|Guest Workers Aren’t Cheap; They’re Expensive
|President Bush entered the White House in 2001 hoping he would be known in history books as the education president who improved public school standards with “No child left behind.” It now looks like his legacy will really be “No illegal alien left behind.”
As President Bush’s poll numbers drop even among his base, the question most frequently asked by angry Republicans is, why, oh why, is Bush so stubbornly rejecting the advice of his supporters even though that advice is consistent with the thunderous message from public opinion surveys? The reliable Rasmussen survey, for example, reports that by a 63% to 19% margin, voters want legislation that controls the borders before trying to change the status of illegal aliens.
Bush’s dogmatic statement that we can’t stop aliens from illegally entering our country unless legislation is packaged “together” with a guest-worker program is a non sequitur, nonsense, and untrue. So what’s the explanation?
Grassroots Republicans are speculating about reasons for Bush’s behavior:
Adopting a guest-worker program would turn the United States into a boarding house for the world’s poor, enable employers to import an unlimited number of “willing workers” at low wage-levels, and wipe out what’s left of the American middle class. Bush lives in a White House well protected by a fence and security guards (and he associates with rich people who live in gated communities). Yet for five years he has refused to protect the property and children of ordinary Arizona citizens from trespassers and criminals.
Much media attention has been paid to Bush’s proposal to legalize the estimated 10 to 20 million illegals currently in the United States. Despite his denial of the “A” word, friends and foes alike recognize his plan as amnesty.
However, amnesty for 10 to 20 million is almost a drop in the bucket compared to the mammoth legalization of foreigners hiding under the deceitful words “temporary” and “guest-worker.” Those words are lies because the newly imported workers will not be temporary and will not be guests. We are indebted to the Heritage Foundation for its stunning report proving that the Kennedy-McCain bill passed by the Senate is a stealth open borders bill that will import 66 million people into our country permanently and put them on the path to citizenship.
In the words of the author of the Heritage report, Robert Rector, this is “the most monumental bill ever considered” and its mindboggling costs would be the largest-ever expansion of taxpayer-paid social benefits. American citizens will be forced to pay staggering entitlement costs.
The Senate bill would make 25% of our population foreign born within 20 years (most of them high school dropouts), and the United States as we know it would no longer exist. It is impossible in so short a time to assimilate 66 million people whose native culture does not respect the Rule of Law, self-government, private property, or the sanctity of contracts, and where they are accustomed to an economy based on bribery and controlled by corrupt police and a small, rich ruling class that keeps most of the people in dire poverty.
The Senate bill grants amnesty (a.k.a. legalization or earned citizenship) to the 12 to 20 million illegal aliens currently living in the United States, who will then become recipients of our generous entitlements. The cost to the taxpayers of this monumental expansion of the welfare state will be at least $50 billion a year. U.S. taxpayers will be saddled with paying for the entitlements of these low-income families, including Medicaid, Social Security (with credit for FICA taxes paid under false numbers), Supplemental Security Income, Earned Income Tax Credit (cash handouts of up to $4,400 a year to low-wage households), the WIC program, food stamps, public and subsidized housing, Temporary Assistance to Needy Families, and federally funded legal representation. The costs of public schooling and school lunches are in addition to this estimate.
The even more costly and more dishonest part of the Senate bill is its “temporary guest worker” plan. Those words are lies because the workers will not be temporary and will not be guests. The fine print describes how the so-called temporary guest workers, who will be given new H-2C visas, will convert to legal permanent residents with the right to become U.S. citizens after five years.
The plan will start by importing 200,000 H-2C workers in the first year. The H-2Cers can immediately bring in their family members on H-4 visas, without any numeric limits and without being required to have a physical, and they will also get permanent legal residence and citizenship.
The Heritage Foundation estimates that this Senate bill will import into our country permanently and put on the path to citizenship at least 66 million foreigners over the next 20 years. The number will accelerate as the racket called family chain migration allows more new residents to bring in more and more relatives. Every category of legal immigration will be at least quadrupled.
The demographics of the temporary guest workers would be similar to those of the illegal aliens already working in our country. Over half are high school dropouts, they work low-paid jobs that require little or no income tax to be paid, they are 50% more likely to receive tax-paid benefits than natural born households, and they have a 42% rate of out-of-wedlock births (all of whom, of course, will be granted automatic U.S. citizenship).
The bill gives the so-called temporary guest workers preferential rights that American citizens do not have. The temporaries can’t be fired from their jobs except for cause, they must be paid the prevailing wage, and they can’t be arrested for other civil offenses if they are stopped for traffic violations.
The bill assures the illegals they can have the preference of in-state college tuition (something that is denied to U.S. citizens in 49 other states), plus certain types of college financial assistance. As minorities, they may even get affirmative action preferences in jobs, government contracts, and college admissions.
After the so-called temporary guest workers and their spouses become citizens, they can bring in their parents as permanent residents on the path to citizenship. Although the parents have never paid into Social Security, they will be eligible for Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefits. Siblings and adult children and their families will be given preference in future admissions.
The push is on from the White House to get Senate and House conferees to compromise the Senate Kennedy-McCain bill with the House Sensenbrenner border security bill in order to produce “comprehensive” immigration “reform.” There is no way to compromise with Ted Kennedy’s bill because, in the words of the old adage, you can’t make a silk purse out of sow’s ear. Any Republican who agrees with any part of the dishonest “temporary guest worker” plan deserves defeat. The American people want border security first.
President Bush told the U.S. Chamber of Commerce that he wants to “shape the future.” The Senate bill he endorses would, within 20 years, make 25% of our population foreign born (most of them non-English-speaking high school dropouts), and that would surely change the United States. The “temporary guest workers” would give America a future like France, which is staggering under multicultural guest workers and bloated tax-paid welfare entitlements. Maybe that’s what Bush wants, but Pew Research reports that only 17% of Americans support increased immigration.
Senator Jeff Sessions (R-AL), who faces reality on this issue, says the 614-page Senate bill is “breathtakingly unsatisfactory.” Congress should reject the artificially concocted Kennedy-McCain “bipartisanship” and go with the 58% of Republican Senators who voted No on the Kennedy-McCain bill and the 88% of Republican House Members who voted Yes on the Sensenbrenner bill.
Whatever Happened to Mike Pence?
The Pence plan tries to avoid the amnesty label by requiring illegal aliens now in the U.S. to make what he calls “a quick trip across the border” to Mexico or Canada to pick up a new W visa. A foreigner could get a W visa only if a U.S. employer certifies that a job awaits him. Pence told Time Magazine his bill “will require the 12 million illegal aliens to leave.” We’ll believe that only if we see it.
Pence’s plan calls for setting up privately financed offices anywhere outside the U.S., with the cutesy title Ellis Island Centers, to hand out the new W visas, which he claims would be more efficient than government bureaucracy. Business would, indeed, be more efficient than government in importing more foreign workers. Having private employment agencies distribute the W visas would put the fox in charge of the chicken coop. Private industry has a built-in incentive to import as much cheap labor as possible.
Pence says that the Ellis Island Centers will be able to match workers with jobs, perform health screening, fingerprinting, and convey information to the FBI and Homeland Security for a background check in “a matter of one week, or less.” We’ll have to see that to believe it.
Pence revealed the amazing open-ended part of his plan in his Wall Street Journal article: “My immigration reform plan does not favor illegal immigrants. Anyone may apply for a guest-worker visa at the new Ellis Island Centers; indeed, the plan may actually work to the advantage of applicants who have never violated our immigration laws, since guest-worker visas will be issued only outside the U.S.”
Anyone may apply? From anywhere in the world? And without any limits? Pence wrote, “There will initially be no cap on the number of visas that can be issued.” The Pew Hispanic Center surveyed 120 locations in Mexico and concluded that 49 million Mexicans want to live in the United States if they get the opportunity.
Private industry will be happy to set up Ellis Island Centers in India, Pakistan and China to completely bypass any limit on H-1B visas and bring in an unlimited number of lower-paid engineers and computer techies to replace Americans. Private industry will be only too happy to set up Ellis Island Centers in the Philippines and bring in an unlimited number of lower-paid nurses to decimate the U.S. nursing profession.
The Pence promise that employers would have to offer jobs to Americans first is a sick joke. American engineers and computer techies who lost their jobs to foreigners under the H-1B visa guest-worker racket know that a look-for-Americans-first rule is never enforced and easily evaded.
What about the millions of illegal aliens in the U.S. today who do not have an employer willing to go on record as guaranteeing a job for a foreigner? These would include the relatives of jobholders, the day laborers, and the millions of illegal aliens working in the U.S. underground cash economy (an estimated 40% of the total). Pence’s bill is silent on this and his staff shuffles off responsibility by saying that the free market will provide the answers.
What about the hundreds of thousands of illegal aliens who are not Mexicans? Illegal aliens would not have to return to their home country, but only go to an Ellis Island Center anywhere outside the U.S. to pick up their papers. Will Mexico and Canada put out the welcome mat for a mass exodus of illegal aliens from the U.S.?
The Pence plan provides that the guest workers, after living here legally for six years under the protection of a W visa, can choose whether to apply for citizenship or to return home. What if the aliens don’t choose either option but just remain? If guest workers don’t apply for citizenship, will Pence hire buses to deport them after they have raised a family and established roots? Six years is ample time to have a U.S.-born anchor baby, or two or three, and start family chain migration.
If Pence’s “guest worker” plan actually worked, and the guests voluntarily go home after six years, it would mean instituting a system that is immoral and un-American. Inviting foreigners to come to America to do jobs that Americans think they are too good to do creates a subordinate underclass of unassimilated foreign workers, like the serf or peasant classes that exist in corrupt foreign countries such as Mexico.
That’s not the kind of economy that made America a great nation. As Theodore Roosevelt warned: “Never under any condition should this nation look at an immigrant as primarily a labor unit.”
Pence and others who promote “guest worker” plans have a favorite mantra: “Let the free market solve our economic problems.” Americans should realize that a global free market, or a Western Hemisphere free market, or even a North American Union free market, means forcing American workers to compete with people who work for 50 cents an hour.
Letting the free market decide our future also requires loss of sovereignty to some kind of multinational government, as the European Union found out. Is the real push behind guest-worker proposals the Bush goal to lock us into the Security and Prosperity Partnership of North America, which he signed at Waco in March 2005 and reaffirmed at Cancun in May 2006?
Bush’s Speech Is Not Credible
These problems include the pitiful numbers of our Border Patrol, the millions of illegals smuggled into our country across the desert or in crowded 18-wheelers, the dangerous policy called catch-and-release of OTMs (Other than Mexicans) which he now piously labels “not acceptable,” employers permitted to hire illegal aliens with forged documents, and unconscionable burdens imposed on American taxpayers to pay the illegal aliens’ costs of schools, hospitals, social benefits, and crime.
Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger encapsuled the public’s reaction to Bush’s televised speech: “I have not heard the president say that our objective is to secure the borders no matter what it takes. That’s what I want to hear.” For five years, Bush and the Republican Party Establishment have treated U.S. citizens who demanded action with stony, indeed, arrogant disdain. So why should we believe Bush now when he suddenly pretends to discover what we have been telling him for five years?
The President’s speech repeatedly demanded a “comprehensive” immigration bill. He made clear that “comprehensive” means legalization and the path to citizenship for the 12 to 20 million illegals now in this country, plus allowing employers to import millions of “willing foreign workers” whom he deceptively describes as “temporary.” The American people are smart enough to know that the former is amnesty, and the latter is a fiction. There is no such thing as “temporary” guest workers; history proves they never go home.
We currently have 37,000 troops guarding the 151-mile border between North and South Korea, but we have fewer than 12,000 agents to monitor 2,000 miles of our southern border. Bush seems to think that we will be comforted by 6,000 National Guardsmen sent to the southern border for one year — not to guard the border, but merely to “assist” our Border Patrol. This has the ring of a political photo op. A month after his speech, only 100 Guardsmen had reached the border.
The American people have been taken down this same path before. In 1986, Congress passed comprehensive immigration reform called the Simpson-Mazzoli Act: amnesty for three million plus promises of border security and sanctions on employers who hired illegal aliens. It didn’t happen. If we couldn’t trust President Reagan to see that the law was faithfully executed, we surely are not going to trust Bush’s promises. Fool me once, shame on you; fool me twice, shame on me. All proposals except the House Sensenbrenner bill simply repeat the Simpson-Mazzoli mistakes.
Bush bragged in his speech that “we have apprehended and sent home about six million people entering America illegally,” but he didn’t say how many of those six million were repeats. Maybe a truthful figure would be one million people deported six times, while the number of illegal aliens in the United States increased by five million after Bush became President.
The illegal alien who drove 100 miles an hour on Interstate 485 on the wrong side of the highway, killing a University of North Carolina coed in November 2005, had been returned to Mexico 17 times. Did Bush count him 17 times in his six million figure?
Bush’s choice of verbs shows that his promises of border barriers, technology and more agents are nothing but pie in the sky. All the good stuff that he proposed was prefaced by the words “we will”; he never said “we are” doing these things. Bush said, “To secure the border effectively we must reduce the numbers of people trying to sneak across.” That’s impossible. The Pew Hispanic Center reports that 46% of the population of Mexico would like to live in the United States, and 20% would come illegally if they could.
Bush said that “businesses often cannot verify the legal status of their employees.” On the contrary, the technology is already in place for employers to verify the legality of Social Security numbers, but only a tiny percentage of employers voluntarily do this, and Bush didn’t say anything about making this practice mandatory.
Bush wants to give U.S. jobs to foreigners so they can rise “from a life of low-paying jobs to a diploma, a career, and a home of their own.” He shows no compassion for the millions of American high school dropouts who need entry-level jobs so they can start building a life.
Bush was correct when he said this is the “time of decision.” Republicans who want to be elected this November should pass the Sensenbrenner House border-security-only bill (H.R. 4437) without any Bush-Kennedy-McCain plans to import more foreigners to take jobs from Americans.