Domestic Immigration

The Gang of Eight’s Joke on America: Comprehensive Immigration Reform – Part 1

While Comprehensive Immigration Reform usually means different things to different people, Democrat crafted bills are generally nothing like the title they give them. This bill is neither comprehensive nor does it reform what is broken in our system. That is, unless government expansion, wasteful spending, inequalities, affirmative action, and government subsidies are what you had in mind for reform. This bill should go down the dustbin of history. Far from fixing the problems for existing immigrants, it creates new bureaucratic quagmires, gives hundreds of millions to radical agents, and restructures the work force to tilt hiring toward immigrants. All this, while the numbers of unemployed American citizens continue rising in this recession. It puts additional strain on the hiring practices on some business while giving others new ways to avoid Obamacare penalties.

There is something for everyone in this bill. It has something for politicians, for government, for illegals, as well as for selective businesses. It just doesn’t seem to have much for the people who will eventually have to spend trillions of dollars that go into the pockets of “special” groups. Tax payers are on the hook for the tab of this bureaucratic mess, and in exchange, the only thing we get for our trouble is sent to the back of the line.

Our government has never successfully mandated how business should profitably operate, or social engineering that provides a pathway to jobs. From reading this bill you would think they were experts on business. Instead of providing jobs for the millions of displaced workers in this country, it takes away from individual workers and leans toward unions, government contractors, and workers in the new status it creates. This new status will quickly be challenged by countless litigators wanting to show the new “separate status” smacks of similar separate but equal language which was settled decades ago. Make no mistake, this bill offers a different kind of amnesty, but it is still amnesty. Through it, our elected officials are showing us who they are and have always been; they are agents of big government, power and control, and are incapable of thinking beyond that prism of bias.

What we hoped would tackle a huge issue in this country, border security and immigrant status toward citizenship, has in the hands of the Gang of Eight, become a different subject altogether. This issue has moved from immigration to the question, “How can we get more money from the tax payers into the hands of people who agree with government officials and politicians interests?” Then of course, it goes a step beyond what is best for politicians. Another question is, “What is best for certain big business in their desire to get out of industry crippling regulations that these politicians created?”

It must be a bitter disappointment for the supporters of the Comprehensive Immigration Bill as they wake up to the fact that legislators once again cannot be trusted. Instead of writing and delivering a focused, compassionate set of policies that will transition immigrants into their adopted country, the Comprehensive Immigration Bill fails to deliver. Somewhere on the road from the borders to Washington D.C., the drivers of this plan allowed it to wander through the swamps and get completely off track. We entrusted these people, the Gang of Eight, with the responsibility of navigating a path that would help the people who came to this country for a better life, and the people who already achieved citizenship.

The fatal truth of this legislation is that it provides very little value to any citizens, neither does it give taxpayers that warm and fuzzy feeling of satisfaction. As we send in our more money to the IRS for another runaway, bureaucratic program, their broken promises are once again the signature of the government’s failures. Perhaps there could be some satisfaction if we could see a sign that the government finally found the delicate balance of bridging the disparate factions of new immigrants with the people with whom they will eventually merge.

The product of the Gang of Eight reveals little about the two factions so critical in these decisions. Once again, though, we see that monster government provisions, horrific costs, and few of the original concerns are part of the final version of this bill. It is unfortunate that significant issues for our future would rely on a bill that so irreverently deals with the costs required for new people coming to this country to live and to work. Instead, it calls into question the lawmaker’s intentions for this policy and why the immigration problems were allowed to get this bad when they were clearly getting worse daily. Why is it that the only legislation coming out of Washington these days benefits the legislators more than the people that it was meant to help? Politicians who are supporting this legislation are not working for the country. They are working for their own special interests and perhaps, future ambitions.

The hierarchy of privilege begins in the new hiring practices the bill will encourage. Under the new worker status for immigrants, the bill creates an umbrella protecting businesses that hire them, giving them a free pass to escape Obamacare. For hiring workers under the new status, employers will receive a bonus of $3,000 to $5,000 per worker, per year if they keep their quotas of employees under the fine limit. This produces an incentive for companies to hire the now illegal status employees over American citizens. If you were expecting an affirmative action plan in the immigration bill, they didn’t disappoint. Union wages for “guest workers” will drive businesses to the brink. They will be encouraged to hire the “guest workers” over Americans, forcing Americans to work for less money to do the same job.

Employees who have not paid taxes on their illegal workers won’t be required to pay back taxes they already owe. Additionally, Blue card aliens can only be fired for just cause while the American workers are usually under employment at will, which means they do not have the same protections. Americans workers would be at a disadvantage under these conditions. It would be difficult to obtain employment for the duration of the project. This would have a chilling effect for Americans in entry level and unskilled jobs throughout the country. This is especially true in agricultural jobs. This bill makes the burden of the American workers even greater. It is one thing to have a bill to create neutrality on hiring immigrants or any other groups from the workforce; it is quite another thing to incentivize hiring of one group over another in these desperate times.

E-Verify is already working in states like Arizona, so they don’t need the immigration bill in order to make some of the necessary changes there. The bill establishes that Homeland security will provide and pay for any arbitration as well as provide legal counsel for “guest workers” to arbitrate employee disputes. The Blue card workers, in effect, get a new union for their use exclusively thanks to the fees paid for 100% by the taxpayers. Amnesty in any form encourages more people to break our laws, but that may be the intent of this bill.

Unfortunately, that part, in itself, might not be so dreadful if we subtracted the numbers of citizens added to our roles from the number of foreigners legalized each year, but they are not. These workers, who tend to earn low incomes, are eligible for earned tax credits and their relatives who were ineligible for immigration status via chain immigration. The new laws make it possible for any number of people to continue to come to this country and be a net drain on our economy, now and forever. Instead of reforming our policies to attract highly skilled and educated migration, this bill prioritizes extended family chain migration for low skilled workers. I know that is what some law makers say the bill changes, but, in fact, the way they wrote the bill multiplies our existing problems.

The Dream Act would allow illegals lower rates for college and university students for in state tuition levels. While requiring citizens to pay higher fees for out of state tuition, illegals receive lower tuitions for the same education. While some say it is better to educate immigrants, our citizens don’t get the same privileges? American out of state students will have to pay higher tuition rates, or pay high loan fees for higher tuitions sometimes 2 or 3 times what illegals will pay.

Since the government took over student loans, they charge much higher interest rates than the lower loan rates before bureaucracy got involved. The government is making a profit on American students while asking those same students to help pay for the free privilege of the “guest workers”. The Border States, of course, would again be asked to shoulder the heavy weight of the financial burdens of educating them. Most Americans believed this bill would establish English as the national language and require its use in the transition toward citizenship. This bill has no such requirement, but instead, gives immigrants the right to demand that the federal government communicate with them in their own native language. How will that issue alone influence our education system and the costs of providing that assistance? Wasn’t the purpose of providing the services that will benefit the immigrants to come to a new country at least in part be assimilation into that new culture? How will education help them if the language barriers still exist?

As far as the border fence the lawmakers are touting as the end of border issues, this fence is little more than another way to create state jobs, allowing the government to spend more of our money, with a whopping price tag. For the billions lawmakers are willing to spend of taxpayer’s money, the fence doesn’t have to come into compliance for another five years. Not only would there be no restrictions until then, but most people don’t realize that Mexico has to sign off on any part of the structure as it they build it. There could be indefinite delays and interruptions. The high tech security will not be finished for years, and the sharing of information between the national security and government investigations is forbidden. Without a serious desire to change how the border should limit the flow of illegals into this country, there is little reason to spend the money on this fence.

With all the verbiage in this bill and the enormous price tag charged to taxpayers, we will still have an open border policy that caused the problems in the first place. At the risk of hyperbole, it would probably be cheaper to annex Mexico than it would be to build a staged fence with cameras and high tech equipment with patrols on all sides, and the costs to manage it with the open border policy that will guide decisions. When someone suggests that we charge those who use the border crossing and pay some of the maintenance fees through those charges, we hear cries that it would put a burden on the less fortunate who cross out of necessity. Never mind that business and tourists who use the border should be charged for its use, the tax payers will pay because that will get the larger budgets that lawmakers want. It seems that lawmaker’s job is to create the illusion of doing something to protect the citizens for their own job security. Because substantially, this bill won’t achieve the goal of high security for many years. There are no teeth in its enforcement, and the numbers of additional government workers to be hired to staff and to maintain this fence, would probably exceed the TSA, and it is unlikely that the fence would be finished in any timely manner, if at all.

End of Part One.

Flavia Eckholm
Flavia Eckholm
In the arts, people assume that artists are going to be Liberal, so there is rarely any diversity of political thought among artists, reporters, writers and musicians. If you disagree, you find out quickly that you are in the minority and if you speak up, you’d better be willing to defend your points and to wear a target on your back from that moment. I read The Fountainhead by Ayn Rand in high school, and that book effected me from that time on, and there was no going back. In college, there was a time when I tried to fit in, by trying on the freedom that other students had, but I soon realized that for me to be happy and productive, my Conservative/Libertarian ideas were going to have to be part of my creative life as a professional artist. I grew up in the Southwest, in Arizona, New Mexico and West Texas; coming from those austere places, being independent was a must for surviving. It was a good training ground for Conservative politics.

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