Lamar Smith, the Chairman of the House Judiciary Committee that oversees the House Subcommittee on Immigration Policy and Enforcement, is keeping his word on holding a series of hearings into the many aspects of the immigration crisis that confronts our nation today.
Earlier this week, the House Immigration Subcommittee conducted a hearing into the impact of illegal aliens on the job prospects for American minorities, especially those who lack college education or specific trades. The Washington Times reported on that hearing in its March 1st edition. I have provided you with that news report.
Once again the Democrats focused their attention on the border and complained that the Republicans planned to cut money from the federal budget that was to fund the construction of the fence on the border and would have a negative impact on the number of Border Patrol agents who would protect our border against the unlawful entry of aliens in to our country who evade the inspections process by running our nation’s borders.
I certainly do not believe that the funding for immigration related projects, especially those projects that are related to border security should be reduced. However, I am absolutely astounded that the Democrats who have traditionally howled every time the discussion about the need to construct a secure barrier along our southern border would be bemoaning a lack of money dedicated to constructing that fence and taking other measures to secure our borders.
It is also incomprehensible that someone such as Chuck Schumer would be complaining about the need to build the fence along the border that he and Janet Napolitano, the Secretary of DHS (the Department of Homeland Surrender) would even acknowledge that a fence should be built- after all, if the border is secure, why would you need a fence?
It would certainly appear that they both suffer from issues where mouth / ear coordination is concerned- their ears apparently cannot hear what their mouths are saying!
On the issue of a border fence or other such barrier, I believe such a structure would be helpful and should be thought of as being an important component of what should be a coherent system. I have come to compare the construction of a fence on the border with the wing of an airplane. Without the wing, the airplane will not get off the ground, however, a wing by itself is certainly not going to get off the ground either!
Additionally, under the often publicly articulated policies of the current administration, the so-called “Silent Raids” that would simply call for the auditing of I-9’s maintained by employers and related documents without seeking to apprehend and remove illegal aliens is as one sided as the situation was prior to the enactment of the Immigration Control and Reform Act of 1986 (IRCA) which, in addition to providing some 4 million illegal aliens with lawful status under an ill-conceived amnesty program, also deemed the intentional hiring of illegal aliens by unscrupulous employers a crime. The employer sanctions provisions of IRCA were supposed to take a balanced approach to immigration law enforcement where the employment of illegal aliens was concerned. Under the balanced approach, employers would be less likely to exploit their illegal alien employees because both the unscrupulous employers and their illegal alien employees faced consequences for their respective violations of the immigration laws.
Currently, illegal aliens have virtually nothing to fear because the thrust of the current emphasis on I-9 audits and not seeking to arrest the illegal aliens emboldens illegal aliens and those people living in foreign countries who may aspire to become illegal aliens in our country by running our nation’s borders. They would not be arrested but their bosses might well be fined and even criminally prosecuted! This approach is bizarre, but understandable when you realize that every in the administration and that members of the Congress, especially Senator Schumer, the Chairman of the Senate Immigration Subcommittee, have been making every possible effort to speak publicly about the need to provide the unknown millions of illegal aliens in our country with lawful status and, in fact, a “Pathway to United States Citizenship!”
Could either the President or Schumer do more to provide encouragement to millions of more aliens to ignore our nation’s borders and violate our immigration laws, and a slew of other laws along the way?
Here is something else to consider- Ranking Member John Conyers is now complaining that the reason that Americans are unemployed is because there is a lack of educational opportunities and other such factors. Here is what Mr. Conyers said in the article:
But Rep. John Conyers Jr., Michigan Democrat, the ranking member of the committee, said that instead of tackling the “deeper issues underlying our weakened economy, high unemployment and continued inequities, we seem to be blaming all of our problems on undocumented workers.”
“If my colleagues really care about minorities, they should focus on policies and programs that will actually help them,” Mr. Conyers said, noting that some economists contend the gloomy jobs picture in minority communities can be attributed more to a lack of educational opportunities, high crime rates and the loss of factory and other blue-collar jobs than to the influx of immigrants.
Again, that same malady of lack of/ear coordination is evident. He said that unemployment is caused by unemployment! Don’t take my word for it, go back and read his quote!
He also said that there is a lack of educational opportunities- yet he supported the DREAM Act that would have provided illegal aliens with a pathway to United States citizens and would have also provided additional opportunities for illegal aliens to attend college. He said that undocumented kids are not illegal- they are undocumented!
Meanwhile the bill would have provided amnesty to aliens who were no older than 29- In what parallel universe is someone 29 years old a child?
Why would Mr. Conyers want to provide illegal aliens with educational opportunities on one day and then complain about a lack of such opportunities for American minority members now? If there is a shortage of jobs- and indeed there is, how does legalizing perhaps millions of illegal aliens not cause these newly legalized aliens to become the competitors for Americans who are unemployed?
Here is my suggestion- the time has come for hearings to be held into the high levels of fraud in the various “temporary” work visa programs. The time has long since passed for ICE (Immigration and Customs Enforcement) to get serious about the issue of immigration benefit fraud and visa fraud. (You may be interested to know that the very first time Congressman Lamar Smith invited me to testify before a Congressional hearing- back in May of 1997, the topic of the hearing was visa fraud and immigration benefit application fraud our of a concern that the two terrorist attacks of 1993 were made possible because the terrorists who were involved in those attacks, at the CIA and at the World Trade Center, had easily gamed the immigration bureaucracy.
Immigration benefit fraud and visa fraud still represent huge threats to national security but also have a huge impact on the American workforce.
The usual “song and dance” that the advocates for amnesty turn to is the issue of aliens doing the work Americans won’t or can’t do. At the bottom end of the job market, the issue is that Americans won’t do the work and where upscale jobs are concerned, they claim Americans can’t do the work. To these politicians, the American workers are apparently lazy, stupid, inept or incompetent.
Actually I guess you cannot fault those politicians who think of their fellow Americans in that way- they hang out with too many politicians who think and act as they do!
The point is that often highly skilled and educated American workers either find that their jobs have been sent overseas or that foreign workers have been brought here under a “temporary worker” visa program. (With virtually no effort to make certain that temporary workers remain on the jobs they were brought in to do and that they don’t overstay the amount of time they were admitted to remain in the United States, the only reason that these workers could be described as temporary is because no one lives forever!)
The high tech industries don’t generally hire illegal aliens. They hire temporary workers who have the education that makes them desirable as employees of many high tech industries. These foreign workers also have another valuable trait: they will accept significantly lower salaries than their American counterparts. Often, immigration law firms, not unlike salesmen who want to close a deal, do whatever they can to get employers to hire foreign workers. For the law firms, their livelihood depends on this and so they are very motivated to make certain that foreign workers take priority over American workers.
Here is the link to that segment that runs about 5 minutes:
What will really infuriate you is the video of an immigration lawyers’ conference in which lawyers were being coached to “not find qualified U.S. workers!” The lecturer who is instructing the attorneys is a guy by the name of Lawrence M. Lebowitz, the Vice President of Marketing for the firm of Cohen & Grigsby.
I want you to now consider that the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA) is that all-inclusive body of laws that regulates the entry of aliens into the United States and also their presence in the United States. It deals with immigration benefits and the grounds under which an alien might be removed (deported) from the United States.
Under the INA, the law…”
.” ..excludes aliens seeking to immigrate “for the purpose of performing skilled or unskilled labor,” except that such aliens may be eligible for a visa if:
the Secretary of Labor has determined that (A) there are not sufficient United States workers who are able, willing, qualified and available at the time of application for a visa and admission into the United States and at the place where the alien is to perform the work, and (B) the employment of the alien will not adversely affect the wages and working conditions of the United States workers similarly employed.”
The immigration laws of the United States are supposed to protect America and Americans from the entry and presence of aliens whose presence in our country is harmful. This certainly includes aliens who pose a physical threat to our safety and to national security. The laws are clear about that- but it is also important to remember that prior to the Second World War, the enforcement and administration of our immigration laws was the responsibility of the United States Department of Labor out of the obvious concern that a massive influx of foreign workers would have a negative impact on the American workforce.
The responsibilities of enforcing and administering the immigration laws were transferred to the Department of Justice out of a concern that aliens might well pose a threat to national security. Of course this is an absolutely correct concern. However, the Labor Department still plays a role in certifying that alien workers who seek to obtain work visas will not displace American Workers. Under the current situation, not nearly enough is being done to protect the American worker from foreign competition. Why is no one complaining about the hearing called by Judiciary Committee Chairman Lamar Smith raising this issue?
It is impossible to read someone’s mind but I think we can get a glimpse into how some of our political “representatives” think when you check out positions they have taken in the past.
Here is a link to a hearing conducted April 30, 2009 by the Senate Immigration Subcommittee that, as I noted earlier, is chaired by Chuck Schumer:
You can read the prepared testimony of the witnesses at that hearing and even watch a video segment of that hearing on Comprehensive Immigration Reform. Alan Greenspan, one of the key architects of the economic meltdown provided testimony at that hearing at the behest of Mr. Schumer. Here is a copy of his prepared testimony (I highlighted some of his key statements):
Greatly expanding our quotas for the highly skilled would lower wage premiums of skilled over lesser skilled. Skill shortages in America exist because we are shielding our skilled labor force from world competition. Quotas have been substituted for the wage pricing mechanism. In the process, we have created a privileged elite whose incomes are being supported at noncompetitively high levels by immigration quotas on skilled professionals. Eliminating such restrictions would reduce at least some of our income inequality.
The bottom line- if we could make American workers compete with foreign workers for their jobs, we could “reduce some of our income inequality!”
In other words, we could drive down the wages of the “privileged elite” a term he uses to describe Americans who have skills or education that Mr. Conyers complains are not available for enough Americans! Why would anyone want to bother to get an education or acquire skills if our “leaders” want to eliminate increases in wages for those who do make the effort to become educated or acquire skills?
As I noted in a previous commentary in which I delved into greater detail about what Mr. Greenspan had to say at that hearing and when he boasted in other venues about his backing of the subprime mortgages for illegal aliens which certainly helped grease the skids for our economy, when I watched the hearing online back on April 30t, 2009, I was reminded of that famous episode of the “Twilight Zone” in which a flying saucer lands on earth and the seemingly benevolent aliens offer to fly humans to their home planet. The aliens are carrying a large book that is entitled, “To Serve Man.”
Everyone, in that Twilight Zone episode, believes that these aliens are our friends until someone manages to translate enough of the volume to come to the horrific realization that it is a cookbook!
It should be apparent to all of us that those politicians who do not want our immigration laws enforced are willing to see even more of our fellow citizens standing on the unemployment line. The least we can do for those politicians is to provide them with a first hand experience of what it is like to be unemployed!
I fear that the “Average Middle Class American Family” may wind up as an exhibit in the American Museum of Natural History or another such museum in the hall of the those creatures and cultures that have “Recently Gone Extinct.”
This nightmare can be prevented!
In less than two years more than one third of the seats in the United States Senate will be up for election. In less than two years every single seat in the House of Representatives will be up for grabs! The politicians have become accustomed to expecting that the power of the incumbency is on their side. We only have ourselves to blame for this.
We the People need to take every opportunity to confront those who were elected to represent us and make it clear that if they fail to represent us, we will find someone who will!
The large scale apathy demonstrated by citizens of this nation has emboldened elected representatives to all but ignore the needs of the average American citizen in a quest for massive campaign funds and the promises of votes to be ostensibly delivered by special interest groups. There is much that we cannot do but there is one thing that We the People absolutely must do- we must stop sitting on the sidelines!
The collective failure of We the People to get involved in make our concerns known to our politicians have nearly made the concerns of the great majority of the citizens of this nation all but irrelevant to the politicians.
I implore you to get involved!
We live in a perilous world and in a perilous era. The survival of our nation and the lives of our citizens hang in the balance
This is neither a Conservative issue, nor is it a Liberal issue- simply stated, this is most certainly an AMERICAN issue!
You are either part of the solution or you are a part of the problem!
Democracy is not a spectator sport!
Lead, follow or get out of the way!