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Saturday, March 30, 2013

American labor takes an 'amnesty' hit

Analysts say newcomers drive down wages, working conditions

byJohn Bennett

Senate Republicans in the “Gang of Eight” have rejected straightforward language, suggested by labor advocates as part of an amnesty proposal, that would have had visas issued “only when the employment of foreign workers will not adversely affect the wages and working conditions of similarly situated workers in the United States.”
The visas at issue largely concern low-skilled workers, and some scholars say rejecting the idea amounts to a betrayal of American working people.
Professor Vernon Briggs, a Cornell labor economist, tells WND that “[a]mnesty for illegal immigrants sanctions the overt violation all of the nation’s worker protection laws.”
Briggs, who focuses on the economic impact of immigration, argues that, “[t]he toleration of illegal immigration undermines all of our labor. It rips at the social fabric. It’s a race to the bottom.”
This downward pressure on wages operates in tandem with an upward pressure on social services and welfare spending, critics complain.
“Assimilating into the welfare system,” according to Harvard economist George Borjas, is too often the trend.
Borjas’ book “Heaven’s Door” pointed out that during the late 1990s, the U.S. took in over one million immigrants annually.
This inflow was most harmful to low-wage workers, Borjas argues.
Now, more Americans are treading water in the very part of the job market that is most vulnerable to immigration. Given the current economic downturn, people with advanced degrees are searching out low-skilled, low-wage jobs. Increasing competition with low-skilled immigrants would further crowd the narrow avenues of subsistence.
Back in 1986 it was ‘unrealistic’ to round up and deport the three million illegal immigrants in the United States then. So they were given amnesty – honestly labeled, back then – which is precisely why there are now 12 million illegal immigrants.
So said Thomas Sowell in 2007, when an amnesty proposal was rejected. In 2007, conservatives and many Republicans recognized that amnesties were simply going to continue until they were stopped.
NumbersUSA, a think tank that supports sustainable levels of legal immigration, notes seven amnesties in recent history:
  1. Immigration and Reform Control Act (IRCA), 1986: A blanket amnesty for some 2.7 million illegal aliens
  2. Section 245(i) Amnesty, 1994: A temporary rolling amnesty for 578,000 illegal aliens
  3. Section 245(i) Extension Amnesty, 1997: An extension of the rolling amnesty created in 1994
  4. Nicaraguan Adjustment and Central American Relief Act (NACARA) Amnesty, 1997: An amnesty for close to one million illegal aliens from Central America
  5. Haitian Refugee Immigration Fairness Act Amnesty (HRIFA), 1998: An amnesty for 125,000 illegal aliens from Haiti
  6. Late Amnesty, 2000: An amnesty for some illegal aliens who claim they should have been amnestied under the 1986 IRCA amnesty, an estimated 400,000 illegal aliens
  7. LIFE Act Amnesty, 2000: A reinstatement of the rolling Section 245(i) amnesty, an estimated 900,000 illegal aliens
Immigration policies are often not as advertised, too.
The president pledged that the Affordable Care Act would not cover undocumented aliens.
However, if those undocumented aliens are given amnesty, they could easily receive Obamacare, along with Medicaid and a range of other social services.
The resulting strain on social services would not be unique to America; Western European nations have faced similar challenges. The Economist recently reported that, “[i]n Sweden only 51 percent of non-Europeans have a job, compared with over 84 percent of native Swedes.”
Worse yet, “mass immigration is creating a class of people who are permanently dependent on the state.”
Douglas Murray, a prominent British conservative intellectual, notes that large-scale immigration “spells the end of our unified national way of life.” He also pointed to the anti-white racial intolerance that has arisen in the immigration debate:
[T]he vindictiveness with which the concerns of white British people, and the white working and middle class in particular, have been met by politicians and pundits alike is a phenomenon in need of serious and swift attention.
Immigration and multiculturalism have been discussed in Western European nations in a more open manner than that seen in the U.S., thus far. A number of well-respected national leaders, who are moderate-to-liberal by American standards, recently claimed that multiculturalism has failed in their countries.
Germany’s Chancellor Angela Merkel, former French President Nicolas Sarkozy, British Prime Minister David Cameron, Australia’s former prime minister John Howard, and former Spanish prime minister Jose Maria Aznar have all openly stated that multiculturalism has “failed” in their nations.
The observations of scholars and a multitude of Western leaders suggest that strict immigration policy could be needed just for economies and culture to survive.
The “Gang of Eight” Republicans made their decision during negotiations held last Friday in a closed door session.
The “Gang” is bipartisan group of four Republican and four Democratic senators who each support amnesty. The plan they produce will be voted upon by the rest of Congress.
Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., said during an election debate in 2010 that he would never support a pathway to citizenship, a position he has since abandoned. Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., wants to provide illegal immigrants with benefits. Sen. Lindsey Graham, R- S.C., recently claimed, “It’s important for our country to solve illegal immigration once and for all“; a statement without any apparent meaning, given that there have been at least seven amnesties passed by Congress since 1986. Sen. Jeff Flake, R-Ariz., is a long-time amnesty supporter, who co-sponsored five amnesties as a congressman.
The Democrats on the Gang of Eight are more assertive amnesty supporters: Sen. Robert Menendez, D-N.J.; Sen. Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y.; Sen. Michael Bennet, D-Colo., and Sen. Richard Durbin, D-Ill.


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