|Amnesty Isn’t ‘Reform’ — It’s Open Borders|
|When President Bush unveiled his “temporary foreign workers” plan, he got cheers from his carefully selected invitees in the East Room of the White House, but he’s getting jeers from everyone else from Rep. Tom Tancredo (R-CO) to Senator Ted Kennedy (D-MA). We are told the plan was originally sketched by Mexican Foreign Minister Jorge Castañeda on a napkin at a pre-9/11 dinner with Colin Powell and Condoleezza Rice.
The plan looks like it was hastily resurrected so Mexican President Vicente Fox would “make nice” to President Bush at the January Summit of the Americas in Monterrey, Mexico. But the Bush plan raises a lot more questions than it answers.
Will all 10 million illegal aliens now in the United States be entitled to get a temporary-worker card? Will the millions who don’t apply for a temporary-worker card be deported?
How many times can the temporary-worker card be renewed? Once, twice, twenty times? Since President Bush said, “It will have an end,” will the workers be deported when the card expires? Will local authorities cooperate with the Federal Government in arrest and deportation?
Bush promised “financial incentives” for “temporary workers to return permanently to their home countries after their period of work in the United States has expired.” Will this become another burden on the U.S. taxpayers?
The dictionary defines amnesty as a general pardon for offenses against the government. Illegal aliens committed crimes by entering the United States illegally and then using fraudulent documents to get a job. The Bush plan excuses them from prosecution and punishment, so amnesty is, indeed, the proper term.
President Bush claims he is “against blanket amnesty,” but it looks as if he is playing games with words and using “blanket” as a weasel word. He apparently is for amnesty for the 8 to 12 million illegals already in this country.
The Great Amnesty of 1986 was promised to be a one-time deal, but it proved to be not a deterrent but an invitation to attract more illegal aliens, so we now have four times as many illegals as we did then. There is no basis for believing that the Bush amnesty would be any different.
Will those who get temporary-worker cards also get drivers licenses? If so, what kind of I.D. will be acceptable?
Will the temporary foreign workers be entitle to bring all their relatives into the United States? Will their babies born during their temporary work be called U.S. citizens and be eligible for welfare benefits and the right to bring all their relatives into the U.S.?
Bush’s plan includes support for the State Department giveaway package called “totalization.” That is a bureaucratic code word for a plan to make illegal aliens eligible to receive Social Security benefits even though they committed fraud by using a false Social Security number, and even though they failed to pay into the system for 10 years (40 quarters) as Americans must do. Will illegal aliens who get temporary worker cards be treated better than Americans who fail to comply with SS regulations? In one version of “totalization,” the foreign workers would be given credit toward U.S. Social Security benefits for years they worked in a foreign country when they did not pay into our system at all! (See the Phyllis Schlafly Report, February 2003)
President Bush said one thing that most Americans agree with: “First, America must control its borders.” But when will our government start controlling our borders by using U.S. troops to stop the invasion of 300,000 to 400,000 illegal aliens every year?
The Zogby poll reports that 65% of Americans disagree with amnesty, 58% want to reduce immigration, 60% believe present immigration levels are a “critical threat to the vital interests of the United States,” and 68% want to deploy troops to the border to curb illegals.
Bush’s temporary workers plan may be popular with corporate donors, but it wont sell on Main Street America. The California recall should have taught the lesson that pandering to illegal aliens is a loser on election day.
The Bush tax cut did create a lot of new jobs — the problem is, those new jobs are not in the United States. CBS 60 Minutes on January 11 showed how telephone jobs — every kind of telephoning from customer-service-for-computers to dunning-for-overdue-payments — are being outsourced to India. Why? Because Indian workers can be hired at $300 to $400 a month to do the same work Americans are now paid $3,000 to $4,000 a month. Even with the costs of moving a company division overseas and training Indians to talk like Americans, this allows corporations to save 50% on the entire operation. CBS reported that 400,000 jobs have been outsourced in the past three years, mostly to India and China.
Most shocking, CBS reported that 19 state governments have outsourced some of their telephone operations. That means the tax dollars paid by the residents of those states are used to lay off American citizens and hire foreigners to replace them. Why aren’t the state legislatures in those states prohibiting this misuse of tax dollars?
Will Bush’s temporary-workers plan be just a racket to benefit employers like the H-1B visas, which were based on an alleged labor shortage that never existed and clearly is nonexistent now, but continue to bring in foreign workers to displace Americans? (See the Phyllis Schlafly Report, June 2003)
President Bush said his plan will “match willing foreign workers with willing American employers.” Will we take “willing workers” from Iraq, Iran, Libya and Cuba? Should the U.S. Government run an employment service for the world?
Should American workers be forced to compete with the billions of people in foreign countries who are “willing” to work at a small fraction of American wages?
We are told that the temporary workers will only take jobs that “Americans wont take.” There is no such thing as a job no one will take — it all depends on what wage is offered. The purpose of the temporary foreign-worker plan is to import a large supply of cheap labor. The law of supply and demand is as immutable as the law of gravity; a bigger supply of cheap labor will inevitably depress wages for all.
We are told that without all this cheap (usually illegal) foreign labor, vegetables and fruits would be unpicked, hamburgers would be unflipped, towels in hotels would go unlaundered, dishes in restaurants would go unwashed, toddlers in Manhattan would be without nannies, and travelers would be unable to hail a taxicab. Not so, says George J. Borjas, professor of economics and social policy at Harvard who has written extensively about illegal immigration. Most of the illegal aliens are concentrated in California, Texas, New York, Illinois and Florida, and all the other states in the United States have functioning farms, hotels, fast-food restaurants, and taxicabs.
Its not just minimum-wage jobs that are up for grabs by foreign temporaries. Foreigners are taking thousands of high-paid jobs, too. Thats already going on with the abuse of H-1B and L-1 visas. (See the Phyllis Schlafly Report, June 2003) Under the Bush temporary foreign-worker plan, if a corporation advertises for software engineers at a salary of $20,000 per year and no Americans apply (because current salaries are up to $100,000), will the corporation be justified in hiring “willing worker” software engineers from India?
Americans are not willing to work for the low wages that people work for in other countries. America has achieved a better standard of living and we don’t want our wages depressed to the level of the rest of the world.
But thats what globalism brings. It means open borders to allow America to be flooded with cheap labor.
The model for a guest-worker program is the German experience, which proved that guest workers are not good guests, bring in many relatives, and create a new subordinate caste of unassimilated foreign workers. This is not the social structure we want in America. We don’t want to be a nation of a few very rich while the many are permanently stuck at the bottom of the economic ladder, unable to rise into the middle class.
The concept of creating a class of temporary foreign workers is fundamentally immoral, anti-immigrant, and un-American. Giving people who violated our laws preferences over those who obey our laws is only one bad aspect. Most of the temporaries will never become U.S. citizens and rise the economic ladder to become part of the middle class like immigrants of previous generations. Instead, the temporaries will remain a permanent subordinate class of people doing menial work whose very presence will depress the wages of all Americans.
Ridges words were a shocking attack on current law: “We have to come to grips with the presence of 8 to 12 million illegals, afford them some kind of legal status some way.” He pointedly did not say we have to come to grips with 8 to 12 million persons who have violated our laws by entering our country illegally, and further violated our laws by using fraudulent documents to get a job and remain here.
Nor did he say we have to come to grips with the thousands of employers who are violating our laws by hiring illegal aliens, and violating additional laws by paying the illegals in the underground economy in order to avoid our laws about minimum wage, overtime, workers compensation, unemployment compensation, family leave, Americans with disabilities, OSHA compliance, payroll taxes.
Ridge didn’t elaborate on how “we” should award “some kind of legal status,” nor explain how giving legal status is any different from granting amnesty. Continuing, Ridge said his plan is to “legalize their presence, then, as a country, you make a decision that from this day forward, this is the process of entry, and if you violate that process of entry we have the resources to cope with it.”
But we’ve “been there, done that”: in 1986 the United States granted what was promised to be a one-time-only legalization (then honestly called amnesty). That sent a message to others to enter illegally and wait for the next amnesty. The Bush I, Clinton, and Bush II Administrations flagrantly failed to use our resources “to cope with” those who afterwards violated the “process of entry.” And so the illegal-alien problem quadrupled.
Thousands of these aliens have died from thirst and dehydration in the desert or in locked vans, or from drowning, or from crimes committed by their smugglers. The Bush’s Administrations failure to close the border makes the pay-off of getting into the U.S. worth the risk of death.
Not only did the 1986 amnesty transform millions of illegal aliens into Lawful Permanent Residents, but after they became U.S. citizens they could import their relatives. Congress never investigated how many additional millions entered the United States or the massive document fraud that was involved in the whole process, so the American people will never know the full costs of that amnesty.
White House spokeswoman Claire Buchan said, “Migration should be safe, orderly and humane.” But Congress and the American people never authorized “migration.” We only authorized immigration under certain laws.
Amnesty for illegal aliens now comes disguised under various euphemisms. These include temporary-worker program, guest-worker program, migration, Mexican I.D. cards (matricula consular), the DREAM Act (to give in-state college tuition to illegal aliens), drivers licenses to illegal aliens, 245(i) visas, H-1B and L-1 visas, free hospital care, anchor babies, and “totalization” (to give Social Security benefits).
Ridge says that illegal aliens in the United States should be given “some kind of legal status” because most are not a threat to national security. Thats an irrelevancy. Most passengers who boarded those four fatal planes on 9/11 were not hijackers, but 19 of them were, and Ridge has no plan to separate the terrorists from the 300,000 to 400,000 who cross our borders illegally every year.
Asa Hutchinson, Homeland Security’s undersecretary for border and transportation security, says the Bush and Ridge remarks simply reflect the ongoing debate in Congress over the immigration issue. If thats so, then its time for Members of Congress to hear loud and clear from the two-thirds of Americans who believe that foreigners residing illegally in the United States should not be allowed to stay.
President Bush signed the Declaration of Quebec City on April 22, 2001, making a commitment to globalist goals for the Western Hemisphere. These proclaimed goals include “hemispheric integration,” “greater economic integration,” “interdependence,” and “national and collective responsibility” for the Western Hemisphere. The purpose is to expand NAFTA (North American Free Trade Agreement) into the hemisphere-wide Free Trade Area of the Americas (FTAA).
Before we hear any talk of open borders for the Western Hemisphere, Americans should realize the enormous disparity between the United States and other Western Hemisphere countries. U.S. per capita income is eight times the Latin American average. The United States produces six times the goods and services of all 20 Latin American nations combined, and 20 times the goods and services of Brazil alone.
Expanding NAFTA to all of Latin America would only exacerbate these trends because of the enormous gulf between living standards. Free trade is based on the theory that economic differences and resources are exploited until there is equality, and since cheap labor is the chief resource of other countries in the FTAA, the result must be to reduce American wages.
Economic disparity is only one measure. The differences are just as immense in government and police corruption, and in respect for property rights, contracts, and copyright and patent protections.
NAFTA, which is now celebrating its tenth anniversary, is not a fortuitous model for FTAA. When the first President Bush and candidate Bill Clinton were persuaded to support NAFTA, Mexican President Carlos Salinas promised that all three big North American countries would benefit, that NAFTA would open up a large market in Mexico for U.S. products, and that increased wages in Mexico would keep Mexicans at home and stop the tide of illegal migration.
Instead, the United States exported jobs rather than products, and the U.S. trade balance with Mexico changed dramatically from surplus to deficit. Real wages in Mexico are lower than before NAFTA, and the influx of illegal aliens and illegal drugs has grown into a mighty invasion.
Bush had imposed steel tariffs 20 months earlier (with the promise they would last three years). The WTO ruled that our steel tariffs were illegal, and authorized European and Asian nations to impose $2.2 billion in retaliatory tariffs against the United States. Our so-called friends in Europe figured out how to apply the maximum hurtful pressure on President Bush, and announced they would concentrate the $2.2 billion in sanctions against products made in states Bush needs to win in 2004. The New York Times rejoiced in the “raw political fact” that the WTO is now dictating our trade rules.
How did America get in the fix whereby the greatest economic power in the world was forced to obey the rulings of foreign bureaucrats headquartered in Geneva? The U.S. Constitution grants Congress the power “to regulate commerce with foreign nations” and “to lay and collect taxes, duties, imposts and excises.”
It happened in 1994 when the 14-page charter for the World Trade Organization (WTO) was surreptitiously added to the 22,000-page GATT agreement (General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade) and scheduled for a vote on October 5. After receiving thousands of phone calls against GATT/WTO, President Clinton, Speaker Tom Foley and House Republican leader Newt Gingrich cooked up an insider deal to reschedule the vote in a lame-duck session after the November election, when defeated and retiring Members would be looking for jobs with the big corporations expected to benefit.
The vote on GATT/WTO bypassed our Constitutions requirement that treaties must get a two-thirds vote in the Senate to be valid. GATT/WTO was passed only by a simple majority in both Houses under Fast Track, a process that severely restricted debate and amendment.
Previous GATT agreements had been contractual relationships between sovereign nations, in which all members had to agree to any tariff changes or penalties. The 1994 GATT/WTO agreement locked us into a sort of Global Supreme Court of Trade empowered to make unappealable rulings, monitor national responses, compel enforcement of its decisions, impose sanctions and fines, and authorize retaliation against disobedient nations.
WTO’s dispute panels are composed of foreign “trade experts” who are not screened for conflicts of interest, and whose motive is to force American workers to compete with low-wage socialist countries that lack safety, environmental or workplace regulations and benefits. WTO’s panels hold hearings and announce rulings in secret, and force compliance by authorizing punishment.
WTO and NAFTA didn’t give us merely a reduction of tariffs; they gave us global governance. WTO panels in Geneva are now making trade decisions that can influence U.S. elections, and NAFTA panels are ordering us to admit Mexican trucks that don’t comply with the regulations U.S. trucks must obey.
Free trade in the great common market we enjoy in the United States is a wonderful idea. But the global free trade promoted by WTO, GATT, NAFTA, and FTAA is a Pied Piper that leads to global government and the global equalization of wages. And that translates into a loss of American sovereignty and a dramatic reduction in the American standard of living.