June 2007

Post lifted from Doug Ross. It was too good to leave anything out so I have lifted it whole. My apologies to Doug

While there’s good news on the illegal immigration front today — the shamnesty bill just went down in flames — more battles remain. Consider if you will, Hillary Clinton’s various attempts to sponsor amnesty and guest-worker programs (source: Numbers USA).

Sen. Clinton is a cosponsor of S. 2075, the DREAM Act of 2005: Need a reward for sneaking into the country and then evading the police for five years? Well, how does amnesty and in-state tuition sound? If my kids sneak out of the country and then back in, can they get the in-state tuition deal?

S. 2075 would grant in-state tuition and amnesty to illegal aliens under the age of 21 who had been physically present in the country for five years and are in 7th grade or above. Such a reward for illegal immigration serves as an incentive for more illegal immigration.

Sen. Clinton is a cosponsor of S. 2109, the National Innovation Act of 2005: Need to import cheap high-tech workers? Then have I get a law for you! Unfortunately for American workers, it’s a raw deal. Furthermore, it’s easy to prove that this program (H-1B) is being abused. Law firms like Cohen and Grigsby are openly counseling employers how to game the legal system to avoid hiring “qualified and interested U.S. worker[s].”

S. 2109 would continue the H-1B program that every year imports additional high-tech workers as part of “comprehensive immigration reform.” The H-1B program has been shown to harm American workers by depressing wages and displacing workers. As well, S. 2109 suggests that comprehensive reform must include provisions to “eliminate delays in processing immigration proceedings, including employment-based visa applications.” This provision would do nothing but encourage the rubberstamping of applications, which is already happening because of the existing “backlog elimination” program and would promote and encourage fraud and corruption.

Sen. Clinton is a of S. 340, the Agricultural Job Opportunities, Benefits, and Security Act of 2007: Running a farm and need, cheap — but legal — unskilled labor? Well, Hillary’s got your back!

S. 340 is an amnesty for agricultural workers. Of the 1.2 million illegal aliens currently working in agriculture, an estimated 860,000 plus their spouses and children could qualify for this amnesty, so the total could reach three million or more. The potential recipients of the amnesty will be required to prove at least 863 hours or 150 work days of agricultural employment in two preceeding years. S. 340 would, subsequently, allow these “blue card” illegal aliens to apply for legal residency (i.e., amnesty), provided they demonstrate that they have worked in agriculture here: (1) 100 work days per year each of the first five years following enactment; (2) 150 work days per year each of the first three years following enactment; or (3) over the course of the first four years after enactment, 150 work days per year for three of those years and 100 work days for the other. The AgJOBS amnesty has also been introduced as S. 237. Read an analysis of the AgJOBS amnesty.

Sen. Clinton is a cosponsor of S. 237, the Agricultural Job Opportunities, Benefits, and Security Act of 2007: Need cheap, legal indentured servants? Hillary can do!

S. 237 is an amnesty for agricultural workers. Of the 1.2 million illegal aliens currently working in agriculture, an estimated 860,000 plus their spouses and children could qualify for this amnesty, so the total could reach three million or more. The potential recipients of the amnesty will be required to prove at least 863 hours or 150 work days of agricultural employment in two preceeding years.S. 237 would, subsequently, allow these “blue card” illegal aliens to apply for legal residency (i.e., amnesty), provided they demonstrate that they have worked in agriculture here: (1) 100 work days per year each of the first five years following enactment; (2) 150 work days per year each of the first three years following enactment; or (3) over the course of the first four years after enactment, 150 work days per year for three of those years and 100 work days for the other. Read an analysis of the AgJOBS amnesty.

Sen. Clinton was a cosponsor of S. 2381, the Safe, Orderly, Legal Visas and Enforcement Act of 2004: or, more properly, the Unsafe, Disorderly, Illegal Unenforcement Act of 2004.

Introduced by Sen. Edward Kennedy (D-MA), S. 2381 included an amnesty that would have granted Legal Permanent Resident status to certain illegal aliens (and their spouses and minor children) who have lived in the U.S. for at least 5 years and worked for an aggregate of 2 years. Virtually all of the 10.3 million illegal aliens estimated to have been living in the U.S. in March 2004 could have qualified for this amnesty, along with their spouses and children. As well, S. 2381 would have significantly increased overall immigration numbers by increasing the number of family visas and exempting from the family-based visa ceiling all immediate relatives. See analysis of S. 2381 provisions.

Sen. Clinton cosponsored S. 2444, the Kennedy INS restructuring bill: if you’re looking for a way to add hundreds of thousands of illegal immigrants in short order, S. 2444 hits the mark!

This legislation contained both structural and policy problems that would encourage illegal immigration and potentially increase legal immigration. The most far reaching provision proposed in S. 2444 was the change in the definition of immigration law. S. 2444 would have redefined immigration law to include not only the Immigration and Nationality Act but also Executive Orders and international agreements. In so doing, the bill would have opened up massive possibilities for increased legal and illegal immigration. For example, the President could have agreed to amnesty all illegal aliens in a trade agreement or in an Executive Order. The President also could have created new categories of legal immigrants, increase refugee numbers, triple H-1B visas, etc. In addition, S. 2444 would have facilitated asylum fraud and add thousands of illegal aliens to the population each year by greatly reducing the detention of asylum applicants while their cases are pending, allowing them to disappear into the public. While the numeric impact of the Kennedy restructuring bill is almost impossible to determine, the policy changes outlined in S. 2444 would certainly have increased illegal immigration and very likely increased legal immigration, thus adding to the 8-9 million illegal migrants already residing in the U.S. as well as increasing legal immigration levels.

Hillary Clinton. Let the buyer beware.


AgJOBS: Legalizing Indentured Servitude: What Kind of America Will You Choose?

Indentured Servant: An indentured servant is an unfree laborer under contract to work for a specified amount of time for another person – often for low or no wages – in exchange for accommodation, food, other essentials and/or free passage in a new country.

Indentured Servitude Banned with Slavery: Indentured servitude was abolished along with slavery when the 13th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution was ratified in 1865.

AgJOBS indentures illegal alien agricultural workers:
• Section 101(a) of AgJOBS grants amnesty in the form of “temporary residence” (via a “blue card”) to illegal aliens who worked in agriculture between December 31, 2004, and December 31, 2006.
• Section 103(a) permits these formerly illegal “temporary residents” to apply for adjustment to lawful permanent residence only if they perform at least: 2,587 hours of agricultural work during the first three years after enactment; 2,875 hours of agricultural work during the first five years after enactment; or during the first four years after enactment, 862.5 hours of agricultural work per year for three of those years and 575 hours of work for the other.
• Section 103(c) says that, if temporary residents do not perform the requisite work and apply for permanent status within seven years of enactment, they are deportable.
• AgJOBS permits employers of formerly illegal temporary residents to pay these workers as little as minimum wage. It also freezes the “adverse effect wage rate” for H‐2A workers at its January 1, 2003, level for three years, after which the wage rate may be increased by no more than the percentage change in the Consumer Price Index from two years prior.

Required Labor + Specified Duration of Labor +
Substandard Wages + Free Passage in a New Country =
Indentured Servitude


The writer below seems to have forgotten the famous observation by Lord Keynes: “In the long term we are all dead”. So while his data is interesting, his conclusions are flawed

As the debate over illegal immigration from Mexico rages in Washington and across the country, and as the administration’s reform bill hangs by a thread, few Americans are aware that this problem will automatically decline and eventually become a vague memory.

There has been a stunning decline in the fertility rate in Mexico, which means that, in a few years there will not be many teenagers in Mexico looking for work in the United States or anywhere else. If this trend in the fertility rate continues, Mexico will resemble Japan and Italy – rapidly aging populations with too few young workers to support the economy.

According to the World Bank’s 2007 Annual Development Indicators, in 1990 Mexico had a fertility rate of 3.3 children per female, but by 2005, that number had fallen by 36 percent to 2.1, which is the Zero Population Growth rate. That is an enormous decline in the number of Mexican infants per female. The large number of women currently in their reproductive years means that there are still quite a few babies, but as this group ages, the number of infants will decline sharply. If this trend toward fewer children per female continues, there being no apparent reason for it to cease, the number of young people in the Mexican population will decline significantly just when the number of elderly is rising. As labor markets in Mexico tighten and wage rates rise, far fewer Mexican youngsters will be interested in coming to the United States. Since our baby boomers will be retiring at the same time, we could face a severe labor shortage.

There have been significant declines in fertility rates across Latin America, but Mexico’s has been unusually sharp. In El Salvador, another country from which immigrants come, a 3.7 rate in 1990 became 2.5 by 2005. Guatemala is now at 4.3, but that is far lower than it was in 1990. Jamaica, another source of illegal U. S. immigrants, has fallen from 2.9 to 2.4 over the same period. Chile and Costa Rica, at 2.0, are actually slightly below a replacement rate. Trinidad and Tobago, at 1.6, is well below ZPG. For all of Latin American and the Caribbean, a rate of 3.2 in 1990 fell to 2.4 in 2005, a decline of 25 percent. This means less pressure on the United States from illegal immigrants from the entire area, not just from Mexico. A powerful demographic transition is well underway, and soon many of these countries may be worried about there being too few babies rather than too many. We may miss this labor, and wonder how we will replace it.

What is going on in Latin America? Better education and improved job opportunities for women mean that it has become quite expensive for them to leave the labor force to have more children. The improved availability of birth control technology and liberalization of abortion rules in some countries mean that it is easier for women to avoid that outcome.

Fertility rates are declining across the globe, but the change is particular striking to our south. The world fertility rate fell from 3.1 to 2.6 over the 1990-2005 period. The population bomb is becoming a fire cracker.

Another reason for the particularly sharp decline in Mexico is the cultural influence of the United States. Our xenophobic nationalists fear that we are being ‘Mexicanized.’ In fact the opposite may be underway. NAFTA, our mass media, the more widespread use of English, and the large number of people going back and forth (legally or otherwise) mean that Mexicans are increasingly influenced by our culture, and that implies fewer babies. The United States also has a fertility rate of 2.1, but that is the same as it was in 1990. Mexico is becoming more similar to the United States, which must frustrate their nationalists.

The main point for the United States is that we have only a temporary problem with illegal immigration from Mexico. For another decade or a bit more we must attempt to limit such entry, but then the problem will fade like the smile on the Cheshire Cat. Lou Dobbs, Rep. Tancredo and their xenophobic friends can calm down and relax.


Post lifted from STACLU. See the original for links

The much anticipated 3rd cloture vote on the Senate Immigration Reform Bill also know by readers of Gribbit’s Word as “The Great American Sellout” has resulted in a 3rd no vote on cloture. Sen. Harry Reid has once again promised to pull the bill from the floor. One can only hope it stays in its grave this time.

I’m still waiting on the availability to post those who voted for and against cloture but the final tally was 53 – 46 against cloture. 60 votes are required to invoke cloture and limit debate. For the 3rd time this bill has failed miserably to achieve that number.

According to Sen. Jeff Sessions the Sgt at Arms of the Senate informed him that the volume of calls coming in to the Capital crashed the phone system. It seems that the Senators are finally listening to America. We do not want this or any other bill that grants amnesty.

Big surprise for me was the fact that Voinovich voted NO. Hallelujah George grew a brain.

The forces in favor of cloture on The Great American Sellout controlled 60 minutes of debate time prior to the beginning of the cloture vote. Of which, the time was evenly split between a Democratic Leader and a Republican Leader, both in favor of cloture. Of that 30 minutes each, they each allotted 5 minutes to the opposition. So those who oppose cloture got 10 minutes to make their case to block cloture. This is democracy? Not hardly Mr. Reid.

Maybe everyone knows this but I was astounded by the actual cost of Israel’s wall when I watched a liberal documentary (Wall, 2004, directed by Simone Bitton) about all the problems caused by Israel’s wall. In it, Israel’s Minister of Defense described the wall and how much it cost. It included: a layer of razor wire, a trench to stop cars, the actual wall (including electronic sensors, radar, etc. so that the army could tell when it was breached), a dirt road that would evidence footprints of would-be crossers, an asphalt road for quick deployment to areas where crossing had been detected, and another layer of barbed wire. It was approximately 50 meters wide. The cost–roughly $2 million dollars (10 million shekels) per kilometer. According to Wikipedia, the US border is 1951 miles. This equal approximately 3140 km. At $2 million dollars each, this comes to $6,280,000,000. That’s it!!! For all that!


In a bid to complete work on a historic immigration-reform bill this week, Senate leaders agreed to limit debate to 26 amendments – and no more. But the dozens of amendments blocked from the Senate floor could yet play a role in the outcome of this momentous debate. That’s because their omission may alter how Republicans in the other chamber of Congress – the House of Representatives – regard the bill when it’s their turn to take up the issue. It may also affect how talk radio, bloggers, and the American public come to see it. The excluded amendments range from those that would revise mechanisms for enforcing immigration law to those that challenge the bill’s essential fairness. “It’s a rigged process,” says Sen. Jim DeMint (R) of South Carolina. “It undermines minority rights in the Senate.”In a procedural standoff at time of writing, senators who have been refused the right to offer amendments threatened to derail the process. “We’ve been told by the master crafters of this bill that it’s a delicate compromise that can’t allow our amendments to be debated,” says Sen. David Vitter (R) of Louisiana. “At the same time, these crafters of the compromise are changing their bill every half an hour…. That’s unfair.”

In response, majority leader Harry Reid said: “We’ve had 21 days of Senate debate since 2006. We’ve really worked this thing hard. This is a bill that people should fully understand.” Despite such concerns, the Senate on Tuesday voted 64 to 35 to resume debate on immigration reform.

“It’s a constricted and constrained procedure, which I don’t like,” Sen. Arlen Specter (R) of Pennsylvania said Wednesday as the Senate resumed work on the bill. Still, he says, the unusual move to limit senators’ rights to offer amendments was needed to get to a vote. “It’s going to be tough, but we’re going to see the will of the Senate worked one way or another,” he added. In a sharp response to the Senate move, the House Republican caucus on Tuesday voted 114 to 23 on a resolution to disapprove of the Senate bill.

Many amendments blocked from consideration deal with enhancing enforcement and with tougher standards for eligibility for “Z visas,” which give a path to citizenship for many of the 12 million people currently in the United States illegally.

• Sen. Elizabeth Dole (R) of North Carolina wants an amendment making immigrants illegible for “Z visa” status if they have been convicted of drunken driving. The amendment is needed because of the number of fatal auto accidents involving illegal immigrants, she says.

• Sen. Charles Grassley (R) of Iowa proposes requiring “Z visa” holders to pass a naturalization exam and pay fines up front. Otherwise, he says, there is no requirement to learn English and American civics until 12 years after obtaining a “Z visa.”

• Sen. John Cornyn (R) of Texas wants to bar undocumented criminals currently in detention or removal proceedings from applying for a “Z visa.” .

• Sen. Wayne Allard (R) of California wants to require applicants for “Z visas” to disclose all names and Social Security numbers they have used in the past to obtain employment in the US. Such disclosure would be a condition of their legalization.

• Sen. John Ensign (R) of Nevada wants a provision that makes sure “Z visa” holders are not eligible for welfare benefits sooner than are immigrants who came to the US legally. The bill as currently written, he says, gives “Z visa” holders a three-year edge over other immigrants.

• Sen. Jeff Sessions (R) of Alabama would move the qualification date for “Z visa” applicants back to May 1, 2005, to make sure that those who are in the US illegally don’t have an advantage over those who applied to come legally.

Democrats are unhappy, too. Some Democrats say they wanted a fuller debate on enforcement aspects of the bill. “Until you have the border secure, you cannot deal with the 12 million here without encouraging others to come across,” says Sen. Ben Nelson (D) of Nebraska, who voted to proceed with the bill this week but warns that could be his last vote for the bill.

Adds Sen. Claire McCaskill (D) of Missouri: “Until our country gets serious about enforcement against employers, all the laws we pass won’t make a difference.” She says she’ll vote against the bill for this reason. If the Justice Department would start handing out three-month jail sentences to employers who hire undocumented workers, “that will have more impact than this bill,” she adds.


By Robert Rector

A decade ago, Nobel prize-winning economist Milton Friedman admonished the Wall Street Journal for its id‚e fixe on open-border immigration policy. “It’s just obvious you can’t have free immigration and a welfare state,” he warned. This remark adds insight to the current debate over immigration in the U.S. Senate.

To be fully understood, Friedman’s comment should be viewed as applying not merely to means-tested welfare programs such as food stamps, Medicaid, and public housing, but to the entire redistributive transfer state. In the “transfer state,” government taxes the upper middle class and shifts some $1.5 trillion in economic resources to lower-income groups through a vast variety benefits and subsidies. Across the globe, this sort of economic redistribution is the largest, if not the predominant, function of government in advanced societies.

The transfer state redistributes funds from those with high-skill and high-income levels to those with lower skill levels. Low-skill immigrants become natural recipients in this process. On average, low-skill immigrant families receive $30,160 per year in government benefits and services while paying $10,573 in taxes, creating a net fiscal deficit of $19,587 that has to be paid by higher-income taxpayers.

There is a rough one-to-one fiscal balance between low-skill immigrant families and upper-middle-class families. It takes the entire net tax payments (taxes paid minus benefits received) of one college-educated family to pay for the net benefits received by one low-skill immigrant family. Even Julian Simon, the godfather of open-border advocates, acknowledged that imposing such a burden on taxpayers was unreasonable, stating, “immigrants who would be a direct economic burden upon citizens through the public coffers should have no claim to be admitted” into the nation.

There is also a political dimension to the transfer state. Elections in modern societies are, to a considerable degree, referenda on the magnitude of future income redistribution. An immigration policy which grants citizenship to vast numbers of low-skill, low-income immigrants not only creates new beneficiaries for government transfers, but new voters likely to support even greater transfers in the future.

The grant of citizenship is a transfer of political power. Access to the U.S. ballot box also provides access to the American taxpayer’s bank account. This is particularly problematic with regard to low-skill immigrants. Within an active redistributionist state, as Friedman understood, unlimited immigration can threaten limited government.

Many libertarians respond to this dilemma by asserting that the real problem is not open borders but the welfare state itself. The answer: dismantle the welfare state. The libertarian Cato Institute pursues a variant of this policy under the slogan, “build a wall around the welfare state, not around the nation.” Borders should be open, but immigrants should be barred from accessing welfare and other benefits.

But in practice, pursuit of these dual libertarian goals of opening borders and ending the redistributionist welfare state often leads to contradictions. The current Senate “comprehensive” immigration-reform bill, supported by the Cato Institute, actively demolishes existing walls between illegal immigrants and government benefits, granting some 12 million illegal immigrants (60 percent of whom are high-school dropouts) access to Social Security, Medicare, and, over time, to 60 federal means-tested welfare programs.

It also substantially increases the future flow of low-skill immigrants and gives them access to welfare and transfer programs. Far from building a “wall around welfare,” this legislation levels existing walls, builds a highway to Fort Knox, and shovels billions in taxpayer funds into the pockets of immigrants who entered this country illegally.

In a recent debate with Dan Griswold of the Cato Institute, I pointed out this paradox. Griswold replied that the key was to grant amnesty and open borders now and work on “building a wall around welfare” at some point in the future. The weakness of this response should concern all those interested in limiting the size of government.

While most open-border libertarians proclaim a desire to dismantle both borders and the welfare state, in practice what they offer is open borders today and a vague (and almost certainly illusory) promise to end the welfare state in the indefinite future. As Milton Friedman understood, open-border enthusiasts have the sequence wrong: Opening borders with the redistributionist state still intact will result in a larger and more confiscatory government. In response to libertarians who propose to open borders and dismantle the welfare state, practical conservatives should answer: “Go ahead. Dismantle the welfare state. As soon as you’ve got that finished, let us know, and then we’ll talk about open borders.”

Open-border enthusiasts sometimes claim that the 1996 welfare reform defanged the welfare system, eliminating the costs that low-skill immigrants impose on taxpayers. As one of the architects of that reform, I would warn that this view shows a serious lack of understanding of the limited scope of the 1996 welfare law, and, more importantly, a lack of appreciation of the magnitude of the redistributionist state.

Sen. Ted Kennedy understands that a steady stream of low-skill immigrants will help him build a much larger, tax-fueled government. It is a pity that so many foes of big government fail to appreciate this point.


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