 2013, the family decided to go home. They realized they had not put their children in the best position to succeed. “Without a Social Security number? Without permission to work? We realized it’s hard,” the father told the Tribune. And so, despite living in a sanctuary state, despite the boys being eligible for two-year work permits under Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals and despite promises of a legalization bill this year, the Barcenas family made the decision to go home.

  • nj_v2

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=J-jJ4nIclpc

    Ignore the silly visuals. Or not.

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/JXSANCUDPIKQSPID5KT2U4XK5Y TF

    Just finishing up listening to the computer-grabbed audio (Harddisk.ogg is a great program which does this on a Windows PC, BTW) and I’m glad we were spared the wisdom and leadership of Sheriff Joe Arapaio this hour.

    Maybe he was too busy tracking down the President’s birth certificate    college transcripts right-wing wild goose chase du jour.

  • http://almquistphoto.com Jennifer Almquist

    I have been mulling this over for awhile. We should link immigration reform with our growing national need for caregivers, not just talk about migrant farm laborers or house cleaners.
    We could require a year of service of the now “illegal immigrants. Not as a punitive measure, but to meet three goals:1. Make immigration reform more plausible and acceptable to its foes 2. Meet two specific needs looming in this country: care of Alzheimer’s patients / care of wounded veterans from  Wars in the Middle East 3. Train immigrants for higher paid, more skilled labor. The number of Americans who need long-term care is expected to increase from approximately 12 million today to 27 million in 2050.[SCAN Foundation] “By 2020, we need an additional 1.6 million direct-care workers. There are not sufficient numbers of women entering the workforce to fill these jobs,” said Karen Kahn. “Immigrants will help us meet this challenge.” [she works for Paraprofessional Health Institute]. Alzheimer’s Care needs:The number of people age 65 and older in the US is expected to grow from 40 million in 2010 to 72.1 million in 2030. The prevalence of people with AD doubles for every 5-year interval beyond age 65. The significant growth in the population over age 85 that is estimated to occur between 2010 and 2030 (from 5.5 million to 8.7 million) suggests a substantial increase in the number of people with AD. As of 2012, 5.2 million people age 65 and older have Alzheimer’s Disease. By 2025, the number of people age 65 and older with Alzheimer’s disease is estimated to increase by 30% to 6.7 million. By 2050, this number may triple to a projected 11 million to 16 million. [SCAN Foundation] “Other countries with which the United States is closely aligned have embraced long-term care as an essential social responsibility while we have not. Unless and until we do so, caregivers here will be among the most harried, stressed and burdened among wealthy, developed countries in the world.” [NY Times, 12/28/12, Judith Graham]
    I love your show but I am always too shy to call in!
    Warmly, Jennifer

    • VinceD2

       We have 20+ million un and under employed now. Put them to work first before even considering any immigration.

    • chillj

      Millions of American women, including me, have worked as caregivers.  There will always be American women interested in such jobs, particularly as they age out of desirability or when they need employment flexibility.  I know women who worked for home care agencies who lost their jobs to illegal immigrants.  For many people, the economics of immigration are not an abstract.

      • http://almquistphoto.com Jennifer Almquist

        Hi! I too, have worked for years as a caregiver. However, if you spend some time looking at the numbers of workers that will be necessary in our future, there are enough positions to go around. The obstacle is convincing lawmakers that it is an underfunded, ignored industry. My nephew is an Army doctor fresh off a deployment in Afghanistan. The numbers of damaged veterans is rising faster than they can keep ahead of. I am not suggesting for one moment that jobs be taken from any American citizen who can and will do it. I am trying to find a way to best utilize all the able-bodied people in this country to meet the burgeoning needs of our elders and our wounded young people.

        • chillj

          The problem is that my former employer, an agency in MA, did lay off workers to replace them with Brazilians.  How do you stop that?  These people were good employees; I knew them and worked with them.  

          • http://almquistphoto.com Jennifer Almquist

            Maybe by shining a brighter light on the whole care giving industry and giving the same labor protections to them that other workers share. I do not have all the answers, but the more attention paid to this issue, the better! You and I having this dialogue is a beginning of sorts. I have a big mouth – how about you!!! 

  • WorriedfortheCountry

    Does this really require another 800+ page law?

    Can’t they construct simple, discreet laws that we can all understand?
     

    • 1Brett1

      No matter how simple or even simplistic something can be made, ALL will never understand.  

      • http://read-write-blue.blogspot.com/ RWB

        I’m sure the dear leader will explain it to you.  

        • 1Brett1

          Well, it hasn’t yet been explained through a series of grunts, hand signals and holding up simple objects, so I doubt you understand.

          • http://read-write-blue.blogspot.com/ RWB

            I wonder which of us will run out of nasty comments first. 

          • 1Brett1

            Kudos for having a sense of humor, sincerely.

          • http://read-write-blue.blogspot.com/ RWB

            Imagination was given to man to compensate him for what he is not; a sense of humor to console him for what he is.
            Sir Francis Bacon 

      • WorriedfortheCountry

        Now you are slicing and dicing.  I think you know what I mean.  There has been a trend in increased complexity that I believe does not serve us well.

         Apparently the new internet sales tax bill is only 11 pages so it is possible to craft simple legislation.

        • 1Brett1

          This is true that bills can get pretty bloated (to the point of absurdity). I was joking about the ALL part, Worried, as you have a sense of humor (and I appreciate that); I thought you would find my comment funny (there are some pretty dumb people in this world who desire the simplistic only). On that we can agree…Sorry for the misunderstanding.

          • WorriedfortheCountry

             Oh, no problemo!  I must be in that hyper-sensitive mode.  LOL!!!

    • Gregg Smith

      The Gettysburg Address was only three paragraphs but spoke volumes. How many pages is the Constitution? Not many. I agree with you.

    • NrthOfTheBorder

      To keep it simple would depend on everyone obeying the spirit of a law.  

    • jimino

      Enough with the “number-of-pages” meme.  If printed in a format similar to a Congressional bill, a typical credit card agreement would be about 70 pages long. If it takes that many words to define one’s relation to a credit card company, how many should it take to define an overhaul of our country’s immigration laws?

      Of course, the lengthy legalese gives cover to the well-represented and politically-connected elites who profit from both types of documents. 

      And that ain’t you or me.

  • M S

    Sounds like Tom is in the bag for this reform bill…he just can’t hide it…so much for balanced.

  • TreeofStars

    I cringe every time I hear about “illegal aliens taking jobs.” As if I am working away, suddenly am forced to leave by another who is “”taking” my job. I’ve never actually taken any job. Someone has hired me. We need to focus the debate around those that do the hiring and firing. The immigrant is nothing more than a bogeyman to scare the unemployed, while companies hire their replacements for a fraction of the cost. It sure is a great time to be a “job creator.” We can’t tax them fairly and they are powerless against all of these immigrants “taking” all these jobs.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Amber-Dru/100002491478976 Amber Dru

    Our “immigrants” keep trying to blow up us! Can we stop it with mass illegal alien Gang of 8 amnesty already! We need to better vet our “immigrants”……..http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1jbxq1ztFXk

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Amber-Dru/100002491478976 Amber Dru

    Under the amnesty bill these black women who sued Howard Industries would still not have jobs and the illegals could keep the jobs obtained by stealing identities!  The employers get amnesty too!Veronica Cook, Ylounda Phelps, Charlyn Dozier and Seleatha McGee seek class-action certification of their claim that repeated job applications were denied due to discrimination.

    In the first lawsuit, Dozier claims she applied for a job with Howard Industries every three to six months beginning in 2002, but wasn’t offered a position until after the 2008 (immigration) raid. Howard Industries settled. 

  • TomK_in_Boston

    Never lose sight, the agenda is redistribution of wealth to the top. Ask whether a bill will do that and you know its chances.

    More immigrants = more cheap labor for the plutocrats, so we WILL have “immigration reform”. Even better, since they posture about being tough on immigration to provide red meat to their easily-led base, they can claim that they made a big compromise and now deserve something in return, like more tax cuts.

  • LambdaCube

    It must be noted that Roy Beck, today’s guest, spent several years as Washington editor of The Social Contract, a journal that defined immigration on the basis of ethnicity, and John Tanton (who started that journal and also founded/funded NumbersUSA, CIS, FAIR) once dubbed Mr. Beck his “heir apparent.” My point is, since the ethno-centric ideas that primarily drove immigration until 1946, are not in fashion anymore, these orgs are trying extra hard to portray themselves as mainstream, and don’t want the public to know their real motive.

    Source: http://www.nytimes.com/2011/04/17/us/17immig.html?pagewanted=all

  • Snowball_Tex

    Many American citizens are against the current “immigration” bill because it will undermine wages of working people, it will deepen the negative impact of the recession, and will delay the recovery of the economy. The goal of the 1% is to remake America in the image of China and India: a global sweatshop.

  • RuleByLaw

    Wow.

    1. I applaud for Tom’s courage to invite Roy Beck, even though he didn’t give him a fair portion of air time. Based on what Tom has said about immigration in the past shows, this is big progress, seriously.

    2. That Princeton professor certainly does NOT make Princeton look good. Ambiguous self-serving statements, no numbers, no facts, no sources, no principals. Everything just came out of that head and then mouth.

  • RuleByLaw

    The KJZZ journalist managed to dodge a very good question Tom asked and got away with it: Will legalization of illegal immigrants make their labor cost more? (Sorry Tom, I don’t like the term ‘undocumented’)

    And my questions are:

    - If yes, will their employers be happy? If they are not happy to pay more, who will they hire? The next batch of illegal immigrants? By then, will the jobs of legalized illegals be replaced by the next batch of illegals? If yes, how would the legalized illegals make a living? Who will pay for them? 

    - Or, if the employers won’t be happy to pay more and ideally the border is secure, no more illegals come across to join the underground labor force, then the employers will be forced to pay more, so these immigrants will stay on job. But that does not help with the unemployment rate of law-biding Americans. 

    - Or, if the current employers are happy to pay more for labor, then why wouldn’t they hire legal US residents or citizens to begin with? I keep hearing the argument “illegal immigrants will do the jobs Americans won’t do” but NONE of the reports has revealed the pay level. NONE.

    The princeton professor said it’s a global market hence it is natural that everyone will face global competition. I happen to see industry’s keen interest in discovering the cheapest labor possible, globally, by either shipping jobs outside of US or importing cheap labors. This is what’s behind the glory of “globalization.” 

    Perhaps we should outsource the government to third-world countries to help reduce national debt.

  • Regular_Listener

    I think the big question here is this: If we give amnesty (yes, that is what it is, whatever you want to call it) and eventual citizenship to the current group of illegal workers (and their family members, or at least some of them), HOW CAN WE BE SURE that this will not just lead to another round of illegal immigration?  Will they actually begin deporting illegals?  Just because the law says someone is here illegally does not mean that the government will deport them, as we are seeing now.  And RuleByLaw makes the great point that employers could very well decide to pass on the better paid legal immigrants and continue hiring illegals, something they have been doing successfully for many years now. 

    Also, I do not buy the argument that because things are better in Mexico now, that means we don’t have to be concerned about future illegals.  As the Ethiopian caller mentioned, America is now seen as Noah’s Ark, not just by Mexicans, but all over the globe.  We don’t know where the next wave of immigration might come from.

    A personal note – a woman showed up at the tiny apartment of a Latino man who lives in my building.  She was quite pregnant, and I assumed she was the man’s wife – but now I’m not so sure.  A few weeks after arriving she had a baby, and a few weeks after that, she was gone, along with her child – an American citizen, due to the fact of its birth in the USA.  We need to do something about THIS problem – birth/baby tourism – also!!

    I do think we need to do something for all the people who have been living and working here illegally for years, but I think we need to move carefully and make sure that we have a program that addresses the concerns of American citizens, too many of whom are unemployed and underemployed.

  • Syed Ali

    Immigration reform will create jobs and will be a big boost to the US economy.
    http://astersheen.blogspot.com/2013/01/immigration-reform-is-job-creator.html

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