Immigration Reform Gutted
Here we go again!
Another classic example of how the wishes of the majority are thwarted in the halls of Congress by business lobbies with their back-room deals.
Business wants wide-open immigration and lower wage rates. They object to any legislation that will allow business to query an electronic database to check on an immigrant's credentials.
Last week I posted and article by Professor Borjas of Harvard arguing that immigrants (legal and illegal) collect 33% more welfare than the native born.
"During the mid-1980s, the probability that an immigrant household received some type of assistance was 17.7 per cent v. 14.6 per cent for natives, a gap of 3.1 percentage points. By the early 1990s, recipient immigrant households had risen to 20.7 per cent, v. 14.1 per cent for natives. The immigrant-native "welfare gap," therefore, more than doubled in less than a decade.
"Thus immigrants are not only more likely to have some exposure to the welfare system; they are also more likely to be "permanent" recipients. And the trend is getting worse. Unless eligibility requirements are made much more stringent, much of the welfare use that we see now in the immigrant population may remain with us for some time. This raises troubling questions about the impact of this long-term dependency on the immigrants-and on their U.S.-born children."
So what we have are business groups lobbying for a little extra profit, while the taxpayer gets stuck with the welfare tab.
The problem is that illegal immigration is a negative sum game. The profits of businesses hiring immigrants (willing to work) are less than the costs to the taxpayer.
It would be cheaper for us to close the border and pay each of the business owners joining in the lobbing effort $200,000 per year just to leave us alone!
The same is true with profits from "white flight" in parts of California. In Orange County, high density development has produced a highway infrastructure deficit of $27 billion. That is just the cost of new roads to bring traffic to acceptable levels. It does not include the costs to the great herds of middle-class working sheep of having to spend an extra hour or so a day commuting to work.
Once again, it would have been cheaper to pay the developers a few hundred thousand each in direct subsidies (ie. bribe them to leave us alone) rather than to accede (as local government invariably does) to their requests for variances from planned density levels to much higher and more profitable densities (with its tripwires for rapid neighborhood decline).
The middle class taxpayer simply is not represented when these kinds of issues are decided in the back-rooms.
One Republican sponsor in the House had an interesting reaction:
"Business is losing by winning," said Rep. EIton Gallegly (R-Simi Valley), a strong proponent of worker verification. "What has happened is that there is a tremendous amount of misinformation out there among business people."
"Under current law, Gallegly argues, business owners cannot determine whether they are hiring illegal immigrants because of authentic-looking fraudulent documents. It is in their interest, he said, to rely on a better system to check new hires."
Gallegly misses the point (as most Republicans do). The point is that business _wants_ illegal immigration and low wage rates. They oppose electronic verification because it is cheap and effective and will end the profitable game of hiring illegals.
Our problem is that Republicans are always assuming "good faith" and "good intentions" even where evidence of its absence is overwhelming.
The Democrats, of course, represent our minority attackers.
As you can see from the excerpt below, immigration reform has been gutted.
And of course, the entire legislative course that has allowed immigration on such a vast scale has been illegal, anti- democratic, and illegitimate. We reserve the right to reverse its effects at any time.
Until the middle class demands real representation in the political process, our interests will never be protected.
To most business lobbyists, a few thousand in profits is more important than the survival of Western Civilization.
Mar. 14, 1996 Los Angeles Times p A4 Panel Rejects Bigger Illegal Hiring Fines
By MARC LACEY TIMES STAFF WRITER
WASHINGTON-Business interests won a key concession on immigration reform Wednesday as the Senate Judiciary Committee rejected an effort to significantly raise fines for employers who knowingly hire illegal immigrants.
The panel's vote to strike the stiffer penalties from the Senate's immigration bill adds to a string of legislative victories for business that critics say are taking some of the teeth out of immigration reform.
"I don't think we have to fine them in an exorbitant way," said Judiciary Committee Chairman Orrin G. Hatch (R-Utah), an opponent of any employer sanctions at all. "What happens is that small business gets slapped and they just turn away people with foreign-sounding names and appearances."
The fines would have more than doubled from current levels, which now range from $250 to $10,000 for each illegal immigrant hired.
Since the 1986 immigration law made it illegal for employers to hire undocumented workers, businesses have complained that they are effectively being turned into federal agents because of the government's inability to enforce the law.
Using their lobbying clout, business groups have joined forces with an odd mix of allies, from the Christian Coalition to the National Council of La Raza, in opposing various aspects of immigration reform. In fine-tuning its bill for a vote by the full Senate next month, the Judiciary Committee Wednesday also struck provisions from the bill that would have allowed the federal government to seize the property of employers who violate immigration law.
Another section that did not survive would have sent employer fines directly to the Immigration and Naturalization Service budget, creating a sort of "bounty" for each violator the agency caught.
Last week, in another business victory, Sen. Alan K. Simpson (R-Wyo.), the bill's sponsor, agreed to drop reductions in the number of foreign workers allowed into the country, a key sticking point with business.
Both the House and Senate have bowed to widespread opposition to a worker-verification program that would force employers to tap into a government database to check on the immigration status of prospective workers.
The last-minute changes, especially the toned-down worker-verification measures, infuriate those pushing for the toughest crackdown possible.
Business is losing by winning," said Rep. EIton Gallegly (R-Simi Valley), a strong proponent of worker verification. "What has happened is that there is a tremendous amount of misinformation out there among business people."
Under current law, Gallegly argues, business owners cannot determine whether they are hiring illegal immigrants because of authentic-looking fraudulent documents. It is in their interest, he said, to rely on a better system to check new hires.
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