Cagle.com Premium Cartoon News http://www.cagle.com/author/joe-guzzardi/ Wed, 16 Apr 2014 21:54:56 +0000 hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=3.5.2 Humane Immigration Policy Would Discourage Illegal Immigrants http://www.cagle.com/2014/04/humane-immigration-policy-would-discourage-illegal-immigrants/ http://www.cagle.com/2014/04/humane-immigration-policy-would-discourage-illegal-immigrants/#comments Tue, 15 Apr 2014 07:05:49 +0000 Joe Guzzardi http://www.cagle.com/?p=639951 Worldwide, a far-reaching network exists that keeps would-be illegal immigrants current on what the U.S. is doing, or better said, not doing to enforce its immigration laws. Advocacy groups distribute flyers and posters that apprise interested overseas parties how to enter the United States and, for the few who have the rare misfortune to be apprehended, what to say when you get here.

139442 600 Humane Immigration Policy Would Discourage Illegal Immigrants cartoons

Dario Castillejos / Cagle Cartoons

Key words for would-be aliens are “credible fear.” Repeat that phrase and the door to America opens wide. Within the global immigration advocacy community, it’s well known that if aliens can reach the interior, they’re home free. Someone who knows, John Sandweg, until recently the Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s acting director, told the Los Angeles Times: “If you are a run-of-the-mill immigrant here illegally, your odds of getting deported are close to zero — it’s just highly unlikely to happen.”

Chris Cabrera, a Border Patrol agent who is vice-president of the National Border Patrol Council union acknowledged that the word is out about lax enforcement and describes the illegal entries as “coming across in droves.” Knowing that deportation is unlikely, illegal immigrants are surging across the border. After six years of relative calm in the Rio Grande Valley, during the last six months the Border Patrol made more than 90,700 captures, a 69 percent increase from last year. Among the crossers are an estimated 100 young children traveling alone.

Because Mexico is contiguous to the U.S. border states, they can be returned promptly. But aliens from noncontiguous countries like El Salvador, Guatemala and Honduras, and must be flown home by Immigration and Customs Enforcement, a more formal, longer procedure.

Immigration officials confirm that they’ve established a low standard for “credible fear,” to avoid inadvertently sending home a foreign national whose life may legitimately be at risk. As a result, Central Americans keep coming and fear claims have more than doubled from 2013 to 36,026 from 13,931 in 2012. The migrants’ goal is asylum which would allow them to remain legally in the U.S. and apply for a green card after one year.

Aliens allege that they come looking from a better life and to escape poverty. But those claims often don’t stand up to scrutiny. For example, a Guatemalan who speaks neither English nor Spanish and has few skills will be, at best, a minimum wage earner, vulnerable to exploitation who will live in substandard housing and be separated from his family, friends and native customs—no one’s definition of a better life.

The longer the administration’s open borders, non-deportation policy remains in effect, and the end isn’t in sight, the worse the long-term consequences will become. The U.S. can’t absorb millions of unskilled illegal aliens who won’t contribute meaningfully to the economy. The young children that many illegal immigrants bring with them require nurturing; the women’s as yet unborn American citizen children will, in all probability, need social services.

Encouraging more illegal immigration is cruel to the immigrants who will struggle from the moment they enter the U.S. The humane, potentially life-saving solution to the crosser is to bulk up border security, strengthen internal enforcement, and mandate E-Verify, actions that would discourage illegal entry. These are easily accomplished goals assuming the political will to put them in place existed

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Joe Guzzardi is a Californians for Population Stabilization Senior Writing Fellow whose columns have been syndicated since 1987. Contact him at joeguzzardi@capsweb.org

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American Workers Compete with Fewer Jobs, More Immigration http://www.cagle.com/2014/04/american-workers-compete-with-fewer-jobs-more-immigration/ http://www.cagle.com/2014/04/american-workers-compete-with-fewer-jobs-more-immigration/#comments Tue, 08 Apr 2014 07:05:49 +0000 Joe Guzzardi http://www.cagle.com/?p=639724 While the March Bureau of Labor Statistics jobs report looks rosy to some, the underlying realities show that the economy still has a long way to go before the celebrating can begin. On Friday, the Labor Department announced that last month nonfarm payrolls rose a seasonally adjusted 192,000 and finally reached the 8.8 million replacement level for the jobs lost during the recession and the subsequent weak five-year recovery.

99768 600 American Workers Compete with Fewer Jobs, More Immigration cartoons

Rick McKee / Augusta Chronicle

Still, Federal Reserve Bank Chairman Janet Yellen said that the economy and the job market are not “back to normal health.” Yellin cited various metrics to make her case. Long-term unemployment is a critical variable. More than 33 percent of the approximately 10.5 million officially unemployed Americans have been without a job for six months or longer. At the current job creation rate, more than 7.5 years will pass before unemployed Americans could expect to find jobs.

Prolonged unemployment creates another of Yellen’s concerns: the country’s low labor-force participation rate. Extended long-term unemployment, defined as those who have a part-time job or are looking for work, is 63.2 percent, near its lowest level in 35 years. The Washington, D.C.-based Economic Policy Institute’s Heidi Shierholz explains that the long-term unemployment crisis is not the fault of individual unemployed workers not putting enough effort into their job searches but the fundamental and sustained labor market weakness. In an earlier analysis, the EPI’s Douglas Hall wrote that in every state except North Dakota, not enough jobs have been created to replace those lost during the recession and to keep up with population growth.

In manufacturing where workers might expect to earn middle class salaries, 1,000 jobs were lost last month. On the other hand, a Los Angeles-based outdoor advertizing firm hired more sign-spinners, typically 16-to-25-year olds who start at $10 an hour. During the past year, average hourly earnings are up 2.1 percent, barely ahead of inflation. Overall average earnings dipped by 1 cent to $24.30 an hour while the average workweek increased by 0.2 hours to 34.5

None of these calculations however take into account the consequences of continued high immigration and its related population growth. With about 90,000 legal, work authorized immigrants entering the U.S. each month, the numbers of jobs that may be available to native-born Americans is potentially reduced. The flow of legal immigration continues unabated regardless of economic conditions

Using the household employment survey which breaks out immigrant and native-born employment versus the employers’ payroll survey which does not, foreign-born employment has increased by 2.3 million between January 2009 and March 2014.

Whether economists look at the recent labor data as the turning point in the extended road to recovery or as an indication that there’s still a long way to go, no one can logically argue that an increase in the labor pool would be anything but devastating to American workers.

Yet, the immigration reform bill that Congress defiantly insists against all reason on trying to push through would dramatically expand the labor market. About 12 million illegal immigrants would be granted work authorization, immediately converting them from unemployable, because of their immigration status, to employable. And legal immigration, now running at about 1 million annually, would more than double within a decade.

Passing immigration reform at this delicate juncture in the U.S. struggle to get back to full employment would be an unforgivable affront to American workers and their families.

Joe Guzzardi is a Californians for Population Stabilization Senior Writing Fellow whose columns have been syndicated since 1987. Contact him at joeguzzardi@capsweb.org

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Non-Enforcement Name of the Immigration Game http://www.cagle.com/2014/04/non-enforcement-name-of-the-immigration-game/ http://www.cagle.com/2014/04/non-enforcement-name-of-the-immigration-game/#comments Fri, 04 Apr 2014 13:23:23 +0000 Joe Guzzardi http://www.cagle.com/?p=639639 Since the Department of Homeland Security first introduced the immigration policy known as prosecutorial discretion, enforcement has collapsed. Starting in June 2011, a series of internal memos written by former Immigration and Customs Enforcement director John Morton have gradually gutted enforcement.

99768 600 Non Enforcement Name of the Immigration Game cartoons

Rick McKee / Augusta Chronicle

Unless aliens are convicted of a capital crime like murder, terrorism or treason, they are virtually certain to be granted discretion and will be allowed to stay in the U.S. Crimes like DUIs, bank fraud or even vehicular manslaughter ICE now classifies as not presenting a serious risk to public safety and are purposely excluded as cause for deportation.

Worse, during the three years since the first Morton directive, the bar has continuously been pushed further away from enforcement and toward an administrative amnesty for about 12 million aliens, a goal that President Obama and the Hispanic lobby have long pursued. What ICE originally announced would be a revision of deportation practice to focus on criminals and deferred action on so called longtime, otherwise law abiding residents has been watered down to a point where not only don’t minor crimes qualify for deportation, criminals caught by DHS and jailed have been released instead of deported.

According to the non-partisan, non-profit Center for Immigration Studies, last year DHS set free into the general population 68,000 convicted aliens who should have been deported. Worse, they’ve been released without formal notice sent to local law enforcement agencies or to the victims. CIS found that in 2013, ICE targeted only 195,000, or 25 percent, out of the 722,000 potentially deportable aliens the agency found. Most came to ICE’s attention after incarceration for a local arrest.

Sanctuary cities head the list. San Antonio’s 79 percent release factor is the highest, followed by New York’s 71 percent and then Washington, D.C. 64 percent. Others cities include Salt Lake City, Houston, Phoenix, Los Angeles, Atlanta, Newark, and Buffalo. Many are not border cities which indicates that interior enforcement or visa overstays are as much a problem as the porous border.

Last month Senator Jeff Sessions, one of the few in Congress who is working to expose non-enforcement, issued his own findings that included a shocking statistic: only .08 percent of the aliens deported in 2013 were not serial immigration law violators or convicted of serious crimes. Those who do not meet the administration’s limited priorities for deportation are free to illegally work in the U.S and, potentially, to receive taxpayer funded benefits, regardless of whether immigration enforcement finds them.

Arizona Republican Rep. Paul Gosar said CIS and Session’s findings raise grave constitutional law questions. Gosar noted that President Obama’s most important role is defined in the Constitution’s Article II, Section 3, which states that the President “shall take care that the laws be faithfully executed.” As the first step to restore the rule of law, Gosar recommends holding Attorney General Eric Holder accountable.

In the White House’s opinion, illegal immigration itself is no longer a crime. Special interests, specifically Hispanic activists, have trumped the legal and moral right to protections immigration laws afford, at the border, the interior and the work place.

By stripping these protections and replacing them with an open borders policy that encourages more illegal immigration or visa overstaying, the administration guarantees to future aliens immunity from deportation, the consequences of which Americans overwhelmingly oppose.

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Joe Guzzardi is a Californians for Population Stabilization Senior Writing Fellow whose columns have been syndicated since 1987. Contact him at joeguzzardi@capsweb.org

Joe Guzzardi ©2014 Joe Guzzardi and Capsweb.org. This column is distributed by Cagle Cartoons newspaper syndicate.

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Population in LA County Hits Unsustainable Milestone http://www.cagle.com/2014/04/population-in-la-county-hits-unsustainable-milestone/ http://www.cagle.com/2014/04/population-in-la-county-hits-unsustainable-milestone/#comments Tue, 01 Apr 2014 07:05:55 +0000 Joe Guzzardi http://www.cagle.com/?p=639487 Los Angeles County, where I was born in the mid-1940s, reached an ominous milestone last July. Recently released Census Bureau data show that in 2013 LA County’s population inched over 10 million, nearly twice the total of second place Cook County, Ill. with its 5.3 million people.

93566 600 Population in LA County Hits Unsustainable Milestone cartoons

Loujie / Cagle Cartoons

In 1940, LA’s population was a hard-to-believe-it-was-so low 7 million. Back then, residents had the roads and the beaches to themselves. There was no such thing as overcrowded schools, backed up emergency rooms or long waits at the DMV. Now those common headaches are part of the daily LA grind. As one friend told me, when he’s doing 30 miles per hour on I-405, he’s happy. INRIX, a non-profit that studies traffic patterns, reported that road congestion is outpacing economic growth by a 3-1 margin. Predictably, California’s traffic is the worst; last year motorists lost 64 hours stalled in frustrating tie ups.

Just a few decades ago, even for average Californians, the state was paradise. A $150 a week salary could buy a modest home in a safe, working class neighborhood. The long forgotten Sunday family drive along the coast or through the San Fernando Valley highlighted the week.

Los Angeles’ overpopulation is a crucially important subject with statewide ramifications. To make progress in first slowing the growth, and then reducing it to manageable levels, overpopulation has to be dealt with honestly, the importance of which appears beyond either Sacramento or the media’s understanding.

The continuing population surge is most frequently attributed to an increase in net international migration, a deceptive descriptor. Officially, between 2012 and 2013, Los Angeles County had the highest total immigration influx 39,000 compared to Florida’s Miami-Dade County’s 32,000 and Queen’s Country New York 24,000.

To be sure, some come to Los Angeles with valid visas and through a port of entry. But too many arrive illegally. The Census Bureau’s Quick Facts summary offers important insights into what’s really going on in LA County. In a nutshell, foreign-born persons make up 35 percent of county residents. Among those older than five, 58 percent speak a language other than English at home. Hispanics represent 48 percent of the total county populace.

Digging deeper, only 76 percent over age-25 have a high school degree and a mere 29 percent have earned a university diploma. All of these statistics rolled together foreshadow a rough future for Angelenos. Limited English speakers without a college diploma will face near-insurmountable challenges.

Illegal immigrants’ presence already represents a financial drain. Last year, county supervisor Michael Antonovich, citing statistics from the Department of Public Social Services, announced that about 100,000 children born to 60,000 illegal immigrants receive $650 million in welfare benefits. When more than $1 billion in costs for public safety and health care are added, illegal immigrants receive more than $1.5 billion from LA County, money that should go to needy citizens and legal immigrants.

An analysis of Census Bureau data found that nearly 100 percent of California’s growth between 2000 through 2010 resulted from immigration and births to immigrants. The numbers of children a family has can’t be legislated. But a sensible federal immigration policy that secures the border as well as the interior and reduces legal immigration must be written, passed and enforced. Until it is, California will continue to experience crushing growth that’s bad for everyone.

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Joe Guzzardi is a Californians for Population Stabilization Senior Writing Fellow whose columns have been syndicated since 1987. Contact him at joeguzzardi@capsweb.org

Joe Guzzardi ©2014 Joe Guzzardi and Capsweb.org. This column is distributed by Cagle Cartoons newspaper syndicate.

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Slippery Road Ahead as Congress Reconvenes http://www.cagle.com/2014/03/slippery-road-ahead-as-congress-reconvenes/ http://www.cagle.com/2014/03/slippery-road-ahead-as-congress-reconvenes/#comments Tue, 25 Mar 2014 14:10:38 +0000 Joe Guzzardi http://www.cagle.com/?p=639237 With congress reconvening this week, all eyes will be warily cast on President Obama. He recently ordered the Department of Homeland Security to review deportation policies so they might be handled “more humanely.” For millions of Americans who support enforcement first, and who represent the nation’s majority, Obama’s directive sent a chilling message.

77860 600 Slippery Road Ahead as Congress Reconvenes cartoons

Gary McCoy / Cagle Cartoons

Despite the media hoopla surrounding Obama’s alleged “record deportations,” the reverse is true. Last year, about two-thirds of removals were illegal aliens apprehended crossing the border. Previously, DHS classified this category of deportee as a “return” since it didn’t come from the interior. Among the remaining one-third that were removed from the interior in 2013, 82 percent were convicted criminals, according to Immigration and Customs Enforcement.

Enforcement has been so watered down since 2011 that Obama’s immigration critics fear how much more compassionate they can become.

In 2011 at the White House’s request, then-ICE director John Morton issued the first of three internal memos which created new deportation priorities that listed at the top terrorists, gang members and fugitives. All other aliens would be subject to prosecutorial discretion, meaning left alone. ICE field directors received specific orders not to spend resources pursuing “non-priority aliens.”

Morton’s second and third memos, also issued in 2011 and written without congressional approval, further undermined immigration law. The memos created deferred action for childhood arrivals, so called Dreamers, and removed from possible deportation illegal aliens publicly protesting immigration policy. Eventually, more than 500,000 young aliens qualified, and were awarded work permits that allow them to legally compete in the struggling job market.

The backbreaker came in November 2011 when yet another ICE directive proved that the Obama administration is committed to an administrative amnesty. A Citizenship and Immigration Services memo ordered attorneys to stop issuing “notices to appear” in court to non-priority cases. Shortly thereafter, the Justice Department dismissed almost 20,000 pending cases.

Things got progressively worse in 2012 and 2013 when the administration excused a broad swath of aliens from possible deportation: illegal immigrant parents, legally appointed guardians, and the primary caretakers of minor children; aliens who are the spouses, and parents and children of American military members. Under those orders, illegal presence no longer qualifies as a deportable offense. To be considered for removal, an alien must have committed a crime.

Reviewing the new mandates, one wonders who among the 11 million illegal aliens are left to deport. The answer: almost no one. One might also logically question how much more sympathetic toward illegal immigrants can a policy get that deports only the criminals they can catch?

For the Hispanic lobby, however, nothing is ever enough. Without acknowledging that they’ve effectively reached their goal of, at a minimum, severely curtailing deportations, immigration advocates have set their sights on work permits for illegal immigrants. Officially, this would be called parole in place or administrative relief, meaning that aliens’ illegal presence would be excused and work permits would be granted while they await their inevitable legal permanent residency and citizenship.

With 20 million Americans unable to find full time employment and 92 million Americans detached from the work force, enabling aliens to compete for jobs is an unfathomable insult. Obama should be more worried about struggling American workers instead of devastating existing immigration law. If nothing else, Obama’s three-year long enforcement decimation proves that he can’t be trusted to uphold any future immigration bill that Congress might pass.

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Joe Guzzardi is a Californians for Population Stabilization Senior Writing Fellow whose columns have been syndicated since 1987. Contact him at joeguzzardi@capsweb.org

Joe Guzzardi ©2014 Joe Guzzardi and Capsweb.org. This column is distributed by Cagle Cartoons newspaper syndicate.

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Obama Takes First Steps toward Administrative Amnesty http://www.cagle.com/2014/03/obama-takes-first-steps-toward-administrative-amnesty/ http://www.cagle.com/2014/03/obama-takes-first-steps-toward-administrative-amnesty/#comments Tue, 18 Mar 2014 07:05:21 +0000 Joe Guzzardi http://www.cagle.com/?p=638998 The White House, its congressional allies and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce-led cheap labor lobby have thrown down the gauntlet. On immigration, it’s their way or the highway.

126369 600 Obama Takes First Steps toward Administrative Amnesty cartoons

Rick McKee / Augusta Chronicle

Last week, in a series of late breaking developments, Senate Gang of Eight leader Chuck Schumer said that the House has two choices—pass an immigration bill that would legalize 12 million illegal immigrants and issue 20 million more visas to overseas workers that would more than double legal immigration within the first decade or President Obama will put an administrative amnesty into effect.

In his Facebook post, Schumer advanced the all-too-familiar lies about how the reform bill would grow the U.S. economy, bring in much needed workers, and take illegal immigrants “out of the shadows.” Immigration advocates have a message and they’re sticking to it. Even though more than 92 million Americans are out of the labor market, Schumer, House Majority Leader John Boehner and Mark Zuckerberg disingenuously insist that more foreign-born labor is essential for the American economy.

Making good on Schumer’s promise, Obama ordered Department of Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson to review how deportations are carried out with an eye toward making them “more humane.” Critics know that Obama’s latest exploit will extend to a much larger group his deferred action policies currently available to childhood arrivals, parents with U.S. citizen children and family members of military personnel. Most aliens found within the United States would be removed from deportation unless they are convicted of murder, rape, sexual violence, human trafficking, or any other crime that that endangers public safety.

Here’re a few under-reported things about deportations that Americans aren’t likely to know. First, because aliens receive a “Notice to Appear” before an immigration judge, the removal process is, despite what detractors claim, already humane. They have the right to be represented by an immigration lawyer. If the alien shows up, never a certainty, he’ll have a chance to tell his personal story. Depending on the individual’s circumstances, his hearing could result in the judge canceling his removal order or granting asylum.

Second, despite all the hype about record deportation levels, the opposite is true. Enforcement in the U.S interior is in steep decline; less than 1 percent of the illegal immigrant population is deported from the interior. The inflated statistics immigration proponents cite result from the Department of Homeland Security now adding border returns to interior removals. Previous administrations reported the two categories separately.

Since 2012, Immigration and Customs Enforcement has been restrained by much stricter guidelines. They’ve been ordered to curtail the use of detainers, not to arrest broad categories of illegal immigrants including students, minor criminals, long-time residents, and caregivers among others, none of which have a statutory basis for special treatment.

Further weakening enforcement is the latest DHS firearms rule with which 21,000 border patrol agents must comply. Effective March 7, agents must retreat and seek cover in face of rock throwing crossers and keep their weapons holstered even when being approached by vehicles driven by known drug dealers or human traffickers. U.S. Border Patrol Chief Mark Fisher said that since 2010, agents have been assaulted by rock 1,713 times. Unsurprisingly, immigration advocates wrote the revised regulations which, despite objections from officers on the front, Secretary Johnson implemented.

An interesting footnote to what appears to be a rogue administration: U.S. Rep. Trey Gowdy (R-SC) has introduced the ENFORCE the Law Act, passed by the House 233-181. Citing abuse of power, Gowdy’s bill would allow Congress to sue Obama in federal courts for arbitrarily changing or refusing to enforce federal laws including those that govern immigration because by ignoring them he violates the constitutional separation of powers principle.

In the unlikely event that Gowdy’s bill ever reaches his desk, Obama has promised to veto it.

Joe Guzzardi is a Californians for Population Stabilization Senior Writing Fellow whose columns have been syndicated since 1987. Contact him at joeguzzardi@capsweb.org

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Ominously, White House Orders DHS to ‘Review’ Deportation Policy http://www.cagle.com/2014/03/ominously-white-house-orders-dhs-to-review-deportation-policy/ http://www.cagle.com/2014/03/ominously-white-house-orders-dhs-to-review-deportation-policy/#comments Mon, 17 Mar 2014 07:05:49 +0000 Joe Guzzardi http://www.cagle.com/?p=638938 Earlier this week, a group of House Republicans said that despite a series of delays, they’re eager to move forward on comprehensive immigration reform, buzz words for bills that would legalize 12 million illegal immigrants and issue more than 20 million work visas during the first decade after enactment. Rep. Raul Labrador, R-Idaho, a former immigration lawyer and member of the now-defunct House Gang of Eight, leads the charge.

114151 600 Ominously, White House Orders DHS to Review Deportation Policy cartoons

Eric Allie / Cagle Cartoons

Labrador said the best time to begin immigration piecemeal deals would be later this year so that Congress could vote on them after the midterms, but before the 2016 presidential election. The time out, Labrador hopes, will give both parties a better chance to work together.

Given President Obama’s recent announcement that he’s asked Department of Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson to “review” the deportation process, it’s unlikely that Congress will have enough confidence to pass new immigrations laws since the White House through executive edict has rewritten the existing ones. Obama’s statement that he would seek more ways to amnesty illegal aliens came shortly after he met with three Congressional Hispanic Caucus members, CHC Chairman Ruben Hinojosa and Reps. Luis Gutierrez and Xavier Becerra who, among dozens of other immigration advocates, have bitterly complained about what they claim are record deportation levels.

Immigration critics interpret “review” as looking for new ways not to deport anyone. Currently, Obama’s long, lucky list of illegal immigrants’ prosecutorial discretion recipients includes minor children, parents of U.S. citizen children, and relatives of military personnel. Increasing that list would reaffirm Obama’s pledge that he’s got a pen and a phone to ram through issues on which he can’t get congressional cooperation.

First, let’s conclusively clarify who is and who isn’t getting deported. Total deportations have reached so called record numbers, as advocates maintain, because they now include border apprehensions that would not have been counted in previous administrations.  Before Obama, immigration officials classified border crossers caught and eventually sent home as “returns.”

Under today’s guidelines, “returns” plus “removals”—those deported from the U.S. interior—are grouped together. Counted by themselves, removals alone are at a 40-year low and represent a mere 1 percent of the total alien population living in the interior. President Obama and Secretary Johnson have confirmed that “returns” are now included in the total calculation.

Labrador is scheming to position immigration bills for a period when it might be most politically expedient to get them passed, the congressional lame duck session. The Hispanic lobby, of which Labrador is a covert member, will continue to pressure Obama, an easy task since amnesty is his top domestic priority.

Except for a small handful, no one on Capitol Hill speaks for unemployed American workers who would take the brunt of the greatly expanded labor pool. The Department of Labor estimates that 50.5 million working age Americans are either officially unemployed or are not working, but want to work.

Even employed Americans wouldn’t be spared from a blanket amnesty’s consequences. Many among the newly legalized, formerly unemployable because of their immigration status, would willingly take an American’s existing job at a lower wage especially in construction, leisure and clerical occupations.

More immigration is bad for everyone including recent legal immigrants aspiring for a better life and the 4.5 million waiting in line who may face green card delays up to 20 years.

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Joe Guzzardi is a Californians for Population Stabilization Senior Writing Fellow whose columns have been syndicated since 1987. Contact him at joeguzzardi@capsweb.org

Joe Guzzardi ©2014 Joe Guzzardi and Capsweb.org. This column is distributed by Cagle Cartoons newspaper syndicate.

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Obama as Deporter-in-Chief? Not So Fast http://www.cagle.com/2014/03/obama-as-deporter-in-chief-not-so-fast/ http://www.cagle.com/2014/03/obama-as-deporter-in-chief-not-so-fast/#comments Mon, 10 Mar 2014 07:05:34 +0000 Joe Guzzardi http://www.cagle.com/?p=638704 Janet Murguia, the National Council of La Raza’s Chief Executive Officer, recently made an explosive charge against President Barack Obama. Murguia called the president the “Deporter- in-Chief,” a reference to what many Hispanic lobbying organizations allege is Obama’s record number of deportations.

113740 600 Obama as Deporter in Chief? Not So Fast cartoons

Jeff Parker / PoliticalCartoons.com

Obama, in his own defense, responded by saying: “I’m the champion-in-chief” of immigration reform. Then, the president blamed congressional inaction for forcing him to unconstitutionally use prosecutorial discretion to not deport certain categories of aliens like childhood arrivals, parents of minor children, and family members of military personnel, breaches that no other president has dared to implement.

The so called record deportation levels is a rallying cry that amnesty advocates have taken up to motivate their activists. Murguia erroneously contends that total deportations under the Obama administration is close to 2 million, has forced families to separate and has left behind a “wake of devastation.”

Here’s the truth behind the hype.  Since his inauguration, the White House has used creative accounting and selective deportation statistics to bolster the president’s image as an executive dedicated to enforcing Congress’ immigration laws. The claim that Obama has a stronger deportation record than his predecessors is part of a strategy to convince the enforcement-first crowd he’s tough on illegal immigration. If Obama can convince skeptics that he’s accelerating deportations, reluctant legislators might pass an amnesty bill that would more than double current immigration.

Journalists have run with the Obama “record level of deportations” story line even though the most cursory research proves it false. Immigration and Customs Enforcement publishes an annual report that details immigration “removals,” a politically correct word for “deport.”

ICE divides its statistics into total removals and removals from the Border Patrol and Customs and Border Protection, otherwise known as returns. By subtracting returns from total removals, the remaining total shows how many deportations came from the interior. That figure has declined every year since 2009 from 238,000 to 133,000. Obviously, if an alien is detained at and returned from the border, he never reaches the interior and therefore cannot under any circumstances be described as having been separated from his family.

Adding to the mystery of how the “record deportation” angle got so overblown is that in 2011 Obama admitted to a roundtable group of Hispanic reporters that the ICE statistics which co-mingle returns with removals are “deceptive.” Obama: “The statistics are actually a little deceptive because what we’ve been doing is, with the stronger border enforcement, we’ve been apprehending folks at the borders and sending them back. That is counted as a deportation, even though they may have only been held for a day or 48 hours, sent back—that’s counted as a deportation.”

Activists insist that Obama has the power to end all deportations and are pressuring him to do so under the same prosecutorial discretion method that he used to excuse children brought to the U.S. as minors by their alien parents. Two high ranking Gang of Eight Senate Democrats echo the activists’ demands. At a La Raza awards ceremony, Dick Durbin and Bob Menendez joined with Murguia to demand that deportations cease.

Since 2009, however, deportations from the interior, most American’s definition of the verb “deport,” have actually been slashed by 40 percent.  By allowing those who reach the interior to stay, the administration extends a form of amnesty to aliens who should be deported but are not, a result consistent with the administration’s often stated goals.

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Joe Guzzardi is a Californians for Population Stabilization Senior Writing Fellow whose columns have been syndicated since 1987. Contact him at joeguzzardi@capsweb.org

Joe Guzzardi ©2014 Joe Guzzardi and Capsweb.org. This column is distributed by Cagle Cartoons newspaper syndicate.

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Journalist Asks: ‘Why Don’t We Care More about Our People?’ http://www.cagle.com/2014/03/journalist-asks-why-dont-we-care-more-about-our-people/ http://www.cagle.com/2014/03/journalist-asks-why-dont-we-care-more-about-our-people/#comments Tue, 04 Mar 2014 14:59:03 +0000 Joe Guzzardi http://www.cagle.com/?p=638509 Last week, President Barack Obama and House Majority leader John Boehner met behind closed doors. Hush, hush meetings between powerful politicians usually means bad news for Americans.

133064 600 Journalist Asks: Why Don’t We Care More about Our People? cartoons

Sean Delonas / PoliticalCartoons.com

Among the topics discussed, and possibly the first matter of business, was immigration reform which despite a sluggish economy, high unemployment and the looming Russian intervention in the Ukraine, often gets top billing. Despite growing grassroots resistance, Republicans and Democrats appear committed to passing amnesty either piecemeal or in any other form that they can ram through.

Developing a sensible immigration policy that would work to Americans’ benefit is an increasingly elusive goal. The most insurmountable roadblocks are the incessant, high pressure lobbying tactics for more cheap labor that the Chamber of Commerce and other special interest groups put on pliant legislators. Another barrier is the media’s steadfast refusal to expose the House and Senate bills’ realities, that the legalization of at least 12 million illegal immigrants and a near tripling of legal immigration within the first decade will irreparably hurt unemployed Americans.

Although the odds against it are long, a newly formed organization is fighting back against illegal immigration and taking its cause to the public. Those who have followed the immigration friction between open borders advocates and enforcement proponents since the Gang of 8 first convened in early 2013 know that citizens’ concerns aren’t included in the congressional discussion.

Americans4Work plans to change that. According to its website, Americans4Work explains why citizens deserve employment consideration ahead of illegal immigrants and foreign-born nationals who might come to the US on work visas.

Describing itself as a support center, Americans4Work emphasizes that citizens, unlike aliens, have been reared in American communities, educated in American schools and brought up in American culture. Furthermore, citizens have served in America’s defense, worked in the nation’s industries and built American families, communities, churches and businesses.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics underlines how hard it is for Americans, especially minorities, to get ahead. In the African-American community, 23 percent of all workers or more than 3.5 million citizens are unemployed. US-born Hispanic-Americans have a 20 percent unemployment rate, more than 2.5 million workers. Moreover, 1 out of every 3 young Americans (18-29) without a college diploma is unemployed and has little hope of finding a job. About 54 percent of today’s 20-25 year-old American college graduates, 1.5 million, are unemployed or underemployed; the highest percentage in the last 11 years. Nevertheless, Congress is plotting to import 1.1 million overseas college graduates.

Americans4Work cites several factors including immigration that conspire against unemployed minorities. The prominent role immigration plays in American unemployment is indisputable. The Department of Homeland Security’s 2012 immigration report showed that more than 1 million foreign nationals became legal permanent residents during that year. Their LPR status authorizes them to work.

With Capitol Hill’s emphasis on globalism and its subservience to corporate interests, Americans can’t get a break. In January on Meet the Press, CNBC’s Mad Money host Jim Cramer asked host David Gregory about high immigration levels: “Why don’t we care more about our people?” Not surprisingly Gregory, a famous media personality, changed the subject.

Cramer’s question deserves an answer. The sad but hurtful truth is that more immigration means a more abundant supply of cheap labor for big business which trumps working class Americans’ best interests.

Joe Guzzardi is a Californians for Population Stabilization Senior Writing Fellow whose columns have been syndicated since 1987. Contact him at joeguzzardi@capsweb.org

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California Seeks Comprehensive Health Care for Illegal Immigrants http://www.cagle.com/2014/02/california-seeks-comprehensive-health-care-for-illegal-immigrants/ http://www.cagle.com/2014/02/california-seeks-comprehensive-health-care-for-illegal-immigrants/#comments Wed, 26 Feb 2014 14:51:42 +0000 Joe Guzzardi http://www.cagle.com/?p=638276 If there’s one thing Californians know, it’s that when it comes to the illegal immigration lobby, nothing is ever enough. Last year was a triumphant one for California’s immigration advocates. Governor Jerry Brown signed legislation that will allow illegal immigrants to get driver’s licenses, removes some criminal illegal immigrants from the risk of deportation and allows aliens to practice law.

%7Bf76baa9a b561 416d 9760 08186eabbc27%7D California Seeks Comprehensive Health Care for Illegal Immigrants cartoons

David Fitzsimmons / Arizona Daily Star

By any measure, that’s a banner year for California’s illegal immigrants. But a mere four months after Brown affixed his name to those ill-advised bills, state Senator Ricardo Lara introduced S. 1005, legislation that would allow illegal immigrants access to Medi-Cal, the state-funded low-income health care program. Lara’s Health for All Act would also create a new health insurance exchange similar to the Affordable Care Act’s Covered California. The bill, co-authored by 16 state legislators, proposes giving access to health insurance to as many as 2.6 million aliens who are expressly barred from enrolling in ACA.

Although he has no idea how it would be funded or specifically how much it would cost, he estimates S. 1005 would be less than the $1.4 billion the state spends providing emergency care to uninsured Californians. Disingenuously, Lara argues that preventive health care would eliminate the need for many emergency services. Another supporter, Health Access California’s executive director Anthony Wright claims that “It’s cheaper to provide access to primary, preventive care than to treat illnesses after they develop.”

But when the non-partisan New England Journal of Medicine studied the relationship between preventive measures and long-term cost reduction, it found that savings claims like Lara’s are “overreaching” and “misleading.” Moreover, Lara and Wright grossly underestimate the cost which, based on California’s 2.6 million illegal immigrant population, could exceed $5 billion.

During the two decades since California voters approved Prop. 187 that would have excluded illegal immigrants from its education and health programs, the state has given away the store. California does more to accommodate illegal immigrants and is more pro-active on their behalf than any other state.

Beyond S. 1005, other national healthcare pitfalls loom. First, there’s the always present risk that the ongoing congressional immigration debate will end in a blanket amnesty which would eventually make the nation’s 12 million aliens ACA-eligible. Or, second, President Obama may make yet another ACA change, his 28th overall, and through an executive action officially allow illegal immigrants to enroll. Although President Obama denies it, critics have long charged that the White House’s goal has always been to include illegal immigrants in ACA.

In language that’s a clear invitation to illegal immigrants to apply, the Covered California website confirms skeptics’ doubts. The website’s Spanish-language version reassures visitors who want to enroll their families not to “fear” if they are “undocumented.” Don’t worry, Covered California continues, “that we might share information with ICE.”

Any alien entitlement bill that reaches Governor Brown’s desk has a high probability of becoming law. If that happens, California could be just the tip of the iceberg. New York, Arizona, Texas and Illinois also have high uninsured illegal immigrant populations with well organized lobbies that could result in more costly, widespread state legislation similar to S. 1005.

As privileges for illegal immigrants mount, the incentives to come to the U.S. illegally grow ever more alluring. In the meantime, state and federal leaders elected to protect Americans’ best interests grow increasingly disinterested in their constituents’ fates.

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Joe Guzzardi is a Californians for Population Stabilization Senior Writing Fellow whose columns have been syndicated since 1987. Contact him at joeguzzardi@capsweb.org

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House: Risk-Reward Calculation Dictates Amnesty Inaction http://www.cagle.com/2014/02/house-risk-reward-calculation-dictates-amnesty-inaction/ http://www.cagle.com/2014/02/house-risk-reward-calculation-dictates-amnesty-inaction/#comments Mon, 17 Feb 2014 15:36:51 +0000 Joe Guzzardi http://www.cagle.com/?p=637968 On some of America’s most contentious issues, civil discourse takes a back seat to ugly outcry. Last week, masked protesters carrying torches and threatening organized violence demonstrated on the front lawn of the Enbridge Energy Management Company’s president. Environmentalists made a late night visit to Mark Maki’s home and promised “solidarity means attack,” and pledged that their goal is to shut down pipeline development. Enbridge transports natural gas throughout North America.

126369 600 House: Risk Reward Calculation Dictates Amnesty Inaction cartoons

Rick McKee / Augusta Chronicle

Last year, megaphone-carrying dissenters gathered on Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach’s lawn to demand that he stop testifying against amnesty in Congress and instead support legalizing illegal immigrants. In both Maki and Kobach’s cases, the demonstrators who represent extreme factions violated personal property rights.

Now pro-immigration organizations threaten more of the same. Since John Boehner announced, more or less officially, that the House will not take up reform this year, activists have threatened an even-more confrontational strategy. A spokesman for one advocacy group promised that it would “switch tactics” from “persuasion to punishment” while another warned that the personal attacks would be “relentless and constant,” and would escalate daily for at least the next two months. Kevin Appleby, the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops’ migration policy director pledged that his group would “redouble” its efforts and “focus like a laser” on key House Catholics.

Journalists have summarized that the immigration lobby’s angry style is a new game plan when, to the contrary, it’s been around for years. In March, April and May, 2006 hundreds of thousands gathered nationwide to protest H.R. 4437, an enforcement-first immigration bill.

During 2013, Illegal immigrants blocked congressional offices, protested en masse in major U.S. cities, and chained themselves to the White House fence. In one of the most egregious examples of harassment, last summer two teenage activists interrupted House Speaker John Boehner during breakfast at his favorite Capitol Hill diner to press him on behalf of their cause. But despite a ten-year history of militant amnesty lobbying, the pro-immigration faction has nothing to show for it.

I’ll offer two reasons why amnesty hasn’t advanced. First, although legislation hasn’t passed, the status quo has remained intact. That is, illegal immigrants can today as they have done in the past come to the U.S., get jobs, put their children in K-12 schools and give birth to citizen children. In at least 10 states, aliens can get drivers licenses or permits; 15 states offer subsidized university tuition to illegal immigrant students. California offers the entire package: licenses, subsidies, and even the opportunity to be admitted to the bar and practice law. These benefits come with little threat of deportation. ICE Acting Director John Sandweg recently admitted that in 2013, his agency deported only 134,000 illegal aliens from the interior out of a population of estimated at 11.5 million.

Second, House representatives recognize that no matter how cautiously they hedge their language, amnesty is unpopular back home where voters express their opinions every two years. Many of the more enlightened and less agenda-driven legislators know that giving legal status to illegal immigrants also allows aliens to compete for scarce jobs in a market where 92 million Americans are out of the labor force.In short, legislators know that non-action doesn’t harm illegal immigrants especially when the citizenship carrot could be five or more years down the line. On the other hand, they also know that passing amnesty would put Americans at a further disadvantage in the labor market and could cost them their jobs.

Consequently in the House, at least for today, the amnesty risk-reward ratio dictates that inaction is the wisest course.

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Joe Guzzardi is a Californians for Population Stabilization Senior Writing Fellow whose columns have been syndicated since 1987. Contact him at joeguzzardi@capsweb.org.

Joe Guzzardi ©2014 Joe Guzzardi and Capsweb.org. This column is distributed by Cagle Cartoons newspaper syndicate.

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Deportation Statistics: Separating Fact from Fiction http://www.cagle.com/2014/02/deportation-statistics-separating-fact-from-fiction/ http://www.cagle.com/2014/02/deportation-statistics-separating-fact-from-fiction/#comments Thu, 13 Feb 2014 14:26:49 +0000 Joe Guzzardi http://www.cagle.com/?p=637872 For more than a year, immigration reform has dominated the news. The Senate and then the House introduced bills that set off a nationwide debate about the perceived merits or inherent flaws written into legislation that would legalize 12 million illegal immigrants and, within a decade, double the number of overseas workers. Those new legal workers would compete for jobs with 20 million unemployed or under-employed Americans.

114181 600 Deportation Statistics: Separating Fact from Fiction cartoons

Nate Beeler / Columbus Dispatch

But if there had been responsible media coverage, the contentious immigration haggling may have died out before it reached the rancorous pinnacle it quickly did.

One of the arguments immigration advocates make is that granting legal status to millions of aliens would end deportations and will end keep families together. At a recent rally, protestors carried signs with President Obama’s picture that read: “Stop Deportation and Separating Families” and “Not One More Deportation.”

Early on, the media picked up on the family unity theme, and helped spread the falsehood that under Obama deportations have hit record totals. The New York Times wrote that Obama has deported 1.9 million aliens or more than 1,000 a day, “a record for an American president.”

But a conscientious investigative reporter, assuming one can be found, could access the published Department of Homeland Security immigration information and readily discover that the opposite is true. President Obama has the fewest deportations in recent history, and the lowest yearly deportation average since President Richard M. Nixon.

During the administration’s first four years, President Obama deported about 3.2 million aliens or an average annual of 800,000. Obama’s predecessor, George W. Bush, averaged 1.3 million deportations per year. President Bush had the benefit of a pro-active Homeland Security Secretary, Michael Chertoff, who was more dedicated to enforcing immigration law than Janet Napolitano.

The difference between the factual DHS count and the inflated statistics advocates quote is easily explained. More than half of the total deportations pro-immigration lobbyists cite are apprehended at the border while trying to cross illegally, and then put briefly into ICE custody before being returned. In other words, they are not torn from their families because they never made it to the interior. ICE Director John Sandweg recently admitted that in 2013 ICE deported only 134,000 illegal aliens from the interior out of an alien population estimated at 11.5 million.

According to Jessica Vaughn, a former State Department official and currently the non-partisan, Washington D.C.-based Center for Immigration Studies’ Policy Director, ICE agents are now releasing more aliens than they’re deporting. President Obama has issued a series of unconstitutional executive actions that side-stepped Congress and granted prosecutorial discretion to some aliens that exempts them from deportation. Vaughn calculates that the White House’s executive orders shield at least 90 percent of the illegal alien population.

Exemptions started in June 2011 when then-ICE Director John Morton issued his infamous prosecutorial discretion memo that instructed ICE agents not to arrest broad categories of illegal aliens, including minor criminals, long-time residents, students, parents, caregivers, and a long list of other categories even though there is no statutory basis to give them special treatment.

Then, in 2012, Morton distributed another set of restrictions. Morton’s memo ordered agents to curtail their use of immigration holds which authorize ICE officers to question and detain illegal aliens identified after arrest by local law enforcement. Moreover, about 900,000 aliens ordered removed have successfully eluded ICE and remain in the U.S.

Reporters who cover the immigration beat and legislators who vote on immigration bills need to do a better job of uncovering the truth and sharing it with the American public. Unless the White House and Congress do a better job of enforcing existing immigration laws, passing new ones would make a bad situation worse.

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Joe Guzzardi is a Californians for Population Stabilization Senior Writing Fellow whose columns have been syndicated since 1987. Contact him at joeguzzardi@capsweb.org.

Joe Guzzardi ©2014 Joe Guzzardi and Capsweb.org. This column is distributed by Cagle Cartoons newspaper syndicate.

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Loosening Immigration Rules May Easy Entry For Terrorists http://www.cagle.com/2014/02/loosening-immigration-rules-may-easy-entry-for-terrorists/ http://www.cagle.com/2014/02/loosening-immigration-rules-may-easy-entry-for-terrorists/#comments Wed, 12 Feb 2014 15:13:08 +0000 Joe Guzzardi http://www.cagle.com/?p=637818 House Speaker John Boehner officially tabled for this year an all-encompassing immigration bill because, he said, President Obama can’t be trusted to enforce either existing laws or ones that might be passed.

126369 600 Loosening Immigration Rules May Easy Entry For Terrorists cartoons

Rick McKee / Augusta Chronicle

Boehner is only telling the convenient part of the story, however. Even though Republican leadership that includes Boehner, Whip Kevin McCarthy, Majority Leader Eric Cantor, and Budget Chairman Paul Ryan are tripping over themselves to bow at the Chamber of Commerce and Mark Zuckerberg’s cheap labor altar, they can’t sell amnesty to their caucus.

Still, regarding Obama’s immigration untrustworthiness, Boehner is spot on. Starting in 2011 with his prosecutorial discretion for certain illegal immigrants and continuing through 2013, Obama has unconstitutionally circumvented Congress. First, he extended deferred action for so-called childhood arrivals and then removed from potential deportation some alien parents of minor children and military members’ illegal immigrant families.

Obama’s latest immigration transgression may be, since it puts national security at risk, his most serious. Last week, the administration published two new rules that may grant asylum to as many as 3,000 Syrian refugees who have allegedly provided “minor material support” to terrorists. The definition of minor material support isn’t set in stone but with an immigration-sympathetic Congress, it’s certain to be broad.

The administration and refugee advocates said the existing rules needed an overhaul to correct the too stringent antiterrorism laws passed after the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks. Officials said the new exemptions have been under consideration for years and the White House acted under the authority it was granted as part of a 2007 bipartisan compromise reached under President George W. Bush.

Texas Senator John Cornyn spoke for many disgruntled Republicans when he said that the U.S. is a nation of laws and that the White House is not allowed to unilaterally suspend immigration law on a whim. House Judiciary Chairman Bob Goodlatte was more direct. Goodlatte asked why with today’s national security threats the U.S would willingly loosen its immigration laws to allow those who have helped terrorists game the system?

America’s refugee policy is already the world’s most generous. The United States accepts more permanent refugees than any other nation, more than half the number selected for worldwide resettlement each year. Since 1975, the U.S. has taken in more than 3 million refugees. Nearly 60,000 worldwide refugees came to the United States 2012.

But the system is too lax and riddled with holes. The Judiciary Committee recently obtained a confidential internal audit document that showed the level of asylum fraud is 70 percent.

The latest, most tragic example is the Chechen Tsarnaev family that fraudulently filed for and subsequently received asylum without a background check. The sons, Dzhokhar and Tamerlan, bombed and killed three at the 2013 Boston Marathon.

More refugees, Syrian or otherwise, is a mistake and goes against America’s best interests. Besides taking terrorist risks, the U.S. also underwrites refugees’ financial obligations. Refugees immediately qualify for welfare benefits and work permits at a time when the federal budget is stretched thin and the job market saturated.

The Obama administration is under heavy international and refugee resettlement agencies’ pressure to admit more Syrians. The US Conference of Catholic Bishops, for example, wants 15,000 Syrians admitted this year alone.

Nevertheless, given that the U.S. is a prime terrorist target and will likely remain so indefinitely, more refugees, Syrian or otherwise, is a mistake and goes against America’s best interests. National security must trump refugee policy.

Joe Guzzardi is a Californians for Population Stabilization Senior Writing Fellow whose columns have been syndicated since 1987. Contact him at joeguzzardi@capsweb.org

Joe Guzzardi ©2014 Joe Guzzardi and Capsweb.org. This column is distributed by Cagle Cartoons newspaper syndicate.

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Bieber: How He Got Here and Why He Should Be Sent Home http://www.cagle.com/2014/02/bieber-how-he-got-here-and-why-he-should-be-sent-home/ http://www.cagle.com/2014/02/bieber-how-he-got-here-and-why-he-should-be-sent-home/#comments Wed, 05 Feb 2014 08:05:22 +0000 Joe Guzzardi http://www.cagle.com/?p=637591 Canadian-born, teen heart throb Justin Bieber’s criminal misbehavior may indirectly hurt Congress’ push for comprehensive immigration reform. All systems for the White House’s coveted blanket amnesty are “go.” President Obama just touted his version of reform during his Tuesday State of the Union address. House Majority leader John Boehner released what he calls his “immigration principles.” Given those two major immigration developments, now could be a bad time for a foreign-born visa holder to be in the headlines because of his embarrassing illegal antics. Because of Bieber’s high visibility, journalists reporting on his story—seemingly everyone in the media—have included his immigration status.

143541 600 Bieber: How He Got Here and Why He Should Be Sent Home cartoons

Taylor Jones / Cagle Cartoons

Few have heard of the O visa, the vehicle that allowed Bieber to legally enter the U.S. Officially, the O visa is reserved for aliens of extraordinary ability in the arts, education, business and athletics. The arts’ category includes television, motion pictures and music. Because of their employment-related status, O visa holders qualify to live and work in the U.S. The O visa has two sub-classifications, the O-2 for spouses and O-3, for minor children. One person applies to enter the U.S. but many more may eventually come.

The initial maximum amount of authorized time allowed in the U.S. on an O visa is three years. But three years can be extended indefinitely in one year increments upon evidence that additional time is required to complete the original project that required the visa. For Bieber, this translated into unofficial permanent residency since immigration officials have winked at the “additional time” stipulation. Bieber first landed in Atlanta in 2008; his tours and recording sessions did not take up his entire six-year residency period.

Under his visa’s terms, Bieber is deportable and his most recent actions warrant it. Bieber admitted to law enforcement that he was drinking and driving as well as in possession of prescription drugs for which he did not have a prescription. Prior Bieber offenses reportedly included egging his neighbor’s home (vandalism), assault (aggravated felony) and marijuana possession. Bieber has amassed a lengthy rap sheet and should be deported because a) he’s repeated broken U.S. law and b) his numerous violations set a bad example for his fan base, easily influenced teens. No one, however, expects Bieber to be sent back to Canada.

But for those who may not have been paying attention to Obama’s immigration law circumvention like his deferred action for childhood arrivals, non-deportation of illegal immigrants related to military personnel and suspending deportation of certain alien parents of minor children, Bieber’s case because of his popularity may open eyes to how lax the system is.

Whether Bieber’s an exceptional talent or not is irrelevant. Two other recent O visa recipients must have well placed friends: Argentine pin up model Dorsimar and former Playboy Playmate Shera Bechard.

The O visa serves little purpose. Dozens of other existing visas can facilitate U.S. entry for not only entertainers but also fiancées, religious workers, students.

Because the O visa has no annual cap, access to the supposedly limited, foreign-born exceptional talent pool is unlimited. To have a high-visibility celebrity abuse his visa privileges and get off with a slap on the wrist, the likely outcome of Bieber’s case, strongly argues against liberalizing immigration laws.

Joe Guzzardi©2014 Joe Guzzardi and Capsweb.org – Joe is a Californians for Population Stabilization Senior Writing Fellow whose columns have been syndicated since 1986. This column is distributed by Cagle Cartoons newspaper syndicate. For comments to Joe email to joeguzzardi@capsweb.org.

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Gallup Poll: Americans Overwhelmingly Reject Amnesty http://www.cagle.com/2014/01/gallup-poll-americans-overwhelmingly-reject-amnesty/ http://www.cagle.com/2014/01/gallup-poll-americans-overwhelmingly-reject-amnesty/#comments Fri, 24 Jan 2014 14:19:26 +0000 Joe Guzzardi http://www.cagle.com/?p=637217 Despite six months of pushing for a blanket amnesty that began in June when the Senate bill passed its uncontrolled immigration bill, advocates can’t sell it to the public. Even after a nonstop effort headed by the immigration lobby that included demonstrations, sit-ins, marches, passionately written editorials and comic political theater that resulted in 8 U.S. Representatives’ arrest, the public isn’t buying it.

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Eric Allie / Cagle Cartoons

According to a new Gallup poll, only 3 percent of Americans support granting an illegal immigrant the right to live and work in the U.S. Immigration lags at least a half dozen other more pressing problems that include an out of touch Congress, which 21 percent identified as their top concern. Following the dysfunctional government are the economy, 18 percent; unemployment, jobs and health care, each at 16 percent and the federal budget deficit, 8 percent. The poll ranked immigration so low that it isn’t mentioned in the report’s original summary.

Although polling clearly indicates that Americans don’t consider passing legislation to legalize 12-20 million illegal immigrants and tripling legal immigration a priority, Congress and the White House defiantly press ahead. Little wonder that the Gallup poll identified unsatisfactory government as the nation’s biggest problem.

Immediately after reconvening, Majority Speaker John Boehner announced that the House is working on a so called list of immigration “principles.” Those “principles” will include legal residency, provisional or permanent, that would give work authorization to those who previously because of their alien status could not be hired. Powerful House Judiciary Chairman Bob Goodlatte is indifferent to the reality that 20 million unemployed Americans would have to, virtually overnight, compete with those newly legalized immigrants for scarce jobs. Goodlatte said he could see “no reason” amnesty would not pass this year.

Blanket amnesty advocates don’t disguise what motivates them: cheap labor. Last week, Marriott International CEO Arne Sorenson preposterously said he wants amnesty and a massive legal immigration increase to ease staffing at the hotel chains’ American resorts. Sorenson ludicrously suggested that among the nation’s 102 million unemployed working-age Americans, none are willing to work at a luxury resort. Sorenson’s premise is so insulting that travelers should protest by never staying in another Marriott.

Other Chamber of Commerce members are in lock step with Sorenson. Randall Stephenson, AT&T Chief Executive Officer who also serves as chairman of the Business Roundtable lobby with 208 other CEO’s, urged President Barack Obama to pressure Congress to grant amnesty and, at the same time, “create a larger pool of visas” for high and low-skilled workers.

Yet numerous studies from non-profit, non-partisan organizations like the Economic Policy Institute and the Federal Reserve found that no shortage of high tech workers exists. More low-skilled visas would put at risk Americans who work in the service industries and may be earning less than the poverty level.

Mainstream media reporting is scandalously bad in exposing blanket amnesty’s consequences. Adding millions more workers at a time of sustained high unemployment is bad for the employed and the unemployed. For those who don’t have a job, finding one would be harder in an expanded labor pool. Those lucky enough to have a job might suddenly find themselves competing against thousands willing to work for less. Wage stagnation, now in its fifth decade, would continue unabated.

With a mid-term election only months away, congressmen who want to keep their jobs should ignore the big business lobby and instead listen to their constituents who oppose amnesty.

Joe Guzzardi©2014 Joe Guzzardi and Capsweb.org – Joe is a Californians for Population Stabilization Senior Writing Fellow whose columns have been syndicated since 1986. This column is distributed by Cagle Cartoons newspaper syndicate. For information on running this column in your publication or website, email Cari Dawson Bartley at cari@cagle.com. For comments to Joe email to joeguzzardi@capsweb.org.

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Huge Immigration Bill Would Destroy King’s Dream For Blacks And Hispanics http://www.cagle.com/2014/01/huge-immigration-bill-would-destroy-kings-dream-for-blacks-and-hispanics/ http://www.cagle.com/2014/01/huge-immigration-bill-would-destroy-kings-dream-for-blacks-and-hispanics/#comments Thu, 16 Jan 2014 15:10:41 +0000 Joe Guzzardi http://www.cagle.com/?p=636912 The Congressional Black Caucus doesn’t share Dr. Martin Luther King’s dream for African-Americans. Fifty-one years ago, King outlined his hopes: that black as well and white men would be guaranteed the unalienable rights of life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. King despaired that blacks were exiled in their own American land and too often denied advancement opportunities.

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Gary McCoy / Cagle Cartoons

The CBC has a different objective that would be extremely disappointing to Dr. King.. One of the most powerful congressional caucuses has thrown its imposing weight behind comprehensive immigration reform, legislation that would expand the labor pool and thereby hurt unemployed black and Hispanic Americans more than any other demographic.

The CBC’s website is a study in contradictions. On its homepage, CBC Chair Marcia L. Fudge (D-OH) wrote that its 41-year old mission has been to eliminate the ongoing social and economic injustices that blacks have suffered.

Fudge, writing on the CBC’s behalf, also stated unequivocally that it “unanimously supports” reform and “in particular,” amnesty for millions of illegal aliens living in the U.S. today. Fudge’s message seems clear: unemployed illegal immigrants who are black, Hispanic or Asian have the CBC’s support. But native-born black, Hispanic or Asian-Americans do not.

America’s leaders have lost sight of King’s dream. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, about 20 percent of African-Americans are unemployed or underemployed; 17 percent of Hispanic-Americans can’t find work. Americans of all races haven’t seen a real wage increase in 40 years.

King would see such widespread unemployment as a travesty of justice. As King said in one of his last sermons, “If a man doesn’t have a job or an income, he has neither life nor liberty nor the possibility for the pursuit of happiness. He merely exists.”

Some influential blacks have made the connection between more immigration and fewer American jobs. Frank L. Morris, the former Congressional Black Caucus Forum executive —director, appealed to the CBC and President Obama to reduce immigration and enforce existing laws rather than compound the damage that ill-conceived and unenforced immigration policies have inflicted on Americans in general and black and Hispanics in particular.

Willard Fair, Urban League of Greater Miami president, offered this example of how cheap immigrant labor hurts blacks. Asked Fair: “If there’s a young black man who’s good with his hands and wants to become a carpenter which is more likely to help him achieve that goal—amnesty and more immigration, or enforcement and less immigration?”

If the CBC doesn’t understand the consequences to unemployed Americans of a huge amnesty, Coretta Scott King does. In 1991, five years after the 1986 Immigration Reform and Control Act passed, Senator Orrin Hatch introduced legislation that would repeal employer sanctions against those who hired aliens. The sanctions were a primary reason the legislation passed.

King interceded. She wrote to Hatch to remind him of “devastating consequences” removing sanctions would have on unemployed and semi-skilled workers, the majority of whom are African-American and Hispanic.

The immigration bill Congress is considering would authorize 11 million illegal immigrants to work and add more than another 20 million work-authorized legal immigrants within the first decade. King would take a dim view of the congressional push for more immigration. Because King understood that the greatest social injustice is not having a job, he would urge Congress to promote less immigration which would tighten labor markets and, for black and Hispanic Americans, in particular, create higher wages. \

© 2014 Joe Guzzardi and Capsweb.org – Joe is a Californians for Population Stabilization Senior Writing Fellow whose columns have been syndicated since 1986. This column is distributed by Cagle Cartoons newspaper syndicate. For information on running this column in your publication or website, email Cari Dawson Bartley at cari@cagle.com. For comments to Joe email to joeguzzardi@capsweb.org.

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House Leaders, Chamber of Commerce Double-Team Unemployed Americans http://www.cagle.com/2014/01/house-leaders-chamber-of-commerce-double-team-unemployed-americans/ http://www.cagle.com/2014/01/house-leaders-chamber-of-commerce-double-team-unemployed-americans/#comments Mon, 13 Jan 2014 08:05:33 +0000 Joe Guzzardi http://www.cagle.com/?p=636821 Congress no sooner reconvened than the-all out push for comprehensive immigration reform picked up where it left off. For clarity’s sake, I’ll define “reform” the way Capitol Hill interprets it—legalizing and granting amnesty to 11-20 million illegal immigrants, giving them instant work authorization and tripling legal immigration to more than 30 million high and low-skilled foreign workers within the first decade.

142774 600 House Leaders, Chamber of Commerce Double Team Unemployed Americans cartoons

Nate Beeler / Columbus Dispatch

On January 8, House leaders John Boehner and Eric Cantor announced that immigration is on its 2014 must do list. On the same day, in an obviously coordinated effort, Chamber of Commerce president Tom Dohohue issued thinly veiled threats to those in House that don’t get on board with amnesty. The Chamber will “pull out all the stops” to make sure those incumbents “feel some heat,” e.g. fewer campaign donations from the business community. In 2013, the Chamber spent a hefty $52 million in lobbying.

Donohue is a long standing, unabashed open borders supporter. Higher immigration translates into more cheap labor which in means higher profits for Chamber members. Last year in his annual “State of American Business Address,” Donohue called for higher caps on H-1B worker visas and introduced a new idea, a “provisional” visa for low skilled labor. In 2011, Donohue played a key role in securing an agreement that allowed Mexican trucks to drive on US highways despite national security and highway safety concerns.

Immigration advocates like the Chamber have spent a fortune on lobbying. Last year, the non-partisan, non-profit Sunlight Foundation issued its findings based on nearly 8,000 lobbying reports. After analyzing the data, Sunlight reported that since 2007, the pro-immigration lobby has spent $1.5 billion in efforts to pass legislation that would expand permanent and temporary visas, liberalize family-based immigration laws and pass the DREAM Act. The tidal wave of money was instrumental in hiring 3,136 lobbyists from 678 lobbying groups to promote one or more of 987 immigration bills.

The proposed reform that Boehner, Cantor and Judiciary Chairman Bob Goodlatte are so enamored with comes at a time when 21 million Americans can’t find a full time job. Those who are lucky enough to be working have been saddled for decades with declining or stagnant wages. The Congressional Budget Office projects that that most of the new immigrants given work permits would be low-skilled. Their presence in the labor market would, according to the CBO, further depress American wages and lead to higher unemployment.

A letter 16 House Republicans recently sent to President Obama on behalf of the 92 million Americans not in the labor force made the point that more immigration hurts the unemployed. In its conclusion, the letter reminded the president that while immigration reform may be a good deal for businesses looking to hire cheap labor, it’s terrible for US workers including Hispanics and African-Americans that have suffered chronically high unemployment.

Despite gathering storm clouds, immigration reform’s window grows smaller every day. The political reality of the November mid-term election has incumbents in campaign mode. They know that while amnesty may be popular among Beltway insiders, it has few fans back home. Instead of negotiating with and caving in to special interests, Congress should focus on reducing American unemployment, ending poverty and restoring the middle class.

©2014 Joe Guzzardi and Capsweb.org – Joe is a Californians for Population Stabilization Senior Writing Fellow whose columns have been syndicated since 1986. This column is distributed by Cagle Cartoons newspaper syndicate. For information on running this column in your publication or website, email Cari Dawson Bartley at cari@cagle.com. For comments to Joe email to joeguzzardi@capsweb.org.

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Since the Recession Ended, US Economy Jobs’ Shorfall 79 Million http://www.cagle.com/2014/01/since-the-recession-ended-us-economy-jobs-shorfall-79-million/ http://www.cagle.com/2014/01/since-the-recession-ended-us-economy-jobs-shorfall-79-million/#comments Thu, 09 Jan 2014 08:10:28 +0000 Joe Guzzardi http://www.cagle.com/?p=636729 Watching the evening news is like taking a trip into the Twilight Zone. Rod Sterling’s classic television program opened with a warning that viewers were about to enter “a land of both shadow and substance.”

140809 600 Since the Recession Ended, US Economy Jobs Shorfall 79 Million cartoons

Eric Allie / Cagle Cartoons

That’s what happens when the audience tunes in every night to see a news story which features a prominent congressman pleading to extend unemployment benefits, followed by a second story focused on ending income inequality, but the third story makes an urgent but incongruous plea to pass comprehensive immigration reform.

The Senate and House immigration bills would legalize 12-20 million illegal immigrants, authorize them to work and thus would have the inevitable consequence of increasing American unemployment. Newly authorized, formerly unemployable (because of their immigration status) immigrants would enter the labor market to compete with Americans for scarce jobs.

Furthermore, since overall illegal immigrants have less education and more limited skills than American workers, immigration reform would widen the gap between rich and poor. This fundamental equation, that adding millions of poor workers to the economy depresses wages, is basic economics. But, even though most Congress members have advanced degrees from prominent universities, the simple fact seems beyond their ability to comprehend.

Although many legislators on both sides of the aisle fit the description of those who, according to the Book of Matthew, “look but do not see, hear but do not listen or understand,” let’s consider Rand Paul, Kentucky’s junior Republican Senator. Paul earned an undergraduate degree from Baylor and an MD from Duke, impressive credentials.

During Paul’s recent ABC interview, he gave glowing examples of the “shadow and substance” Sterling spoke of. The issues Paul addressed are indeed substantive—1.3 million Americans whose unemployment benefits expired last year—but his muddled solutions, are cast in shadows. Paul is both for and against extending benefits. Conceptually, Paul said he’s in favor but since an extension would require incurring more federal debt, Paul’s also opposed. Instead, Paul improbably proposed creating “economic freedom zones” which would lower taxes in areas with persistent long term unemployment.

When ABC changed the subject to immigration, Paul said that for illegal immigrants already in the US or foreign-born workers who want to come to America, he’s “for very expansive work visas.” The visas that Paul supports would add more than 33 million permanent workers during the first decade, a total that approaches California’s population.

America’s unemployment crisis is grossly understated. According to the Economic Policy Institute’s latest research, in November 2013, the labor market had 1.3 million fewer jobs than when the recession began in December 2007. Because the potential labor force grows every month, mainly because an average of 75,000 legal immigrants enter every 30 days, the economy would have to have added 6.6 million jobs just to get the labor market back to where it was six years ago. Counting jobs lost plus jobs that should have been gained to absorb new workers, today the U.S. economy has a 7.9 million jobs shortfall.

Disingenuously, incumbents want to campaign on ending income inequality, a challenge that would take years to dent. Paul touts hocus-pocus freedom zones which, if introduced, would likely have no chance of passing in Congress. The easiest and most effective way to increase American job opportunity is to impose an immigration moratorium that would last until the nation returns to full employment.

©2014 Joe Guzzardi and Capsweb.org – Joe is a Californians for Population Stabilization Senior Writing Fellow whose columns have been syndicated since 1986. This column is distributed by Cagle Cartoons newspaper syndicate. For information on running this column in your publication or website, email Cari Dawson Bartley at cari@cagle.com. For comments to Joe email to joeguzzardi@capsweb.org.

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California Grants Law License to Illegal Immigrant http://www.cagle.com/2014/01/california-grants-law-license-to-illegal-immigrant/ http://www.cagle.com/2014/01/california-grants-law-license-to-illegal-immigrant/#comments Tue, 07 Jan 2014 08:05:46 +0000 Joe Guzzardi http://www.cagle.com/?p=636650 With the California Supreme Court’s decision to allow illegal immigrant Sergio Garcia to practice law, the state has hit the nadir of insanity in eliminating distinctions between those here legally and those who are not.

136275 600 California Grants Law License to Illegal Immigrant cartoons

Gary McCoy / Cagle Cartoons

Garcia’s case dates back to 2009 when he first passed the California bar examination. His many allies argued that since Garcia came to the US as a child and has lived an exemplary life in the more than 20 years since his arrival including his graduation from Cal Northern Law School, the 36-year-old should be allowed to practice. But in August 2012, the Department of Justice issued an amicus brief stating that federal law prohibits granting professional licenses to illegal immigrants unless a state passes a law allowing it. The California Legislature passed such a law in September 2013; Governor Jerry Brown signed it in October.

The Supreme Court, the California legislature and Brown ignored other compelling points that should ban Garcia from practicing law. First, Garcia’s illegal presence in the US violates immigration law every day. Furthermore, Garcia can’t be legally employed in the US. No law firm, government entity or corporation can legally hire Garcia. Finally, Garcia cannot truthfully take an attorney’s oath of office since it requires that he will “…support the Constitution of the US…” a condition which Garcia has already violated.

During 2013, California cemented its well established tradition of catering to illegal immigrants. California’s level of disregard for federal law shocked even long-time immigration analysts. Last year, Brown signed bills that will allow illegal immigrants to get driver’s licenses, and another that would protect many aliens from deportation. California is one of the first states to allow illegal immigrant university students to enroll at the lower in-state tuition rate. In January, AB 131 passed, allowing illegal immigrants to qualify for Cal Grant scholarships. Both in-state tuition and Cal Grants were originally intended for and available only to legal California residents.

Advocates hailed the California Supreme Court decision and hope that it will pave the way for similar opinions in other states. Two other cases are pending. In Florida Jose Godinez-Samperio, 26, and in New York Cesar Vargas, 30, aliens who have applied for law licenses, await state Supreme Court decisions.

Ten years ago, it would have been unimaginable that illegal immigrants would be given law licenses. But since 2007, the pro-immigration lobby has spent $1.5 billion and is more powerful than ever. Some critics persuasively argue that illegal immigrants are more influential than citizens. After all, the White House under intense pressure from the immigration lobby has issued a series of executive actions favorable to illegal immigrants that have circumvented Congress and rewritten immigration law.

Garcia, Godinez-Samperio, and Vargas are members of the DREAM Bar Association, a national group formed with guidance from the American Immigration Lawyers Association for the express purpose of advancing the collective causes of would be illegal immigrant lawyers. The association’s mission, according to its president Jose Magaña, is to urge all 50 states to pass legislation and promulgate rules that would ensure that illegal immigrant students “who have graduated from an ABA-accredited law school, meet the state bar’s character and fitness requirements, and successfully pass the bar examination are able to obtain a law license and fully utilize their legal education.”

If I had to bet on the outcome, I’d put my money on the DREAM Bar Association.

©2014 Joe Guzzardi and Capsweb.org – Joe Guzzardi is a Californians for Population Stabilization Senior Writing Fellow whose columns have been syndicated since 1986. This column is distributed by Cagle Cartoons newspaper syndicate. For information on running this column in your publication or website, email Cari Dawson Bartley at cari@cagle.com. For comments to Joe email to joeguzzardi@capsweb.org.

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Zuckerberg Doubles Down on Immigration http://www.cagle.com/2013/12/zuckerberg-doubles-down-on-immigration/ http://www.cagle.com/2013/12/zuckerberg-doubles-down-on-immigration/#comments Tue, 17 Dec 2013 08:05:55 +0000 Joe Guzzardi http://www.cagle.com/?p=635996 Mark Zuckerberg, Facebook’s $20 billion net worth founder, has invested a large chunk of his money into destructive comprehensive immigration bills, one in the House and another, already passed, in the Senate. Zuckerberg’s goal through his pro-immigration lobbying group FWD.org, is to triple legal immigration by increasing H-1B and other work visas and granting amnesty to 12-20 million aliens already living in the US.

112409 600 Zuckerberg Doubles Down on Immigration cartoons

Taylor Jones / Cagle Cartoons

Although the Congressional Budget Office has reported that immigration legislation under consideration would depress American wages for at least ten years, Zuckerberg and his fellow Silicon Valley billionaires like Microsoft’s Bill Gates have ratcheted up their commitment to import more cheap labor.

Last week, FWD.org spokesman announced that it would rely on Facebook more extensively in the coming weeks to gather wider support for immigration reform. The organization has also suggested it would contribute heavily to legislators’ campaigns if they vote for more immigration.

No matter how much money Zuckerberg and his allies spend to increase immigration, the inarguable fact is that the US has a glut of workers in all job categories and across all demographic spectrums. Adding millions to the labor pool would hurt Americans. According to U.S. News & World Report, even those well educated that the Bureau of Labor Statistics counts as employed are barely scraping by. In 2012, 284,000 college graduates worked at minimum wage jobs, up from 127,000 in 2006.

Zuckerberg et al. promote the idea that America has a skills shortage crisis that can be resolved through importing millions of foreign-born workers. Yet the evidence proves that there’re millions of talented, eager and willing Americans in virtually every field. Several non-partisan sources confirm the ample supply of US labor.

In September, the Federal Reserve Bank, a long standing H-1B visa proponent, confirmed that the US does not have a tech labor shortage and that an expansion in green card programs like the H-1B is not warranted.

In May, the Columbia Journalism Review published a study which concluded the pro-immigration lobby’s strategy to add jobs to what it calls “the beleaguered US economy,” is really “a narrative that has been skillfully packaged and promoted.” But instead of being essential to the national interest, “it reflects the economic interests of tech companies and universities.” Columbia’s findings are consistent with research from other prestigious academic institutions like University of California, Davis, Rutgers, and Georgetown.

In February, the Center for Immigration Studies uncovered the most damning evidence against Zuckerberg and his confederates: Data from the American Community Survey and collected by the Census Bureau show that there are a total of 1.8 million U.S.-born individuals with engineering degrees who are either unemployed, out of the labor market, or not working as engineers.

In short, there are thousands of American workers available that Zuckerberg won’t hire because of his lust for cheaper immigrant labor to increase his already obscene net worth.

Zuckerberg’s daunting agenda and his readiness to spend millions to keep his Internet immigration boosterism going may not yield the results he’s looking for. Some consider Zuckerberg an untrustworthy snake oil salesman. Others were offended when he said that an illegal alien amnesty is comparable to the 1960s black civil rights movement. Still others wonder why anyone would listen to a selfish, self-serving tycoon.

Despite his many detractors, expect more Zuckerberg immigration championing in early 2014. Money is no problem. Assuming Zuckerberg invested his $20 billion in an ultra-conservative bank certificate of deposit that yielded 1 percent per annum, he’d earn about $600,000 in interest every day. That impressive interest-only sum can pay for virtually unlimited advertising time.

©2013 Joe Guzzardi and Capsweb.org – Joe Guzzardi is a Californians for Population Stabilization Senior Writing Fellow whose columns have been syndicated since 1986. This column is distributed by Cagle Cartoons newspaper syndicate. For information on running this column in your publication or website, email Cari Dawson Bartley at cari@cagle.com. For comments to Joe email to joeguzzardi@capsweb.org.

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Since 2009, 11 Million Americans Out of Job Market http://www.cagle.com/2013/12/since-2009-11-million-americans-out-of-job-market/ http://www.cagle.com/2013/12/since-2009-11-million-americans-out-of-job-market/#comments Thu, 12 Dec 2013 08:10:31 +0000 Joe Guzzardi http://www.cagle.com/?p=635713 Real Unemployment 14.6 Percent

The Bureau of Labor Statistics’ November employment report was its usual misleading statistical good news mish-mash that, when slapped together, came out as what the mainstream media called the most “encouraging” in months. Officially, the economy added 203,000 jobs and the unemployment rate dropped to 7 percent, its lowest level in five years.

140290 600 Since 2009, 11 Million Americans Out of Job Market cartoons

Nate Beeler / Columbus Dispatch

Official unemployment is referred to as the U-3 rate. The more accurate U-6 rate, because it includes “discouraged workers” who have given up the job search, work part time or are otherwise only marginally attached to the labor market, stands at 14.6 percent, higher than at any time since before the Great Recession.

Even the BLS discouraged workers category is grossly understated. BLS claims that in November, 762,000 Americans were “discouraged” or “marginally attached.” Yet there are 91.5 million working-age Americans over who aren’t in the labor market. Incredibly, BLS says that only a tiny fraction of them, 8 percent, have given up hope of employment. If the BLS applied its own definition of a person “not in the labor force,” —those age 16 and older who are not employed but not considered to be unemployed because they have not looked for work in the four weeks before the survey—the November unemployment rate would be much greater.

Here’s a good, easy-to-understand example of how phony the monthly jobs report is. Discouraged Americans and Americans detached from the labor market are not counted as unemployed. But 7 million fast food restaurant employees who earn, give or take a few pennies, the $7.25 federal minimum wage are included among the employed. Their salary yields less buying power than their peers had in the mid-1950s. Most work fewer than 40 hours; the traditional full work week is an increasingly elusive goal. Instead, a typical working week averages 24 hours and nets an $11,000 annualized salary. According to CNN, to eke out a basic existence, more than 50 percent of fast food workers rely on public assistance including Medicaid, food stamps, the Earned Income Tax Credit and Temporary Assistance for Needy Families.

Recently President Obama, calling it the “defining challenge of our time,” pledged to fight income inequality during his administration’s remaining years. As long as a free market exists, creating jobs and eroding the earnings gap is beyond Obama or any other president’s reach.

On the other hand, if Obama is sincere about wanting to help the underclass, he would stop urging Congress to pass comprehensive immigration reform, the consequences of which would devastate American workers. Most adversely affected would be those at the income scale’s lowest end like the fast food workers. Besides legalizing the nation’s 12-20 million illegal immigrants and giving them work authorization, legal immigration would double to 20 million during the next two decades.

Instead of expanding immigration, Congress should focus on how to protect increasingly scarce America jobs, especially those held by the most vulnerable who can’t sustain themselves without federal subsidies.

From January 2009 through October 2013, more than 11 million Americans have dropped out of the labor force. If that rate continues, within the next four years the number of people not working could exceed the number of workers.

Given those statistics, it’s not surprising that the administration prefers to put on a happy face instead of coping with reality on the ground.

©2013 Joe Guzzardi and Capsweb.org – Joe Guzzardi is a Californians for Population Stabilization Senior Writing Fellow whose columns have been syndicated since 1986. This column is distributed by Cagle Cartoons newspaper syndicate. For information on running this column in your publication or website, email Cari Dawson Bartley at cari@cagle.com. For comments to Joe email to joeguzzardi@capsweb.org.

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Environmentally Disastrous Bullet Train May Be Dead at Last http://www.cagle.com/2013/12/environmentally-disastrous-bullet-train-may-be-dead-at-last/ http://www.cagle.com/2013/12/environmentally-disastrous-bullet-train-may-be-dead-at-last/#comments Tue, 10 Dec 2013 08:05:43 +0000 Joe Guzzardi http://www.cagle.com/?p=635590 Throughout its brief but tumultuous history, the bullet train has suffered a series of setbacks. Until now, none of them have been fatal. But last week Sacramento Supreme Court Judge Michael Kenny ruled that the High-Speed Rail Authority could not use $8.6 billion in voter approved bonds. Proposition 1A, passed in 2008, required the rail authority to specify the funding sources for the line’s first operable segment and to have all the necessary environmental clearances in place. Kenny ruled that the agency did not comply with either mandate when it approved the start of construction from Madera to Fresno, about 30 miles.

In a separate lawsuit filed by San Joaquin Valley residents, Kenny also ordered the rail authority to rewrite its $68 billion business plan before undertaking future construction because the state identified only funding sources that are “merely theoretically possible.” Although the rail authority promises it will issue bonds, the judge wants to know who will buy them. What were once considered potential buyers are no long realistic candidates—the federal government is in strict sequester mode, California has no readily available excess cash and private investors show little interest.

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Daryl Cagle / Cagle Cartoons

The plaintiffs’ attorney, Michael Brady, provided additional comfort to Californians who think the rail is expensive, frivolous and will rarely be used. Brady wondered how long it would take to complete 300 miles of environmental clearances when it took five years to finish 28 miles. The answer: 50 years.

Another formidable hurdle must be overcome. Rail agency spokesmen say they have identified 401 separate parcels of prime acreage needed to complete the first leg, but are only in active negotiations with a handful of owners to acquire them. State officials anticipate asking for the power of eminent domain to acquire at least three of the parcels in early 2014.

Advocates have downplayed the bonds’ significant cost factor. The non-partisan California Legislative Analyst’s Office projected an interest rate at 5 percent with a repayment period of 30 years. Using those estimates, the California General Fund’s cost would be approximately $19.4 billion to pay off principal ($9.95 billion) and interest ($9.5 billion) or about $647 billion annually. Those calculations, however, don’t include operating costs and maintenance which the LAO projects at $1 billion per year and may be only partially offset by passenger revenue.

Despite Governor Jerry Brown’s repeated assurances, Californians remain skeptical about the rail’s feasibility and concerned about the fiscal brunt of failure. One reason that voters have so little confidence is that rail advocates would have to pull off a masterpiece of intricate planning to make the bullet train effective.

There’s a big difference between the drawing board and reality. Theoretically, job growth and other economic benefits logically follow an integrated transportation system. But success would require a well-designed combination of station locations, links to other transportation systems and supportive land-use and zoning policies to make rail stations a catalyst for economic stimulus.

The bullet train is the largest capitol project in California’s history. If ever completed, the rail would have devastating, irreversible effects on the state’s environment, encourage further unsustainable population growth and, despite its huge cost, have no guarantee of ridership.

©2013 Joe Guzzardi and Capsweb.org – Joe Guzzardi is a Californians for Population Stabilization Senior Writing Fellow whose columns have been syndicated since 1986. This column is distributed by Cagle Cartoons newspaper syndicate. For information on running this column in your publication or website, email Cari Dawson Bartley at cari@cagle.com. For comments to Joe email to joeguzzardi@capsweb.org.

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Even Record Poverty Can’t Derail Immigration Reform http://www.cagle.com/2013/12/even-record-poverty-cant-derail-immigration-reform/ http://www.cagle.com/2013/12/even-record-poverty-cant-derail-immigration-reform/#comments Fri, 06 Dec 2013 08:05:05 +0000 Joe Guzzardi http://www.cagle.com/?p=635233 Not even a stake to the heart could kill Congress’ insatiable lust for comprehensive immigration reform. Just days after Majority House Speaker John Boehner announced that immigration is dead for the year, he hired advocate Rebecca Tallent as his chief immigration aide. Tallent, the Bipartisan Policy Center’s director of immigration policy, worked in a similar capacity for Senator John McCain and former U.S. Rep. Jim Kolbe, both staunchly pro-amnesty.

136033 600 Even Record Poverty Cant Derail Immigration Reform cartoons

Mike Keefe / Cagle Cartoons

Tallent, who will start her new job immediately, is well known on Capitol Hill as committed to legalizing illegal immigrants. She co-authored three broad legalization bills, two in the Senate for McCain and one in the House for Kolbe.

As far as Congress is concerned, when the subject is immigration reform, Americans don’t exist. Their stake in the debate is never included even though adding 30 million new workers over the next two decades, a goal to which Tallent will devote her energies, dilutes the labor pool and makes it tougher for 20 million unemployed Americans to find jobs.

Instead of focusing on the harsh reality of stubborn unemployment and the preponderance of lousy, low paying part-time jobs, President Obama, Vice President Biden, the First Lady and several Cabinet secretaries recently visited with fasting immigration advocates on Capitol Hill. A White House press release described Obama’s 40-minute visit as a show of solidarity. The president deceitfully told the demonstrators that: “the country is behind them on immigration reform.” But the truth is that if the nation were “behind them,” legislation would have passed months ago.

Meanwhile, back in the real world, the Congressional Research Service reported that record U.S. poverty, 15 percent overall, will remain until at least the decade’s end. The CRS does not foresee an economic improvement that could lift 46.5 million Americans, the largest total since 1959, out of poverty.

CRS identified two groups that are particularly susceptible to poverty: families headed by single women and foreign-born individuals who are not citizens (as opposed to naturalized immigrants).

Breaking down those statistics, CRS found that in 2012, among the native-born population, 14.3 percent (38.8 million) qualified as poor while within the foreign-born population, 19.7 percent (7.7 million) were classified as poor.

Neither native-born and nor immigrants can escape poverty without jobs. Legalizing more workers, previously unemployable because of their illegal immigrant status, makes finding a job more challenging for citizens.

The Obama administration and Congress need an immigration wake up call. Every year, the federal government issues an average of 900,000 work permits to newly arrived legal immigrants. Besides the 900,000 who came in 2012, the U.S. also admitted 700,000 guest workers. The pattern of more visas and more legal permanent residents repeats itself every year even though, given current immigration levels, the U.S. needs to create 321,000 job each month to get back to pre-recession employment levels by the end of 2016.

Obama’s schmoozing with immigration lobbyists and Boehner’s hiring immigration activists is exactly the wrong thing to do. Legal immigration needs to be restricted and guest worker programs cancelled until America hits full employment. More immigration means prolonged suffering for unemployed Americans.

©2013 Joe Guzzardi and Capsweb.org – Joe Guzzardi is a Californians for Population Stabilization Senior Writing Fellow whose columns have been syndicated since 1986. This column is distributed by Cagle Cartoons newspaper syndicate. For information on running this column in your publication or website, email Cari Dawson Bartley at cari@cagle.com. For comments to Joe email to joeguzzardi@capsweb.org.

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Honest Polling Shows Americans Reject Immigration Reform Amnesty http://www.cagle.com/2013/12/honest-polling-shows-americans-reject-immigration-reform-amnesty/ http://www.cagle.com/2013/12/honest-polling-shows-americans-reject-immigration-reform-amnesty/#comments Mon, 02 Dec 2013 08:05:52 +0000 Joe Guzzardi http://www.cagle.com/?p=635061 Since June when the Senate passed the Border Security, Economic Opportunity and Immigration Modernization bill, tens of thousands of stories and broadcasts have been devoted to comprehensive immigration reform. Yet only a handful have outlined the bill’s most crucial feature, namely that it will in most cases give immediate legal status and therefore work authorization to between 11-20 million illegal immigrants. On top of that, 20 million more overseas workers will be issued non-immigrant work visas that will allow them to compete with Americans for increasingly scarce jobs.

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Gary McCoy / Cagle Cartoons

Advocates routinely cite polling that they claim shows nationwide support for a path to citizenship. But these polls rarely reflect what’s in the Senate bill or phrase the questions in a way that would fully inform the participants. One, do you agree that 11 million individuals who entered the U.S. illegally should be given the legal right work? Two, do you think that the border should be fully secured before deciding what action to take regarding existing illegal immigrants? Three, should the U.S. invite more foreign-born workers be even though 20 million Americans can’t find a full-time job? Four, should the federal government increase the number of guest workers despite more than enough Americans available in the labor pool?

Democrats and Republican, when presented with the facts, overwhelmingly support tighter border security and oppose work permits for illegal immigrants currently living in the U.S. They also reject more legal immigration and paths to citizenship. For example, a March Fox News poll found that 69 percent of all voters want the border secured before making other immigration policy changes. Moreover, 84 percent of Fox respondents indicated that they want stringent border enforcement to prevent future illegal immigration.

A survey commissioned by NumbersUSA, which promotes reduced immigration, and conducted by Pulse Opinion Research shows 44 percent of likely voters want the government to lower the number of permanent work visas issued. Furthermore, 60 percent of likely voters oppose the Senate bill’s proposal to increase the number of green cards for new immigrants to 20 million over the next decade. Three-quarters of those surveyed said there are more than enough unemployed Americans with no more than a high school diploma to fill the low-skilled jobs that would go to millions of new immigrants under the Senate bill.

Immigration reform, as defined by advocates, isn’t intended to stimulate debate or intelligent analysis. Those who favor large immigration increases want to ignore details that mitigate against amnesty. They label adversaries as selfish, unenlightened or, even worse racist and hardliners. Viewed through the media’s lens, reformers are always on the right side, traveling on the high road.

The legislative process would be more productive if Congress abandoned the concept of reform and concentrated instead on the actual virtues and vices of the proposals at hand. Once the idea of reform is introduced, honest skepticism and dissent are often filtered out.

When pollsters asked probable voters to evaluate the Senate bill’s “virtues” (legalization, path to citizenship) versus its “vices,” they overwhelmingly rejected “reform.” Legalization and citizenship for illegal immigrants wouldn’t happen in a vacuum. Lost American jobs would be the consequence, a price voters don’t want to pay.

©2013 Joe Guzzardi and Capsweb.org – Joe Guzzardi is a Californians for Population Stabilization Senior Writing Fellow whose columns have been syndicated since 1986.. This column is distributed by Cagle Cartoons newspaper syndicate. For information on running this column in your publication or website, email Cari Dawson Bartley at cari@cagle.com. For comments to Joe email to joeguzzardi@capsweb.org.

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Congressional GOP Scramble to Find Votes for Pelosi http://www.cagle.com/2013/11/congressional-gop-scramble-to-find-votes-for-pelosi/ http://www.cagle.com/2013/11/congressional-gop-scramble-to-find-votes-for-pelosi/#comments Thu, 21 Nov 2013 08:10:59 +0000 Joe Guzzardi http://www.cagle.com/?p=634710 Last week, something unprecedented happened in Congress. The Speaker of the Republican-controlled House, John Boehner, authorized one of his California representatives, Jeff Denham, to measure support for the Democrats’ immigration bill, H.R. 15. Boehner allowed Denham to circulate a letter among his fellow Republicans to gauge their interest in co-sponsorship of a Nancy Pelosi-led bill. Denham was the first House Republican to co-sign. Including Denham and two other Republicans, H.R. 15 currently has 190 votes of the 218 needed to pass.

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Gary McCoy / Cagle Cartoons

Multiple ironies abound. First H.R. 15 is, according to Minority Leader Pelosi, nearly identical to the Senate bill, S. 744, which Boehner has repeatedly insisted that he would not bring forward. As Pelosi put it, H.R. 15 “contains the best of the Senate bill.” By “best” Pelosi means that anywhere from 11 million to 20 million illegal immigrants would become legal residents and receive automatic work authorization. Pelosi further interprets “best” as being without the cosmetic enforcement provisions the Senate added at the last minute but that would probably never be enacted.

Second, most Republican legislators have little confidence in Pelosi’s trustworthiness. With the 10,000-plus page Obamacare fiasco sending uninsured Americans into crisis mode, the last thing Congress needs is another behemoth bill that no one has read. Compared to Obamacare, H.R. 15 is a quick read at 1,137 pages but is still loaded with pitfalls that would create a bureaucratic nightmare.

Third, Denham represents a California district that includes Modesto and other high unemployment San Joaquin Valley cities. Modesto’s unemployment is about 12 percent or 30,000 residents that include Hispanics, blacks, returning veterans and disabled Americans. Converting illegal immigrants to legal status would make Modesto’s unemployed jobs searches tougher and also jeopardize the employed that would be at risk of wage undercutting. Expanding the labor pool hurts both the unemployed and the employed.

As the congressional debate rages on, the White House continues to subvert immigration law. Last Friday, the administration announced that family members of active-duty troops and veterans will be exempt from deportation. Bowing to pressure from pro-immigration activists who falsely insist that under Obama the numbers of illegal immigrants deported have reached an all-time high, another category of aliens will be protected. This latest unconstitutional executive action comes despite a Center for Immigration Studies report that showed ICE interior enforcement deportations declined 19 percent from 2011 to 2012 and is on pace to drop an additional 22 percent in 2013.

Not deporting certain aliens is part of the administration’s ongoing pattern. In August, the White House ordered Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents to protect illegal alien parents with minor children. Last year the president told agents to stop deporting young aliens who would have qualified for the DREAM Act which would have granted citizenship to illegal immigrants brought to the U.S. as children and who were pursuing an education or promised to join the military. Although Congress repeatedly defeated the DREAM Act, Obama cited prosecutorial discretion to grant them legal standing. Prosecutorial discretion as it relates to immigration is a policy that began in 2011 and has expanded steadily since.

The outcome for immigration reform in 2013 remains cloudy. If Boehner evokes the Hastert Rule that no bill will be sent to the floor without the majority of Republicans supporting it, then it doesn’t matter how many signatures Denham collects. Assume though that Congress doesn’t take immigration up in what’s left of this year, the White House might continue its practice of doing amnesty in bits and pieces. Although President Obama says only Congress can enact full-fledged reform, his deeds contradict his words.

©2013 Joe Guzzardi and Capsweb.org – Joe Guzzardi is a Californians for Population Stabilization Senior Writing Fellow whose columns have been syndicated since 1986.. This column is distributed by Cagle Cartoons newspaper syndicate. For information on running this column in your publication or website, email Cari Dawson Bartley at cari@cagle.com. For comments to Joe email to joeguzzardi@capsweb.org.

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October Employment Report; Disneyland-Style Fantasy http://www.cagle.com/2013/11/october-employment-report-disneyland-style-fantasy/ http://www.cagle.com/2013/11/october-employment-report-disneyland-style-fantasy/#comments Fri, 15 Nov 2013 08:10:20 +0000 Joe Guzzardi http://www.cagle.com/?p=634544 A Wall Street friend told me he thinks that the October Bureau of Labor Statistics report’s deceptions are so great that Disneyland must have written it. For the umpteenth straight month, the mainstream media cherry-picked the handful of positive statistics but buried profoundly troubling data.

135561 600 October Employment Report; Disneyland Style Fantasy cartoons

Nate Beeler / Columbus Dispatch

According to the BLS employers’ survey, the one you read in your daily newspaper, in October the economy produced 204,000 jobs. Some analysts audaciously labeled the report “better than expected.”

But the household survey found that in October total employment fell by 735,000 which caused a spike in the official unemployment rate from 7.2 to 7.3 percent. The 735,000 jobs lost caused the labor force participation rate to fall by 0.4 percent to 62.8, the lowest since 1978; the employment-population ratio declined by 0.3 percent to 58.3 percent. Last month, a whopping 932, 000 Americans dropped out of the labor force.

This explosive increase in discouraged workers is the third highest in American history. If the current trend of United States’ workers who drop out continues at the existing rate, by 2017 more Americans will be on the labor market’s sidelines than participating in it. Shadow Stats, which studies flawed government economic statistics, pegs U-6 unemployment including Americans no longer looking for a job at 23.6 percent.

A closer look at the 204,000 new jobs tells a frightening tale. Well-paying, middle class jobs in manufacturing, construction, and finance have mostly vanished; six million fewer work in those categories than in 2000. Health care and education sectors have increased modestly while leisure, hospitality and retail have expanded. Unfortunately, the area that reflects the strongest job growth—leisure, hospitality and retail—is often part-time and pays the least.

Government’s real goal is not just to create jobs but to generate jobs that compensate well and therefore have high monetary value. Without the wealth that good jobs lead to, spending stagnates and the economy dips slowly but inevitably into recession.

One of the biggest factors in rising American unemployment is also the most overlooked. Federal immigration policy, operating on autopilot and disregarding the precipitous decline in the labor participation rate, has added about 1 million legal workers every year for two decades.

The Economic Policy Institute calculates that the ratio of job seekers to available jobs is 4:1. As a consequence, wages, benefits, health insurance and wealth have suffered. Nevertheless, in October and every other month in recent memory, 75,000 new legal workers enter the available employee pool, thus making it increasingly difficult for 20 million unemployed Americans, especially the unskilled, under-educated and returning veterans among them, to find work.

Even liberals agree that continued immigration hurts American workers. Former Secretary of Labor and University of California Public Policy Professor Robert Reich once said that legalizing illegal immigrants, part of the comprehensive immigration reform amnesty under consideration, would mean fewer jobs for some Americans. Said Reich: “The only reason any job remains unfilled is because the wage is too low. Require it to be filled with an American and employers have to raise the wage. But if they can get legal guest workers, they won’t.”

Using cumulative BLS reports from October 2009 through October 2013 and linking them to immigration, which the household survey that includes demographic data allows us to do, here’s the result: the share of total jobs held by immigrants has steadily increased over the last four years to 16.5 percent. Remember that new immigrants entering the labor market each month is a well established trend that will continue indefinitely unless federal immigration policy is restricted to reflect today’s economic reality.

©2013 Joe Guzzardi and Capsweb.org – Joe Guzzardi is a Californians for Population Stabilization Senior Writing Fellow whose columns have been syndicated since 1986. Contact him at joeguzzardi@capsweb.org.

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Immigration and Automation Will Leave American Workers Desperately Seeking Jobs http://www.cagle.com/2013/11/immigration-and-automation-will-leave-american-workers-desperately-seeking-jobs/ http://www.cagle.com/2013/11/immigration-and-automation-will-leave-american-workers-desperately-seeking-jobs/#comments Wed, 06 Nov 2013 08:10:25 +0000 Joe Guzzardi http://www.cagle.com/?p=634216 U.S. Representative and former vice presidential candidate Paul Ryan (R-WI) avidly supports comprehensive immigration reform. Maybe Ryan isn’t the fiscal conservative he proclaims to be; analysts estimate that the Senate immigration bill, versions of which the House has under consideration, will cost $6 trillion within 50 years, increase unemployment and further depress already stagnant wages.

135561 600 Immigration and Automation Will Leave American Workers Desperately Seeking Jobs cartoons

Nate Beeler / Columbus Dispatch

Ryan claims that the U.S. faces a long term labor shortage. As Ryan told Laura Ingram on her radio show, the U.S. needs to get busy right away to create an “immigration system that works to bring people to this country who want to contribute.”

Immigration advocates like Ryan are too loose with the facts and ignore other realities that debunk their amnesty arguments. First, the U.S. already has an “immigration system” that brings workers into the country. As of January 1, 2012, 13.3 million legal permanent residents as well as 1.9 million non-immigrant residents, mostly guest workers, students and their families, live in the U.S. Over the last 20 years, the U.S. has admitted, on average, more than 1 million immigrants a year. Immigration reform would legalize at least 11 million illegal aliens and grant them work permits. The labor pool, already overflowing, can’t accommodate more.

Even a casual observer would agree that America has a generous immigration policy and that the U.S. has a sufficiently high immigration rate to satisfy labor needs. Here’s proof. According to the federal Current Population Survey, since 2009 legal immigrants have gotten two-thirds of the net jobs increase, displacing in many cases American workers.

Job creation doesn’t keep up with population growth, and the few jobs that become available are mostly in the low paying service sector. More part-time than full time jobs are the norm, a trend that may become permanent when the Affordable Health Care Act is implemented. Obamacare requires employers to provide insurance to full time employees which it defines as a scant 30 hours weekly; employers who can’t afford to pay the insurance bills will rely more heavily on part-time staff.

Without acknowledging that today’s economy is troubled, Ryan prefers to direct the debate to what the future labor market will be. Here are two things Ryan conveniently disregarded. First as long as immigration remains on autopilot, at least a million new prospective workers arrive annually. Second, according to a new Oxford University report, over the next two decades, up to 45 percent of all U.S. jobs will be automated.

Oxford predicts that most of the positions eliminated will be those that don’t require high levels of “creative and social skills.” The authors foresee human displacement occurring in two phases: initially affected are jobs in production labor, services and sales. Within several years, management, science, and engineering jobs will slowly disappear. Americans who rely on traditional 9-5 employment will suffer the most. Conversely, corporations will benefit as automation’s cost savings mount up. Full employment is not business’ objective. Companies aim to maximize profits by minimizing labor and other overhead.

Ryan is wrong about the labor market on two counts. One, the U.S. already has an excess of labor which Ryan’s amnesty would exacerbate. Two, because of continued immigration and automation, 20 years from now jobs will be scarcer than they are today.

Since facts don’t deter immigration advocates, Ryan and his like-minded congressional allies will press on with their amnesty agenda. With the stakes so high, Congress is morally obligated to tell American workers the truth about amnesty and its consequences on their families. Better yet, legislators should stop promoting immigration reform until, at the earliest, America returns to full employment.

©2013 Joe Guzzardi and Capsweb.org – Joe Guzzardi is a Californians for Population Stabilization Senior Writing Fellow whose columns have been syndicated since 1986. Contact him at joeguzzardi@capsweb.org.

This column has been edited by the author. Representations of fact and opinions are solely those of the author.

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The Worse the Job Market, the Harder the Push for Immigration Reform http://www.cagle.com/2013/10/the-worse-the-job-market-the-harder-the-push-for-immigration-reform/ http://www.cagle.com/2013/10/the-worse-the-job-market-the-harder-the-push-for-immigration-reform/#comments Thu, 24 Oct 2013 07:10:48 +0000 Joe Guzzardi http://www.cagle.com/?p=633748 Month after depressing month, the Bureau of Labor Statistics releases its dismal jobs report. September was no different. Earlier this week, in the report the government shutdown delayed, the BLS announced that the U.S. economy added just 148,000 jobs, significantly fewer than anticipated and mostly in the low wage service and clerical functions. With legal immigration averaging more than 75,000 per month, immigrants could take half of the newly created jobs. The pitifully meager job growth doesn’t even keep up with the working age population growth which increased last month by 209,000.

136275 600 The Worse the Job Market, the Harder the Push for Immigration Reform cartoons

Gary McCoy / Cagle Cartoons

Despite the low jobs gain, the unemployment rate fell to 7.2 percent, the lowest since November 2008. The misleading unemployment calculations no longer include jobless Americans who have stopped looking for work. According to the Wall Street Journal, the U.S. has 90.6 million unemployed “non-institutionalized” (not living in prisons, mental facilities, homes for the elderly or serving in the military) men and women over the age of 16, an all-time high.

That’s 10 million more than the 80.5 million unemployed when President Obama took office. For every three Americans over the age of 16 earning a paycheck, there are two who aren’t looking for a job. Since 2008, among adults in their prime working years between 25 and 64, the number not working has increased by 1.8 million.

The unemployment crisis hurts all demographics. According to the Opportunity Nation coalition, 6 million young Americans aren’t attending school or working, a pattern that if it persists would severely restrict their futures. Without developing job skills or studying toward a degree, those 6 million would be limited to earning the minimum wage or enduring long term unemployment. The American Dream’s definition has been revised to mean having a part-time job, a rented apartment and a bus pass.

Given these appalling statistics, adding more workers to the labor market would make 20 million unemployed Americans’ job search much harder. Despite that obvious fact, last week President Obama demanded that Congress pass comprehensive immigration reform immediately. The Senate bill passed in June, S. 744, would give legal work permission to 11 million aliens and add more than 33 million foreign-born workers during the first two decades after it became law.

Economist Edwin S. Rubenstein, a former contributing editor to Forbes Magazine and the National Review crunched the BLS Household data, a different, more accurate set of numbers than the payroll statistics the administration uses. Rubenstein found that in September native-born American employment fell by 73,000 or 0.1 percent. During the same month, foreign-born employment rose by 206,000 or 0.9 percent. The immigrant share of total employment, 16.6 percent, is the highest for any September since President Obama took office.

During the five years between 2009 and 2013, foreign-born employment increase by 2.4 million, 10.8 percent, while American-born employment dropped by 254,000, 0.2 percent.

Since the Gang of 8 launched its immigration effort in February, Americans have been inundated with false, theoretical arguments explaining why more immigration is good for the economy and would create jobs. The evidence points in the opposite direction. More immigration is the last thing America needs. When the border is secured, and is proven secure for five years, and when the economy turns around, then and only then should Congress consider what immigration policy might benefit the U.S. In the meantime, Americans should be united against comprehensive immigration reform.

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©2013 Joe Guzzardi and Capsweb.org – Joe Guzzardi is a Californians for Population Stabilization Senior Writing Fellow whose columns have been syndicated since 1986. Contact him at joeguzzardi@capsweb.org

This column has been edited by the author. Representations of fact and opinions are solely those of the author.

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Jerry Brown Dictatorially Defies Federal Immigration Law http://www.cagle.com/2013/10/jerry-brown-dictatorially-defies-federal-immigration-law/ http://www.cagle.com/2013/10/jerry-brown-dictatorially-defies-federal-immigration-law/#comments Mon, 21 Oct 2013 12:55:27 +0000 Joe Guzzardi http://www.cagle.com/?p=633644 When Governor Jerry Brown signed the Trust Act, he ended the partnership established between local law enforcement and Immigration and Customers Enforcement authorities that the federal Secure Communities program established. Under Secure Communities, jails submit arrestees’ fingerprints to both criminal and immigration databases to identify deportable aliens.

136275 600 Jerry Brown Dictatorially Defies Federal Immigration Law cartoons

Gary McCoy / Cagle Cartoons

Brown’s signature made formal what had been for months an unofficial policy in several California counties. Santa Clara, San Francisco and Los Angeles counties beat Brown to the punch by embracing Trust Act non-deportation provisions even before it became law. In December, 2012 Attorney General Kamala Harris declared Secure Communities optional. Harris’ statement prompted Los Angeles County Sheriff Lee Baca to announce that he would no longer honor federal immigration law.

One of the arguments Secure Communities’ critics advance is that it deters illegal immigrants from reporting crime. As Baca spokesman Lee Whitmore told the Los Angeles Times, “The last thing we want is victims to be frightened to come forward.”

As always with illegal immigrants’ apologists, the facts don’t support their claims. In depth research refutes Whitmore’s disingenuous deception that illegal immigrant victims are too fearful of deportation to report crimes committed against them or their neighbors.

Last month, the Center for Immigration Studies published a report which, based on unimpeachable sources, summarized the relationship between various ethnic groups and local police. The CIS analysis concluded that the so called “chilling effect” barrier between immigrants and law enforcement that Trust Act advocates like Whitmore claim discourages crime reporting is non-existent.

First, the Bureau of Justice Statistics’ data show no significant differences in crime reporting among ethnic groups. Generally, Hispanics are slightly more likely to report crime than other groups with Hispanic females being the most trusting of police.

Second, the University of Virginia and the Police Executive Research Foundation found no decline in crime reporting by Hispanics even after local police implemented a program to screen offenders for immigration status and to refer aliens to ICE for removal.

Third, CIS found that the most commonly mentioned reason immigrants don’t report crime is not distrust of immigration authorities but limited English (47 percent), cultural differences (22 percent) and a lack of understanding of the U.S. criminal justice system (15 percent).

Several days before he signed the Trust Act, Brown also signed AB 60 which allows aliens to apply for driver’s licenses and AB 1024 which will grant illegal immigrants the right to practice law. These measures blur, if not eradicate, the distinction between California’s citizens and its illegal immigrants.

Governor Jerry Brown is really Dictator Jerry Brown. Federal laws that he doesn’t agree with, he defies. Bad bills that arrive on his desk which put Californians at risk, he signs with impunity.

Brown has nothing to fear from Attorney General Eric Holder. In 2010 Arizona passed AB 1070 that gave permission to police to ask for proof of residency from individuals legitimately detained on other charges. Holder sued Arizona.

Unfortunately, the chance that Holder will intercede on behalf of millions of Californians unprotected from deportable aliens is zero. For Holder, protecting illegal immigrants’ perceived rights takes precedent over his sworn constitutional duty to uphold all federal laws, including those related to immigration.

©2013 Joe Guzzardi and Capsweb.org – Joe Guzzardi is a Californians for Population Stabilization Senior Writing Fellow whose columns have been syndicated since 1986.. This column is distributed by Cagle Cartoons newspaper syndicate. For information on running this column in your publication or website, email Cari Dawson Bartley at cari@cagle.com. For comments to Joe email to joeguzzardi@capsweb.org.

This column has been edited by the author. Representations of fact and opinions are solely those of the author.

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Immigration Advocates Hit New Low on Capital Hill http://www.cagle.com/2013/10/immigration-advocates-hit-new-low-on-capital-hill/ http://www.cagle.com/2013/10/immigration-advocates-hit-new-low-on-capital-hill/#comments Mon, 14 Oct 2013 06:35:25 +0000 Joe Guzzardi http://www.cagle.com/?p=633427 The latest news in the never-ending battle between American patriots and immigration extremists is more stomach-turning than the most grizzled political observer could ever have imagined.

133873 600 Immigration Advocates Hit New Low on Capital Hill cartoons

Nate Beeler / Columbus Dispatch

After a weekend of nationwide marches and demonstrations, on October 8 pro-amnesty radicals led by House Minority leader Nancy Pelosi rallied at Washington’s National Mall. When it comes to immigration reform, grandstanding events are common. Dating back to 2003, some members of Congress sworn to uphold United States’ laws and defend American citizens, have futilely tried to win votes for comprehensive immigration reform, essentially representing the interests of foreign nationals.

Organizers predicted hundreds of thousands would turn out. As usual, they erred. Best estimates put the crowd size at 10,000 with many leaving immediately after the popular Latino band Los Tigres del Norte, also publicly committed to amnesty, finished its act.

Pursuing the same failed strategy for a decade calls into question the organizers’ wisdom. This year’s event, however, had unique, ugly twists to it. The protest took place on the National Mall which because of the government shut down has been closed since October 1. Earlier in the week, the National Park Service blocked World War II veterans, many of them in wheelchairs, from entering the mall. The NPS is still barring tourists from the open air site. The White House’s message: American war heroes and law abiding citizens are banned from the mall while illegal immigrants will be accommodated regardless. Taxpaying John Q. Public isn’t allowed to walk his family through the mall but immigration advocates can set up a massive platform with microphones, three large screen televisions and foghorns to stage political theater in pursuit of its subversive agenda.

Nauseating sideshows were the order of the day. Pelosi thanked the illegal immigrant crowd for “making America more American” and led the “si se puede” chanting.

Capitol Hill police arrested 8 U.S. House Representatives and 200 other immigrants. They were charged with “crowding, obstructing and incommoding.” For future reference, readers should memorize the representative’s names: Georgia’s John Lewis, Minnesota’s Keith Ellison, Illinois’ Luis Gutierrez and Jan Schakowsky, Arizona’s Raul Grijalva, New York’s Charles Rangel and Joseph Crowley, and Texas’ Al Green.

The carnival atmosphere keeps buried the devastating effect amnesty would have on American workers. Legalization would give instant work authorization to 11 million illegal immigrants and allow them to compete with 20 million unemployed Americans including Hispanics, blacks, Asians, the disabled and returning veterans.

During the rally, D.C. Mayor Vincent Gray took the stage to announce that he wants to give driver’s licenses to the district’s illegal immigrants. When asked how that policy would help his city’s 20 percent black unemployment rate, more than twice the white rate, Gray changed the subject.

I’ll answer for Gray. Issuing driver’s licenses, granting other entitlements or, more important, legalizing illegal immigrants would punish Americans by making their bad employment situation worse. Licenses allow aliens to drive to jobs they’re not legally authorized to hold. Entitlements like licenses, medical care and discounted university tuition serve as beacons to those who may be considering coming to the United States illegally. For them, the reward offsets the risk.

The D.C. protests represented a wonderful opportunity to detain and deport thousands who knowingly broke American laws. Such an action would have sent the message that, no matter what the outcome of the current congressional amnesty debate may be, the U.S. will always enforce its immigration laws. Instead, the administration promoted civil disobedience and encouraged anti-American sentiment.

©2013 Joe Guzzardi and Capsweb.org – Joe Guzzardi is a Californians for Population Stabilization Senior Writing Fellow whose columns have been syndicated since 1986.. This column is distributed by Cagle Cartoons newspaper syndicate. For information on running this column in your publication or website, email Cari Dawson Bartley at cari@cagle.com. For comments to Joe email to joeguzzardi@capsweb.org.

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New, Compelling Evidence that More Immigration Leads to Higher Poverty http://www.cagle.com/2013/10/new-compelling-evidence-that-more-immigration-leads-to-higher-poverty/ http://www.cagle.com/2013/10/new-compelling-evidence-that-more-immigration-leads-to-higher-poverty/#comments Tue, 08 Oct 2013 07:05:22 +0000 Joe Guzzardi http://www.cagle.com/?p=633254 One fact in the endless immigration debate is unarguable: the more entitlements California makes available to illegal aliens, the more beckoning the state becomes. Earlier last week, Governor Jerry Brown signed a bill that will allow illegal aliens to obtain drivers licenses.

133873 600 New, Compelling Evidence that More Immigration Leads to Higher Poverty cartoons

Nate Beeler / Columbus Dispatch

He also signed bills that would permit illegal immigrants to practice law, and another that would block employers from retaliating against employees by threatening to turn them over to immigration authorities. A third, the Trust Act, would make it difficult if not impossible to deport any but the most violent criminal aliens. Lesser offenses like vehicular manslaughter, armed robbery and dozens of others would get a pass.

These bills will now be added to the already bursting-at-the seams-package that lures illegal immigrants to California: jobs, discounted university tuition, health care, welfare benefits and a society that offers every conceivable customer service in Spanish. California is 20 years away chronologically but a million miles realistically from 1994 when voters unanimously passed Proposition 187 that would deny illegal immigrants access to many social services.

Geographically, Mexico and Central America are the closest points from which to enter California. Unfortunately, those countries have high poverty and illiteracy levels. Their citizens, although willing to work hard, have limited skills, speak little English and have, historically, experienced assimilation difficulties.

California has incentivized illegal immigration, both by ignoring federal statutes and rewriting its own, all-forgiving immigration laws. The inevitable consequence of decades of non-enforcement along with liberalized immigration laws and sharing a border with Mexico is that California’s poverty rate is the nation’s highest.

The Public Policy Institute of California (PPIC) recently revised the standards for measuring poverty that include a new variable: standard of living as determined by welfare reliance and its relationship to housing costs. Working with the Stanford Center on Poverty and Inequality, PPIC researchers found that California’s poverty rate is 22 percent compared to the official 16 percent the Census Bureau’s American Community Survey released.

Not surprisingly, the poorest county is the one with the most immigrants, Los Angeles. PPIC reported that Los Angeles County actually has a shocking 27 percent poverty level versus the officially reported 18 percent. People who live in more affordable communities like Sacramento or Placer counties have less poverty than Los Angeles; the San Joaquin Valley, more.

The PPIC analysis comes on top of last year’s Washington, D.C.-based Center on Budget and Policy Priorities (CBPP) troubling study that ranked California third in income disparity, ahead of only Arizona and New Mexico.

One irony PPIC inadvertently uncovered is that two of the richest communities, Hollywood and Silicon Valley, are home to the most vocal comprehensive immigration reform advocates. Cheaper domestic workers and an endless flow of foreign-born low-wage labor engineers trump the common good—an economically stable California.

If immigration is good for the economy and job creation, as Congress and Governor Brown insist, then California which has the nation’s most immigrants should be the richest and not the poorest state. But evidence from PPIC and the CBPP proves that too much immigration, especially at the pace at which it’s arriving in California, is bad for everyone.

©2013 Joe Guzzardi and Capsweb.org – Joe Guzzardi is a Californians for Population Stabilization Senior Writing Fellow whose columns have been syndicated since 1986.. This column is distributed by Cagle Cartoons newspaper syndicate. For information on running this column in your publication or website, email Cari Dawson Bartley at cari@cagle.com. For comments to Joe email to joeguzzardi@capsweb.org.

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Illegal Immigrant Lobby to Stage National Demand for Amnesty, Work Authorization http://www.cagle.com/2013/09/illegal-immigrant-lobby-to-stage-national-demand-for-amnesty-work-authorization/ http://www.cagle.com/2013/09/illegal-immigrant-lobby-to-stage-national-demand-for-amnesty-work-authorization/#comments Tue, 01 Oct 2013 05:36:25 +0000 Joe Guzzardi http://www.cagle.com/?p=633008 On October 5, as part of their ceaseless demand that Congress passes comprehensive immigration reform, illegal aliens and their advocates will hold a National Day of Dignity and Respect. Their goal is to achieve immediate legal status, with work authorization, and eventual citizenship. If successful, at least 11 million aliens would compete with Americans for the handful of available jobs.

135561 600 Illegal Immigrant Lobby to Stage National Demand for Amnesty, Work Authorization cartoons

Nate Beeler / Columbus Dispatch

Thousands including the ACLU, the AFL-CIO and the Service Employees International Union will march in Los Angeles, Atlanta, Chicago as well as other major cities protesting for what they perceive as their rights.

All humans deserve to be treated with dignity and respect including two groups that in the immigration reform debate Congress has ignored, mainly American workers whose wages have been stagnant for decades and the currently 20 million unemployed or under-employed.

Behind closed doors congressional amnesty negotiations continue despite a growing mountain of economic evidence that the last thing the United States needs is to add 11 million illegal aliens to the nation’s labor pool. Whatever final form immigration reform may take, the first effort would be to issue legal work permits to formerly unemployable illegal immigrants. For native-born Americans or legal immigrants lucky enough to have a job, keeping it will be harder. Those looking for a job will have a tougher time.

Most know that the job market is awful. But few understand just how painful it is to be an unemployed American. To grasp how desperate the employment picture is and how bad it’s going to remain, let’s first analyze how we arrived at the troubled economy we’re in.

According to the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, 8.7 million jobs were lost since the December 2007 began. The Bureau of Labor Statistics states that the net new jobs created since 2009 is a paltry 5.4 million, a total slightly less than the 6 million young Americans who have graduated from high school and college in the last four years. Not only doesn’t job growth keep up with populations increases, it can’t even match the numbers of diplomas earned each year. The federal autopilot policy of issuing more than 1 million permanent residency and another 700, 000 work visas like the H-1B and J-1, plus corporate overseas job outsourcing compound the crisis.

In 1983 the U.S. population was almost 234 million; today, it’s more 315 million. The labor force participation rate, the employed percentage of the U.S. population, decreased last month to 63.2 percent, the lowest since August 1978. For those lucky enough to have a job, 8 million work part-time, most of them in the low-wage service industry that rarely offers health care, paid vacations or retirement plans. Finally, the Associated Press recently reported that 80 percent of Americans have or will live at near-poverty and be welfare dependent at some time during their lives.

Analysts’ best estimate is that it may take another eight years to get the unemployment rate below pre-recession levels. Little wonder than Americans over age 50 worry that they may never work again.

The non-stop amnesty lobbying effort is led by the Chamber of Commerce, Hispanic advocates and multibillionaires like Mark Zuckerberg and Michael Bloomberg. So far, Congress has been in rapt attention to their claims of a worker shortage and has steadfastly refused to take a stand against legislation that would devastate unemployed Americans.

The October 5 political theater will generate heavy media coverage. As you’re watching, remember unemployed Americans’ plight; some may be family or close friends. Americans deserve the first shot at jobs, if and when they become available.

©2013 Joe Guzzardi and Capsweb.org – Joe Guzzardi is a Californians for Population Stabilization Senior Writing Fellow whose columns have been syndicated since 1986.. This column is distributed by Cagle Cartoons newspaper syndicate. For information on running this column in your publication or website, email Cari Dawson Bartley at cari@cagle.com. For comments to Joe email to joeguzzardi@capsweb.org.

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Congress Rolls Out Carpet for Greedy Zuckerberg http://www.cagle.com/2013/09/congress-rolls-out-carpet-for-greedy-zuckerberg/ http://www.cagle.com/2013/09/congress-rolls-out-carpet-for-greedy-zuckerberg/#comments Mon, 23 Sep 2013 06:19:44 +0000 Joe Guzzardi http://www.cagle.com/?p=632721 Billionaires for Cheap Labor—that’s how Facebook’s Chief Executive Officer Mark Zuckerberg’s Washington D.C. trip should have been labeled. Zuckerberg met with Congress’ most influential leaders to push for comprehensive immigration reform, suddenly his favorite cause.

105769 600 Congress Rolls Out Carpet for Greedy Zuckerberg cartoons

Taylor Jones / Cagle Cartoons

Rolling two lies into one sentence, Zuckerberg insisted that increasing the H-1B visa cap “isn’t the big point” but that “addressing and helping out the 11 million undocumented is actually a much bigger problem.”

Silicon Valley, including Facebook, has for nearly two decades used the H-1B visa to displace American workers with cheaper, younger foreign-born labor. Facebook, like every high tech employer, has a vested economic interest in increasing the cheap overseas labor pool.

Earlier this year, Zuckerberg formed FWD.us which describes itself as dedicated to moving immigration reform forward. Zuckerberg hired an in house staff of seven registered lobbyists and 20 outside advocates from Capitol Hill’s five most influential public relations firms to advance his anti-American worker agenda. A total of twenty-seven lobbyists dedicated to reforming immigration that will legalize at least 11 million illegal aliens and import millions more overseas workers spells bad news for unemployed Americans.

In April, Zuckerberg’s lobbyists scored a major victory in their ongoing efforts to undermine struggling Americans. By urging legislators to insert a few key words into the Senate’s immigration bill, S. 744, Facebook’s lobbying team enabled the company to circumvent an existing requirement that it make “a good faith effort” to hire Americans before petitioning overseas workers. As an added bonus, because of the repurposed Senate language, Facebook could also avoid paying higher wages to H-1B visa holders.

Facebook, advancing a third lie, wants Congress to believe that without more foreign-born workers, IT will collapse. Analysts have compiled a mountain of evidence that no IT labor shortage exists. In its 2013 study, the Economic Policy Institute wrote that “the United States has more than a sufficient supply of workers available to work in STEM [Science, Technology, Engineering and Math] occupations.” The EPI found that for every 2 U.S. students who graduate with STEM degrees, only one is hired into a STEM job. Furthermore, among those not hired 32 percent said that no IT jobs are available and 53 percent said they found better job opportunities outside of IT. These responses prove that the IT market is glutted and that its wages are substandard compared to other industries.

Zuckerberg’s alleged compassion for 11 million illegal immigrants is misplaced. He should consider hurting Americans instead. For the last three years, 57 million working age Americans (16-65) have been either unemployed or out of the labor market. Coincidentally, 57 million represents the total of new immigrant workers that S. 744 would allow to compete with distraught Americans for the small handful of available jobs. More depressing statistics Zuckerberg would rather avoid: median household income remains flat, continuing a decade-long pattern; nearly 47 million American live in poverty, 47 million receive food stamps, a total larger than many nation’s populations. Charity, Zuckerberg should be reminded, begins at home.

With a net worth of $22 billion, Zuckerberg is America’s 20th richest person, exactly the profile Congress loves. Bowing and scraping, big shots like Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid and House Leader John Boehner rolled out the red carpet for one of America’s most well-known but craven public figures.

Neither Congress nor Zuckerberg cares about Americans’ struggles. What they do care about is more money and more power. Whether Zuckerberg can successfully convince Congress to pass an immigration bill tripling legal immigration’s current annual flow is uncertain. What is known is that Americans, despite Zuckerberg’s widely disseminated misinformation, want illegal immigration ended and legal immigration dramatically reduced.

©2013 Joe Guzzardi and Capsweb.org – Joe Guzzardi is a Californians for Population Stabilization Senior Writing Fellow whose columns have been syndicated since 1986.. This column is distributed by Cagle Cartoons newspaper syndicate. For information on running this column in your publication or website, email Cari Dawson Bartley at cari@cagle.com. For comments to Joe email to joeguzzardi@capsweb.org.

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For California’s Illegal Immigrants, a Great Week http://www.cagle.com/2013/09/for-californias-illegal-immigrants-a-great-week/ http://www.cagle.com/2013/09/for-californias-illegal-immigrants-a-great-week/#comments Wed, 18 Sep 2013 07:05:49 +0000 Joe Guzzardi http://www.cagle.com/?p=632575 For California’s illegal immigrants, September is off to a rewarding start.

On September 4, in a shocking vote to undermine safety and to erode federal immigration law enforcement, the California Assembly passed AB 4, the so-called TRUST Act. AB 4 would prohibit state and local police from honoring U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement detainers in all but the most extreme cases.

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Rick McKee / Augusta Chronicle

An ICE detainer advises a state or local law enforcement agency that it seeks custody of a criminal alien for arrest and removal. However, when ordered by the state to ignore ICE detainers, local jails must release criminals back onto the street where they can continue their lives of crime. Aliens have already broken U.S. immigration laws and have no legal right to be in the country. As Melissa Melendez, a member of the assembly’s public safety commission argued, “I don’t want to turn California into one gigantic sanctuary city.”

If Governor Jerry Brown signs AB 4, California’s participation in Secure Communities would be severely restricted. Although the California Assembly and civil rights organizations consider Secure Communities a threat to family unity and error-prone, former ICE director and immigration advocate John Morton called it “the future of immigration enforcement” because it “focuses our resources on identifying and removing the most serious criminal offenders first and foremost.”

Last year, Brown vetoed AB 1081, similar legislation, and wrote that he could not support the bill because it would bar local cooperation even when the arrestee has been convicted of crimes involving child abuse, drug trafficking, illicit weapons resale, or gang involvement.

Then, Assemblyman Tom Ammiano rewrote AB 1081 to allow local authorities to hold aliens previously convicted of those crimes. Now, the still dangerous loophole-filled bill heads to Brown’s desk for his signature.

When it comes to subverting the law, California’s tenacious government never gives up. A few days after the Trust Act passed, the state senate approved AB 60 which will allow illegal immigrants to get California driver’s licenses.

Over the past two decades, former Assemblyman Gil Cedillo sponsored various forms of this measure. Governors Gray Davis and Arnold Schwarzenegger vetoed them all. Davis added that issuing driver’s licenses to aliens is an “invitation for fraud.” In what’s one of the most outrageous defenses of licenses for aliens, Brown said that the bill would allow: “millions of people to get to work safely and legally.” Illegal immigrants cannot legally be employed and should not be working with so many Americans unemployed.

As for the public’s well being, advocates promise that newly authorized immigrant drivers will get insurance. The evidence, however, belies the assumption. In New Mexico, which first granted licenses to aliens in 2003 with the same hope for enhanced on-road safety, is instead consistently one of the most under-insured states. According to the Insurance Research Council, New Mexico has twice the national average number of uninsured drivers.

Although California passes many of its subversive bills in the name of immigrant rights, they’re hurtful to Hispanic-Americans who respect and obey the law. The Trust Act guts Secure Communities which is intended to protect Americans. And giving aliens licenses encourages them to look for jobs that native-born Americans and legal immigrants should hold.

Liberalizing immigration laws may play well in the Hispanic lobby. But it has the unwanted effect of encouraging sane middle class Californians as well as small business owners to move out of state and take their tax dollars with them. California can’t afford middle class flight exacerbated by subsidizing illegal immigration.

©2013 Joe Guzzardi and Capsweb.org – Joe Guzzardi is a Californians for Population Stabilization Senior Writing Fellow whose columns have been syndicated since 1986.. This column is distributed by Cagle Cartoons newspaper syndicate. For information on running this column in your publication or website, email Cari Dawson Bartley at cari@cagle.com. For comments to Joe email to joeguzzardi@capsweb.org.

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Labor Day: Remembering Cesar Chavez Enforement Advocate http://www.cagle.com/2013/08/labor-day-remembering-cesar-chavez-enforement-advocate/ http://www.cagle.com/2013/08/labor-day-remembering-cesar-chavez-enforement-advocate/#comments Thu, 29 Aug 2013 07:05:05 +0000 Joe Guzzardi http://www.cagle.com/?p=631882 More than 50 years ago, Cesar Chavez co-founded the United Farm Workers with Dolores Huerta. Today, the UFW and Huerta remain active in their ongoing effort to win citizenship for illegal immigrants. At a recent Bakersfield rally, UFW president Arturo Rodriguez and Huerta joined others outside U.S. Representative Kevin McCarthy’s office to demand immigration reform. But if Chavez, who died in 1994, were still alive he may not have been part of the demonstration.

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Rick McKee / Augusta Chronicle

Since his death, the Arizona-born Chavez has become a cultural icon. Chavez’s birthday is a state holiday in California, Arizona and Texas. City streets and high schools bear Chavez’s name. In 2002, the U.S. Postal Service issued a stamp featuring Chavez’s image. Chavez had a unique ability to form multiracial coalitions that included Mexicans, Filipinos and Americans to work toward a collective good.

Yet, time has erased the irony that for most of his storied career as a labor organizer, Cesar Chavez opposed illegal immigration. Chavez knew that when the labor pool expands—illegal immigration’s primary effect—workers suffer either through lower wages or lost jobs.

In May 1974, Chavez proposed his “Campaign against Illegals.” In a memo he sent to all UFW offices, Chavez informed his staff that the UFW was about to embark on a “massive campaign to get the recent flood of illegals out of California.” Chavez distributed forms to staff to use to report illegal immigrants to the Immigration and Naturalization Service. He also urged his members to call Congress to protest illegal immigration and to campaign for their deportation. Eventually, Chavez twice testified before Congress about illegal immigration’s detrimental effects on American workers.

Speaking at the National Press Club in Washington, D.C., in 1979, Chavez demanded that the federal government take seriously its constitutional duty to keep illegal immigrants out of the fields and out of the country. He boldly stated that if “my mother was breaking the strike and if she were illegal, I’d ask the same thing.” The reason, Chavez explained, is that picket lines and unions are about wage levels and employment opportunities. Combating illegal immigration is about economic issues: “it’s not a political game.” Chavez added that: “People are being hurt and being destroyed with the complicity of the federal government.”

When Congress returns from its August recess to debate a possible immigration bill, Chavez provides an example for legislators. America’s immigration laws are not, as Chavez put it, a “political game” played to placate the self-interests of racial, ethnic, and religious groups or to be used as a political wedge issue to pacify or to divide specific voting blocs or to become a rallying cry for demagogic street activists to push their private agendas.

Ridding the labor market of illegal immigrant workers is about the economic well-being of the United States’ most needy: low-skilled native-born and legal immigrant workers.

In June, the Senate passed the Border Security, Economic Opportunity and Immigration Modernization Act that would authorize 11 million illegal immigrants living in the U.S to work legally. The bill would also add 20 million overseas workers during the next two decades. Despite the unarguable math, the UFW supports the legislation. Chavez would not. And by opposing the bill, Chavez would likely be called a racist.

©2013 Joe Guzzardi and Capsweb.org – Joe Guzzardi is a Californians for Population Stabilization Senior Writing Fellow whose columns have been syndicated since 1986.. This column is distributed by Cagle Cartoons newspaper syndicate. For information on running this column in your publication or website, email Cari Dawson Bartley at cari@cagle.com. For comments to Joe email joeguzzardi@capsweb.org.

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Administrative Amnesty Prospects Improve http://www.cagle.com/2013/08/administrative-amnesty-prospects-improve/ http://www.cagle.com/2013/08/administrative-amnesty-prospects-improve/#comments Wed, 28 Aug 2013 07:10:16 +0000 Joe Guzzardi http://www.cagle.com/?p=631849 The prospect of a comprehensive administrative amnesty for illegal aliens increased last week. On Friday, the White House issued a new policy telling immigration agents not to arrest and deport illegal immigrant parents of minor children. The move extends amnesty-in-place to yet another category of aliens.

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Nate Beeler / Columbus Dispatch

The administration’s step-by-step amnesty began in June 2011 when then-Immigration and Customs Enforcement director John Morton ordered his staff to use prosecutorial discretion in deportation cases. Instead of focusing strictly on immigration law violators, ICE working in tandem with the Justice Department would decide whether the alien had committed what in their collective opinions were serious crimes. The excuse the Department of Homeland Security offered for this constitutional violation was that by not deporting individuals ICE deemed non-threatening, it could devote its financial resources on removing those who pose serious risks to local communities.

In 2012, at President Obama’s direction, DHS expanded prosecutorial discretion to include deferred action for childhood arrivals (DACA), also unconstitutional. In the first year since DACA began, DHS has approved 430,000 applicants and, an added bonus, issued work permits to them.

Then last week, President Obama took his third and latest step on the road to a complete administrative amnesty. In its nine-page memo called the “Family Interest Directive,” ICE again ordered agents to exercise prosecutorial discretion, this time to avoid detaining DACA’s parents. Should they be detained, agents must make sure the parents can visit with their children or participate in family court proceedings. The latest policy could allow previously deported aliens to return to the U.S. to participate in any legal procedure, immigration related or not, involving their minor children.

Two years ago, Obama admitted that if he avoided Congress on immigration it would be unconstitutional. When asked at a spring 2011 Univision town hall why he didn’t simply stop the deportation of young illegals through an executive order, Obama replied that “there are laws on the books…Congress passes the law. The Executive Branch’s job is to enforce and implement those laws.” Obama concluded that to “ignore congressional mandates would not conform with my appropriate role as president.”

Despite Obama’s staunch words, radical, Marxist special interest groups changed the president’s mind. Prosecutorial discretion is not Congress’ brainchild but instead an idea that sprung up from amnesty advocates like the National Council of La Raza. By caving into them, the administration gives official standing to radical groups who promote a far left political agenda. Instead of Congress enforcing immigration law, radicals have veto power of who is detained and deported.

Republican House Judiciary Committee Chairman Bob Goodlatte blasted the ICE memo as the latest in Obama’s efforts to circumvent immigration law by “directing ICE agents to stop removing broad categories of unlawful immigrants.” Goodlatte said that Obama is trying to “politicize the issue” rather than work with Congress for a compromise bill.

But since Republicans did nothing to stop or even to object to Obama’s first two DHS directives to ignore immigration law, it’s unlikely they’ll take meaningful action this time around. So tepid has Republican’s response been to the administration’s anti-enforcement that presidential candidate Mitt Romney never mentioned it during his campaign.

How much further the White House may go to advance prosecutorial discretion is unknown. The Congressional Research Service writes that the president’s prosecutorial discretion powers are “broad,” they are not however “unfettered.” While that’s encouraging, it may not be enough. Unless Republicans, fulfilling their role as the opposition party, mount strong resistance, there could be a fourth step not too far in the future.

©2013 Joe Guzzardi and Capsweb.org – Joe Guzzardi is a Californians for Population Stabilization Senior Writing Fellow whose columns have been syndicated since 1987.. This column is distributed by Cagle Cartoons newspaper syndicate. For information on running this column in your publication or website, email Cari Dawson Bartley at cari@cagle.com. For comments to Joe email joeguzzardi@capsweb.org.

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California to Release Criminals Into Overcrowded Local Communities http://www.cagle.com/2013/08/california-to-release-criminals-into-overcrowded-local-communities/ http://www.cagle.com/2013/08/california-to-release-criminals-into-overcrowded-local-communities/#comments Fri, 09 Aug 2013 15:35:44 +0000 Joe Guzzardi http://www.cagle.com/?p=631196 Last week the Supreme Court refused to delay the release of thousands of inmates from California state prisons. Severe overcrowding in the prison system has, in the court’s eyes, led to substandard medical and mental health treatment. Despite Governor Jerry Brown’s argument that setting dangerous prisoners free would create mayhem and put residents at risk, 10,000 inmates must be released before December 31 as part of a longer term plan to reduce the prison population by 30,000. The Court rejected Brown’s plea that California has already transferred thousands of low-level and nonviolent offenders to county jails. Unfortunately, local officials have freed some inmates early to ease their own overcrowding issues.

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Monte Wolverton / Cagle Cartoons

For Californians looking for the bright side, they can take cold comfort in knowing that they’ll no longer have to foot the huge bill for housing thousands of illegal immigrants. The latest data from the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation (CDCR) and originally reported by Bakersfield Eyewitness News found that a staggering number of illegal immigrants are housed in California’s prisons and jails with beleaguered taxpayers picking up the tab. According to CDCR’s findings, there were 16,902 inmates on hold for Immigration and Customs Enforcement. Also 3,962 prisoners were listed as potential ICE holds.

The total, 20,864 illegal immigrant inmates, represents about 13 percent of California’s prison count. Many come from nations known to sponsor terrorism like Afghanistan, Egypt and the Congo.

More silver lining, if you can call it that: at 13 percent, California’s immigration prison population is lower than the nation’s 20 percent average. But more realistic Californians think they’ve gotten the double whammy. They paid a King’s ransom to house foreign-born criminal inmates who, once released, might victimize them again.

The CDCR estimates the per-inmate cost at nearly $45,000 a year or an aggregate annual taxpayer expense of about $1 billion. The $1 billion is part of the overall cost of illegal immigration in California, estimated at $22 billion by the Federation of American Immigration Reform. Of the immigrants in state prison, the CDCR reports that most (15,985) are from Mexico with 14,037 illegally present but only 1,928 legal residents. More than 1,100 aliens have been convicted of first degree murder.

Potential solutions include sending the foreign nationals home to serve out their sentences. Under California law, the governor or his designee is authorized to approve foreign prisoner transfers as part of the Department of Justice’s International Prisoner Transfer Program, a combination of treaties, conventions, federal and states’ laws.

But the transfer program is rarely used. Created in 1977, only a handful of prisoners have been extradited. When extradition has been to Mexico, convicts frequently return and create a futile revolving door pattern.

The simplest and easiest resolution is vigorous border security that would help keep aliens out of California and thus, by extension, reduce the numbers of crimes they commit. Border security has been talked about and promised for years.

California Reps. Kevin McCarthy and Jim Costa agree that border protection is the key to keeping criminal aliens out of the state’s penal system. But no matter how high illegal immigration’s costs soar, little is ever done. In June, the Senate passed the Border Security, Economic Opportunity and Immigration Modernization Act, S. 744, that ironically subordinated secure borders to the instant legalization of illegal immigrants. The Senate made vague, down the line enforcement promises but in the end will rely on the Homeland Security Secretary’s opinion to deem, without having to produce tangible evidence, that the border is secure.

The House refuses to take up S. 744 and promises instead to do immigration reform piecemeal with a special emphasis on border security. With Congress on its August recess, wary Americans don’t know what might happen. No wonder they’re leery. When it comes to protecting the border, empty promises have been the rule rather than the exception.

©2013 Joe Guzzardi and Capsweb.org – Joe Guzzardi is a Californians for Population Stabilization Senior Writing Fellow whose columns have been syndicated since 1986.. This column is distributed by Cagle Cartoons newspaper syndicate. For information on running this column in your publication or website, email Cari Dawson Bartley at cari@cagle.com. For comments to Joe email joeguzzardi@capsweb.org.

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Immigrants to March on Washington Demanding Legal Status http://www.cagle.com/2013/04/immigrants-to-march-on-washington-demanding-legal-status/ http://www.cagle.com/2013/04/immigrants-to-march-on-washington-demanding-legal-status/#comments Tue, 02 Apr 2013 07:10:11 +0000 Joe Guzzardi http://www.cagle.com/?p=626256 Here we go again. On April 10, thousands of illegal immigrants and their lobbyists will gather on the National Mall to support an immigration reform bill that the Senate is expected to introduce this month.

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Daryl Cagle / Cagle Cartoons (click to view more cartoons by Cagle)

Every time Congress debates immigration, large crowds gather in various major cities nationwide. Through their sheer numbers, they hope to persuade legislators that they deserve to live legally in the United States.

The mass protest strategy is at least a decade old and has consistently failed. In 2003, the Immigration Freedom Bus Ride began its voyage from downtown Los Angeles and 17 other big cities to descend on Washington to demand legal status. The organizers outrageously drew comparisons to the original 1961 Freedom Ride when African-Americans and their white allies rode to the South to challenge segregation. During the last decade, other high visibility illegal immigrant demonstrations have occurred in Los Angeles, Chicago and Washington, D.C.

The game plan is ill conceived. Aliens have an audience much larger than the Senate and the House of Representatives. During the 2006 and 2007 amnesty pushes, when Americans turned on their evening news and saw aliens demanding permanent legal residency, citizens’ phone calls and faxes flooded Congress’ offices.

Although many claim that public attitudes toward immigration reform have improved during the seven years since the George W. Bush era amnesties, the truth is different. The public doesn’t believe any immigration enforcement promise that Congress makes. As a matter of fact, Americans don’t trust Congress on any issue; hence, it’s 14 percent approval rating.

Take, as an example, the current immigration deal under consideration and for which enforcement is allegedly the key. Four Senators from the Gang of Eight—Mike Bennet (D-CO), Chuck Schumer (D-NY), John McCain (R-AZ) and Jeff Flake (R-AZ)—spent part of their congressional spring break touring the border. While there, McCain tweeted that he saw a woman scale the fence in full view. Nevertheless, Schumer reiterated what Department of Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano lied about earlier this year, that the border is secure and comprehensive immigration reform can go forward without further delay. Schumer added that a porous border is less important that getting 11 million aliens “out of the shadows.”

To be clear: Schumer is eye-witness to an illegal border crosser, then declares the border secure and announces that Congress has to go full bore to get aliens “out of the shadows,” the same aliens who will descend on Capitol Hill in broad daylight in two weeks.

According to rumors, the Gang of Eight reached a tentative agreement this weekend that will, among other things, create about 20,000 new visas for low-skilled labor. For poor, unemployed Americans who would willingly take a custodial or hospitality job, the new “W” visa will make their search much harder.

But few in powerful positions in business or politics care about struggling Americans. The Gang of Eight and the White House’s goal is to provide as much cheap labor as possible for their corporate donors.

The February U-6 unemployment rate is 14.3; 22 million Americans are unemployed or under-employed. Yet Congress and President Obama, who campaigned on job creation, are determined to ram through an immigration bill that would have dire consequences for the most vulnerable Americans.

The surprise isn’t that Congress’s 14 percent approval rating is so low. The shocker is that, in light of Congress’ defiant persistence on immigration, it’s so high.

©2013 Joe Guzzardi and Capsweb.org – Joe Guzzardi is a Californians for Population Stabilization Senior Writing Fellow whose columns have been syndicated since 1986.. This column is distributed by Cagle Cartoons newspaper syndicate. For information on running this column in your publication or website, email cari@cagle.com or call 800 696 7561. Contact Joe at joeguzzardi@capsweb.org.

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Gang of Eight Retreat http://www.cagle.com/2013/03/gang-of-eight-retreat/ http://www.cagle.com/2013/03/gang-of-eight-retreat/#comments Thu, 14 Mar 2013 07:05:35 +0000 Joe Guzzardi http://www.cagle.com/?p=625452 The Senate’s notorious Gang of Eight, a small cadre of amnesty advocates who hope to pressure Congress into passing disastrous immigration reform legislation, has developed a new game plan. In January, heady from President Obama’s strong November showing with Latino voters, the gang came out with their guns blazing. Now is the hour, they declared, to grant citizenship to 11 million aliens, issue them work permits and the entire cornucopia of welfare benefits.

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David Fitzsimmons / Arizona Daily Star (click to view more cartoons by Fitzsimmons)

The complicit media, egged on by the powerful, well-funded open-borders lobby, declared amnesty a done deal, the final vote a mere formality. But in politics, two months is an eternity. And what once seemed like a slam dunk is now anything but.

The gang has suffered through some testy internal spats. For the record, the gang includes long time Republican amnesty advocates Lindsey Graham, John McCain, Jeff Flake and Marco Rubio plus Democrats Mike Bennet, Chuck Schumer, Robert Menendez and Richard Durbin.

Schumer and Rubio can’t agree on border security. Calling border security a “trigger” for immigration reform, Rubio insisted that enforcement must come first. But Schumer immediately dismissed Rubio when he flat out rejected the Florida senator’s conditions. According to Schumer, border security is not part of the gang’s “blue print.”

Back home in Arizona and South Carolina, McCain and Graham have gotten slammed by their angry constituents. McCain rudely shouted down town hall meeting attendees when they tried to question him about amnesty. Graham, no doubt wanting to avoid McCain’s unpleasant experiences, refused to schedule appearances during the recent congressional break. Graham is up for re-election in 2014, will likely face a primary challenge and correctly thinks it’s unwise to antagonize voters.

Menendez is under heavy fire on two fronts. First, subsequent to a Senate Ethics Committee finding, Menendez refunded $58,000 to a donor for two plane tickets to the Dominican Republic which were not included in his disclosure form, an “oversight” according to Menendez. And second, the FBI has an open investigation into Menendez’s alleged sexual indiscretions with prostitutes while vacationing in the Dominican.

Down in sunny Florida, Miami-Dade public school administrators want Rubio to know that new immigrant students—1,000 a month; 11,000 annually—cost the struggling district $22 million each year, a sum it can’t afford. The 1986 Immigration Reform and Control Act proved that amnesty begets more immigration, bad news for the nation’s public school system and failing students if Rubio’s goal comes to fruition.

Given all its real world distractions, the gang was unable to meet its self-imposed March deadline. Reluctant to introduce a bill and then leave for the two-week congressional spring recess, the Senators leaked an outline to the press that it will reveal in full next month.

Summarized, the gang’s face saving plan is a combination of unsalable terms that the Senate’s liberal wing will reject and caveats which would be bureaucratically impossible to implement in the unlikely event it should pass. To acquire permanent legal residency, unconditional work permits and welfare benefits, aliens will first have to register with the Department of Homeland Security, pay back taxes as well as an undetermined fine, and prove that they have a clean criminal record. Assuming they qualify on all counts, the aliens would eventually be able to qualify for citizenship.

The gang’s chances of selling their legislation are slim and none. Here are two reasons why. The Bureau of Labor Statistics reported that 89 million Americans are “out of the labor force”; 11 million new workers would devastate the unemployed. And the Heritage Foundation estimates that adding 11 million more people to the Affordable Health Care Act, social security and other welfare benefits would cost taxpayers at least $3 trillion.

No wonder Graham said about the gang’s revised timetable: “You don’t want to leave it hanging out for two weeks just to get shot up.”

©2013 Joe Guzzardi and Capsweb.org – Joe Guzzardi is a Californians for Population Stabilization Senior Writing Fellow whose columns have been syndicated since 1986.. This column is distributed by Cagle Cartoons newspaper syndicate. For information on running this column in your publication or website, email cari@cagle.com or call 800 696 7561. Contact Joe at joeguzzardi@capsweb.org.

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For Clueless GOP, No Amnesty Upside; Staggering Costs Certain http://www.cagle.com/2013/03/for-clueless-gop-no-amnesty-upside-staggering-costs-certain/ http://www.cagle.com/2013/03/for-clueless-gop-no-amnesty-upside-staggering-costs-certain/#comments Mon, 04 Mar 2013 08:10:22 +0000 Joe Guzzardi http://www.cagle.com/?p=625032 On Capitol Hill, events related to the congressional amnesty debate are unfolding at breakneck pace. Last week, the Obama administration authorized the release from federal detention centers of 10,000 criminal aliens. Department of Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano hinted at the move in her press conference when she disingenuously bemoaned how sequestration would force her to cut border patrol agents. For President Obama, the aliens’ release represents a two for the price of one. First, Obama is reminding House Republicans that he intends to play tough on the budget negotiations. And second, Obama has sent the nation a message that he wants his way on amnesty—or else.

48615 600 For Clueless GOP, No Amnesty Upside; Staggering Costs Certain cartoons

Arcadio Esquivel / La Prensa, Panama (click to view more cartoons by Arcadio)

House Speaker John Boehner summed up what most Americans feel about releasing criminal aliens—”outrageous.” Boehner added what’s also obvious when he told CBS News that it’s “hard to believe” that cuts couldn’t have been found elsewhere. At a meeting of the Republican Attorneys General Association, members charged Obama with overstepping his powers while at the same time reneging on his sworn constitutional responsibility to uphold the nation’s laws.

Actually, DHS’s blatant discharge of aliens extends the administration’s existing policy to release them under the radar. Two years ago, Obama introduced prosecutorial discretion, a DHS measure that authorized the release of certain so called “low priority” aliens.

Then in 2012, the administration followed up with another related program—deferred action for childhood arrivals. Although most of the 16-30 year olds weren’t in detention, Obama’s executive order removed them from possible deportation.

Although bad news is plentiful, this week might mark a turning point for enforcement advocates. Until now, the media and the Washington, D.C.-based amnesty lobby have enjoyed a field day promoting their agenda. And without any specific congressional legislation to respond to, amnesty detractors have remained in the background while patiently waiting to go on the offensive.

Through his unilateral release of illegal immigrants, President Obama provided his opponents with abundant fodder. On top of that, two new, non-partisan studies might dissuade Republicans who fool heartedly support amnesty.

One argument is that to survive politically GOP legislators must reach out to Hispanics. Amnesty, so the erroneous theory goes, translates to Hispanic votes. But the latest of several polls reached the same conclusion: Gallop found that the GOP cannot reasonably expect to increase its Latino vote share to greater than 25 percent. Latinos historically vote Democratic; younger Hispanics are more liberal and more likely to vote Democratic than their parents, according to Gallop.

The most compelling evidence: In the 1988 presidential election that followed Ronald Reagan’s 1986 Immigration Reform and Control Act amnesty, Vice President George H.W. Bush despite having aggressively backed the bill, won only 30 percent of Hispanics. Twenty years later, John McCain, one of today’s notorious “Gang of Eight” and co-sponsor of the 2005 Kennedy —McCain amnesty act, garnered only 31 percent.

While parsing election statistics may be a pastime for political wonks, amnesty’s costs will open every American’s eye. Robert Rector, a Heritage Foundation scholar, noted that 50-60 percent of immigrants are high school drop outs and 75-80 percent has only a high school education. Rector predicted that taxpayers end up subsidizing amnesty to the tune of at least $2.5 trillion above whatever taxes aliens may pay in.

In 2007, when President George W. Bush’s amnesty proposal loomed, Rector studied the data on immigrant households. According to Rector’s research, the average immigrant household headed by a non-high school graduate received $30,000 in government benefits but contributed $10,000 in consumption and income taxes. Rector calculated that the then- $20,000 net deficit per alien household would be “significantly higher now.”

In short, amnesty’s advertised benefits to Republicans—Hispanic votes—is a pipe dream. But amnesty’s cost to a bankrupt nation would be crippling.

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©2013 Joe Guzzardi and Capsweb.org – Joe Guzzardi is a Californians for Population Stabilization Senior Writing Fellow whose columns have been syndicated since 1986.. This column is distributed by Cagle Cartoons newspaper syndicate. For information on running this column in your publication or website, email cari@cagle.com or call 800 696 7561. Contact Joe at joeguzzardi@capsweb.org.

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Obama Pushes Amnesty Harder; Americans Not on Board http://www.cagle.com/2013/02/obama-pushes-amnesty-harder-americans-not-on-board/ http://www.cagle.com/2013/02/obama-pushes-amnesty-harder-americans-not-on-board/#comments Fri, 22 Feb 2013 14:31:50 +0000 Joe Guzzardi http://www.cagle.com/?p=624641 After President Obama left for a three day Florida golf vacation that included a round with Tiger Woods, the White House announced his latest immigration plan. Two weeks ago in Las Vegas, Obama threatened Congress that if it didn’t introduce legislation to grant permanent residency and eventually citizenship to 11 million illegal aliens by March, he’d launch his own.

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Eric Allie / PoliticalCartoons.com (click to view more cartoons by Allie)

Immediately after Obama’s announcement, coyly referred to by his public relations staff as a “back up plan,” Republicans pounced. Since there are ongoing immigration negotiations in the House and Senate, many legislators questioned Obama’s motives. They wondered out loud about why the White House would the leak an outline to the nation’s most widely read newspaper, USA Today, and risk disrupting the current talks. Senator John McCain, one of the “Gang of Eight” immigration advocates, speculated that Obama isn’t as interested in working with Congress on an achievable bill but rather gaining as many congressional Democratic seats as possible in the 2014 mid-term elections.

The summary, drafted by Obama’s aides with input from the open borders lobby and immigration lawyers, was generous on amnesty but lacking on enforcement, a key congressional provision.

Obama’s bill would create a new “Lawful Prospective Immigrant” visa, hardly what the United States needs since the State Department already issues more than 50 visas for every imaginable work or non-work category. In addition to granting permanent legal residency, the visas would also convey immediate work authorization. More than 11 million previously unemployable aliens (because of their immigration status) would become work eligible and thus further dilute an already too tight labor market for the 20 million unemployed or under-employed Americans. Those most adversely impacted would be society’s vulnerable—unemployed Hispanics and blacks.

The immigration talks have repeatedly emphasized that aliens granted permanent residency would go to “the back of the line” for citizenship. Even if this turned out to be true, it’s inconsequential to Americans trying to find a job or switch to a higher paying position. Under Obama’s vision, work authorization becomes instantly available.

Florida Senator and “Gang of Eight” member Marco Rubio predicted that if Obama’s plan reached Congress, it would be “dead on arrival.” McCain concurred.

Obama’s ill-timed announcement further gums up what is already a sticky situation. Despite the Senate’s happy talk about how smoothly the immigration talks are proceeding, the opposite is true. From the beginning, Rubio has insisted that the federal government must submit irrefutable evidence that the border is secure before the Senate will act. But no sooner did Rubio utter the words “border security” than another of his “Gang of Eight” colleagues, New York Senator Chuck Schumer, overruled him. A secure border, said Schumer, would not be one of the amnesty “triggers.”

Moreover, two groups essential to an agreement and previously rumored to be working in tandem—the AFL-CIO and the Chamber of Commerce—have sharply different opinions about guest worker programs. A February 15 deadline for an accord has passed with the two sides, according to one source involved in the talks, “not even speaking the same language.”

Historically, passing immigration reform has been rough sledding. In 2006 and 2007, bills nearly identical Obama’s failed despite early fanfare. One reason: amnesty for illegal aliens is a low priority for mainstream Americas, including Hispanics. According to a Pew Hispanic Center study, immigration ranks 17th in importance behind, among other issues, jobs, the economy, education and health care.

Even though the immigration dialogue has a long way to go, the road ahead will be rocky with an accord looking less likely every day.

©2013 Joe Guzzardi and Capsweb.org – Joe Guzzardi is a Californians for Population Stabilization Senior Writing Fellow whose columns have been syndicated since 1986.. This column is distributed by Cagle Cartoons newspaper syndicate. For information on running this column in your publication or website, email cari@cagle.com or call 800 696 7561. Contact Joe at joeguzzardi@capsweb.org.

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Amnesty Means Fewer Jobs, Lower Wages for African-Americans http://www.cagle.com/2013/02/for-them-amnesty-means-fewer-jobs-lower-wages-african-americans/ http://www.cagle.com/2013/02/for-them-amnesty-means-fewer-jobs-lower-wages-african-americans/#comments Tue, 19 Feb 2013 08:05:00 +0000 Joe Guzzardi http://www.cagle.com/?p=624426 If Barack Obama gets his wish for an illegal alien amnesty, he will have set African-American causes back further than any president in recent memory. During a period when black unemployment is brutally high, either legal residency or a full blown amnesty that includes citizenship would authorize an additional 11 million workers to compete with blacks for scarce jobs.

126423 600 Amnesty Means Fewer Jobs, Lower Wages for African Americans cartoons

Nate Beeler / Columbus Dispatch (click to view more cartoons by Beeler)

The Census Bureau’s American Community Survey’s latest data found the following U-6 unemployment statistics for U.S.-born blacks: young adults 18-29 with a high school diploma, 41.8 percent; high school drop outs age 18-65, 61.0 percent and teens age 16-17, 53.6 percent. The federal government’s U-6 unemployment rate includes not only people actively looking for employment who cannot find any kind of job but also counts “discouraged workers” who stopped looking and those who want a full-time job but have been forced to settle for a part-time position.

Obama’s apparent disregard for blacks’ plights dates back to his administration’s first days and continues today. In 2009 Obama supporter Danny Glover charged the president with not doing enough for blacks. Obama retaliated on the American Urban Radio Networks that he cannot pass legislation that favors one demographic over another but could pass “laws that help all people especially those who are most vulnerable and most in need.”

But the fact that passing amnesty would devastate blacks as well as other unemployed Hispanics and poor Americans is beyond argument. Anyone who can do simple math can figure out that adding 11 million potential workers seriously hurts the job chances of the 20 million unemployed or under-employed Americans.

Plus there’s the ongoing problem of legal immigration that adds about 1 million more workers to the market every year. Legal immigration is on autopilot. Regardless of the depressed economy and high unemployment, legal immigration totals continue at relentlessly high annual levels.

Nevertheless, in his State of the Union address President Obama with the Congressional Black Caucus’ wholehearted support promoted amnesty under the guise that those living here illegally are hard working and deserve a chance to succeed. Mr. Obama also called for more legal immigration to, ironically, “create more jobs.”

As more amnesty details emerge over the next few weeks, President Obama may find it increasingly difficult to hide from its negative impact on blacks. Earlier this week, two representatives from the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights wrote to Mr. Obama to spell out the obvious—that an “effective amnesty” would result in fewer jobs and lower pay for black Americans. “Effective amnesty” means a bill that would allow aliens to legally remain and work in the U.S regardless of whether they obtain citizenship.

The representatives, Peter Kirsanow and Abigail Thernstrom pointed to a 2008 study their commission funded that found the economics of putting previously unemployable aliens into the job market crystal clear and ruinous: low-skilled blacks compete with low-skilled illegal immigrants, thus depressing wages.

Because foreign-born workers, both legal and illegal, disproportionately compete with black Americans, reducing immigration would therefore disproportionately help black Americans, something Mr. Obama said in 2009 he didn’t think he could do.

Some blacks may face hurdles other than immigration when they look for work. But with the political will to do it, changing immigration policy could be the easiest to overcome. Congress should pass true immigration reform that would put rigid caps on legal immigration and at the same time establish mandatory E-Verify that would insure that everyone who holds a U.S. job is legally authorized to be employed.

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©2013 Joe Guzzardi and Capsweb.org – Joe Guzzardi is a Californians for Population Stabilization Senior Writing Fellow whose columns have been syndicated since 1986.. This column is distributed by Cagle Cartoons newspaper syndicate. For information on running this column in your publication or website, email cari@cagle.com or call 800 696 7561. Contact Joe at joeguzzardi@capsweb.org.

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Amnesty Will Create Millions More Democrats http://www.cagle.com/2013/02/amnesty-will-create-millions-more-democrats/ http://www.cagle.com/2013/02/amnesty-will-create-millions-more-democrats/#comments Mon, 11 Feb 2013 08:05:26 +0000 Joe Guzzardi http://www.cagle.com/?p=624037 Not a shred of tangible evidence exists to support the widely made claim that if the GOP supports a broad amnesty, they’ll gain Hispanic voters. Nevertheless, the mainstream media, Congress and the ethnic identity lobby insist that the Republican Party is doomed if it doesn’t immediately jump on the amnesty bandwagon.

126369 600 Amnesty Will Create Millions More Democrats cartoons

Rick McKee / Augusta Chronicle (click to view more Immigration cartoons)

The reverse is true. Hispanics are a natural Democratic constituency. According to Census Bureau data, of U.S.-born Hispanic households that have children, 50 percent are headed by unmarried women (compared to 29 percent of U.S.-born whites), 40 percent use one or more major welfare program (U.S.-born whites: 19 percent) and 45 percent have no federal income-tax liability (U.S.-born whites: 29 percent).

Simply stated, Hispanics are a natural, big government, liberal constituency. Consider Puerto Ricans living in the United States who are American citizens and for whom immigration is a tangential issue. In Florida, 83 percent of Puerto Rican voters backed Obama and helped deliver the state’s 29 electoral votes.

The New York Times analyzed November exit poll data and found that even if Mitt Romney had more than doubled double his Hispanic vote total in certain swing states, he still would have lost the general election by a wide margin. The Times recommended that any Republican hoping to win the 2016 White House based solely on Hispanic outreach should reconsider his priorities.

In conclusion, any targeted Republican effort to appeal exclusively to Hispanics as a specific voting bloc at the expense of other voters, namely white, middle class Americans, is doomed. While amnesty may be great for those on the receiving end, it’s costly for the taxpayers who have to fund it.

As grim a picture as exit polling painted for Republicans, a recent Pew Hispanic Center report found that the more Hispanic immigrants admitted, the more Democratic voters created. To most readers, the Pew report’s logical conclusion comes as no surprise. Yet, even the most basic and painfully obvious fact that immigrants are natural Democrats has, based on their recent clueless amnesty cheerleading, eluded Republicans.

Pew wrote that U.S.-born children of Hispanic immigrants regardless of their country of origin or their ethnicity are more likely than their parents to identify themselves as Democrats. As they integrate into American life, second generation Americans maintain strong ties to their Mexican and Asian cultural heritage. By the time they have completed their high school and college educations, they view themselves as liberal and on social issues considerably to the left of their parents. Their liberal leaning extends to gay rights, abortion and immigration. Most tellingly, 83 percent of second generation Americans favor big government.

This bodes poorly for Republicans and their collective futures especially in light of President Obama’s 80 percent voting support from non-white and ethnic voters.

Republicans would be well advised to campaign on fiscal conservatism including frank talk about immigration’s cost. Robert Rector, a Heritage Foundation Senior Research Fellow puts the proposed amnesty’s cost at more than $2.5 trillion over the next two decades. Another ignored immigration topic among Republican candidates is that increasing immigration levels hurts low skilled immigrants already living in the United States and struggling to find jobs that pay a living wage.

If Republicans want to improve their lot at the voting booth, they have a plethora of common sense arguments without foolishly marching in lockstep with Democrats on amnesty.

©2013 Joe Guzzardi and Capsweb.org – Joe Guzzardi is a Californians for Population Stabilization Senior Writing Fellow whose columns have been syndicated since 1986.. This column is distributed by Cagle Cartoons newspaper syndicate. For information on running this column in your publication or website, email cari@cagle.com or call 800 696 7561. Contact Joe at joeguzzardi@capsweb.org.

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Congressional Amnesty Blueprint Unrealistic Wish List for Radical Democrats http://www.cagle.com/2013/01/congressional-amnesty-blueprint-unrealistic-wish-list-for-radical-democrats/ http://www.cagle.com/2013/01/congressional-amnesty-blueprint-unrealistic-wish-list-for-radical-democrats/#comments Wed, 30 Jan 2013 08:14:39 +0000 Joe Guzzardi http://www.cagle.com/?p=623492 President Obama’s choice of Nevada to announce his all encompassing amnesty program is curious. Nevada’s 10.2 unemployment rate is the nation’s highest. Las Vegas, where Obama spoke, has a 10.4 percent unemployment rate. Nevada unemployment is so acute that more than four and a half years have passed since a single construction worker showed up at the unfinished $4.75 billion Echelon mega resort.

114151 600 Congressional Amnesty Blueprint Unrealistic Wish List for Radical Democrats cartoons

Eric Allie / PoliticalCartoons.com (click to view more cartoons by Allie)

In a statement earlier this month President Obama’s partner in crime, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, said that while he’s encouraged by Nevada’s unemployment drop from last month’s 10.8 percent, “We must stay focused on creating jobs and strengthening our state’s middle class to maintain this positive momentum.”

Platitudes aside, the amnesty that Obama and Reid so covet is a job killer that hurts the American lower and middle classes. Giving work authorization to more than 11 million illegal aliens frees them to compete legally with Americans for increasingly fewer jobs.

To date, only sketchy details have surfaced about the proposed legislation. But the drift is clear: amnesty for all, more non-immigrant worker visas and plenty of unchallenged gobbledygook about the pending legislation’s wonderfulness without even a passing reference to its perils. Also thrown in to the mix to appease GOP skeptics and doubting Americans are the bold lies that the administration will provide stronger border security and more internal enforcement through an electronic system. Unmentioned, however, is that Congress blocked a 2011 bill to mandate E-Verify, the Legal American Workforce Act, that would have checked new hires for legal status.

Anyone who buys the idea that enforcement will be increased hasn’t been paying much attention. When the Immigration Reform and Control Act passed in 1986, Congress made the same empty promises. Today the nation has more than 11 million illegal aliens.

The federal government has dozens of sound immigration laws that are ignored daily. During the last three years, Obama has voided enforcement through a series of executive orders that have stayed deportation for tens of thousands. In a law suit upheld by a Texas federal district court, Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents sued Department of Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano and ICE director John Morton for their directive that forced them to release detained aliens. Only a fool would believe that the restrictive portions of new legislation would be obeyed.

In the meantime, the border patrol also has to contend with more outrages that prevent them from carrying out their sworn duty. Officials from the Customs and Border Protection’s San Diego sector has promised to look into labor and immigration advocates’ complaints that officers are targeting illegal alien day laborers—exactly the job they were hired to perform. In other words, the border patrol is investigating agents who enforcing the law.

Realistically, the battle has just begun. The proposal is no more than a five-page outline. In some congressional corners and throughout grassroots America, resistance is already strong. When the argument begins about whether to include recently amnestied aliens at the cost of billions more in the trillion dollar Affordable Health Care Act, support will dwindle further. The more Americans learn about the radical amnesty proposal, the tougher the fight for its proponents.

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©2013 Joe Guzzardi and Capsweb.org – Joe Guzzardi is a Californians for Population Stabilization Senior Writing Fellow whose columns have been syndicated since 1986.. This column is distributed by Cagle Cartoons newspaper syndicate. For information on running this column in your publication or website, email cari@cagle.com or call 800 696 7561. Contact Joe at joeguzzardi@capsweb.org.

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Eva Longoria: Washington Power Player? http://www.cagle.com/2013/01/eva-longoria-washington-power-player/ http://www.cagle.com/2013/01/eva-longoria-washington-power-player/#comments Thu, 24 Jan 2013 08:05:17 +0000 Joe Guzzardi http://www.cagle.com/?p=623218 In a recent story intended to be serious, the Wall Street Journal identified Eva Longoria as a Washington D.C. “power player.” And all this time, I thought the Journal prided itself on serious journalism. Fooled me!

118712 600 Eva Longoria: Washington Power Player? cartoons

Taylor Jones / PoliticalCartoons.com (click to view more cartoons by Jones)

Longoria, former star of the night time soap opera Desperate Housewives is hobnobbing with President Obama and other Washington elites to push for her favorite cause, amnesty for the 11 million aliens living illegally in the United States.

The Texas-born Longoria’s only political credentials that allow her to access Washington’s inner sanctum are the millions she and her wealthy Hollywood friends donated to President Obama’s re-election campaign. In fact, because of her dubious but often repeated claim to have long ago lived a life as a Mayan princess, Longoria is the type from which a serious person might want to distance himself.

Because of her wealth and high visibility, Longoria has a platform. From it, Longoria preaches that immigration is, to use the words she and other advocates constantly use, “a broken system” that needs to be “fixed.” Furthermore, according to Longoria, the Republicans need to play ball because fixing immigration is their moral and economic imperative.

Longoria’s “fix” is predictable—a sweeping amnesty for everyone regardless of the consequences on 20 million unemployed Americans, including Hispanics.

Consider these daunting Hispanic employment statistics conveniently overlooked by amnesty proponents including Longoria: one in four Hispanics live in poverty, 2 million more than impoverished African-Americans. Hispanic-American’s broad unemployment rate, what the Bureau of Labor Statistics refers to as the U-6 category that includes discouraged workers who have given up looking for jobs and those forced into part-time jobs, is 19 percent.

Amnesty grants work authorization to millions previously unemployable because of their immigration status and would devastate Hispanics here legally. Competition with new immigrants for jobs is most intense for Hispanics under 30 without a college degree. The U-6 unemployment rate is 28 percent for Hispanics with a high school diploma, 40 percent for those without a degree and 45 percent for teens looking for their first job. Adding roughly 11 million new workers into a market already saturated with unemployed Americans of all ages and ethnicities is unconscionable.

I agree with Longoria that the federal immigration policy should be fixed. But here’s how I’d do it. I’d repeal birthright citizenship, the foolish practice that gives American citizenship to every child born in the United States regardless of the circumstances under which the parent is in the country. Most industrial nations ended jus soli, which perpetuates illegal immigration, years ago.

I’d also end chain migration, eliminate the useless Diversity Visa as well as the fraud ridden fiancée, religious and other abused non-immigrant worker visas like the H-1B and J categories. The 1966 Cuban Refugee Adjustment Act is hopelessly outdated and like birthright citizenship should also be repealed.

At the same time, I’d impose real border security and demand mandatory E-Verify to assure that every American worker is legally eligible to hold a job.

Sadly, however, I’m not hearing so much as a peep about my reasonable plan from the White House, Senate Democrats or the ethnic identity lobby in which Longoria plays a prominent role.

Ironically, as it turns out, La Raza activist Longoria isn’t Mexican at all. When Longoria agreed to participate in a DNA test for PBS as part of its Faces of America broadcast, the results showed she is of mostly European ancestry.

The desperate ones in this sad act are not the housewives that Longoria once portrayed but the politicians who don’t want to miss an opportunity to advance their hurtful amnesty agenda by whatever available means.

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©2013 Joe Guzzardi and Capsweb.org – Joe Guzzardi is a Californians for Population Stabilization Senior Writing Fellow whose columns have been syndicated since 1986.. This column is distributed by Cagle Cartoons newspaper syndicate. For information on running this column in your publication or website, email cari@cagle.com or call 800 696 7561. Contact Joe at joeguzzardi@capsweb.org.

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Ending Birthright Citizenship Should be a Top Priority for Congress http://www.cagle.com/2013/01/ending-birthright-citizenship-should-be-a-top-priority-for-congress/ http://www.cagle.com/2013/01/ending-birthright-citizenship-should-be-a-top-priority-for-congress/#comments Fri, 11 Jan 2013 08:05:16 +0000 Joe Guzzardi http://www.cagle.com/?p=622566 Conventional wisdom is often wrong. On Capitol Hill, the political insiders forecast a sweeping amnesty just as soon as the annoying fiscal cliff and gun control distractions are resolved. To hear them tell it, the budget and gun debates, bitter though they are certain to be, will still leave Congress with the energy to fight what could be the most divisive battle of them all: immigration.

27160 600 Ending Birthright Citizenship Should be a Top Priority for Congress cartoons

Daryl Cagle / Cagle Cartoons (click to view more cartoons by Cagle)

In politics as in life, to get you’ve got to give. Since the Democrats want amnesty for each and every one of the 11+ million illegal aliens currently in the United States, then they’ll have to give up something. That’s doubly true if the Republicans make major concessions on spending and firearms.

But therein lays the rub. Democrats refuse to budge an inch on any existing immigration law. In November, Democrats turned down what was basically a Republican offer to swap 55,000 science, technology, engineering and mathematics visas in exchange for ending the 55,000 annual Diversity Visa Lottery (DV) winners. Even though Democrats have long lobbied for more STEM visas, the Senate blocked the Republican bill because Democrats, with White House support, didn’t want to relinquish the DV.

If Democrats expect to get anywhere in their never ending amnesty quest, hardheadedness won’t cut it. The DV, a randomly based green card lottery with no true constituency, would be an easy bone to toss to Republicans.

In the first days of the new Congress, another opportunity for the Democrats to show good faith has presented itself. Representative Steve King (R-Iowa) introduced a new bill, H.R. 140, to end the insane policy of granting automatic citizenship to all children born in the United States to alien parents. Colloquially, such children are known as anchor babies—meaning that their citizenship “anchors” their illegal alien parents in the U.S. and makes them next to impossible to deport. Three other major drawbacks exist to conferring citizenship to newborns whose parents are foreign nationals. They are 1) citizenship promotes more illegal immigration, 2) creates chain migration, 3) allows the citizen children to qualify for the entire welfare cornucopia and 4) has spawned the new, craven birth tourism industry wherein wealthy overseas nationals travel to the United States on falsified tourist visas and stay in expensive birthing centers that specifically cater to their ethnicity, all for the sole purpose of having an American citizen child.

Like the DV, automatic citizenship is something that could easily be abolished assuming Congress had the political will. Over the years, advocates have distorted the argument favoring automatic citizenship. Supporters claim that citizenship is established by under the 14th Amendment when in fact it’s pursuant to a federal statute written into the Immigration and Nationality Act. King’s H.R. 140 would amend the act to confer citizenship only to children who have one parent who is a citizen, a lawful permanent resident or an alien performing active service in the U.S Armed Forces.

The stakes are high. The Pew Hispanic Center estimated that in 2008, 4 million U.S.-born children of illegal aliens became citizens. Many of these children will grow up without traditional American values, struggle to learn English, perform indifferently in school and only marginally contribute to society. Eventually, the U.S. could lose control over its demographic future.

Introduced on January 3, H.R. 140 has 13 co-sponsors, all Republican. Democrats have plenty of time to jump on the bandwagon to demonstrate a willingness to barter. But the chance of Democratic cooperation, even with amnesty in the balance, is zero.

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©2013 Joe Guzzardi and Capsweb.org – Joe Guzzardi is a Californians for Population Stabilization Senior Writing Fellow whose columns have been syndicated since 1986.. This column is distributed by Cagle Cartoons newspaper syndicate. For information on running this column in your publication or website, email cari@cagle.com or call 800 696 7561. Contact Joe at joeguzzardi@capsweb.org.

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Bureau of Labor Statistics Job Deception Deepens http://www.cagle.com/2013/01/bureau-of-labor-statistics-job-deception-deepens/ http://www.cagle.com/2013/01/bureau-of-labor-statistics-job-deception-deepens/#comments Wed, 09 Jan 2013 08:05:23 +0000 Joe Guzzardi http://www.cagle.com/?p=622418 Last month, the Bureau of Labor Statistics continued its monthly deceit and deception exercise. The December unemployment rate, according to the BLS, is 7.8 percent. In the same report, BLS announced that 155,000 new jobs have been created.

121680 600 Bureau of Labor Statistics Job Deception Deepens cartoons

Nate Beeler / Columbus Dispatch (click to view more cartoons by Beeler)

Immediately after the BLS released its statistics, major media outlets spun the falsely calculated data into an optimistic analysis which concluded that the economy is rebounding strongly, a vindication of President Obama’s policies. One headline read that the latest BLS figures, broadly referred to as the U-3 unemployment rate, prove Obama’s “naysayers” have been wrong all along. However keep in mind that under the U-3 definition some counted as employed could work as little as an hour a week.

If the naysayers include African-Americans, women and young adults, then their skepticism is justified. Unemployment for women rose to 7.3 percent in December from 7.0 percent while the rate for African-Americans increased sharply to 14.0 percent from 13.2 percent in November.

Even though December normally experiences a job creation spike in temporary positions because of seasonal retail shopping patterns, black employment fell in December from nearly 16 million to 15.8 million.

As for young Americans age 18-29, their plight is equally grim. Generation Opportunity, a national, non-partisan organization which advocates for what it calls millennials, announced that the overall non-seasonally adjusted December youth unemployment rate is 11.5 percent including Hispanics,12.2 percent and women, 10.4 percent.

A more comprehensive unemployment rate is the U-6 which counts all unemployed individuals 16 years and older seeking full-time employment (the aforementioned U-3 rate), marginally attached workers and those working part-time despite wanting full employment. Marginally attached workers include the discouraged who have given up the employment search. The December U-6 unemployment rate is 14.4; the 2012 average nearly 14.8 percent.

Analysts rarely address the question of which types of jobs have been created and, by extension, what wage they pay. The so called FIRE economy—finance, insurance and real estate—continued its twenty-year soft trend. Many of those jobs have commission based salaries. Manufacturing, once the backbone of the American middle class, continued its two decade decline.

On the other hand, low paying leisure and hospitality jobs remain strong. In the hospitality sector, the average wage is $13.41 per hour with 26 hours representing an average work week. Few leisure positions offer health care, paid vacation or pension programs.

Even the liberal Economic Policy Institute unequivocally stated that the job market is stuck in a depressingly deep hole—4 million jobs away from returning to pre-recession employment levels. Add the jobs that should be created in a normal economy and the United States is short nine million jobs. Assuming December’s growth rate, the EPI estimates that the labor market won’t catch up until the end of 2021.

As if all this discouraging news isn’t bad enough for beleaguered American workers, legal and illegal immigrants have taken two-thirds of the net employment increase since 2009 when President Obama took office. A Center for Immigration Studies found that 1.94 million more immigrants were working in the third quarter of 2012 than at the start of 2009 when the president was inaugurated compared to a 938,000 increase for natives during the same time period.

Despite overwhelming, irrefutable evidence that 20 million Americans are either unemployed or underemployed and equally compelling proof that authorizing more foreign-born workers adds to U.S. worker displacement, immigration remains on autopilot. An average 1 million new legal immigrants annually with work authorizations compete with Americans, often successfully, for scarce jobs.

The federal government’s craven immigration policy that hurts suffering, unemployed Americans is inexplicably set to continue in perpetuity.

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©2013 Joe Guzzardi and Capsweb.org – Joe Guzzardi is a Californians for Population Stabilization Senior Writing Fellow whose columns have been syndicated since 1986.. This column is distributed by Cagle Cartoons newspaper syndicate. For information on running this column in your publication or website, email cari@cagle.com or call 800 696 7561. Contact Joe at joeguzzardi@capsweb.org.

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More Immigration Equals Fewer American Jobs http://www.cagle.com/2012/12/more-immigration-equals-fewer-american-jobs/ http://www.cagle.com/2012/12/more-immigration-equals-fewer-american-jobs/#comments Fri, 28 Dec 2012 14:33:09 +0000 Joe Guzzardi http://www.cagle.com/?p=621942 The Los Angeles Times, California’s most widely read daily newspaper rarely publishes stories critical of immigration or the resultant population growth that drives the state’s overcrowding. The Times immigration-avoidance guidelines aren’t written in its manual. But evidence that the Times won’t deal with immigration’s negatives, clear though they are even to casual observers, is overwhelming. If Times’ readers want to understand what’s really going on with immigration and population, they have to be well informed and willing to read between the lines.

121680 600 More Immigration Equals Fewer American Jobs cartoons

Nate Beeler / Columbus Dispatch (click to view more cartoons by Beeler)

In his December 21 story titled More People Moving to the United States, reporter Don Lee laid out the facts: as of July 1, the Census Bureau pegged U.S. population at nearly 314 million, up 2.3 million from last year. California with 38 million people remains the nation’s most populated state, 12 million more than second place Texas. Even though more residents left California last year than moved in, the state added 375,000 people. The Times correctly attributes this phenomenon to immigration (plus 133, 000, a 14 percent increase) and net natural increase which is generally defined as new births minus deaths. The Times didn’t elaborate but a crucial statistic is that most births are from immigrant mothers, legal and illegal and, eventually, the children born to those recent immigrant mothers.

As always, the Times and its sources interpret increased immigration as good. The Brookings Institute demographer William Frey analyzed the Census data and concluded that more immigrant arrivals indicate that the job market is strengthening. The potentially challenging prospect of finding employment no longer, according to Frey, dissuades immigrants.

For employers who want to hire cheap labor, a large immigrant pool to choose from is a wonderful thing. New legal and illegal immigrants benefit, too. They get much needed jobs. Once legal immigrants obtain permanent residency, they receive work authorization and can immediately begin to look for gainful employment. Illegal immigrants either falsify work documents or enter the underground economy. More often than not, a legal or illegal immigrants’ job search is successful. The Center for Immigration Studies found that since President Obama took office in 2009, immigrants accounted for 67 percent of employment gains. During the third quarter of 2012, there were 1.94 million more immigrants than in January 2009 compared to a 938,000 increase for natives over the same time period.

Congress and the White House, dating back to President Lyndon Johnson’s 1965 Immigration and Nationality Act and continuing through President Obama’s deferred action program, have imposed demographic and economic changes on unsuspecting and often unwilling Americans. Journalists should treat American job displacement and immigration-fueled population increases as the decade’s biggest stories. Instead, hardly a word has been written.

History proves that during uncertain economic times, presidents Franklin Delano Roosevelt and Dwight David Eisenhower managed their immigration policies in a manner designed to help Americans. During the Great Depression Roosevelt, considered by many to be America’s most liberal president, strictly limited immigration and instead created the Works Progress Administration to benefit struggling citizens. Eisenhower signed the Federal Aid Highway Act of 1956, the largest public works project at the time.

Americans have taken a back seat to special Chamber of Commerce and the ethnic identity lobby’s interests. Judging from the way President Obama’s second term is poised to begin—with a promise to pass comprehensive immigration reform—more of the same lies ahead.

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©2012 Joe Guzzardi and Capsweb.org – Joe Guzzardi is a Californians for Population Stabilization Senior Writing Fellow whose columns have been syndicated since 1986.. This column is distributed by Cagle Cartoons newspaper syndicate. For information on running this column in your publication or website, email cari@cagle.com or call 800 696 7561. Contact Joe at joeguzzardi@capsweb.org.

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‘Group of Eight’ Plots to Undermine Americans on Immigration http://www.cagle.com/2012/12/group-of-eight-plots-to-undermine-americans-on-immigration/ http://www.cagle.com/2012/12/group-of-eight-plots-to-undermine-americans-on-immigration/#comments Mon, 17 Dec 2012 08:10:34 +0000 Joe Guzzardi http://www.cagle.com/?p=621381 Here we go again. When the 113th Congress convenes in January, legislators are determined to waste valuable time and energy in yet another futile effort to pass what they refer to as comprehensive immigration reform. Most Americans call it amnesty.

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Eric Allie / PoliticalCartoons.com (click to view more cartoons by Allie)

A so called “group of eight” has met to discuss amnesty details. They are Democrats Chuck Schumer (NY), Dick Durbin (IL), Michael Bennet (CO), Bob Menendez (NJ) and Republicans John McCain (AZ), Lindsey Graham (SC), Mike Lee (UT) and Sen.-elect Jeff Flake (AZ). The Democrats are among Congress’ most liberal while the Republicans are notoriously aligned with the illegal alien lobby.

Speaking of the Hispanic lobby, it has been its usual vocal self post-election. Janet Murgia, National Council of La Raza president, said that when Hispanic voters went to the polls in November, they had immigration reform “in their hearts.” Other officials who represent like-minded groups promised massive pro-amnesty demonstrations and threatened to withhold future votes from congressional representatives who don’t play ball.

During the last decade, offended Americans have been subjected the same bullying dozens of times but to no avail. Alien demonstrations have been staged without success in Los Angeles, Chicago and Washington. Ethnic identity Capitol Hill organizations’ saber rattling, of which more is on the way, has netted them nothing.

In addition to American grassroots resistance, Murgia et al have a major problem to overcome. Pollsters learned that Romney would not have won even had he garnered historic levels of Hispanic voter support. In key swing states like Ohio, Pennsylvania and Florida if 80 percent or more of the Latino vote had gone to Romney, it still wouldn’t have been enough to put him over the top.

Two things are clear. First, on immigration Republicans can’t move to the left of Democrats. Republican efforts to out- pander Democrats are doomed. Not only is it impossible but in the process, the Republican base is turned off. Graham, up for re-election in 2014 and trailing in the polls, will wake up to this once January rolls around.

Second, amnesty doesn’t resolve the immigration problem. Since the 1986 Immigration Reform and Control Act, which President Ronald Reagan promised would be the last amnesty, six more have passed. They include three in three separate years for aliens who qualified under Section 245 (i), two for refugees, one each for Haitians and Nicaraguans, and in 2000 one late amnesty for those who for various reasons resided in the U.S. in 1986 but didn’t apply for IRCA. Section 245 (i) allowed some aliens to adjust their status after paying a $1,000 fine.

Although many critics claim that long term immigration solutions must include amnesty, the reverse is true. The most effective tool to combat illegal immigration is mandatory E-Verify, which would guarantee that only Americans or legal immigrants get and keep jobs. Congress had an opportunity earlier this year to pass the Legal Workforce Act. After the House Judiciary Committee passed it, Speaker John Boehner kept it from getting to the floor for a full vote.

As for 2013, the probable scenario is that the Senate will narrowly approve a liberal, all encompassing amnesty that the House will kill. Nothing on Capitol Hill is more toxic than immigration. In the end, all the bluster inevitably leads nowhere.

©2012 Joe Guzzardi and Capsweb.org – Joe Guzzardi is a Californians for Population Stabilization Senior Writing Fellow. This column distributed by Cagle Cartoons newspaper syndicate. Contact Joe at joeguzzardi@capsweb.org.

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Welfare Soars, Led by Huge Increases in Immigrant Usage http://www.cagle.com/2012/11/welfare-soars-led-by-huge-increases-in-immigrant-usage/ http://www.cagle.com/2012/11/welfare-soars-led-by-huge-increases-in-immigrant-usage/#comments Thu, 29 Nov 2012 16:15:55 +0000 Joe Guzzardi http://www.cagle.com/?p=620543 Across America, officials in nearly bankrupt cities and states are outraged by the Department of Homeland Security’s new website that explains to recently arrived immigrants how they can receive the entire federal welfare benefit cornucopia. The site, Welcome to USA.gov, maintained by DHS’s U.S. Citizen and Immigration Services (USCIS), promotes itself as the “primary gateway for new immigrants to find basic information on how to settle in the United States.” Included is a comprehensive section which shows point by point how to access federal benefits and also reminds immigrants that public K-12 education is free.

87688 600 Welfare Soars, Led by Huge Increases in Immigrant Usage cartoons

Eric Allie / PoliticalCartoons.com (click to view more cartoons by Allie)

Using language intended to encourage immigrants to apply, the site explains in detail how to obtain food stamps, Medicare, disability, temporary assistance for needy families and other generous benefits. Another website, Benefits.gov provides more information about most of the 80 available federal programs. USCIS also publishes and distributes a guidebook, available online and downloaded worldwide, that advises immigrants how to receive state benefits.

In Washington, Senator Jeff Sessions (R-ALA), the ranking Republican Senate Budget Committee member, leads the escalating fight over welfare for recent immigrants. Sessions and other Republican Senators sent U.S. Department of Agriculture Secretary Thomas Vilsack a letter demanding to know why food stamps and other welfare benefits are being promoted to new immigrants. Historically, one of the immigration exclusion clauses—something that would make an alien ineligible to enter the U.S.—was if he were probable to become a public charge. An immigrant’s sponsor would have to sign a letter saying he would provide financial support. Courts later declared such letters unenforceable. Ever since, immigrants have had relatively easy access to welfare.

The questionable practice of inviting immigrants to access costly taxpayer funded services when they should be self-sufficient is a problem that has been escalating for nearly a decade.

Sessions learned that in 2004 the USDA signed a pact with Mexico requiring the 50 U.S.-based consulates to distribute information to Mexican nationals on how to obtain welfare. The agency also created a Spanish-language ad in which an individual is encouraged to accept food stamps, even though he may say his family is self-sufficient.

300 250 house ad Welfare Soars, Led by Huge Increases in Immigrant Usage cartoonsSupplemental Nutrition Assistance [SNAP], another USDA program more commonly known as food stamps, has a website that includes a “community outreach partner tool kit” that falsely claims that local communities “lose out” when eligible people don’t apply for benefits because boosting participation generates billions in “new economic activity.”

A SNAP pamphlet says Electronic Benefits Cards, which allow welfare recipients to withdraw cash and pay for food and other items, “make it more difficult to commit SNAP fraud.” The ad also deceptively states: “Everyone wins when eligible people take advantage of benefits to which they are entitled.”

Another site offers SNAP recruiters suggestions on how to “overcome the word ‘no’” when seeking to sign up new recipients.

Immigrant welfare dependency has contributed to a huge jump in national welfare use. The Congressional Research Service found that overall welfare spending as measured by obligations grew from $563 billion in fiscal 2008 to $746 billion in fiscal 2011, a 32 percent increase. Including state spending, the aggregate welfare tab reached $103 trillion, larger than social security or basic military spending.

A recent Center for Immigration Studies census data analysis found that 36 percent of immigrant heads of households, both legal and illegal, used at least one form of welfare in 2010 compared to 23 percent of native born heads of household.

What’s happened with immigration and welfare is proof that Nobel Prize winning economist Milton Friedman was right when he said that no nation can survive open borders and a welfare state.

©2012 Joe Guzzardi and Capsweb.org – Joe Guzzardi is a Californians for Population Stabilization Senior Writing Fellow. This column distributed by Cagle Cartoons newspaper syndicate. Contact Joe at joeguzzardi@capsweb.org.

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Change is Good – Except in Politics, Where Incumbents Always Win http://www.cagle.com/2012/11/change-is-good-except-in-politics-where-incumbents-always-win/ http://www.cagle.com/2012/11/change-is-good-except-in-politics-where-incumbents-always-win/#comments Fri, 09 Nov 2012 13:27:48 +0000 Joe Guzzardi http://www.cagle.com/?p=619606 No matter your station in life, your political party affiliation or your ethnicity, if you live in California you’re hurting and have been for years.

The state’s unemployment rate has been above 8 percent since 2008 and is much higher in some counties. Income levels are stagnant. For home owners 40 or younger, nearly 48 percent have negative equity. According to Census Bureau statistics, more than 6.1 million Californians live in poverty, putting the state’s poverty rate at 16.6 percent, up nearly 1 percent from 2011. A family of two adults and two children counts as poor when its combined income is less than $22,811. Welfare usage including food stamps is on the rise. More than 25 percent of all California households depend on at least one welfare program.

85540 600 Change is Good   Except in Politics, Where Incumbents Always Win cartoons

Nate Beeler / Columbus Dispatch (click to view more cartoons by Beeler)

To re-elect and send back to Washington D.C. the same congressional representatives who have presided over California’s slow but steady decline into the fiscal abyss is the definition of lunacy.

Yet Tuesday night, Californians overwhelmingly voted for two of Capitol Hill’s least effective congressional Democrats-House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi and Senator Dianne Feinstein—and thus signed up for what is certain to be more of the same dismal leadership. Pelosi is 72-years-old and has served in the House since 1987; Feinstein, 79 and a California official since 1970 when she was elected to the San Francisco Board of Supervisors. Pelosi and Feinstein have had more than enough time and countless opportunities to restore California to its former greatness but have consistently failed. Their reward is a new term for each.

Californians are apparently eager for more Pelosi/Feinstein incompetence. Although Congress has an abysmal 10 percent favorability rating, incumbents keep winning and keep dishing out more punishment to the uniformed, disinterested electorate.

Pelosi and Feinstein have egregious anti-American voting records. They’ve lobbied for more foreign-born workers in the high tech and agriculture industries despite California’s surplus of labor in both fields. Even though university tuition in California has soared in recent years, Pelosi and Feinstein support the federal and state DREAM Acts that would allow illegal immigrant high school students to pay lower instate tuition and thereby deny an American kid an incoming freshman seat. To Pelosi and Feinstein, border enforcement is a meaningless term that they’ve falsely promised as a compromise in exchange for an alien amnesty.

Arguments that explain why voters return the same failures back to Congress election after election usually focus on the challenger’s shortcomings. This year, Feinstein’s opponent was the politically untested Elizabeth Emken; Pelosi’s, John Dennis. But in past elections, Feinstein and her equally entrenched Senate ally Barbara Boxer have faced and handily defeated legitimate rivals with accomplished records. Among them, former Hewlett-Packard chief executive officer Carly Fiorina, former Secretary of State Bill Jones, five-term Congressman and former Stanford University law school professor Tom Campbell, former state treasurer Matt Fong and one time California Assemblyman and State Senator Richard Mountjoy.

The major reason that more than 90 percent of incumbents keep their jobs is simple: money from those most interested in manipulating the political system like professional lobbyists, special interests, big business and organized labor. Less than 8 percent of average voters donate more than $100 to a candidate.

While I understand that money is a political necessary evil and further understand that party affiliations are often deeply engrained and hard to dislodge, I don’t grasp the etched in stone resistance to voting for the other guy once in a while especially if you have been mercilessly hammered in the pocket book since the last election cycle.

Maybe the old axiom “change is good” should be amended to “change is good except in Congress where voters are committed to going down with the ship.”

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Joe Guzzardi is a Californians for Population Stabilization Senior Writing Fellow whose columns have been syndicated since 1986. Contact him at joeguzzardi@capsweb.org 

©2012 Joe Guzzardi and Capsweb.org – Joe Guzzardi is a Californians for Population Stabilization Senior Writing Fellow. This column distributed by Cagle Cartoons newspaper syndicate. Contact Joe at joeguzzardi@capsweb.org.

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Playing Major League Baseball: A Job Americans Won’t Do? http://www.cagle.com/2012/10/playing-major-league-baseball-a-job-americans-wont-do/ http://www.cagle.com/2012/10/playing-major-league-baseball-a-job-americans-wont-do/#comments Tue, 30 Oct 2012 12:48:03 +0000 Joe Guzzardi http://www.cagle.com/?p=618454 In Detroit and San Francisco, euphoria abounded when The Tigers made it to the World Series. And in the Dominican Republic and Venezuela, fans were joyous, too. The Giants’ and Tigers’ playoff rosters have a combined eighteen players from those two countries—nine from each.

Pablo Sandoval Playing Major League Baseball: A Job Americans Wont Do? cartoons

World Series MVP Pablo Sandoval. (photo by Rob Shenk - flickr)

A record 36 percent of players in baseball’s premier showcase are foreign-born, an average consistent with the numbers of overseas players on the thirty major league baseball teams. In the minor leagues, from which major league rosters evolve, more than 50 percent are foreign-born. Some come from India, Latvia and a New Zealand Maori tribe, none of which have any traditional association with baseball.

Once lovingly referred to as the national pastime and America’s game, baseball now reflects the globalism that dominates the corporate world. Make no mistake about it. Baseball is big business, driven exclusively by profit considerations. Owners sign players from Latin America cheaper than they could from college campuses like the University of Texas or the University of South Carolina, two schools that traditionally dominate the NCAA College World Series. Longhorns’ coach Augie Garrido says that for his young players, the last NCAA game they play is the final organized baseball game they ever participate in. When it comes to signing MLB contracts, college kids lose out to cheaper foreign-born players. MLB operates camps to coach its young signees in the Dominican and, until the political climate got too hot, in Venezuela also.

What triggered the shift away from American ball players was an under the radar legislative change that eliminated visa caps for minor league players. The COMPETE Act, signed by former President George W. Bush in 2006 without congressional debate or a roll call vote, created the new “P” visa which could be issued in unlimited numbers to baseball prospects. The “P” represents not only an opportunity for players to legally migrate to and work in the United States but might also eventually lead to permanent residency. Bush owned the Texas Rangers from 1989 to 1994.

Before COMPETE, players had to come on an H-2B visa which was strictly limited. Since the H-2B could be used by all types of seasonal workers, applicants quickly filled up the 66,000 ceiling. The visa changes present serious challenges to American teens hoping to make the big leagues. Instead of signing hundreds of U.S. amateurs out of high school — the traditional business model for stocking minor-league rosters — teams draft fewer U.S. kids and sign more so-called non-draft free agents, the vast majority of them Latin American teenagers.

Many fans argue that Dominican and Venezuelan players are among the best. I counter that Americans are just as good and assuming you believe that when it comes to jobs, the United States should get the first opportunity. Even the most ardent fan forgets that playing baseball is America’s best job. Only 750 positions are available; the starting MLB salary is $450,000 and the average, $3.5 million. Mediocre players easily earn $6-8 million annually. Twenty make more than $20 million; the New York Yankees’ Alex Rodriguez tops the salary chart at an astronomical $30 million.

Given the current and likely irreversible trend toward signing more foreign-born players, the day is not too far off when your favorite team’s line up will have fewer Americans than players from all over the globe. That’s a shame because as fewer Americans play, the nation’s longstanding, rich historic ties to baseball may gradually come undone.

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Joe Guzzardi is a Californians for Population Stabilization Senior Writing Fellow whose columns have been syndicated since 1986. Guzzardi is also a member of the Internet Baseball Writers Association and the Society for American Baseball Research. Contact him at joeguzzardi@capsweb.org.

©2012 Joe Guzzardi and Capsweb.org – Joe Guzzardi is a Californians for Population Stabilization Senior Writing Fellow. This column distributed by Cagle Cartoons newspaper syndicate. Contact Joe at joeguzzardi@capsweb.org.

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Media Debate: Illegal or Undocumented Immigrants? http://www.cagle.com/2012/10/media-debate-illegal-or-undocumented-immigrants/ http://www.cagle.com/2012/10/media-debate-illegal-or-undocumented-immigrants/#comments Fri, 12 Oct 2012 16:06:28 +0000 Joe Guzzardi http://www.cagle.com/?p=617425 Fifteen years ago, I embarked on an independent, personal mission to lift mainstream media immigration reporting up to the standards journalists set for themselves. By 1995, I had been a professional journalist for more than a decade. Immigration reporters’ utter failure to adhere to their own guidelines appalled me.

Numerous watchdog organizations like the Society of Professional Journalists, the Committee for Concerned Journalists, the American Society of Newspaper Editors and the International Ombudsman Organization are dedicated to reporting fairness—or so their websites claim.

48655 600 Media Debate: Illegal or Undocumented Immigrants? cartoons

Antonio Neri Licon / Mexico (click to view more Immigration cartoons)

Yet when dealing with immigration’s most fundamental point, how to accurately describe a foreign-born individuals status, reporters and their editors either can’t or won’t get it right. An individual living in the United States illegally is not “undocumented,” “an immigrant without legal status,” “unauthorized” or even, as one unusually brazen reporter wrote “a future citizen.”

According to the U.S. Code, Section 1325 “alien” is the correct word to describe any person “who enters or attempts to enter the United States at any time or place other than as designated by immigration officers, or eludes examination or inspection by immigration officers or attempts to enter or obtains entry to the United States by a willfully false or misleading representation.”

Federal government language is crystal clear. Apparently, however, “alien” offended reporters and editors who eventually took it upon themselves to create a more politically correct word: “undocumented.” Reporters offered unconvincing reasons for their duplicity. The most commonly heard are that aliens and their advocates object to being called aliens!

My campaign involved emailing and calling the offending reporters and editors. I offered a compromise solution: if reporters don’t want to write “alien,” they should at least substitute “illegal immigrant.” I’d point out that for journalists to repeatedly refer to aliens as “undocumented” or worse simply as “immigrants” undermines their credibility. If a reporter can’t correctly indentify his subject and if the editor condones the use of incorrect and purposely misleading language, then why should a reader have confidence in other stories and editorials that the newspaper publishes?

The SPJ, a 100-year old organization with more than 10,000 members urges reporters to “admit mistakes and correct them promptly.” Even though arbitrarily substituting “undocumented” for alien is wrong, I had little success in budging reporters, their editors or their ombudsmen.

Then, seemingly out of the blue, those of us who strive for journalism accuracy scored an important victory. The New York Times, a chronic offender, recently hired Margaret Sullivan as its new public editor. Judging from the columns and blogs she’s written in over past weeks, the debate over alien versus undocumented has been raging at the Times for months, if not longer.

Ms. Sullivan deserves tremendous credit. As she mulled over the pros and cons, Ms. Sullivan interviewed immigration advocates and critics. In the end, Ms. Sullivan came down in favor of “illegal immigrant,” a phrase she feels is “clear and accurate” and “easily understood.”

Unlike many of her peers who ignore their own standards, Ms. Sullivan made her decision based in large part on the New York Times Manual of Style and Usage which specifically states: “illegal immigrant is the preferred term—Do not use the euphemism undocumented.”

While the Times is only one newspaper, its global prominence and heavily trafficked website make it the most influential regarding immigration. Ms. Sullivan points out that her office doesn’t make policy. Nevertheless, Ms. Sullivan’s decision to endorse “illegal immigrant” over “undocumented immigrant” is a major triumph and offers hope that responsible reporters might follow her example.

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©2012 Joe Guzzardi and Capsweb.org – Joe Guzzardi is a Californians for Population Stabilization Senior Writing Fellow. This column distributed by Cagle Cartoons newspaper syndicate. Contact Joe at joeguzzardi@capsweb.org. 

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Identity Fraud Okay for Undocumented Immigrants http://www.cagle.com/2012/09/identity-fraud-okay-for-undocumented-immigrants/ http://www.cagle.com/2012/09/identity-fraud-okay-for-undocumented-immigrants/#comments Thu, 27 Sep 2012 13:00:36 +0000 Joe Guzzardi http://www.cagle.com/?p=616458 Since Congress introduced the DREAM Act in 2001, countless thousands of words have been published about the high school students’ supposed outstanding character. Each of the hundreds of stories has emphasized that the so called DREAMers, generally age 16-30, are American in every way except they don’t hold citizenship. Having taught in California public school, I know that claim may be true—to an extent.

But earlier this month, we learned that many “childhood arrivals” are guilty of identity theft. Some deferred action applicants have multiple identity fraud incidents in their histories. In the criminal world, stealing or fabricating social security numbers and applying them to a new name is known as synthetic identity fraud—basically creating a new person.

117661 600 Identity Fraud Okay for Undocumented Immigrants cartoons

Peter Lewis / Australia (click to view more cartoons by Lewis)

According to a Washington Post September 13 story, dozens of illegal alien applicants were hesitant to submit their paperwork to U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) since they feared that as part of the process their long histories of identity fraud and theft would be revealed. Crystal Williams, executive director for the American Immigration Lawyers Association, pleaded that she hoped that: “there would be some understanding on the part of the government that, yes, this [identity fraud] is a necessary part of living in the shadows.”

You may need a few minutes to let the magnitude of Williams’ outrageous statement set in. Williams, one of the nation’s most prominent lawyers albeit one with a strong pro-open borders agenda, lobbied for disregarding a crime (identity theft) when its perpetrated on top of an already existing crime (illegal entry) and also when it facilitates an alien’s ability to receive work authorization.

The ACLU’s wish is the USCIS’s command! Within a day after the ACLU issued its request, USCIS wrote new, more alien friendly regulations. Originally, question 9 on the I-765 application for work authorization asked that all social security numbers ever used be listed. Then, after the ACLU interceded, USCIS adjusted its inquiry to read: “list those Social Security numbers that were officially issued to you by the Social Security Administration.”

“Officially issued” social security numbers are given only to native-born citizens and legal immigrants. Obviously, a deferred action candidate would be leery about confessing his identity fraud by detailing the phony numbers he’s relied on for years. By changing its language, USCIS has opened up a huge loophole for identity fraud perpetrators. The government doesn’t want to know about identity theft, at least not when aliens commit it. By changing a few words, the entire subject can be avoided.

Allan Wernick, another immigration lawyer who writes a widely read column in the New York Daily News offered this advice. From Wernick’s column: “If you used a friend’s number, a made-up number or a stolen number, you should answer N/A for ‘not applicable’ where it asks for the number.”

As disappointing as it is, the only conclusion to draw from USCIS blatantly ignoring identity fraud and the immigration lawyers’ lobby’s defense of the government’s revised policy is that anything goes when the objective is to advance illegal immigrants’ agendas.

On the Department of Justice’s website, identity fraud is unequivocally identified as “a crime.” The luckiest victims escape with damaged credit and countless lost hours trying to correct their files. The most unlucky suffer the same adverse credit and wasted time consequences plus potentially thousands of dollars. The Federal Trade Commission reported that in 2011, the costs associated with identity theft passed $1.5 billion.

None of that matters to the White House. Ethnic identity politics, an engrained part of life on Capitol Hill, is too far advanced under this administration to apply the brakes now.

©2012 Joe Guzzardi and Capsweb.org – Joe Guzzardi is a Californians for Population Stabilization Senior Writing Fellow. This column distributed by Cagle Cartoons newspaper syndicate. Contact Joe at joeguzzardi@capsweb.org. 

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Inadmissible Evidence: Immigration Hurts American Workers http://www.cagle.com/2012/09/inadmissible-evidence-immigration-hurts-american-workers/ http://www.cagle.com/2012/09/inadmissible-evidence-immigration-hurts-american-workers/#comments Fri, 14 Sep 2012 14:22:38 +0000 Joe Guzzardi http://www.cagle.com/?p=614369 Here are a few indisputable statistics about immigration and the United States’ job market. Each new legal immigrant receives work authorization. According to the Department of Homeland Security’s most recent report, “U.S. Legal Permanent Residents, 2011″ a monthly average of 75,000 legal permanent residents “may work permanently anywhere in the United States.”

118409 600 Inadmissible Evidence: Immigration Hurts American Workers cartoons

Pat Bagley / Salt Lake Tribune (click to view more cartoons by Bagley)

As for illegal immigrants, that’s a whole other ball game but with the same deleterious consequences on Americans. Since many aliens work in the underground economy in hospitality, construction and as domestic help, no one knows either how much the total wages paid out or tax dollars not collected are. The best estimates indicate that the underground economy is billions. Unreported income from those wages costs the federal government millions annually in uncollected taxes. In addition to aliens off the books, according to a Pew Hispanic Center report as many as seven million aliens are employed in non-farm payroll jobs. Although they may pay taxes, they also displace American workers.

More unarguable facts: anemic job growth can’t even keep up with population increases which are, ironically, fueled by record setting, congressionally sanctioned immigration levels. During the last twelve months, the percent of the working age foreign-born population increased at three times the rate of the corresponding native-born population.

Last week, the Bureau of Labor Statistics issued its August report. As it always does, the BLS used its findings from the payroll survey and announced that the economy created 96,000 jobs—sharply lower than the anticipated 130,000. Restaurants hired 28,000. But the more accurate household survey showed that 120,000 jobs disappeared in August. The labor market participation fell to a shockingly low 63.5 percent, the lowest it’s been in the 30 years since voters summarily rejected a second Jimmy Carter term.

Given the opportunity to compete in the U.S. job market, immigrants have taken full advantage. That’s not a criticism; why shouldn’t they? The BLS monthly tabulation includes workers nativity. According to its aggregated reports from 2009 to 2012, native-born employment has fallen by nearly 1.5 million while the foreign-born segment, many of whom work for lower wages and are willing to forego health care, has increased by 1.4 million. Once again, immigrants’ wages are an indisputable fact as acknowledged by New York Times Pulitzer Prize winning columnist Paul Krugman and other economists. Wrote Krugman: “Immigration reduces the wages of domestic workers who compete with immigrants. That’s just supply and demand: we’re talking about large increases in the number of low-skill workers relative to other inputs into production, so it’s inevitable that this means a fall in wages.”

Somewhere in this veritable treasure chest of important economic data a presidential campaign theme could be found. Yet neither candidate has uttered a single questioning word about over-immigration’s hurtful effect. Instead, President Obama has authorized work permits for 1.7 million previously unemployable childhood arrival aliens. And candidate Romney, while refusing to comment on Obama’s deferred action policy, favors increasing the numbers of visas for non-immigrant workers as well as automatically attaching green cards to foreign-born students who graduate from American universities with degrees in math and science.

The media, shirking its professional responsibility to ferret out the truth and report it, refuses to question Obama or Romney about immigration.

Here’s a grim closing. Without drastic reductions to the numbers of immigrants admitted into the U.S., the economy would need to create an average of 282,000 jobs every month for the next five years to get back to pre-recession employment—an average of 40,000 more monthly jobs than were created during the 1993-2000 boom.

During the next two months, Obama and Romney will wax poetic about their plans for American workers. While you’re listening to them, remember that the most immediate and effective solution—reducing the number of immigrants by more than the numbers of jobs created—is obvious but too politically incorrect to talk about, much less act on.

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©2012 Joe Guzzardi and Capsweb.org – Joe Guzzardi is a Californians for Population Stabilization Senior Writing Fellow. This column distributed by Cagle Cartoons newspaper syndicate. Contact Joe at joeguzzardi@capsweb.org. 

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Obama’s Big Gamble On Ethnic Identity Politics : Will It Pay Off? http://www.cagle.com/2012/09/obamas-big-gamble-on-ethnic-identity-politics-will-it-pay-off/ http://www.cagle.com/2012/09/obamas-big-gamble-on-ethnic-identity-politics-will-it-pay-off/#comments Tue, 04 Sep 2012 07:20:06 +0000 Joe Guzzardi http://www.cagle.com/?p=613773 A few days ago ten Immigration Customs and Enforcement agents filed a lawsuit in a Dallas federal court against their superiors, Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano and ICE director John Morton.

Agents assert that the administration’s 2011 prosecutorial discretion memo which eliminates deportation for all but criminal aliens and President Obama’s June 15th Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) executive order, which grants two-year legal residency to most age 16-30, force them to break existing laws. Both programs provide work authorization; at least 2 million new potential workers will be added to the millions looking unsuccessfully for jobs.

93000 600 Obamas Big Gamble On Ethnic Identity Politics : Will It Pay Off? cartoons

Eric Allie / PoliticalCartoons.com (click to view more cartoons by Allie)

Laws already on the books require agents to process apprehended illegal immigrants. The 1996 Immigrant Responsibility Act mandates that aliens be detained. No “prosecutorial discretion” can be exercised until the alien appears at adjudication. Only then can an individual case be reviewed and possibly decided in the adjudicatee’s favor. Nevertheless, in violation of federal law, DHS exercises discretion unilaterally.

Boiled down to its bare bones, the agents’ suit claims that it’s illegal to order federal officers to break laws they swore to uphold.

Pundits interpret the administration’s actions as part of an outreach strategy to garner Hispanic votes. And the mainstream media has repeatedly emphasized that Hispanic votes are crucial to President Obama’s re-election.

The truth is that in a close election all minority demographic voting blocs are important—senior citizens, veterans, Asians, non-Hispanic Blacks and Hispanics. By a large margin, the most important bloc is non-Hispanic whites. According to a Center for Immigration Studies analysis of Census Bureau and Current Population Survey data taken from previous election years, non-Hispanic whites will total 73 percent of voters. By comparison, Hispanics will comprise about 9 percent. Since many Hispanics live in California, New York and Illinois, states Obama can’t possibly lose, or New Mexico which has a meager five electoral votes, the administration’s game plan is curious. What does Obama gain?

Prosecutorial discretion and DACA are Obama’s big gamble. Obama could get Hispanic votes but, because of his new policies, also lose larger voting blocs which in turn would cost him the election.

Factor recent unemployment statistics into the muddled equation and Obama’s questionable strategy turns incomprehensible. DACA allegedly helps young Hispanics by giving them work permits. But converting previously ineligible workers (because of their immigration status) into legal job seekers is a devastating blow to unemployed Hispanic-Americans.

Using the Bureau of Labor Statistics broad measure of unemployment, which includes discouraged workers who have given up the search, during the second quarter of 2012, 19 percent of Hispanic citizens (one in five) were jobless. For Hispanics under 30 with only a high school education—those most likely to compete with illegal immigrants for lower paying, entry level restaurant and hospitality jobs—their U-6 unemployment rate is above 30 percent. Furthermore, the Associated Press reported last year that about 1.5 million (53.6 percent) of American bachelor’s degree holders under the age of 25 are jobless or underemployed.

I’ve consistently argued that the essential votes in this year’s election are disenchanted and anxious middle-class Republicans and Democrats, moderates and independents.

Consider this. The non-partisan Sentier Research parsed the latest Census income data. Sentier found that the Obama administration’s policies have caused middle-class households significant financial harm.

In January 2009, when President Obama entered the Oval Office and shortly before he signed his $800 billion-plus stimulus spending bill, median household income was $54,983. By June 2012, it had tumbled to $50,964, adjusted for inflation. Real income lost: $4,019 or about one month’s wages per year.

Given 2012′s hard economic reality and the agents’ lawsuit which will keep the White House’s prosecutorial discretion programs front and center, President Obama’s craven blue print to secure the Hispanic vote could backfire. Ethnic identity politics is a loser.

©2012 Joe Guzzardi and Capsweb.org – Joe Guzzardi is a Californians for Population Stabilization Senior Writing Fellow. This column distributed by Cagle Cartoons newspaper syndicate. Contact Joe at joeguzzardi@capsweb.org. 

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Immigrant Welfare Abuse, Dependency Hits Americans in The Wallet http://www.cagle.com/2012/08/immigrant-welfare-abuse-dependency-hits-americans-in-the-wallet/ http://www.cagle.com/2012/08/immigrant-welfare-abuse-dependency-hits-americans-in-the-wallet/#comments Tue, 21 Aug 2012 13:45:38 +0000 Joe Guzzardi http://www.cagle.com/?p=613051 Pulling into town soon—maybe where you live—will be the UndocuBus, the so called “Ride for Justice.” In a shameless exhibition of United States immigration law flouting, the bus has emblazoned on its side “Sin papels, sin miedo” (“without papers, without fear”).

According to its website, the UndocuBus ‘mission is to raise awareness among the public about illegal immigrants’ plight. The bus set out from Phoenix and will make several stops along the way to its final destination at the Democratic National Convention in Charlotte, North Carolina. Riders and their supporters want to promote what they call a “love” agenda and, at the same time, “challenge the promoters of hate.”

106530 600 Immigrant Welfare Abuse, Dependency Hits Americans in The Wallet cartoons

Rick McKee / Augusta Chronicle (click to view more cartoons by McKee)

This is more laugh out loud nonsense from open borders advocates. Almost nothing they claim is true. First, illegal immigrants don’t live in fear. They drive to job sites, shop at supermarkets and sit in medical clinic waiting rooms just like everyone else. Second, Americans are fully aware of legal and illegal immigrants’ presence. In its analysis titled “A Record Setting Decade of Immigration: 2000-2010,” the Center for Immigration Studies reported that based on Census Bureau data, in 2010 the foreign-born population reached 40 million, a historic high. More than 14 million arrived between 2000 and 2010. With immigration growth so dramatic, being unaware is impossible. Third, alien-orchestrated mass demonstrations are old hat and haven’t budged federal immigration policy an inch. In 2003, the “Immigrant Workers Freedom Ride” set out from Los Angeles and headed towards New York via Washington, D.C. Again in 2007, the “Dream across America” tour crossed the country in an effort to win converts. Despite endless positive media hoopla about the protests, Congress repeatedly rejected the DREAM Act and other legislation that would have rewarded illegal immigrants.

Instead of more protests staged by a small handful of anarchists and other malcontents who misrepresent the facts, the nation is overdue for an honest debate about the fiscal and societal consequences of annually accepting more than one million immigrants. High on the list of immigration-related problems is that legal immigrants have accessed welfare programs even though they are expressly forbidden from doing so.

Immigration regulations, specifically the Immigration and Nationality Act’s Section 212, strictly prohibits immigrants from being admitted if they are likely to become “public charges,” in other words, welfare recipients. But as is often the case with immigration issues, the difference between policy and reality is stark. Immigrants rely heavily on the federal government for Medicaid, Supplemental Security Income (SSI) and Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF). As for food stamps, another heavily used program, the USDA is advertising in Spanish to encourage more immigrants to sign up.

In summary, according to updated Center for Immigration Studies’ research, 36 percent of immigrant-headed households receive benefits from at least one welfare program compared to just 23 percent of families headed by U.S. natives. Among households with children, immigrant welfare use exceeds non-immigrant use by a similarly wide margin: 57 percent to 40 percent.

This month, Senators Jeff Sessions, Chuck Grassley, Orrin Hatch and Pat Roberts, ranking Republican members respectively of the Senate Budget, Judiciary, Finance and Agriculture Committees wrote to Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton demanding to know why the Obama administration refuses to protect American taxpayers from immigrant-perpetrated welfare abuse and fraud.

Although the question is relevant and appropriate, the senators should expect evasive non-answers, at best. More likely is that Napolitano and Clinton will, as they have consistently done, silently endorse the continuation of the existing welfare scandal that leaves Americans holding the bag.

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©2012 Joe Guzzardi and Capsweb.org – Joe Guzzardi is a Californians for Population Stabilization Senior Writing Fellow. This column distributed by Cagle Cartoons newspaper syndicate. Contact Joe at joeguzzardi@capsweb.org. 

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July Jobs Report: ‘Worthless and Misleading’ http://www.cagle.com/2012/08/july-jobs-report-worthless-and-misleading/ http://www.cagle.com/2012/08/july-jobs-report-worthless-and-misleading/#comments Tue, 07 Aug 2012 07:20:23 +0000 Joe Guzzardi http://www.cagle.com/?p=612328 Here are three sources’ views on the Bureau of Labor Statistics July jobs report. Which is more credible?

About the 163,000 jobs created last month, President Obama said that he knew that persistence would pay off and that the nation would “gradually get where it needs to be.” July’s figures were above the 73,000 average new jobs reported for the quarter from April through June.

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Rick McKee / Augusta Chronicle (click to view more cartoons by McKee)

The mainstream media, loathe writing critically about the president, called the BLS data “encouraging,” “hopeful,” and “healing.”

Then there’s John Williams, a non-partisan statistician who publishes the Shadowstats newsletter that exposes and analyzes the flaws in U.S. economic data. Williams is a Dartmouth University cum laude graduate who also earned a M.B.A. from Dartmouth’s Amos Tuck School of Business. Wrote Williams: “The July employment and unemployment numbers published today, August 3rd, were worthless and likely misleading.”

Williams isn’t trolling for votes. And he doesn’t have a four-year unbroken track record of supporting the Obama administration like the media does. Therefore, I’ll trust Williams.

Even a cursory review of July numbers proves how slanted the BLS report is. How can the economy create 163,000 jobs while at the same time the unemployment rate goes up from 8.2 to 8.3 percent? The simple answer is that it can’t. Job creation was not a positive 163,000 but rather a 195,000 net loss as indicated by the more accurate household survey Williams relies on. July represents the largest monthly job loss in a year.

The media prefers to cite statistics from the payroll survey because the household survey—gasp!—reflect immigration’s hurtful impact on employment. Although little is written about immigration as it relates to jobs, it’s impossible to ignore it. Northeast University’s Center for Labor Studies research found that between 2008-2010, more than 1.1 million foreign-born worked in the United States. Household employment during the same period showed that 6.2 million native-born Americans lost jobs. Employers prefer to hire immigrants for various reasons including their willingness to work for lower wages without health care insurance.

Immigration’s negative effect on employment repeats itself each month. According to the Department of Homeland Security, Office of Immigration Statistics, in 2011 the United States issued a monthly average of 75,000 work permits to adult immigrants. Additionally, last year the federal government issued 400,000 non-immigrant visas, supposedly temporary, to overseas workers.

Unbelievably, conditions are poised to worsen. Later this month, under the terms of President Obama’s executive order that removes young aliens from possible deportation, as many as 1.2 million of them will receive work authorization. Previously unemployable because of their immigration status, they will now compete with Americans for scarce jobs.

These are devastating levels of immigration for an economy that continues to struggle. Assuming no changes to federal immigration policy, the U.S. would need to create about 300,000 jobs every month simply to get back to pre-recession employment levels. On the other hand, if immigration policy continues as is, then full employment would not return until 2028 at the earliest.

I could write a column ten times the length of this one laden with dreary and depressing statistics. Suffice it to say that every jobs sector is devastated. Only 47 percent of Americans have full time jobs.

Even though the immigration math can’t be challenged, the federal government continues on autopilot, importing more and more foreign-born workers despite the obvious pain inflicted on unemployed Americans.

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©2012 Joe Guzzardi and Capsweb.org – Joe Guzzardi is a Californians for Population Stabilization Senior Writing Fellow. This column distributed by Cagle Cartoons newspaper syndicate. Contact Joe at joeguzzardi@capsweb.org. 

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Obama and Romney Should Read The Wall Street Journal to Learn About American Job Loss http://www.cagle.com/2012/07/obama-and-romney-should-read-the-wall-street-journal-to-learn-about-american-job-loss/ http://www.cagle.com/2012/07/obama-and-romney-should-read-the-wall-street-journal-to-learn-about-american-job-loss/#comments Fri, 20 Jul 2012 07:20:23 +0000 Joe Guzzardi http://www.cagle.com/?p=611390 According to an analysis made by Challenger, Grey and Christmas, layoffs in the tech sector reached their highest level in three years during 2012′s first six months. CGC is the nation’s first, largest and oldest executive placement organization.

From January through June, 51,529 planned job cuts were announced. In the aggregate, they represented a 260 percent increase over the 14,308 estimated layoffs during the first half of 2011. The employment picture to date this year is so grim that projected job reduction exceeds by 39 percent all total cuts in the tech sector recorded last year.

114775 600 Obama and Romney Should Read The Wall Street Journal to Learn About American Job Loss cartoons

Chris Weyant / The Hill (click to view more cartoons by Weyant)

Among the most prominent corporate names slashing staff is Hewlett Packard. By the end of 2014, HP will eliminate 27,000 jobs (8 percent of its work force). Under the direction of failed California gubernatorial candidate Meg Whitman, HP will reinvest the payroll savings into research and development.

The 2012 gutting comes on top of a miserable 2011 when Bank of America announced 30,000 cuts. Large-scale layoffs also came from pharmaceutical firm Merck (13,000), Sam’s Club (11,000), and Borders Group, Inc.(11,000).

The worst may be yet to come. John Challenger, CEO of CGC, said:

“We may see more job cuts from the computer sector in the months ahead. While consumers and businesses are spending more on technology, the spending appears to favor a handful of companies. Those that are struggling to keep up with the rapidly changing trends and consumer tastes are shuffling workers to new projects or laying them off altogether.”

Apparently, neither President Barack Obama nor presumptive Republican nominee Mitt Romney read the Wall Street Journal.

Both have made liberalizing non-immigrant worker visas, specifically the H-1B, a campaign priority. One preposterous proposal both support is stapling a green card to any university diploma earned by foreign-born students in the Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) field. With nearly 60,000 Chinese nationals alone currently enrolled in related study areas, the destructive impact automatic work authorization would have on unemployed Americans is incalculable.


A good example of how the H-1B visa system works in the real world was described in a 2011 lawsuit filed against Molina Healthcare Inc., which handles Medicaid and Medicare paperwork for the federal government, and Cognizant Technology Solutions Corp., which recruits H-1B workers in India. On January 14, 2010, one day after the Department of Labor approved Molina’s application for 40 H-1B workers, Molina fired approximately 40 competent U.S. programmers, managers and analysts and hired 40 H-1B replacements imported by Cognizant from India.

James Otto, a lawyer representing the fired workers said:

“They [Molina executives] just wanted to fire the Americans and that’s what happened. It wasn’t a downsizing, it wasn’t an outsourcing, it was bringing in foreigners onto American soil to replace American workers. That [was] the scheme and it’s going on around the country.”

Despite all the campaign lip service Obama and Romney give to job creation, they willfully continue to overlook the obvious: there’s a surplus of American workers and each visa issued that includes a work permit is a threat to American employment.

©2012 Joe Guzzardi and Capsweb.org – Joe Guzzardi is a Californians for Population Stabilization Senior Writing Fellow. This column distributed by Cagle Cartoons newspaper syndicate. Contact Joe at joeguzzardi@capsweb.org.

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US Immigration Policy: If You Catch Aliens, Release and Reward Them http://www.cagle.com/2012/07/us-immigration-policy-if-you-catch-aliens-release-and-reward-them/ http://www.cagle.com/2012/07/us-immigration-policy-if-you-catch-aliens-release-and-reward-them/#comments Tue, 03 Jul 2012 19:08:22 +0000 Joe Guzzardi http://www.cagle.com/?p=610587 An important immigration policy change that encourages more illegal entry got buried in the recent news. Because of the media attention given to President Obama’s executive order that removes young aliens from deportation and the brouhaha surrounding the Supreme Court’s Arizona S.B. 1070 decision, the Department of Homeland Security’s revised catch and release program received scant attention.

114151 600 US Immigration Policy: If You Catch Aliens, Release and Reward Them cartoons

Eric Allie / PoliticalCartoons.com (click to view more cartoons by Allie)

A secret memo drafted last month by the Customs and Border Protection Agency will allow agents to release so called “low priority” aliens instead of bringing them in for processing and detention. The low priority guidelines have not been defined. When I spoke to a retired agent to see if I could learn more, he speculated that it was unlikely that any scenario would deny a lawbreaking alien.

In addition Customs and Immigration Enforcement chief John Morton, with the blessing of his superiors DHS Secretary Janet Napolitano and Obama, announced that effective at the earliest possible moment, ICE will no longer send aliens to Austin’s T. Don Hutto Residential Center, a 512-bed former state prison. Of the 127 remaining detainees at Hutto, some will be transported to a more comfortable Pennsylvania nursing home. Morton is fulfilling a promise he made three years ago to hold noncriminal aliens in less prison like surroundings where they would have access to pro bono legal counsel, medical care and grievance proceedings.

According to Morton: “This is not about whether or not we detain people, it’s how we detain them.”

Like every other statement the Obama administration makes about immigration, Morton’s is a bold faced lie. The goal is to hold as few aliens as possible. Of those transferred from Hutto to the nursing facility, many will be considered for programs like home monitoring that don’t require confinement. In other words, assuming the virtual certainty of lax ICE oversight, they’ll be free to enter society. The administration’s solution to illegal immigration is not to incarcerate them but instead to release them.

Around the globe, news of benevolent, alien-forgiving White House attitudes toward illegal entry spreads fast. Obama’s goal to invite the world and grant prosecutorial discretion upon arrival is a message that everyone who yearns to come to America embraces. With more than 7 billion people on the planet, that’s a problem.

Here’s how a would be illegal immigrant might interpret federal immigration laws. Get into the United States. If you’re one of unfortunate few apprehended, answer innocently to any question an agent may ask so that you can be released. Sooner rather than later, you’ll officially be declared “low priority” and given work authorization. Find a job. Enroll your children in school. Eventually, a full blown amnesty will roll around. Then, you’ll hit the jackpot. You’ll be an American citizen.

Last week, another suppressed story dateline Jerusalem showed how a country serious about immigration enforcement acts. Israel issued an ultimatum to 2,000 Ivorian illegal immigrants to leave voluntarily within two weeks. Those who comply will receive a stipend; those who do not will be arrested.

Israeli humanitarian organizations, like their American counterparts, expressed outrage at Interior Minister Eli Yishai’s directive. In the end, however, the only thing a sovereign nation owes to an illegal immigrant is to treat him humanely while he’s being deported.

Obama’s self serving immigration objectives put his reelection agenda ahead of the interests of citizens and legal immigrants who followed the rules. In the short term, open borders and its alleged appeal to Hispanic voters may help Obama recapture the White House. But over the long term, random, liberalized immigration where virtually everyone qualifies hurts Americans.

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©2012 Joe Guzzardi and Capsweb.org – Joe Guzzardi is a Californians for Population Stabilization Senior Writing Fellow. This column distributed by Cagle Cartoons newspaper syndicate. Contact Joe at joeguzzardi@capsweb.org. 

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Supreme Court’s Arizona Decision : Enforcement Wins http://www.cagle.com/2012/06/supreme-courts-arizona-decision-enforcement-wins/ http://www.cagle.com/2012/06/supreme-courts-arizona-decision-enforcement-wins/#comments Thu, 28 Jun 2012 07:15:22 +0000 Joe Guzzardi http://www.cagle.com/?p=610306 The headlines about the Supreme Court decision on Arizona S. B. 1070 indicate that the justices cut the bill back to its bare bones. In June 2010, Arizona passed legislation that allows law enforcement officers to inquire about immigration status when an individual is lawfully detained and suspected to be illegally present. But this week’s headlines are misleading. The law’s key provision, proof of status, remains.

Both camps, the pro-S.B. 1070 enforcement advocates and the anti-S.B. 1070 critics, claim the Court delivered them a victory.

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Eric Allie / PoliticalCartoons.com (click to view more cartoon by Alli

Critics point to the Supreme Court invalidating three of the bill’s four provisions. Since President Obama ordered the Justice Department to sue Arizona, his supporters hailed the Court’s decision as a major triumph.

The emotionally charged, two year long debate about S.B. 1070 has always focused on whether the police should have the right to ask about legal presence with reasonable cause during a lawful stop. On that point, the Supreme Court upheld Arizona’s right in an 8-0 unanimous vote.

The three points the Supreme Court tossed were minor: 1) to make failure to comply with federal alien-registration requirements a state misdemeanor, 2) to establish a misdemeanor for an illegal alien to seek or engage in work in the State and 3) to authorize state and local officers to arrest without a warrant a person an officer has probable cause to believe has committed a public offense that makes the person removable from the United States.

Think back two years ago. None of the rejected arguments were the focus of the nationwide screaming match between the pro and anti forces. The confrontations centered exclusively on whether S.B. 1070, called the “show me your papers” law by it opponents, would result in “racial profiling.”

The court found that improbable and unanimously agreed that it’s constitutional to ask for proper identification under certain circumstances. From the majority opinion, the court noted that the law, as written, expressly forbids profiling. From his opinion, Justice Anthony Kennedy wrote that there are three such limits in S.B. 1070 including one that officers “may not consider race, color or national origin . . . except to the extent permitted by the United States [and] Arizona Constitution[s].”

The outrage from S.B. 1070′s detractors proves who lost. Janet Murguia, National Council of La Raza’s chief executive officer, said the ruling places a “bull’s eye” on the backs of Arizona’s Hispanics. The American Civil Liberties Union admitted defeat and immediately launched a fund raising drive to, according to its email alert, “stop anti-immigrant laws from spreading across the nation.”

The court’s decision delivered on top of Obama’s recent announcement that illegal immigrants age 16-30 as well as other “low priority aliens” excused in his proclamation last year will not be deported assures that immigration policy will be front and center until November.

Justices Kennedy and Scalia, the ultimate non-partisans, had cautionary words for Obama who has decided that he alone determines immigration law. Observing that Presidents Clinton, Bush and Obama have all ignored federal immigration law, Justice Kennedy wrote that Arizona “bears many of the consequences of illegal immigration” as evidenced by an “epidemic of crime, safety risks, serious property damage, and environmental problems.”

Justice Scalia, in a scathing spoken address, noted that because of Obama’s prosecutorial discretion hundreds of thousands of aliens are “now immune from enforcement” and “will be able to compete openly with Arizona citizens for jobs.” Added Justice Scalia: “To say, as the court (majority) does that Arizona contradicts federal (law) by enforcing application of the Immigration Act that the President declines to enforce boggles the mind.”

The federal government, with Obama’s blessing and encouragement, not only refuses to enforce its own laws, but also has ordered high ranking officials like Department of Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano to break the law. Napolitano, in turn, orders to her agents to ignore immigration regulations and substitute Obama’s personal versions.

Under a totalitarian Obama, democracy is a fast fading memory.

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©2012 Joe Guzzardi and Capsweb.org – Joe Guzzardi is a Californians for Population Stabilization Senior Writing Fellow. This column distributed by Cagle Cartoons newspaper syndicate. Contact Joe at joeguzzardi@capsweb.org. 

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Obama’s Betrayal http://www.cagle.com/2012/06/obamas-betrayal/ http://www.cagle.com/2012/06/obamas-betrayal/#comments Tue, 19 Jun 2012 16:13:42 +0000 Joe Guzzardi http://www.cagle.com/?p=609844 Americans who thought that the Constitution is the nation’s highest law got a rude awakening last week. As it turns out, an even loftier lawmaking level governs the land: President Barack Obama’s personal opinion. Laws Obama doesn’t like, like those that enforce immigration, he ignores.

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Brian Fairrington / Cagle Cartoons (click to view more cartoons by Fairrington)

In a demonstration of naked disregard, on Friday Obama announced that his administration would stop deporting illegal immigrants between the ages of 16 and 31. Of course, there wasn’t much deportation going on but now it’s officially dead. The administration conservatively estimates that 800,000 aliens could be affected; the Pew Hispanic Center more realistically puts the total at 1.4 million. Factor in the inevitable fraud that always goes hand in hand with immigration legislation and the final number will be much larger.

Immigration law is set by the Legislative Branch and is not subject to Executive Branch whims. Nevertheless, Obama’s edict realizes many of the DREAM Act’s objectives—never mind that Congress defeated the DREAM Act in all of its manifestations multiple times during the last decade.

Not only won’t DREAMers be deported but—jackpot!—they instead will be given work permits allowing them to immediately compete in a job market where more than 20 million Americans are either unemployed or underemployed. Many have been jobless for more than six months. From a knee-deep statistical pile of data that underline Obama’s callous disregard for non-working Americans, I offer the following. Caution, strong stomach required.

Unemployment for older than 55-year-olds has risen 330 percent in 10 years; 53 percent of college graduates since 2006 cannot find full employment, unemployment among returning African-American vets exceeds 40 percent and 8 million aliens already hold payroll jobs. Teenagers with or without high school diplomas, including Hispanics and blacks have had sustained unemployment levels above 30 percent.

In his Rose Garden speech, Obama ludicrously claimed that his executive order would make immigration policy “more fair, more efficient and more just.” But when a reporter asked Obama to explain exactly how his new immigration law is fair to American citizens, Obama turned his back and walked away. The president, knowing that his mandate is the opposite of how he described it—that is, it’s unfair, inefficient and unjust—took no questions.

If I were the president, I’d ignore questions, too. Consider this. On the same day Obama exposed his American betrayal, the Bureau of Labor statistics released its latest non-seasonally adjusted data that showed the unemployment rate for foreign-born workers in the United States is lower (7.4 percent) than for native-born workers (8.0 percent).

Obama knows but doesn’t care that he’s violated the Constitution. Just a few months ago, explaining to a Hispanic audience why he had been unable to fulfill his 2008 campaign promises to deliver comprehensive immigration reform, he said: “I cannot do this alone because there are laws on the books.” By end running Congress, Obama has set out on his own totalitarian and anti-American path.

I’ll answer the reporter’s question about fairness that Obama brushed off. The only beneficiaries are those who get green cards and their Beltway ethnic identity advocates whose lobbying salaries depend on their successes in subverting U.S. law. Americans—no fairness for them—be damned.

Whether Obama will realize his obvious goal of garnering enough Hispanic votes to gain re-election remains to be seen. As his unprecedented executive order receives more publicity and analysis, a backlash from outraged Americans may ultimately undermine Obama’s craven pandering.

©2012 Joe Guzzardi and Capsweb.org – Joe Guzzardi is a Californians for Population Stabilization Senior Writing Fellow. This column distributed by Cagle Cartoons newspaper syndicate. Contact Joe at joeguzzardi@capsweb.org.

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Dream Act, Other Immigrant Entitlements Officially Dead http://www.cagle.com/2012/06/dream-act-other-immigrant-entitlements-officially-dead/ http://www.cagle.com/2012/06/dream-act-other-immigrant-entitlements-officially-dead/#comments Mon, 11 Jun 2012 07:25:44 +0000 Joe Guzzardi http://www.cagle.com/?p=609429 Congress’ job performance rating is 10 percent. Lawyers’ popularity stands about the same. And although there’s no official ranking for whining, entitlement-seeking aliens, I can’t image that they do better than Congress or attorneys.

So it’s no surprise that when Daniela Peleaz, a Florida high school alien student, her lawyer Nera Shefer and U.S. Representative David Rivera (D-FL.) held a Capitol Hill press conference last week, everyone ignored them.

112704 600 Dream Act, Other Immigrant Entitlements Officially Dead cartoons

Nate Beeler / Columbus Dispatch (click to view more cartoons by Beeler)

Rivera used the occasion to introduce his tedious Studying toward Adjusted Residency Status (STARS) legislation. I say “tedious” because Rivera’s is another in a long list of DREAM Act-type bills than Democrats and Republicans have soundly defeated for more than a decade. In these turbulent months leading up to the November election, STARS has no chance —none! — of even getting to the House floor for a vote.

Peleaz, although introduced as a DREAM Act poster girl because of her good grades and valedictorian status, is instead representative of aliens for whom nothing is ever enough. To date, Peleaz has already benefited from taxpayer fully subsidized K-12 education and recently had a deportation order stayed, largely because of the Obama administration’s prosecutorial discretion policy. Peleaz still yearns for more. She wants you to underwrite millions of aliens’ university tuition fees.

I have extremely bad news for Peleaz, as well as for the others who advocate for illegal immigrants selfish causes. According to well-placed Capitol Hill insiders, namely Congressional legislative aides who know what’s going on behind the scenes, the agenda to promote more immigration and alien benefits is deader than a doornail.

Democratic leaders have effectively nixed a DREAM Act vote or anything remotely resembling legislation that would give citizenship to illegal alien teens that go to college or join the military. The same terminal fate awaits dozens of pending bills promoting more visas for foreign-born workers.

I’d like to report that Congress finally came to its senses to realize that rewarding illegal immigration and promoting more of if it is unfair to American citizens. And I wish I could say that Congress did that math and discovered that with only 69,000 jobs created in May, adding more overseas workers to the population hurts unemployed Americans’ job chances. Sadly, however, I must tell you what you have already probably figured out. The decision to end discussions on the DREAM Act and to authorize additional visas is—surprise, surprise—politically motivated.

The Democrats don’t have the votes. And going into November when all but the most secure congressional incumbent seats will be at risk why, the thinking goes, swim against the tide?

Ethnic identity lobbyists such as La Raza that demand liberalized immigration legislation aren’t satisfied with partial bills like the DREAM Act. Broader legislation, however, like comprehensive immigration reform means certain death for office seekers.

As for Pelaez, she’s off to Dartmouth College, a private Ivy League institution. Because of its lofty standing among elitists, I’ll wager that Dartmouth was misguidedly impressed with Pelaez’s alien status and all the hoopla surrounding her.

In case Pelaez has you buffaloed too, here’s something to consider. Every year, Dartmouth receives about 20,000 applications and rejects more than 90 percent. Since it’s expensive and time consuming, few apply to Dartmouth frivolously. Among the 19,000 rejections are thousands of qualified Americans. But in this fall’s freshman class Pelaez, an alien, will take one of their places.

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©2012 Joe Guzzardi and Capsweb.org – Joe Guzzardi is a Californians for Population Stabilization Senior Writing Fellow. This column distributed by Cagle Cartoons newspaper syndicate. Contact Joe at joeguzzardi@capsweb.org. 

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With Congress Willfully Blind Americans Subsidize Aliens’ Tax Rebates http://www.cagle.com/2012/05/with-congress-willfully-blind-americans-subsidize-aliens-tax-rebates/ http://www.cagle.com/2012/05/with-congress-willfully-blind-americans-subsidize-aliens-tax-rebates/#comments Wed, 30 May 2012 07:15:07 +0000 Joe Guzzardi http://www.cagle.com/?p=608827 Three weeks ago, an Indiana accountant turned whistle blower exposed the decade-old practice among illegal aliens of fraudulently collecting cash refunds for child tax credits. Local network WTHR broadcast the story that sparked an Internet frenzy creating outrage among citizens.

According to the accountant, thousands of aliens file false returns claiming, in addition to their own children, neighbors, nieces and nephews. In some cases, even though some of the children may not be their own relatives or live in the United States, filers receive $1,000 per child. Said the accountant, “It’s so easy it’s ridiculous.”

48655 600 With Congress Willfully Blind Americans Subsidize Aliens Tax Rebates cartoons

Nerilico / Mexico, PoliticalCartoons.com (click to view our latest cartoons)

Crucial to the rip-off are Individual Tax Identification Numbers (ITINs) which the Internal Revenue Service issues to all employed workers who pay taxes regardless of their immigration status. Once the aliens file using their ITINs, they’re home free.

Russell George, the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration has been hounding Congress for years to close the loophole, something that would be a simple matter of re-writing the tax code and making it mandatory that filers use a valid social security number.

Pursuant to an IG report, 72 percent of tax returns filed by ITIN users claimed the Additional Child Tax Credit compared to just 14 percent of returns filed with social security numbers. The bottom line cost to American taxpayers is $4.2 billion annually.

Since its original broadcast, WTHR heard back from several frustrated former and current IRS employees who described the agency’s pressure-packed policy to process as many ITIN applications as possible even though the applications are obviously fraudulent.

One INS employee said that during a recent day, he saw the same ITIN documentation including the same photographs and signatures “dozens of times.” According to one disgruntled worker even though the ITIN’s supporting paper work is clearly fake, the employees are forced to process “X amount in an hour or you don’t get your pay grade raise or that great evaluation. You have to kick them out as quickly as possible if you want to keep your job.”

In short, the IRS which would assess American citizens with fines, penalties or possible jail time for such overt misrepresentation, ignores illegal immigrants’ blatant deceit.

Of the multiple problems Congress faces, correcting the ITIN scandal would be the easiest to resolve—by following Inspector General George’s recommendation to change the tax code to require valid social security numbers on returns.

The House, at least, has taken the first step. Rep. Sam Johnson (R-TX) introduced a provision that would prevent illegal aliens from collecting the additional tax child credit. Johnson’s proposal was added to a budget reconciliation bill (H.R. 5652) that the House passed.

However, the Democratic-controlled Senate is unlikely to support the House. Last week, Senator David Vitter (R-LA) introduced S. 577 that duplicates Johnson’s language. But Majority Leader Harry Reid blocked Senator Jeff Sessions and Vitter’s proposal to ask for unanimous consent on S. 577.

Sessions blasted Reid, the IRS and President Obama for their collective refusal to act in Americans’ best interests. Sessions, noting that the $4 billion annual cost would meet the remaining highway bill’s funding shortfall for the highway bill and much of the student loan bill’s cost, said: “This should not be a partisan issue: it is wrong for the government to use Americans’ tax dollars to directly subsidize illegality, especially at a time when our nation is spending so much money we don’t have.”

For U.S. citizens, the ITIN flimflam is one more example of their second class status—not that more evidence is needed. Nevertheless, the congressionally sanctioned sting is a deeply insulting affront to honest, hard working Americans.

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©2012 Joe Guzzardi and Capsweb.org – Joe Guzzardi is a Californians for Population Stabilization Senior Writing Fellow. This column distributed by Cagle Cartoons newspaper syndicate. Contact Joe at joeguzzardi@capsweb.org. 

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American Workers Displacement http://www.cagle.com/2012/05/american-workers-displacement/ http://www.cagle.com/2012/05/american-workers-displacement/#comments Mon, 21 May 2012 07:10:27 +0000 Joe Guzzardi http://www.cagle.com/?p=608394 The Bureau of Labor Statistics April jobs report is the latest evidence that, White House spin aside, the U.S. employment picture across all demographic spectrums is grim and getting grimmer.

Last month, the economy produced a meager 115,000 jobs. And while some may believe the Obama administration’s fantasy that unemployment dropped from 8.2 to 8.1 percent, the facts tell a different story.

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Jeff Parker / Florida Today (click to view more cartoons by Parker)

Through March 2012, there were 142 million employed, 12.7 million unemployed, 7.7 million marginally attached to the work force and 87.9 million who have given up the search and are categorized as “not in the labor force”.

A comparison to mid-2007 tells the whole tale. Five years ago, 146.1 million people worked, 7.1 million were unemployed and 4.5 million held part-time positions for what they described as “economic reasons.” A total of 78.7 million people were not in the labor force; the unemployment rate was 4.6 percent.

Unemployment rates are high among every class of worker regardless of educational background. A Rutgers University study found that only 53 percent of college graduates who earned their degrees from 2006-2010 have full time jobs; their salaries have declined by 10 percent during that period.

Teenagers and older Americans have been hammered. Adults in all age groups, teenagers, blacks, Hispanics, whites and society’s most vulnerable, those without a high school diploma, can’t find work.

If you wonder how hard the job search is, the AARP reported that unemployment among older workers increased 331 percent during the decade from 2000 to 2010.

Only foreign-born workers have survived the devastation. Those who don’t study immigration statistics may be shocked to learn that the BLS reported that in 2010, 22 million foreign-born held jobs. From June 2009 through June 2010, foreign-born workers gained 656,000 jobs while native-born lost 1.2 million.


Couple that with the 8 million illegal aliens who hold non-farm jobs and it’s clear that one of the major reasons for America’s employment crisis is its unquestioned open-door immigration policy.

The solution – end the practice of issuing more than 1 million annual temporary and permanent work visas to immigrants�is a Capitol Hill non-starter. More immigration is the federal government’s sacred cow. Not only do incumbent president Obama and his Republican challenger Mitt Romney campaign on the presumed importance of more foreign-born workers, Congress is in lock step. In recent months, about 15 Congressional bills aimed at increasing the numbers of overseas workers have been introduced. Yet no American worker shortage for these jobs exists at any level.

Cutting immigration quotas would be virtually free. So would passing the Legal Workforce Act that mandates employers to use E-Verify, the online program that confirms whether a new hire is authorized to work in the United States.

Two other immigration foibles should also be suspended immediately: the visa lottery that hands out 55,000 green cards worldwide to workers regardless of their skills or education and chain migration that allows immigrants to petition for this status for their adult siblings and adult children.

Commenting on the economic conditions that have unfolded since the recession began, former Treasury Secretary Reich said in a rare candid moment that the “hole keeps deepening every month we fail to add at least 150,000 new jobs, again reflecting population growth….Bottom line: This is no jobs recovery.”

As long as Congress ignores the relationship between immigration and jobs, the nation’s sense of despair will deepen. Toughening up on immigration would be bad for ethnic identity politicians and certain well-entrenched Beltway lobbyists. But, for American workers, it’s the quickest, most certain road to recovery.

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Joe Guzzardi is a Californians for Population Stabilization Senior Writing Fellow. His columns have been nationally syndicated since 1986. Contact him at joeguzzardi@capsweb.org 

Copyright 2012 Joe Guzzardi and Capsweb.org – Joe Guzzardi is a Californians for Population Stabilization Senior Writing Fellow. This column distributed by Cagle Cartoons newspaper syndicate. Contact Joe at joeguzzardi@capsweb.org. 

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The Crucial Hispanic Vote, Debunked http://www.cagle.com/2012/04/the-crucial-hispanic-vote-debunked/ http://www.cagle.com/2012/04/the-crucial-hispanic-vote-debunked/#comments Tue, 24 Apr 2012 13:33:56 +0000 Joe Guzzardi http://www.cagle.com/?p=607034 After reading dozens of mainstream media newspaper and national magazine stories about the so-called “crucial” Latino November vote, I have sadly concluded that my journalism colleagues either can’t do simple math or have decided to forego fundamental research.

The stories are the same. If presumptive GOP candidate Mitt Romney expects to persuade Hispanics to support his candidacy, then he needs to begin a significant outreach program effective immediately. On the other hand, if President Obama is counting on as much success with Hispanic voters in 2012 as he had in 2008, he needs to get busy with his own appeal to that bloc.

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Jeff Parker / Florida Today (click to view more cartoons by Parker)

While both candidates want to do well with all demographic subsections, to repeat ad nauseum that Hispanics will determine the next president is laugh out loud absurd.

To start at the beginning, in the 2010 mid-term election Hispanics represented only 6.9 percent of the electorate. The share of the Latino population eligible to vote is smaller than it is among any other group. Just 42.7 percent of the nation’s Latino population is voting eligible (older than 18) while more than three-in-four (77.7 percent) of whites, two-thirds of blacks (67.2 percent) and more than half of Asians (52.8 percent) are eligible.

If you were advising a presidential campaign would you suggest to your client that he focus on Hispanics, the smallest group of voters, or whites, the largest? The answer is obvious and becomes more crystal clear when you factor in that black voters are predicted to overwhelmingly support President Obama.

Significant Hispanic populations live in only a few states: California, Arizona, New Mexico, New York, New Jersey, Illinois, Texas and Florida. Of those eight, only Florida is in play. California, New York, Illinois and New Jersey are solidly Democratic; Texas, Republican.

But let’s assume for the sake of this argument that the GOP decides to embark on the media’s highly touted, specially designed Hispanic platform. Maybe Mitt Romney picks up New Mexico (5 electoral votes). But when those New Mexico Hispanic-targeted sound bites are rebroadcast in Ohio and Pennsylvania on the evening news, Romney would risk losing both states and their 37 total electoral votes. Pennsylvania and Ohio have little immigration.

Even President Obama doesn’t buy the media’s urgent plea to design an especially tailored Hispanic platform. For example, when Obama’s stumps in the mid-Atlantic swing states, he knows better than to promote his reviled DREAM Act, talk up his prosecutorial discretion policy or tout his White House-based illegal alien liaison official. That would turn off the moderate majority.

Compounding the foolish idea of overt Latino pandering is that a recent analysis of Census Bureau data found that Hispanic voter registration has been in steep decline since 2010. As a result, Hispanics may cast fewer votes in 2012 than they did two years ago. The reason: Hispanics who lost jobs may have moved in search of new work without registering to vote at their new address.

Another variable escapes the clueless media. Hispanic voters are American citizens. And citizens of Hispanic ancestry often have loftier, more patriotic interests than the Washington D.C. pro-immigration lobby or the extreme Democratic left wing. During the 2005 Arizona vote on Proposition 200, the measure that would bar illegal aliens from collecting social services, exit polls indicated that 47 percent of Hispanics voted in favor. Even in Arizona, the nation’s immigration tinderbox, Hispanics rejected unchecked alien entitlements.

Even though the press remains in the dark, President Obama knows that November turns on the voters who elected him in 2008, moderates and Independents from both parties. To win, the president must recapture them. Ethnic identity politics is a risky game that often backfires

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©2012 Joe Guzzardi and Capsweb.org – Joe Guzzardi is a Californians for Population Stabilization Senior Writing Fellow. This column distributed by Cagle Cartoons newspaper syndicate. Contact Joe at joeguzzardi@capsweb.org.

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On Earth Day, Family Planning is Key to a Green Society http://www.cagle.com/2012/04/on-earth-day-family-planning-is-key-to-a-green-society/ http://www.cagle.com/2012/04/on-earth-day-family-planning-is-key-to-a-green-society/#comments Thu, 19 Apr 2012 07:10:43 +0000 Joe Guzzardi http://www.cagle.com/?p=606786 Going green is all the rage. “Consider the environment before printing out this email” is one of many cautionary notes office administrators sound to encourage their employees to respect our diminishing resources. During Earth Day, more than any other, Americans acknowledge the importance of recycling and using alternative public transportation. On college campuses, engaged students spread warnings about the negative long term consequences of excessive consumption.

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Brian Fairrington / Cagle Cartoons (click to view more cartoons by Fairrington)

But preserving our precious space is a challenge that requires full time attention especially since popular culture celebrates procreation. Famous celebrities’ baby bumps are pictured on tabloids with fawning headlines. Conversely, discussions that stress the importance of limiting children to replacement level or lower are taboo.

Yet, although family planning is considered politically incorrect, nothing is greener. The basic science is beyond dispute: the more children born, the more toxic carbon dioxide emissions are eventually created.

Three years ago, the Optimum Population Trust commissioned the London School of Economics to study childbirth and its long term environmental impact. The report concluded that meeting the unfulfilled birth control needs of women who indicated a desire to limit reproduction would reduce unintended births by 72 percent and cut the projected 2050 world population by half a billion to 8.6 billion. Extending its calculations, the LSE concluded 12 billion fewer “people-years” would be lived and 34 gigatons of CO2 that would otherwise be generated could be saved. In short, condoms and other safe birth control methods represent the maximum green.

One reason so few intelligent debates about overpopulation occur is that the mind can’t grasp the staggering numbers at the issue’s core like billions and gigatons. To break population growth into more digestible bites, consider California and the data contained in the 1940 and 2010 U.S Bureau of the Census reports. For natives like me who remember California back when, the findings are stunning.

Comparing the 1940 census to today, a host of negatives appears obvious. Seven decades ago, only six California cities had populations of 100,000 or more: Long Beach, Los Angeles, Oakland, Sacramento, San Diego and San Francisco. But overpopulation which is fueled in large part by another unmentionable, over-immigration, has created 6 cities in 2010 with populations greater than 100,000. In 1940, California was the nation’s fifth-largest state. As California approaches 40 million people, it’s the most populated and the most adversely impacted by sprawl and pollution. According to Forbes Magazine, California has four of the top five dirtiest cities in America including three in the once pristine San Joaquin Valley: Bakersfield, Modesto and Fresno.

As a result of California’s unsustainable population increases the Golden State, once synonymous with unspoiled beaches, vineyards and the magnificent Sierra Nevada now has the nation’s most densely urbanized areas.

California ranks in the top three nationwide when measured by population density: Los Angeles, San Francisco/Oakland and San Jose. In Los Angeles, an average 7,000 residents live on each square mile-—people on top of people. Even tiny Delano with its 54,000 residents ranks fourth with 5,500 humans per square mile, higher in density than New York/Newark.

Unchecked population growth makes every social challenge harder to resolve. Each time a new person is added to the existing population, the crises facing education, crime, medical care and mass transit have fewer solutions.

There’s good news to report, however. After years of conservationists pounding away about limiting population, a key demographic may finally have gotten the message.

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s Division of Vital Statistics reported that the teen birthrate declined 9 percent between 2009 and 2010 to 34 births per 1,000 women ages 15-19. A CDC spokesman called the drop “phenomenal.”

The climb back to population stability is still uphill. But teen awareness is a first, important step to a smaller and greener society.

©2012 Joe Guzzardi and Capsweb.org – Joe Guzzardi is a Californians for Population Stabilization Senior Writing Fellow. This column distributed by Cagle Cartoons newspaper syndicate. Contact Joe at joeguzzardi@capsweb.org.

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Homeland Security Announces Latest Alien Forgive and Forget Program http://www.cagle.com/2012/04/homeland-security-announces-latest-alien-forgive-and-forget-program/ http://www.cagle.com/2012/04/homeland-security-announces-latest-alien-forgive-and-forget-program/#comments Fri, 06 Apr 2012 14:22:10 +0000 Joe Guzzardi http://www.cagle.com/?p=604301 Slow news days like weekends or holidays are the best time for the federal government to sneak in an announcement that would otherwise outrage the public. With immigration occupying the front and center stage, a pro-illegal alien policy decision that would rile up enforcement-minded citizens is best done in the cloak of darkness.

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Eric Allie / Cagle Cartoons (click to view more cartoons by Allie)

In its non-stop effort to eviscerate immigration laws, the Department of Homeland Security operating with President Obama’s blessing posted an item in the little read Federal Register stating that certain aliens would soon be granted “unlawful presence waivers.” Simply put, illegal aliens who can prove they have a U.S. citizen relative will get a waiver that allows them to remain in the country until their legal residency application is processed.

Previously, such individuals had to leave and then apply from their native country. The explanation offered for the radical policy departure is an age-old favorite: breaking up families is a hardship. Advocates often toss around references to “families” and “children” to defend blatant immigration violations.

DHS bureaucrats quickly but unpersuasively noted that the waivers don’t automatically mean that adjudication will be successful. The administration also argues, without offering evidence, that relaxing the existing rules “creates efficiencies for both the U.S. government and most applicants.”

However, insisting that legal residency applications be submitted from abroad helps reduce fraud and illegal employment. Best of all, if the application is denied, the party is already outside of the U.S. and no extra taxpayer money has to be spent to remove him.

The family waiver is the latest politically motivated maneuver to circumvent immigration laws. More than a year ago, DHS introduced prosecutorial discretion, also referred to as backdoor amnesty, wherein any alien in deportation proceedings that isn’t a convicted felon and who can offer a half-baked excuse to stay is allowed to. In DHS’s eyes, good reasons include being too young, too old or too sick. Most non-criminal healthy aliens have been allowed stay too. Coincidentally, DHS also announced this week that immigration courts in Detroit, Seattle, New Orleans and Orlando with heavy prosecutorial discretion backlogs have temporarily shut down to enable federal prosecutors to decide behind the scenes which pending cases to arbitrarily decide in the aliens’ favor.

If you’re keeping score on how successful the anti-enforcement Obama administration has been, here’s a partial list of its dubious actions. Government efforts to protect or assist aliens include toll free Department of Labor 800 numbers for illegal immigrants to report what they perceive as unfair wage practices, a White House appointed “official alien advocate” as well as the aforementioned prosecutorial discretion and unlawful presence waivers.

At the same time, the White House has effectively scotched the 287 (g) and Secure Communities programs that would expedite deporting—or at least identifying—dangerous aliens.

To his credit, House Judiciary Committee Chairman Lamar Smith continues to flail at windmills with little help from either side of the aisle. Smith’s Legal Workforce Act that would mandate E-Verify, an online program that identifies legally authorized workers, remains stalled on Capitol Hill.

The Federal Register offers a 60-day window for citizens to register their concerns about “unlawful presence waivers.” Assuming that’s an attempt to placate angry Americans about another immigration outrage, it comes up short.

©2012 Joe Guzzardi and Capsweb.org – Joe Guzzardi is a Californians for Population Stabilization Senior Writing Fellow. This column distributed by Cagle Cartoons newspaper syndicate. Contact Joe at joeguzzardi@capsweb.org. 

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California’s Bullet Train a High Speed Trip to Disaster http://www.cagle.com/2012/04/californias-bullet-train-a-high-speed-trip-to-disaster/ http://www.cagle.com/2012/04/californias-bullet-train-a-high-speed-trip-to-disaster/#comments Thu, 05 Apr 2012 13:12:01 +0000 Joe Guzzardi http://www.cagle.com/?p=604228 The chaos engulfing California’s proposed bullet train may have reached an intensity that will doom the project before it starts.

In yet another revision of cost estimates and planning, the California High-Speed Rail Authority recently announced a cost reduction from $98 to $68 billion that would be achieved by connecting the train’s route to existing lines on the outskirts of Los Angeles and the Bay Area. The first segment would be expanded to 300 miles connecting Merced in the San Joaquin Valley to the San Fernando Valley within 10 years. The original 2008 plan included a 130-mile portion from Madera to Bakersfield with a total cost calculated at $33 billion. The widely fluctuating cost estimates, in $30 billion multiples, alarm some legislators who are already nervous about the project’s magnitude. Governor Jerry Brown is expected to ask the Legislature to appropriate funding before the June 15 budget deadline.

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Nate Beeler / Washington Examiner (click to view our newest cartoons)

Californians, doubtful about the rail’s feasibility and those who would have to absorb the fiscal brunt of failure, view Governor Brown’s last minute cost reductions skeptically. Critics are working hard to force a new vote on the train which polls indicate would be handily defeated.

One reason that voters have so little confidence is that rail advocates would have to pull off a masterpiece of intricate planning to make the bullet train successful. There’s a big difference between the drawing board and reality. In theory, job growth and other economic benefits logically follow an integrated transportation system. But success would require a well designed combination of station location, links to other transportation systems and supportive land-use and zoning policies to make rail stations a catalyst for economic stimulus.

The High-Speed Rail Peer Review Group has called the train “an immense financial risk” and refused to recommend that the state legislature sell the initial $2.7 billion in bonds. If construction doesn’t start by September 30, California will lose $3.3 billion in federal funding.

Even with the lower cost estimate, the total funding remains a wild card. California voters approved a $9.95 billion bond for the proposed system when they passed Proposition 1A in 2008.

Where will the balance come from? The current plan is contingent on receiving billions more from a doubtful Congress, fees from an untested cap-and-trade system that is central to California’s effort to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and unnamed private investors supposedly eager to jump aboard and risk their own money once construction begins.

California’s distressed state budget will have to allot more than $700 million each year to repay billions of dollars that officials plan to borrow to build the first phase of the proposed bullet train, according to the non-partisan California State Legislative Analyst’s office.

The repayment projection includes principal and interest on the already approved $9.95 billion. Because of higher borrowing rates, the interest total is higher than earlier and doesn’t include millions already being paid annually on $500 million in debt incurred during the initial planning process.

Whatever the final cost will be, the rail is the largest capitol project in California’s history. California is flat broke and suffers from chronic deficits, looming tax increases and relentless social services cuts and is in no position to roll the dice on the bullet train. The rail would also have devastating, irreversible effects on the state’s environment, encourage further unsustainable population growth and have no guarantee of ridership.

The decentralized cities located throughout California’s car-addicted society makes the bullet train a high risk gamble the state can’t afford to take.

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©2012 Joe Guzzardi and Capsweb.org – Joe Guzzardi is a Californians for Population Stabilization Senior Writing Fellow. This column distributed by Cagle Cartoons newspaper syndicate. Contact Joe at joeguzzardi@capsweb.org 

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Evidence That Higher Immigration Fuels Long Term Population Growth http://www.cagle.com/2012/03/evidence-that-higher-immigration-fuels-long-term-population-growth/ http://www.cagle.com/2012/03/evidence-that-higher-immigration-fuels-long-term-population-growth/#comments Wed, 28 Mar 2012 12:00:19 +0000 Joe Guzzardi http://www.cagle.com/?p=603500 According to a recent Migratory Policy Institute report, 24 percent of the 70.6 million children living in the United States in 2010 have at least one immigrant parent. The total reflects the overall increase in immigration into the United States but reveals almost nothing about the long term consequences of adding to population growth through an expansive federal immigration policy and lax border enforcement.

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Patrick Chappatte / The International Herald Tribune (click to view more cartoons by Chappatte)

More worrisome is that the report didn’t mention how many of those children have been born to illegal immigrant parents and are therefore what’s commonly referred to as anchor babies. Current estimates calculate that about 8 percent of all children born every year in the U.S., roughly 350,000, have alien parents and are therefore granted automatic birthright citizenship. Illegal immigrants’ children make up 7 percent of the nation’s 18-year-old and younger population.

An anchor baby’s significance vis-a-vis immigration law is often lost on the general public. In a nutshell, a child’s citizen status provides his parents with virtual ironclad protection from deportation. Immigration officials are much less likely to deport parents with minor, American citizen children than they are childless aliens. The child, if effect, “anchors” his parents to the United States. When citizen children become adults, they can petition for legal status for their parents who, in turn, also petition other family members still living abroad. All these steps, bundled together, create another immigration phenomenon known as chain migration.

Awarding citizenship to children born on U.S. soil to parents who have broken America’s laws is the height of folly. No European country does it. As citizens, the youthful demographic is entitled to various welfare subsidies and other services. Parents, even though legally disqualified from welfare, can receive food stamps and Medicaid on behalf of their children. On average, 40 percent of alien-headed households collect welfare benefits. In states with high immigration like California or New York, the average is nearly 50 percent.

The debate surrounding anchor baby citizenship has been simmering for several years without boiling over. But every time a think tank like the Migration Policy Institute releases new data that show immigration levels increasing without interruption from one year to the next, the need for permanent correction in the misinterpretation of the 14th Constitutional amendment becomes more pressing. As applied today, the 14th Amendment grants citizenship under jus soli—if you’re born here, you’re a citizen. This has spawned serious, more sophisticated immigration abuses beyond simply crossing the border to have a baby. The birth tourism industry that offers pregnant women packages to travel to the United States for pre- and post-natal care has flourished.

However, Constitutional scholars point out that citizenship is awarded pursuant to federal statute and that the Supreme Court has never rendered a decision on a related case. Academics claim that the 14th Amendment was originally written to guarantee citizenship to freed black slaves after the Civil War.

The Senate and the House have introduced bills that would grant citizenship only to children who have at least one American-born or legal immigrant parent. But, despite their importance, these bills have been viewed as fraught with political repercussions. Co-sponsors are few.

As of 2010, the United States’ immigrant population was 40 percent of the total. Some states experienced alarmingly high, unsustainable immigration growth. Among them were Alabama (92 percent), South Carolina (88 percent), Tennessee (82 percent), Arkansas (79 percent) and Kentucky (75 percent). Much of that growth has been incentivized by the prospect of American citizenship.

In election year 2012, population growth and its link to immigration is, without question, one of the most important but least discussed subjects on the campaign trail.

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©2012 Joe Guzzardi and Capsweb.org – Joe Guzzardi is a Californians for Population Stabilization Senior Writing Fellow. This column distributed by Cagle Cartoons newspaper syndicate. Contact Joe at joeguzzardi@capsweb.org

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The Untold Story Behind the February Jobs Report http://www.cagle.com/2012/03/the-untold-story-behind-the-february-jobs-report/ http://www.cagle.com/2012/03/the-untold-story-behind-the-february-jobs-report/#comments Mon, 19 Mar 2012 07:15:58 +0000 Joe Guzzardi http://www.cagle.com/?p=601460 With its typical fanfare, the White House announced that the economy created 227,000 jobs in February. In what’s best described as a campaign speech for his boss, White House economic advisor Alan Kreuger hailed the news as evidence that the Obama administration’s jobs strategy is successful.

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R.J. Matson / St. Louis Post-Dispatch (click to view more cartoons by Matson)

A close analysis of February’s jobs report exposes a less encouraging picture. The number of unemployed Americans and the unemployment rate remained unchanged from January at, respectively, 12.8 million and 8.3 percent.

As it always does, the Bureau of Labor Statistics relied on the payroll survey to reach its findings. Despite months of so called “robust job gains,” about 5.4 million have been jobless for more than 27 weeks and 1.2 million have given up looking for work. Unemployment benefits have expired for some; others will end in 2012.

Unemployment’s long term effects are devastating. The longer prospective workers remain unemployed, the faster their skills erode and the harder it is for them to find a decent job. More than 40 percent of the total unemployed are categorized as “long term.” One contributing factor may be the extended unemployment benefits which some economists claim reduces the incentive to actively pursue work.

Another grim variable the White House ignores is that current job creation doesn’t keep up with population growth. The further back you go, the less comforting the jobs to population growth ratio becomes. The nation needs 5.6 million jobs to return to 2008 levels.

According to statistics crunched by the Economic Policy Institute for CNN Money, California would have to create 1.8 million jobs to keep up with its growing population. That represents nearly 12 percent more jobs than exist today. Despite its deep economic woes and huge budget deficit California’s working age population, fueled in large part by immigration, has increased by one million since the 2007 recession started. California’s unemployment rate is 10.9 percent, the nation’s second highest.

Another problem the administration gives short shrift to is the type of jobs created. According to statistician John Williams, 92 percent of the new February jobs are in low wage service positions. As examples, waiting on tables and tending bar accounted for 20 percent of the overall jobs increase while 29 percent of the spike came in health care and social services. Driving a truck is one of the highest paying new service jobs.

By extension, only about eight percent of new jobs could be considered professional, like engineering or computer-related employment. As good jobs disappear, the United States’ income disparity grows greater and the nation becomes more deeply entrenched as a two-tier society—a handful of super-rich and millions of poor.

One crucial variable the administration refuses to acknowledge much less change is immigration which fuels about 75 percent of the population growth. Legal immigrants—about 1 million a year—receive work permits. More legally authorized people increases the work force and reduce job opportunities for native-born Americans.

The relationship between more immigration and fewer jobs is undeniable. Yet Capitol Hill is unwilling to help unemployed Americans by reducing immigration. As a result, the White House has to cook the employment books every month to create as favorable a picture of the economy as possible.

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©2012 Joe Guzzardi and Capsweb.org – Joe Guzzardi is a Californians for Population Stabilization Senior Writing Fellow. This column distributed by Cagle Cartoons newspaper syndicate. Contact Joe at joeguzzardi@capsweb.org

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By Early Spring, This Year’s Summer Jobs for College Kids Are Gone http://www.cagle.com/2012/03/by-early-spring-this-years-summer-jobs-for-college-kids-are-gone/ http://www.cagle.com/2012/03/by-early-spring-this-years-summer-jobs-for-college-kids-are-gone/#comments Mon, 12 Mar 2012 07:10:03 +0000 Joe Guzzardi http://www.cagle.com/?p=600876 Although it seems like only yesterday, six months have passed since last August when foreign-born student workers exposed the Hershey Company’s abuse of the State Department’s Summer Work Travel (SWT) program.

College students from Turkey, Moldova and China as well as other nations came at their own expense to work at Hershey allegedly to promote “lasting and meaningful relationships” with their American peers.

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Eric Allie / Cagle Cartoons (click to view more cartoons by Allie)

In reality, SWT turned out to be just another cheap labor program that allows multimillion dollar corporations to exploit unsuspecting workers. The disappointed students who came to the United States on J-1 visas spent last summer lifting 50 pound pallets of candy bars, often on the night shift, for small money.

The SWT is America’s biggest guest worker program. Corporate employment agencies, referred to as sponsors, recruit more than 100,000 international students annually to do menial jobs at dairy farms, resorts and factories. The teenagers at Hershey prepaid their airline fare, often thousands of dollars. Then after shelling out high rent for substandard housing and deducting company imposed fees, students netted about $2.50 an hour from their $8 wage. Not long ago, Hershey had unionized workers who earned $18 to $30 dollars to pack chocolate. Those jobs, at a much lower pay scale, are now located in Mexico.

In some ways, the Hershey kids are the lucky ones. Other J-1 participants’ craven sponsors sent them to beach resorts but then abandoned them. Some were conned by agencies that fraudulently took their money for non-existent jobs. The most unfortunate may have been a young woman forced to work in a strip club.

Hershey’s pattern is consistent with modern corporate America; outsource good jobs that included paid vacations, medical benefits and pensions. Then, domestically, replace Americans with cheap foreign-born labor even if those employees are illegal immigrants.

When the students went on strike, Hershey found itself in the media’s spotlight. After an Associated Press investigation, unflattering stories about the company’s shameful treatment of its international employees made national headline news.

The State Department which oversees J-1 visa issuance is just as guilty the corporations. By failing to monitor what actually occurs at the workplace, it sanctions abuse. Florida U.S. Rep. Matt Gaetz said about the State Department’s role: “It’s an abject failure on the part of the federal government to the point of recklessness.

Once exposed, the State Department promised immediate changes. Adam Ereli, assistant secretary for the State Department’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs, wrote an internal memo that outlined the proposed corrections. Included is a vaguely worded provision requiring companies to “use particular prudence and caution when dealing with jobs that offer legitimate employment….”

The most practical suggestion is the State Department’s recommendation that employers be more aware of the potential labor pool in the United States. With teen unemployment at record highs, corporations should have no difficulty securing local workers assuming they offer the prevailing wage.

Unfortunately, if you hope that your family’s youngster will land a summer job, I have bad news. You’re too late. The International Council on Educational Exchange with its “network of 70 representatives in 50 countries” has already filled most U.S. positions.

American worker displacement continues even during the temporary summer season when kids could be using their earnings for college tuition, to buy a new car or to help out with home living expenses.

Without meaningful change in the SWT program, the “lasting” memories foreign-born workers will take home with them is of their months spent with “Ugly American” employers.

©2012 Joe Guzzardi and Capsweb.org – Joe Guzzardi is a Californians for Population Stabilization Senior Writing Fellow. His columns have been syndicated since 1986. Contact him at joeguzzardi@capsweb.org

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White House Moves to Eliminate Funding For Immigration Enforcement http://www.cagle.com/2012/03/white-house-moves-to-eliminate-funding-for-immigration-enforcement/ http://www.cagle.com/2012/03/white-house-moves-to-eliminate-funding-for-immigration-enforcement/#comments Thu, 01 Mar 2012 08:05:45 +0000 Joe Guzzardi http://www.cagle.com/?p=600194 To understand how little interest the White House has in enforcing immigration law, consider this figure: $5.4 million.

That’s the sum that the Department of Homeland Security wants to gut from the 2013 federal budget that last year went to participants in the 287 (g) program. Broadly defined, 287 (g) allows police jurisdictions in cooperation with the Department of Homeland Security to detain and process illegal aliens as if they were deputized ICE agents. President Obama and DHS Secretary Janet Napolitano have openly opposed 287 (g) even though it helps remove aliens from the general population and despite its Congressional support. During a recent House hearing, however, Secretary Napolitano alleged that the cost involved in training local police exceeds the sum that the government deems cost effective for deporting aliens.

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Rick McKee / Augusta Chronicle (click to view more cartoons by McKee)

In numerous statements during the last several months, Secretary Napolitano emphasized that the administration’s priority is to focus DHS resources on removing criminal aliens instead of other “low priority” illegal immigrants who represent an economic threat—that is, they take jobs that unemployed Americans would eagerly do. The DHS practice of allowing some aliens to stay in the United States despite their immigration violations is known as prosecutorial discretion, another manifestation of the White House’s defiance of federal law.

Since its inception, 287 (g) has been an effective tool in identifying potentially dangerous aliens. The program operates on the theory that local immigration enforcement can be effectively carried out even miles from the border.

Established in 1996 by the Illegal Immigration Reform and Immigrant Responsibility Act, officers receive ICE schooling in functions such as identifying, processing and detaining immigration offenders. This background provides state and local police with additional skills to prosecute crimes aliens commit, especially gang violence and document fraud, while simultaneously reducing illegal immigration’s overall negative impact.

During its early implementation, 287 (g) had impressive successes. ICE trained hundreds of officers who made thousands of arrests in urban areas both large and small.

Consequently, 287 (g) quickly became a favorite target of immigration advocacy groups like the Congressional Hispanic Caucus and the American Civil Liberties Union. Among their claims are that 287 (g) leads to racial profiling and abuse of power. But an extensive General Accounting Office study failed to confirm those allegations. The ACLU specifically argued that 287 (g) was originally intended to identify “…and remove undocumented immigrants convicted of violent crimes, human smuggling, gang/organized crime activity, sexual-related offenses, narcotics smuggling, and money laundering,” a charge House Judiciary Committee Chairman Lamar Smith refutes. Smith was the House author of the original 1996 legislation.

Since 2009, the Obama administration has tinkered with, and watered down, the 287 (g) language to minimize its effectiveness. Now, it proposes to cancel the funding.

Returning to the piddling $5.4 million sum, note how it pales in comparison—to $1.3 trillion allotted since 2001 for the Middle East Wars or the $15.4 trillion national debt. In fact, $5.4 million might not pay for the various vacations the Obama family has taken since the president was inaugurated.

Americans deserve to live in safe neighborhoods without the threat of dangerous illegal immigrants. Obviously, the White House doesn’t agree.

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©2012 Joe Guzzardi and Capsweb.org

Joe Guzzardi is a Californians for Population Stabilization Senior Writing Fellow. His columns have been syndicated since 1986. Contact him at joeguzzardi@capsweb.org 

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Why Import Engineers? http://www.cagle.com/2012/02/why-import-engineers/ http://www.cagle.com/2012/02/why-import-engineers/#comments Mon, 13 Feb 2012 08:10:55 +0000 Joe Guzzardi http://www.cagle.com/?p=599193 Earlier this week, a live online video chat featured President Obama and Jennifer Weddel, the wife of an unemployed engineer whose husband has been out of a job for three years. Weddel asked the president: “Why does the government continue to extend H-1B visas when there are tons of Americans just like my [engineer] husband with no job?”

Caught off guard, Obama tried to deflect Weddel’s argument by inquiring what type of engineer her husband is. When Weddel replied “semiconductor,” Obama resorted to elusive double talk before promising to review his case further. To add to Obama’s embarrassment, Wedell is unemployed in Texas, a tech industry hub.

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Deng Coy Miel / PoliticalCartoons.com (click to view all our daily cartoons)

The problem that the president unexpectedly faced is that semiconductor engineers are in one of the categories which IT industry executives have been telling Congress can’t be found in the United States. And the White House, apparently without bothering to check the facts, has acted on industry misinformation. From the El Paso border this summer to the United States Capitol in January where he gave the State of the Union address and at every stop in between, Obama has aggressively called for increasing the 65,000 H-1B visas issued annually.

The Weddel-Obama dust up set off a flurry of Internet postings and analysis among organizations that have insisted for years that no shortage of American engineers or any other classification of worker exists. After all, when there are so many million unemployed Americans, how can there be shortages?

Indeed, the Center for Immigration Studies, a non-partisan Washington, D.C.-based research organization that favors less immigration, found that 1.8 million Americans under age 66 have engineering degrees but not an engineering job.

The study, “Is President Obama Right about Engineers?” is based on data collected by the Census Bureau from the American Community Survey. Dr. Steven Camarota, its author, found the following: 1) 101,000 U.S. engineers looking for a job can’t find any type of work at all; 2) 244,000 engineers are unemployed and have stopped looking for work and 3) 1.5 million engineers have jobs but don’t work as engineers.

In his numerous supportive speeches about lifting the visa cap, Obama has repeatedly referred to the foreign-born workers he wants to bring to the United States as “highly skilled.” But Dr. Camarota’s research revealed that in 2010 there were 25,000 unemployed Americans with engineering degrees who have a Master’s or Ph.D. degree and another 68,000 with advanced degrees not in the labor force. There were also 489,000 U.S.-born individuals with graduate degrees who were working but not as engineers.

Another important consideration: in the two decades since its inception, is that the H-1B visa has been used for non-engineering fields like teaching, pharmacy and even football coaching as happened a few years ago at Tennessee’s Austin Peay University. No job is safe.

Today’s lesson is that every story has two sides. The administration has listened closely to the business elites who want more visas. Now, the hour has come for the White House to pay equal attention to unemployed Americans’ pleas.

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Joe Guzzardi is a Californians for Population Stabilization Senior Writing Fellow. His columns about immigration and other social issues have been syndicated since 1986. Contact him at joeguzzardi@capsweb.org.

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Florida, More DREAMing Even As Tuitions Soar http://www.cagle.com/2012/01/florida-more-dreaming-even-as-tuitions-soar/ http://www.cagle.com/2012/01/florida-more-dreaming-even-as-tuitions-soar/#comments Fri, 27 Jan 2012 08:10:36 +0000 Joe Guzzardi http://www.cagle.com/?p=598060 On the Florida primary campaign trail, the DREAM Act refuses to die even though any possible success would be years away. In 2013 a new Congress will be sworn in and would therefore have to re-introduce DREAM legislation and, assuming it could survive after contentious debate, nurse it through the House and Senate. Since the DREAM Act has failed repeatedly over the last decade despite multiple efforts, the odds against its passage are long.

Nevertheless, journalists constantly pepper and cross examine Republican candidates about their DREAM Act positions.

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Rick McKee / Augusta Chronicle (click to view more cartoons by McKee)

Despite the hoopla surrounding the DREAM Act, whether illegal immigrants get preferential in-state tuition at American universities is not of grave national importance.

On its face, arguments for the DREAM Act are baseless. United States colleges were founded on American soil and funded by American taxpayers. Most major universities have long waiting lists of American kids who have their own dreams and should have first crack at the fixed number of freshman slots.

Foreign-born students who graduate from U.S. high schools have other options. Their native countries have credentialed universities. And despite the moaning about not knowing anyone back home and being separated from family, DREAMers could look at returning as studying abroad, a great adventure and resume enhancer.

The DREAM Act argument in Florida has taken a particularly absurd twist. Next year for the third year in a row, undergraduate students at Florida universities will pay 15 percent higher tuition rates. Various student fees will also increase.

In June, the State University System’s governing board approved a 7 percent tuition increase which came on top of an 8 percent bump which the legislature authorized earlier in 2011. Over the last decade, Florida tuitions have risen by 130 percent.

The increases come during a period when financial aid programs, such as Florida’s popular Bright Futures scholarship, have been cut. The combination of higher tuition and less aid leaves many middle class students ineligible for financial assistance but also unable to pay the full freight, out of luck.

Florida’s legal maximum tuition increase is 15 percent per year, a total many administrators think is inadequate. University of Florida President Bernie Machen, for example, wants the ceiling lifted.

With or without a higher cap, Florida has no end in sight to the tuition increase crisis. Last week, universities disclosed that unless the economy improves significantly, 15 percent hikes will be imposed for each of the next four years.

One method university administrators use to generate additional funds is to recruit foreign-born overseas students who must pay the more expensive out-of-state rate. They live in dorms, eat on campus and, in general, spend more than in-state students. Overseas enrollment is up about 10 percent in the last several years.

Given this period of intense financial difficulty for Florida universities and the pressure on American kids, promoting the DREAM Act is folly.

Nevertheless in President Obama’s State of the Union, he pleaded “….let’s at least agree to stop expelling [deporting] responsible young people….”

Fortunately, most Republican presidential candidates have better sense. They have promised to veto the DREAM Act if it should ever reach their desks.

©2012 Joe Guzzardi and Capsweb.org Joe Guzzardi has written editorial columns, mostly about immigration and related social issues, since 1986. He is a Senior Writing Fellow for Californians for Population Stabilization (CAPS) and his columns are syndicated in various U.S. newspapers and websites. Contact him at JoeGuzzardi@CAPSweb.org. 

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Capitol Hill’s American Worker Subversion Intensifies http://www.cagle.com/2012/01/capitol-hills-american-worker-subversion-intensifies/ http://www.cagle.com/2012/01/capitol-hills-american-worker-subversion-intensifies/#comments Mon, 09 Jan 2012 16:02:59 +0000 Joe Guzzardi http://www.cagle.com/?p=595396 Today’s hottest Capitol Hill topic is jobs. But the debate doesn’t directly center on how to best put 22 million unemployed and underemployed Americans back to work. Instead the focus is on whether the United States needs more foreign-born workers.

President Obama, his biased and ineffective Council on Jobs and Competitiveness, Congress and the Republican presidential candidates agree resoundingly that, yes, America has a shortage of high skilled workers especially in the science, technology, engineering and math fields—so called STEM occupations. With the big business lobby’s feverish support, the nation’s elite illogically insist that more overseas labor creates more American jobs. Accordingly, as many as 15 different Congressional bills designed to drastically reduce or eliminate caps on non-immigrant worker visas like the H-1B are currently moving forward.

102865 600 Capitol Hills American Worker Subversion Intensifies cartoons

Eric Allie / Cagle Cartoons (click to view more cartoons by Allie)

Advocates for unrestricted visas completely ignore ample evidence from Washington, D.C.-based non-partisan think tanks like the Sloan Foundation that no STEM shortage exists. Among its findings are that the number of STEM students graduating each year from U.S. universities far exceeds the number of new jobs.

While U.S. corporations incessantly cry wolf about a tech talent shortage, industry data indicates there are as many as 200,000 tech workers unemployed across the country today.

Over the Christmas season, I watched an HD.net special hosted by Dan Rather that showed the human impact on displaced American workers. Titled No Thanks for Everything, the program interviewed four Americans fired by Microsoft, Blue Cross, Honeywell and American Express. All four told identical stories. Because their replacements had inadequate skill sets, the Americans had to train them. Then, they were fired. Since being dismissed, none can find a job. Some can’t even get interviews.

While it’s shocking to realize that middle-aged Americans who have worked for their companies for decades are cravenly tossed aside and replaced by temporary (but actually permanent) H-1B visa holders, the legislation functions exactly as it’s intended to.

That is, employers easily substitute foreign nationals eager to work for less. Corporations who apply for and hire cheaper labor face no meaningful oversight. Although fraud is widespread in the H-1B program as well as in other non-immigrant visa categories, the financial consequences when caught are significant.

Being displaced, undercut and traded in for younger, cheaper but not better talent is the reality of today’s job market for dismayed and disbelieving Americans.

To fully understand America’s elected officials’ deceit, deception and subversion perpetrated against the middle class working population, consider Cree, the North Carolina company that President Obama chose as the backdrop for his job summer jobs initiative. According to U.S. Department of Labor records, Cree has filed dozens of H-1B applications in recent years.

If you’re lucky enough to have a job, don’t consider yourself safe. In an instant you can be replaced. If you have school age children, pay attention to what’s going on in Washington. Those who come to America on temporary visas rarely return home. They’ll be around—and working at jobs you and your kids would like to have—for years.

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Joe Guzzardi has written editorial columns, mostly about immigration and related social issues, since 1986. He is a Senior Writing Fellow for Californians for Population Stabilization (CAPS) and his columns are syndicated in various U.S. newspapers and websites. Contact him at JoeGuzzardi@CAPSweb.org.

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Last Week’s Improved Economic Reports, Crunched Realistically http://www.cagle.com/2011/12/last-weeks-improved-economic-reports-crunched-realistically/ http://www.cagle.com/2011/12/last-weeks-improved-economic-reports-crunched-realistically/#comments Tue, 06 Dec 2011 13:11:03 +0000 Joe Guzzardi http://www.cagle.com/?p=593181 After a weekend of crunching the economic data released on December 3, I find more bad than good.

While President Obama and his White House economic team are no doubt comforted by the Department of Labor’s announcement that 120,000 jobs were added in November and that the unemployment rate dipped to 8.6 percent, its lowest level in two and a half years, the report contained a host of grim news. The 0.4 percent decline from 9 percent was triggered primarily by the 315,000 people who gave up looking for work.

101995 600 Last Weeks Improved Economic Reports, Crunched Realistically cartoons

Eric Allie / Cagle Cartoons (click to view more cartoons by Allie)

To begin with, adding 120,000 jobs barely keeps up with population growth. And since the United States accepts about that same number of authorized-to-work legal immigrants each month, the net new jobs created total is only a few thousand. The trend of American displacement by foreign-born workers has been well established for years. According to the Pew Hispanic Center, in 2011′s second quarter, compared to the same three-month period in 2010, foreign-born workers gained 656,000 jobs, while native-born workers lost 1.2 million jobs.

To grasp what’s going on in today’s economy, we need to understand why those 315,000 people stopped looking for a job and try to project whether they will soon return to their search. First of all, the numbers of people who want a job but stopped looking last month rose by 110,000 and has risen consecutively since November 2010 to today’s total of 6.1 million. If those who want a job but can’t find one were included, the unemployment rate would actually be above 12 percent.

The Congressional Budget Office expects the low participation rate to continue indefinitely for three reasons: 1) baby boomers retiring, 2) the lowest level of women working in twenty years and 3) a steep decline in the numbers of recent college graduates seeking jobs.

The further I dug, the more depressing the news, especially as it relates to African Americans. Despite a large drop in market participation, African-American unemployment increased from 15.1 to 15.5 percent, the opposite of the overall trend.

The largest contributor to African-American employment decline is that last month 20,000 government workers lost their jobs, by far the largest decline for any sector. For years, states, counties and municipalities were aggressive employers. Now however, cost-cutting governments are just as aggressively laying off workers because of declining tax revenues or reduced federal aid.

One in 5 African Americans entered the middle class through government jobs which paid, on average, 25 percent more than other occupations that hire blacks. Now tens of thousands are losing their jobs and involuntarily exiting the middle class. Chicago, for example, will fire 212 employees during the next fiscal year, two-thirds of whom are black.

Too much population coupled with over-immigration in an ever-weakening economy will invariably cause the greatest displacement among society’s most vulnerable, in this case, African Americans.

In a revealing footnote about the administration’s priorities, the Hispanic unemployment rate is 11.4 percent, much stronger than the African American rate. This is consistent with the White House strategy that acquiring the Latino vote is all-important.

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© Copyright 2011 Joe Guzzardi, distributed exclusively by Cagle Cartoons newspaper syndicate. Joe Guzzardi has written editorial columns, mostly about immigration and related social issues, since 1986. He is a Senior Writing Fellow for Californians for Population Stabilization (CAPS) and his columns are syndicated in various U.S. newspapers and websites. Contact him at JoeGuzzardi@CAPSweb.org.

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Red Cards: The Latest Amnesty Nonsense http://www.cagle.com/2011/12/red-cards-the-latest-amnesty-nonsense/ http://www.cagle.com/2011/12/red-cards-the-latest-amnesty-nonsense/#comments Thu, 01 Dec 2011 08:43:48 +0000 Joe Guzzardi http://www.cagle.com/?p=592962 Ask any American politician to explain his immigration philosophy and the first words out of his mouth are “Secure the border.” What they say in their second breath is what counts. If they make a strong statement endorsing E-Verify, then it’s probable that they’re serious about reducing immigration.

If however they proceed to outline a grand sounding plan that opens the borders wide to all comers, then you know they’re talking out of both sides of their mouths.

Enter the so called “Red Card,” a bad idea that Republicans have kicked around unsuccessfully for years and which Newt Gingrich embraced in his Florida debate performance last week. Gingrich presented the red card as the solution to the United States “broken immigration system” by insisting that it would legalize (without making citizens) millions of aliens who could then work freely at jobs that Americans supposedly won’t do.

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Rick McKee / Augusta Chronicle (click to view more cartoons by McKee)

But analyzed closely, the red card opens the borders to a free flow of cheap labor that would further dry up the job market for the 22 million Americans who want but cannot find full time jobs.

Here’s how the red card would work. Individuals living illegally in the United States would have to first go home and then return to America with an employer- issued, easily obtained guest worker visa. Red cards would be handed out in accordance with the number of employer requests received. With no red card ceiling, it’s certain that a significant percentage of employers who currently hire Americans would opt for the cheaper foreign-born worker. So, although red card proponents insist that they don’t endorse amnesty, their idea is actually a massive amnesty.

The red card is the brain child of the Krieble Foundation, a globalist organization that has not the faintest idea of the bureaucratic impossibility of its scheme. The foundation’s president, Helen Krieble, owns a large Colorado horse farm, a business that historically relies on cheap illegal immigrant labor.

Keep in mind that the federal government cannot effectively manage its existing immigration programs and has no capacity to take on others. Fraud is rampant in non-immigrant visa categories and aliens move about the country with complete impunity.

Krieble proposes that the red card would involve opening private, government licensed employment agencies in foreign countries and authorized to issue work visas in accordance with jobs posted and available in the United States.

In a word, the Krieble plan is nonsense, divorced from reality and without any consideration for all the things that could and would go wrong before and during its implementation. The red card would be more widely abused than the H-1B visa, a vehicle for greedy employers who supposedly can’t find American workers.

In theory the red card holder would re-return home when his guest worker visa expired. As a practical matter, however, there would be thousands who would stay. In the meantime, they would have anchor baby citizen children who would enroll in overcrowded public schools and whose presence would set off endless rounds of Democratic-led debates about the urgency of passing amnesty.

There’s a simple two-part litmus test to measure who’s sincere about ending unsustainably high levels of legal and illegal immigration. First, do they support the Legal Workforce Act that would mandate E-Verify, remove aliens from their payroll jobs and discourage illegal immigrants from applying for positions they are not qualified to hold? Second, do they oppose issuing more non-immigrant work visas in any category, at least until the unemployment rate returns to its traditional 5 percent level?

Hedging on either point indicates immigration advocacy.

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© Copyright 2011 Joe Guzzardi, distributed exclusively by Cagle Cartoons newspaper syndicate. Joe Guzzardi has written editorial columns, mostly about immigration and related social issues, since 1986. He is a Senior Writing Fellow for Californians for Population Stabilization (CAPS) and his columns are syndicated in various U.S. newspapers and websites. Contact him at JoeGuzzardi@CAPSweb.org.

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Individual Taxpayer ID Numbers Enable Aliens To Collect Billions http://www.cagle.com/2011/11/individual-taxpayer-id-numbers-enable-aliens-to-collect-billions/ http://www.cagle.com/2011/11/individual-taxpayer-id-numbers-enable-aliens-to-collect-billions/#comments Thu, 24 Nov 2011 02:12:12 +0000 Joe Guzzardi http://www.cagle.com/?p=592643 Established 15 years ago, the Individual Taxpayer Identification Number [ITIN] is a seemingly innocuous, administrative requirement that the Internal Revenue Service assigns to anyone who is employed and pays taxes. According to the IRS website, the numbers are used for federal tax reporting only. But since ITINs, as they are commonly known, are issued to wage earners regardless of immigration status, they’ve frequently been abused by the aliens who hold them.

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Bob Englehart / Hartford Courant (click to view more cartoons by Englehart)

Although the real estate crisis is fading from our memory, it’s important to recall that the ITIN was the vehicle used in lieu of social security numbers which then legitimized the disastrous lending policy of providing home mortgages to unqualified illegal aliens. With bankers as their willing abettors and while the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation purposely looked the other way, aliens took out home loans using ITINs as their major form of identification. Bankers, only too eager to accommodate poverty-level applicants with balloon financing for homes they could barely make the first payment on, raked in big money. To the bankers, aliens represented the “new market.” Today, five years later, the nation is still reeling from the avalanche of foreclosures that followed.

For aliens, the ITIN is an extremely useful vehicle. Since the IRS isn’t required to share its information with any other federal agency, including immigration authorities, the promise of intra-agency confidentiality allows aliens to file tax returns without fear of deportation. At the same time, holding an ITIN enables aliens to authenticate their presence in the United States and prove that they have paid taxes. This information could be crucial if Congress ever enacted an amnesty.

The ITIN’s improper use is once again in the news. The Federation for American Immigration Reform in its recent analysis titled Treasury Department Says Aliens Collection Billions in Tax Credits revealed that according to the Department of Treasury’s Inspector General, more than $4.2 billion in additional child credits were paid out in 2010 to illegal immigrants. In 2005, the pay outs totaled $924 million. This program allows low income earners to claim a $1,000 per child credit. If the household ends up with no additional tax obligation—as most alien families do not—then $1,000 is paid to them.

Pursuant to the IG report, 72 percent of tax returns filed by ITIN users claimed this credit compared to just 14 percent of returns filed with social security numbers. The generous payment of these benefits represents yet another incentive for aliens to enter, reside and work in the United States without permission. Providing incentives to aliens, financial or otherwise, is against the law.

The ITIN is a sham that should be eliminated. The federal government knows that many ITIN users are illegally in the United States. Automatic acceptance of the ITIN without additional identification is tantamount to endorsing illegal immigration.

At a time when Congress and the President are struggling to find ways to cut trillions of dollars from federal spending and while more than 14 million Americans are unemployed, it’s unconscionable for the IRS to ignore abuse of its ITIN program that results in billions of dollars in payments made to illegal aliens.

© Copyright 2011 Joe Guzzardi, distributed exclusively by Cagle Cartoons newspaper syndicate. Joe Guzzardi has written editorial columns, mostly about immigration and related social issues, since 1986. He is a Senior Writing Fellow for Californians for Population Stabilization (CAPS) and his columns are syndicated in various U.S. newspapers and websites. Contact him at JoeGuzzardi@CAPSweb.org.

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Soaring International Enrollments at US Colleges Bypass American Kids http://www.cagle.com/2011/11/soaring-international-enrollments-at-us-colleges-bypass-american-kids/ http://www.cagle.com/2011/11/soaring-international-enrollments-at-us-colleges-bypass-american-kids/#comments Mon, 21 Nov 2011 14:45:29 +0000 Joe Guzzardi http://www.cagle.com/?p=592418 The Institute of International Education issued its annual “Open Doors” report this week which showed a 5.7 percent increase in foreign-born students enrolled in American colleges. Some interpret this as good news. I’m not one of them.

For university administrators, international students are a bonanza. Out of state students pay full freight tuition—often as much as three times what an instate resident pays. At the University of Washington, for example, residents pay $10,575 in annual tuition and fees while nonresidents pay $28,059. Foreign enrollment has been on the rise since the academic year 2006-2007 and has increased 32 percent over the past decade. That’s plenty of extra cash flowing into the university tills.

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David Fitzsimmons / Arizona Daily Stay (click to vire more Fitzsimmons cartoons)

The State Department loves having foreign students on American campuses. Assistant Secretary of State Ann Stock says that young people who study abroad “gain the global skills necessary to create solutions to 21st-century challenges.” The State Department underscored that it gives student visa applications “special priority.”

Another supporter is the Commerce Department which estimates that international students contribute more than $21 billion to the U.S. economy through tuition and living expenses which include room and board, supplies, transportation and health insurance and support for dependents.

Maybe the foreign students “gain global skills” and maybe they spend billions once they reach the United States. But what about the American kids they displace? They’d learn 21st-century skills and spend money, too. There are only a fixed number of incoming freshman seats. Once one is assigned, it’s gone.

Broader questions about the policy soundness of enrolling millions of foreign students need to be addressed. Are American universities prepared to absorb a tripling of undergraduate Chinese students, the figure reported by the New York Times? What percent of the universities’ resources will have to be spent on English language learning and other assimilation tools?

Peggy Blumenthal, spokesman for the IIE, says that one reason for the dramatic increase in Chinese enrollment is that there are too few universities in China. Blumenthal argues that it’s logical for students to come to the United States. But a university shortage in China is China’s problem and one that shouldn’t be resolved by denying a U.S. citizen a slot in this year’s freshman class.

Here’s the unreported outrage. For the most part, international students enroll in state sponsored schools funded by American taxpayers. Over dozens of decades, their tax dollars generated by their hard work have built these universities for the express benefit of their children. For UCLA to spend $5 million to modernize its cafeteria to accommodate its 40 percent Asian enrollment, as it did this year, is probably not how most Californians want their tax money utilized.

At the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, foreign enrollment is at an all-time high. But, for heaven’s sake, Urbana-Champaign is a Morrill-Land Grant Act college founded after the Civil War to help Illinoisans, not to educate the world.

Continuous waves of foreign-born students have serious, negative long term implications for the United States. While many students will return, others will change their immigration status to become permanent residents and compete with Americans for jobs. At the same time, their presence adds to an already overcrowded country straining to provide for those who are already here.

While most Americans acknowledge the advantages of a diverse student mix, at issue is state policies that purposely make it more difficult for local students to earn their college degrees, a benefit residents have paid for with their tax dollars.

© Copyright 2011 Joe Guzzardi, distributed exclusively by Cagle Cartoons newspaper syndicate. Joe Guzzardi has written editorial columns, mostly about immigration and related social issues, since 1986. He is a Senior Writing Fellow for Californians for Population Stabilization (CAPS) and his columns are syndicated in various U.S. newspapers and websites. Contact him at JoeGuzzardi@CAPSweb.org.

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Republicans Debate – But Not About Immigration http://www.cagle.com/2011/11/republicans-debate-but-not-about-immigration/ http://www.cagle.com/2011/11/republicans-debate-but-not-about-immigration/#comments Mon, 14 Nov 2011 16:48:15 +0000 Joe Guzzardi http://www.cagle.com/?p=591568 After a three week hiatus from the debate circuit, eight Republican hopefuls took the stage last week. Held in economically devastated Michigan, the debate gave candidates a chance to come out swinging against the federal policies that led to the state’s unemployment rate which peaked at 14 percent after the 2007 meltdown. Currently, Michigan unemployment is 11.1 percent, the nation’s third highest.

For those of us who were waiting for a meaningful dialogue about immigration, the effect of which directly impacts not only employment but also the quality of education, health care, the environment, crime and national security, last night was long and lonely. During the two hour session, immigration was mentioned only in passing. You’d never guess that, because of Arizona and other states’ enforcement laws, immigration has been headline news for months.

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Cam Cardow / Ottawa Citizen (click to view more Cardow cartoons)

During the earlier debates, except for a few passionate exchanges about the DREAM Act and parroting the universally accepted mantra that the border should be secured, candidates mostly avoided immigration.

But since the adverse impact over-immigration can so easily be woven into America’s other social problems, it’s a mystery why the candidates won’t step up to connect the dots. How hard would it be to make the indisputable observation that accepting over one million legal immigrants annually and giving them work permits creates more American joblessness?

While some immigration-related topics like ending birthright citizenship might be considered too controversial to defend in the national limelight, other immigration restrictions have Americans overwhelming support.

I’ll cite as an example the failure of the U.S. government to enforce the time limits written into the millions of non-immigrant visas issued every year. Simply put, too many of the 45 million annual United States visitors never go home. According to Immigration and Customs Enforcement, about 35 percent of illegal aliens first enter the United States on legal visas and then overstay. Yet, since 1996 when Congress authorized a check-in and check-out system, no president has fully implemented it. Currently, US-Visit makes no effort to track foreign visitors and has no idea where they are either during their stay or after their visas expire.

Enforcing visa terms is an important part of national security. And since many overstayers get jobs, visa abuses adversely impact American employment opportunities. Making sure people return when their visas expire is not controversial.

Another topic that has broad voter appeal is enforcing existing deportation laws. The United States deports only 4 percent, or about 300,000, of its illegal aliens. Among those who remain, many enroll their children in school, work under the table and access emergency health care.

Stepped up deportations would create two positive consequences. First, consistent with the law, existing aliens would be removed. Second, those considering entering the United States illegally would be deterred. Potential aliens could be further discouraged if other Congressional measures like mandatory E-Verify and eliminating birthright citizenship were in place to further reduce their incentives.

In a perfect world, there would be no illegal immigration. Aliens have, for the most part, come against the American people’s will. Immigration has never been a ballot issue. Still, even though Americans want to know the candidates’ positions, immigration is a taboo topic.

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© Copyright 2011 Joe Guzzardi, distributed exclusively by Cagle Cartoons newspaper syndicate. Joe Guzzardi has written editorial columns, mostly about immigration and related social issues, since 1986. He is a Senior Writing Fellow for Californians for Population Stabilization (CAPS) and his columns are syndicated in various U.S. newspapers and websites. Contact him at JoeGuzzardi@CAPSweb.org.

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Napolitano’s Uphill Climb Against The Facts http://www.cagle.com/2011/10/napolitanos-uphill-climb-against-the-facts-2/ http://www.cagle.com/2011/10/napolitanos-uphill-climb-against-the-facts-2/#comments Fri, 28 Oct 2011 02:45:08 +0000 Joe Guzzardi http://blog.cagle.com/?p=590389 The House Judiciary Committee recently completed hearings that focused on President Barack Obama’s deferred action plan to grant amnesty to 300,000 aliens previously designated for removal. The aliens, in addition to getting a free pass back into the American mainstream, will receive work permits. Border security was also on Chairman Lamar Smith’s agenda.

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Rick McKee / Augusta Chronicle (click to view more McKee cartoons)

As she has done for months, Secretary Napolitano insisted that during the past two years apprehensions along the southwest border with Mexico have decreased by 36 percent. The White House equates fewer arrests with fewer crossing attempts, thus seemingly justifying Napolitano’s disingenuous statement this summer that the border is “safer than it’s been in decades.”

Napolitano also pointed to last year’s 400,000 criminal alien deportations, a total she proudly calls an ICE record. As for deferred action or so called prosecutorial discretion, scheduled to start within the next few weeks, Napolitano maintained that because of her agency’s limited resources, DHS’s prudent course of action is to prioritize deporting hardened criminals and release others.

The facts, however, don’t jive with Napolitano’s argument. Regarding southwest border security, the non-partisan General Accountability Office found that only 44 percent of the border is under “operational control”. That, countered Smith, allows nearly 500,000 aliens to enter the United States annually.

Concerning removals, Smith noted that no less an expert than President Obama admitted that the DHS statistics are “a little deceptive.” A Washington Post story found that DHS inflated its deportation numbers by including 20,000 aliens who left last year as well as several thousand “voluntary returns,” an option for deportees that avoids them appearing before an immigration judge and allows them to re-enter the United States at a future date.

Another salient fact that belies Napolitano’s dubious testimony is that worksite enforcement has plummeted during Obama’s tenure. From 2008 to 2010, administrative and criminal arrests fell by 77 percent and 60 percent, respectively, while criminal indictments and criminal convictions both dropped 66 percent.

Smith chided Napolitano for DHS’s refusal to provide specific information about illegal immigrants held on criminal charges including their names, the crimes they committed and whether some were later released back into communities.

If DHS fails to provide him with the details, Smith has vowed to issue a subpoena by next week.

As for the ICE audits of companies’ employment eligibility verification forms like the widely publicized Chipotle Mexican Grill incident, the GAO concluded that the ensuing fines are so low that they don’t deter future aliens’ hiring.

According to the GAO, some ICE officials think employers consider the nominal fines nothing more than the cost of doing business.

Smith challenged Napolitano about ICE agents’ instructions to ignore most illegal workers. Said Smith: “These illegal immigrants can simply walk down the street, knock on the door of another employer and take another job away from an unemployed American worker.”

During this period of sustained high unemployment, 9 percent nationwide but greater in states with large immigrant populations like California and Nevada, Smith is correct to hammer away at the jobs-immigration connection. With 22 million Americans unable to find a full time job, not a single alien should be employed.

—–

Joe Guzzardi has written editorial columns, mostly about immigration and related social issues, since 1986. He is a Senior Writing Fellow for Californians for Population Stabilization and his columns are syndicated in various U.S. newspapers and websites. Contact him at JoeGuzzardi@CAPSweb.org.

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On Immigration Both Parties Move to the Left http://www.cagle.com/2011/10/on-immigration-both-parties-move-to-the-left/ http://www.cagle.com/2011/10/on-immigration-both-parties-move-to-the-left/#comments Tue, 25 Oct 2011 05:38:10 +0000 Joe Guzzardi http://blog.cagle.com/?p=590017 Republicans, traditionally oriented toward enforcing federal immigration law and Democrats, historically advocates for alien entitlements, have morphed.

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Eric Allie / Cagle Cartoons (click to view more cartoons by Allie)

The U.S. House of Representatives’ leaders have ignored House Judiciary Chairman Lamar Smith’s Legal Workforce Act. By refusing to bring it (and H.R. 1505 which provides greater border protection to federally protected lands) to the floor for a full vote, Speaker John Boehner and House Leader Eric Cantor allow 7 million illegal immigrants to keep their jobs and leave unguarded easily accessible corridors through which aliens can enter. While the Republicans dawdle, President Barack Obama ordered the Department of Homeland Security to put its backdoor amnesty into effect within the next few weeks.

The Republicans failure to act on a bill the public has been clamoring for, mandatory E-Verify, is incomprehensible. In the mid-term 2010 elections, House Republicans gained 63 seats in large part because they campaigned on E-Verify and against the DREAM Act. Capitol Hill sources suspect that the Republicans, like the Democrats, have bowed to pressure from open borders lobbyists and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce.

With jobs by far America’s most pressing issue, the Republicans have made a conscious decision to not go forward with legislation that would immediately create employment for many of the 22 million Americans who can’t find full time jobs. Smith’s E-Verify bill, which passed committee weeks ago, would remove some of the 7 million working aliens and prevent others from being hired.

Combine the Republicans sudden squishiness with the lackluster impression the debating presidential candidates have made and the question has to be asked: Is the Republican Party able to get out of its own way?

By contrast, the Democratic immigration agenda is obvious. Americans may not like it but the Democrats set out eighteen months ago to, according to leaked Department of Homeland Security memos, to “reduce the threat of removal for certain individuals present in the United States without authorization.” In other words, grant amnesty through prosecutorial discretion to those illegal aliens that the government deems insignificant.

In a March 2011 memo, ICE Director John Morton made clear that only a small percentage of illegal aliens like terrorists, violent criminals, felons and repeat offenders would be prioritized for removal. Morton identified “low priority” apprehensions as, for example, aliens convicted of drunk driving. Although Morton might consider driving while intoxicated a minor matter, those who have lost a loved one to a drunken alien driving without a license would disagree.

This week, Secretary Janet Napolitano with the encouragement of Democratic leaders like Illinois Senator Richard Durbin announced that the alien pardoning process would begin soon. Obama has exasperated the public by letting it be known, via Napolitano, that most of the aliens set free under his policy would be given work authorization permits.

Obama’s failure to enforce immigration laws and instead create a de facto amnesty circumvents Congress, abuses his Executive branch powers, violates the Constitution and dismisses the American people’s wishes regarding immigration which are well known to him—they want less of it.

With slightly more than a year remaining until Election Day, the parties have time to shift their policies to become more in tune with the mainstream. For now, however, the Democrats are entrenched and the Republicans, confused.

—–

Joe Guzzardi has written editorial columns, mostly about immigration and related social issues, since 1986. He is a Senior Writing Fellow for Californians for Population Stabilization (CAPS) and his columns are syndicated in various U.S. newspapers and websites. Contact him at JoeGuzzardi@CAPSweb.org

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Jerry Brown: Pack Your Bags http://www.cagle.com/2011/10/jerry-brown-pack-your-bags/ http://www.cagle.com/2011/10/jerry-brown-pack-your-bags/#comments Thu, 13 Oct 2011 19:28:16 +0000 Joe Guzzardi http://blog.cagle.com/?p=589028 Last weekend, California Governor Jerry Brown perpetrated his Saturday Night Massacre. On October 8, Brown signed three bills that makes illegal aliens’ lives cozier but also imposed more taxpayer burdens and made the state’s roads more dangerous. Had Brown’s bills been on a general ballot, all would have been overwhelmingly defeated. Brown’s disgracing behavior represents another blow to Californians desperately looking for sanity in Sacramento.

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Nerilicon / Cagle Cartoons (click to view our Cartoon Blog)

The bills are:

1) California’s DREAM Act, A.B. 131 which gives illegal aliens access to Cal Grants, formerly available only to citizens. Despite supporters’ claim that the DREAM Act is an investment in California’s future, the bill doesn’t have a citizenship provision. Non-citizen graduates cannot be legally employed.

2) The second bill, A.B. 1236, bans all public and private employers from using E-Verify, the national online data base that allows employers to check their new hires’ immigration status. California has a 12.1 percent unemployment rate. E-Verify would assure that only legally authorized individuals have jobs.

3) A.B. 353, the third bill, prohibits police officers from impounding unlicensed drivers’ vehicles at checkpoints. A large percentage of such drivers are aliens. According to research conducted by the AAA Foundation and published in its report titled “Unlicensed to Kill,” unlicensed drivers are involved in one of every five fatal crashes.

If you wonder how a law as destructive as A.B. 353 could even be considered, here’s the tortured logic. Assemblyman Gil Cedillo asserts that aliens (who have no legal right to be in the United States) need their cars to get to work (it’s against the law for them to drive or to be employed). Cedillo says the aliens can’t afford the fees to get their cars out of impound.

Brown’s bills, the California Latino Legislative Caucus’ favorites, are insane. Being a Democrat or having liberal political leanings is one thing. But approving irrational, irresponsible legislation that works against the best interests of the majority is not only hurtful but idiotic.

Backing up, even though Brown won by a large majority he’s the accidental governor. In 1990, California passed a term-limit law restricting governors and other legislators to two-four year terms. Brown, protesting that he first served before the law passed, ignored it. Then, unchallenged on his misinterpretation of the term-limit restriction, Brown became the default Democratic candidate when no one else wanted the thankless job. Finally, Brown coasted into office when Republican Meg Whitman mounted the most ineffective campaign in recent California political history.

Brown’s irresponsibility will spur two citizen actions that could end his governorship. Assemblyman Tim Donnelly promises a ballot initiative to overturn the laws as soon as they are officially included in the state’s statutes. Donnelly noted that California is billions of dollars in debt, 2.5 million people are unemployed, schools and teachers’ budgets have been ravaged, job centers shut, state parks closed and veterans’ reentry services slashed. Yet Brown managed to find a $42 million DREAM Act slush fund for illegal aliens.

The nascent effort to unseat Brown is even better than voiding his laws. Disgusted Californians have organized a recall campaign that, if successful, as it was in 2003 when voters ousted Gray Davis, would force a special election. Recall advocates would need to collect approximately 1.2 million signatures, not really a daunting task given the rampant statewide discontent. Making the recall more probable is that it isn’t tied specifically to any of Brown’s treasonous legislation. Registered voters angry about any issue can sign.

California, the state that can least afford it, is the nation’s friendliest toward aliens. Davis got the boot for less egregious offenses during better economic times. Perhaps Brown should pack his bags.

Joe Guzzardi has written syndicated columns, mostly about immigration and related social issues, since 1986. He is a Senior Writing Fellow for Californians for Population Stabilization. Contact him at JoeGuzzardi@CAPSweb.org.

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Perry’s History Lesson http://www.cagle.com/2011/10/perrys-history-lesson/ http://www.cagle.com/2011/10/perrys-history-lesson/#comments Thu, 06 Oct 2011 03:29:58 +0000 Joe Guzzardi http://blog.cagle.com/?p=588554 If Rick Perry were more in tune with the nation’s sentiments about immigration, he might have been clever enough to blame it on another Texas politician, Lyndon Baines Johnson. After finger pointing at the former president, Perry could have tempered his enthusiasm to appeal to middle America’s hesitancy about more immigration. Instead, Perry waved the red flag by promoting the DREAM Act and insisting that anyone who disagrees with him is “heartless.”

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Nate Beeler / Washington Examiner (click to view more Beeler cartoons)

Johnson would have been a perfect target. After all, Johnson was instrumental in setting off nearly a half century of contentious immigration debating. In 1965, Johnson signed the Immigration and Naturalization Act that changed America forever. The legislation marked a radical break with previous immigration policy and eventually led to profound changes in America.

At the time Congress—and specifically Ted Kennedy, the Immigration Act’s most vocal proponent— promised Americans that the new law would not produce significant changes in the nation’s demographic makeup. Johnson signed the bill at the height of the Civil Rights movement and during a period when considerable resistance had built up to the existing system of deciding which foreign-born individuals came to America.

In his Congressional testimony, Secretary of State Dean Rusk joined other proponents when he repeatedly insisted that the numbers of new immigrants would not “skyrocket.”

Finally, on Ellis Island at the signing ceremony, Johnson reassuringly said: “This bill that we will sign today is not a revolutionary bill. It does not affect the lives of millions. It will not reshape the structure of our daily lives or add importantly to either our wealth or our power.”

But Johnson, Rusk and other advocates were 100 percent wrong. Whether they lied or were uninformed is still debated today. Whatever their reasoning, the immigrant population soared over the ensuing decades mostly because of family reunification. Today, according to Census Bureau data, the foreign-born population is nearly 40 million.

Perry can’t be blamed for history—in 1965, he was a high school sophomore. His problem is that voters perceive him as a candidate who wants to add to the entitlements illegal immigrants have benefited from during the last half century. Whatever sympathy Americans may have once had toward the immigration movement has slowly but surely eroded over the last 50 years.

Shortly after the Johnson signed the new law internal enforcement, which had been vigorously pursued under President Eisenhower, all but vanished. Border security became more lax. Schools and hospitals strained under the pressure of providing for more immigrants.

Gradually, Washington, D.C.-based ethnic identity lobbyists grew more vocal and more powerful. Soon, commercial banks and state governments accepted the bogus matricula consular card as valid identification. Some states issued aliens driver’s licenses. Anyone who objected to an increasingly liberalized immigration policy was quickly shouted down as a racist.

Then came what turned out to be the last straw for Americans determined to end illegal immigrant hand outs: the DREAM Act that would allow alien students to attend college and pay a lower, instate tuition fee.

In 2001, Texas passed the first DREAM Act. Since then, after fierce Congressional battles, a national version of the DREAM Act has been beaten back more than ten times. Perry should have realized that what worked in Texas wouldn’t fly during the prime time candidates’ debates.

As a result of his obtuseness, Perry will soon become a minor footnote in presidential politics—not that anyone will miss him.

The lesson for the other presidential hopefuls is a campaign that includes a sensible immigration platform, especially in this period of high unemployment, is a winner.

—–

Joe Guzzardi has written editorial columns, mostly about immigration and related social issues, since 1986. He is a Senior Writing Fellow for Californians for Population Stabilization (CAPS) and his columns are syndicated in various U.S. newspapers and websites. Contact him at JoeGuzzardi@CAPSweb.org.

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Perry Insults DREAM Act Critics http://www.cagle.com/2011/09/perry-insults-dream-act-critics/ http://www.cagle.com/2011/09/perry-insults-dream-act-critics/#comments Mon, 26 Sep 2011 01:04:54 +0000 Joe Guzzardi http://blog.cagle.com/?p=587794 Texas Governor and prominent GOP presidential hopeful Rick Perry is getting bad advice from his campaign managers. Worse, he’s listening to it. After three debates during which Republican audiences roundly booed Perry for his DREAM Act support, he refuses to budge an inch.

Doesn’t Perry know that few bills in Congressional history have been more unpopular and more consistently defeated than the DREAM Act? Since 2001 when it first appeared in the 107th Congress, the DREAM Act has been re-introduced in the House and Senate multiple times. In 2006 and 2007, the legislation that would provide instate tuition to illegal aliens was written into two different comprehensive immigration reform bills, both ultimately defeated in part because of the DREAM Act provision. Illinois Senator Richard Durbin tried to bury the DREAM Act in a 2007 Department of Defense Authorization bill; it failed.

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Daryl Cagle / msnbc.com

Then in 2010, after dozens of alien students’ high profile national protests, intense, spare-no-expense lobbying and a stacked Democratic deck led by majority leaders Harry Reid and Nancy Pelosi, the Senate nevertheless quashed the bill during a lame duck session. In total, over a decade, Congress defeated the DREAM Act twelve times.

A Rasmussen poll taken during the heated arguments over Durbin’s measure found that only 22 percent of Americans supported the Illinois senator. Given the DREAM Act’s horrible track record and resounding public opposition, if ever there were a time for a candidate to resort to doublespeak, one of their favorite forms of communication, today is Perry’s day. If he hopes to gain the Republican nomination, Perry has to immediately temper his DREAM Act advocacy.

Instead, at every opportunity Perry reaffirms his commitment to the Texas DREAM Act, legislation he advanced in 2001. Alien students who graduate from a Texas high school or pass the GED test and have lived in the state for three years are eligible. The student must also have lived in Texas for three years and sign an affidavit affirming that he is seeking legal residency.

Aside: what does “seeking legal residency mean”? Perhaps that someone in the family sent away for the appropriate forms to begin the process? That, under Perry’s definition, would be enough to qualify.

Insisting that Texas, or any other state, should educate aliens at taxpayer expense as Perry does is a tough sell in today’s economy.

During Thursday’s debate, challenger Mitt Romney pressed Perry hard. Said Romney: “I don’t see how it is that an illegal alien gets a discount to the University of Texas. If you’re a U.S. citizen you have to pay $100,000 more for a four-year education. That kind of magnet draws people into this country to get that $100,000 break.”

After Romney spoke, former Pennsylvania Senator Rick Santorum made other valid arguments against the DREAM Act. Santorum wondered why illegal immigrants should be given preferential treatment over American citizens.

Not surprisingly, one post-debate exit poll showed that Perry scored the lowest among all candidates.

Perry may have self-inflicted the fatal wound on his campaign when he vilified Americans who, for legitimate reasons, oppose the DREAM Act. According to Perry, if you don’t agree with him about subsidizing illegal aliens’ advanced educations, “I don’t think you don’t have a heart.”

A seasoned politician like Perry should know that you can’t insult your base and still expect to win its vote.

Joe Guzzardi has written editorial columns, mostly about immigration and related social issues, since 1986. He is a Senior Writing Fellow for Californians for Population Stabilization (CAPS) and his columns are syndicated in various U.S. newspapers and websites. Contact him at JoeGuzzardi@CAPSweb.org.

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Bachmann Inches Up http://www.cagle.com/2011/09/bachmann-inches-up/ http://www.cagle.com/2011/09/bachmann-inches-up/#comments Tue, 20 Sep 2011 14:01:24 +0000 Joe Guzzardi http://blog.cagle.com/?p=570573 Based on recent Republican debates, here’s how I handicap the race.

In third place, but rising, is Minnesota Congressman Michele Bachmann. Ahead of Bachmann, but falling fast, is Texas governor Rick Perry. Former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney is tenuously holding on to first place. Although the conventional wisdom is that Perry or Romney will ultimately prevail at the convention, I like the long shot Bachmann.

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R.J. Matson / St. Louis Post-Dispatch (click to view Cartoon Blog)

With the understanding that there are months to go and millions of political miles yet to travel, if Bachmann plays her cards right she could capture the nomination. Bachmann caught a break when long time GOP advisor Ed Rollins resigned as her campaign manager.

The last thing Bachmann needs is a Nixon-Reagan era strategy rehashed by a political operative like Rollins. My advice to Bachmann: Don’t replace Rollins. Go with your gut. So far, you’ve been well served by your instincts.

Here’s the rest of my counsel to Bachmann.

1)  Keep taking it to your opponents. In the recent Florida debate you forcefully let Perry know that the DREAM Act, which he signed into law in Texas, does not as he suggested reflect the American way. Americans overwhelmingly oppose the DREAM Act. That’s why it’s been defeated for more than a decade by Republican and Democratic Congresses. No wonder the Florida audience booed the audacious Perry.

2) Press the relationship between 1 million legal immigrants and U.S. joblessness. Each of those immigrants holds a work permit and automatically becomes a job candidate even though over 14 million Americans are unemployed.

Illegal immigration is also a sore point with American voters. Eight million illegal aliens are in the workforce (5.1 percent). Don’t be dissuaded by talking heads like Rush Limbaugh or the Hispanic ethnic identity lobby that will try to persuade you that illegal immigration is a losing issue. They’re wrong; it’s a winner. When unemployment is 9.1 percent, not a single alien should have a job.

3) Expand on your effective South Carolina ads that emphasize your support for E-Verify, the online government program that assures that every worker is legally authorized to hold a job. Perry opposes E-Verify for reasons he can’t defend. Every time he tries to explain himself, he loses ground.

4) Take advantage of your accounting background. Most Americans are righteously angry about the double tax standard where the rich pay little while the middle class pays plenty. Here’s something Americans don’t know that will make them even angrier. A recent U.S. Department of the Treasury audit found that (a) the IRS paid illegal aliens $4.2 billion dollars in additional child tax credits and (b) the IRS protects illegal aliens who use American citizens’ social security numbers. The IRS’s actions serve as an incentive for illegal aliens to enter, reside and work in the United States.

5) Mobilize your base. One of the main reasons Obama won in 2008 was because he secured votes from his natural allies: blacks and other minorities, the Democratic left and the idealistic young. Your core constituency is moderates from both parties, regardless of race or ethnicity. If you can appeal to a broad spectrum of women voters, much as Obama did with blacks, they could put you over the top.

6) Ignore the media that will marginalize you at every opportunity.

Bachmann has a chance to make history as the first woman presidential nominee. But to overcome the many challenges she’ll face, Bachmann will need a combination of skill and good luck.

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Joe Guzzardi is a Californians for Population Stabilization Senior Writing Fellow. His columns about immigration and related social issues have been syndicated since 1986. Contact him at joeguzzardi@capsweb.org

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While GOP Dawdles over Amnesty the Other Side Digs In http://www.cagle.com/2011/09/while-gop-dawdles-over-amnesty-the-other-side-digs-in/ http://www.cagle.com/2011/09/while-gop-dawdles-over-amnesty-the-other-side-digs-in/#comments Sun, 18 Sep 2011 20:08:39 +0000 Joe Guzzardi http://blog.cagle.com/?p=561767 Immediately after Congress returned from its August vacation, U.S. Representative Steve King (R-IA) call for oversight hearings to investigate President Obama’s administrative amnesty. Obama’s unconstitutional measure, announced by Department of Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano on August 19, will cancel at least 300,000 aliens’ deportation orders.

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David Fitzsimmons / Arizona Daily Star (click to view our Cartoon Blog)

Two weeks later, public outrage escalated when Obama’s Uncle Onyango apparently became one of the new policy’s first beneficiaries. Onyango, arrested for drunken driving, had an outstanding deportation order against him issued nearly 20 years ago. During the intervening years, he had been working as a liquor store clerk—a job, by the way, Americans would do. King wants Onyango to testify.

Yet despite King’s repeated calls for a hearing, so far nothing is scheduled. To move forward, Darrell Issa (R-CA), the Chairman of the Congressional Oversight Committee has to get on board.

Issa, however, is preoccupied with another Obama scandal. He has launched a probe into what he views as an inappropriate and potentially illegal overlap between Obama’s official and political activities.

Under Issa’s direction, the committee as part of its most pointed inquiry into the White House and the Democratic National Committee’s money raising activities, recently sent a letter to White House counsel Kathy Ruemeller. The letter requested hundreds of internal documents relating to what Issa termed “an array of potentially illegal fundraising behavior.”

Among Issa’s concerns are a March Obama White House meeting organized by DNC officials and held with large Wall Street donors. In Issa’s opinion, the meeting violates the Hatch Act, a law that restricts federal employees from doing partisan work financed by taxpayers.

Issa questions the Obama administration’s decision to provide access to administration officials, including the White House chef, to large donors and also probes into a campaign video shot in the White House that advertised a raffle offering a dinner with the president and Vice President Joe Biden in exchange for contributions. In his capacity as Oversight Chairman, Issa has the power to issue subpoenas.

In the meantime, those in favor of Obama’s administrative amnesty are hard at work trying to increase the alien base that would benefit from it. According to the immigration lawyers’ website, ILW.com, the expanded objective includes going back to reopen cases of aliens previously ordered removed to change the decision retroactively. This would serve as one of many ways that the so called “low priority” 300,000 presented as a ceiling could become a larger number.

Immigration lawyers are also pressing to be included among those who decide which aliens will or will not be deported. According to Senator Dick Durban, the Department of Justice (DOJ) and the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) are working together to develop which criteria defines a low-priority deportation case. But, describing themselves as uniquely qualified, private immigration practitioners want to add their opinion to those of the DOJ and the DHS. No group is more predisposed to siding with aliens than immigration lawyers. If allowed to sit at the table, few aliens’ cases will be rejected.

The more time that passes before hearings, the more entrenched Obama’s backdoor amnesty becomes. That’s bad news for Americans determined to restore immigration law enforcement.

Joe Guzzardi, a Californians for Population Stabilization Senior Writing Fellow, has written syndicated editorial about immigration and related social issues since 1986. Contact him at joeguzzardi@capsweb.org.

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9/11: My Night on the Border http://www.cagle.com/2011/09/911-my-night-on-the-border/ http://www.cagle.com/2011/09/911-my-night-on-the-border/#comments Mon, 05 Sep 2011 22:35:03 +0000 Joe Guzzardi http://blog.cagle.com/?p=490263 On 9/11 at about 3:00 AM, I ended my all night tour of the Arizona-Mexico border. With a retired border patrol agent, I had spent the previous evening driving from Sierra Vista along the San Pedro River to the Naco Border Patrol Station.

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Daryl Cagle / msnbc.com (click to view our Cartoon Blog)

For hours, we drove in pitch darkness. Along many stretches, not even a single strand of barbed wire divided Mexico from the U.S. Anyone could—and many did— walk into the country unfettered. In the few places that we saw fencing, my guide said that an Arizona rancher trying to keep his livestock from straying had most likely put it up and not the federal government.

At sporadic intervals, a lone border agent driving a van passed us by. What became clear was that the border is essentially unprotected. And what was equally obvious is that despite arguments to the contrary, more effective border policing—either with additional agents or the military—could be easily accomplished.

Once back at my hotel, ironically full of safety and intelligence experts studying at Ft. Huachuca, a former U.S. Cavalry post and now the U.S. Army Intelligence Training Center, I slept only a few hours before a call woke me with the message to turn on my television.

As an advocate for less immigration, I thought 9/11 would usher in stricter border controls and more thoughtful legal immigration oversight. And for the few weeks immediately following the attacks, I was right. President George W. Bush ended his amnesty discussions with Mexico’s Vicente Fox. Visa applications were no longer automatically approved.

But the well funded, politically connected forces that lobby for more immigration pressed on as if 9/11 never happened. Even a Center for Immigration Studies study issued six months after 9/11 didn’t slow them. The CIS report revealed that the 48 foreign-born terrorists used almost every conceivable immigration tool to carry out their plot: temporary visas, illegal entry, asylum petitions and for those in the United States since 1993, either lawful permanent residency or citizenship.

Before long, Bush returned to his amnesty advocacy, institutions accepted the worthless matricula consular as a valid form of illegal alien identification and Congress introduced the DREAM Act for the first of countless times. In 2007, Bush delivered an impassioned speech advocating for more immigration, from Tucson, only miles from the border.

As bad as Bush was, President Barack Obama is worse. With Obama’s election and his appointment of DHS Secretary Janet Napolitano respect for immigration laws (and the Constitution) has vanished. During her three years, Napolitano has crisscrossed the country to do Obama’s immigration bidding. Napolitano, a former Arizona governor who should know better, has promoted the DREAM Act and has laughably insisted that the border has never been more secure.

Two weeks ago, Obama’s contempt for immigration law hit a new low with his plan to excuse up to 300,000 non-violent illegal aliens in deportation proceedings. Given the low profile the terrorists maintained in 2001, many of them also would have been excused instead of deported as the law required.

Despite the horrors from ten years ago, the United States still has no sound, safe immigration policy. Anyone who sneaks in will probably stay. Those who come legally on non-immigrant visas often don’t go home.

Immigration policy, if you can call it that, is about election strategy, not Americans’ best interests. Post-9/11, the country should have learned its lesson about border security’s importance. Alas, the opposite is true. Come one, come all.

Joe Guzzardi is a Californians for Population for Stabilization Senior Writing Fellow. His columns about immigration and related social issues have been syndicated for more than 20 years. Contact him at joeguzzardi@capsweb.org

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Obama And His Illegal Alien Family http://www.cagle.com/2011/08/obama-and-his-illegal-alien-family/ http://www.cagle.com/2011/08/obama-and-his-illegal-alien-family/#comments Tue, 30 Aug 2011 22:14:04 +0000 Joe Guzzardi http://blog.cagle.com/?p=489672 This is a cautionary tale about three of President Obama’s family members—the president, his uncle Omar Onyango and his Aunt Zeituni Onyango. To follow the story completely, readers should be current on President Obama’s administrative amnesty which he sprung on an unsuspecting and incredulous public just before he departed for Martha’s Vineyard.

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Gary McCoy / Cagle Cartoons (click to view our Cartoon Blog)

Obama and Department of Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano define his new policy, now in effect, as an ICE evaluation of 300,000 cases involving aliens in deportation proceedings to determine whether they are hardened criminals and therefore a risk to public safety or “low priority” offenders. The latter are released.

At a speech she delivered at the William Jefferson Clinton Foundation and the University of Arkansas’ Clinton School of Public Service, Napolitano brazenly summarized the revised immigration guidelines as “common sense” and ones wherein “nobody is getting a free pass.”

Actually, the policy is idiotic, hurtful and defies Obama’s sworn Constitutional obligation to uphold the nation’s laws.

Furthermore, for Obama to release illegal aliens just weeks before 9/11′s tenth anniversary is a callous display of indifference to the victims’ families. According to the Center for Immigration Studies, 12 of 48 terrorists involved in the plotting and carrying out of the murderous attacks were illegal aliens. Because of the discreet profile they maintained during the days leading up to 9/11, using the current Obama-Napolitano standards they would have been described as “low priority”.

Ditto for Auntie Zeituni. While Zeituni didn’t pose a criminal threat, she fraudulently tapped into a social services pool that drained scarce public resources.

First ordered deported in 2004 after overstaying a visa issued in 2000, Zeituni lived in public housing, supposedly available only to citizens and collected $700 in monthly disability checks. But an unidentified benefactor interceded and hired famous immigration lawyer Margaret Wong to represent Zeituni in her efforts to remain. The unsurprising result—a Boston federal judge stayed Zeituni’s deportation order. In 2010, Zeituni was granted political asylum and is now a legal U.S. resident.

Only the most optimistic expect a different result from Uncle Omar’s case. Like his sister, Omar ignored a previously issued federal deportation order and has been living in the country illegally for several years. Wong will represent Omar.

But getting Omar off may be tough. On August 24 Omar, who had an outstanding warrant, was arrested on for driving his SUV through a stop sign and barely missing a police cruiser. Omar’s sobriety test indicated a 0.14 level, nearly twice the maximum. The police charged Omar with driving under the influence, driving to endanger and failing to use his turn signal. Because of his immigration violations, ICE detained Omar.

Under the new immigration rules, into what category will Omar fall: hardened or low priority? Don’t forget that the ICE language includes allowances for protecting aliens “with family ties”.

Most would argue that Omar, an illegal immigrant, should be deported immediately. While he’s not a convicted axe murderer, Omar is a hazard behind the wheel that may kill someone with his car.

Obama, with his eyes on the polls, can be sure the nation will be watching his uncle’s case. If Omar is still hanging around in November 2012, there’s a good chance Obama may be gone by January 2013.

Joe Guzzardi has written editorial columns, mostly about immigration and related social issues, since 1986. He is a Senior Writing Fellow for Californians for Population Stabilization (CAPS) and his columns are syndicated in various U.S. newspapers and websites. Contact him at JoeGuzzardi@CAPSweb.org.

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Obama Stakes Re-Election on Immigration Policy http://www.cagle.com/2011/08/obama-stakes-re-election-on-immigration-policy/ http://www.cagle.com/2011/08/obama-stakes-re-election-on-immigration-policy/#comments Sat, 20 Aug 2011 03:37:35 +0000 Joe Guzzardi http://blog.cagle.com/?p=488095 Talk about bad timing! For the third time in three years, President Obama is on a ten day vacation at tony Martha’s Vineyard. Disregarding soaring debt, high unemployment, home foreclosures, two costly wars and a tumultuous stock market Obama took wife Michelle and daughters Malia and Sasha to hang out with the rich and famous on their 28-acre leased estate.

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Nate Beeler / Washington Examiner (click to view our Cartoon Blog)

Before he left on vacation, Obama had a nasty surprise for unemployed Americans and citizens who believe in enforcing the nation’s laws. According to new rules issued by the Department of Homeland Security, illegal immigrants facing deportation will now be allowed to stay in the country indefinitely and get a work permit. Break the law; be rewarded with a job opportunity.

Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano presented the new policy as one that will allow the government to focus on deporting only illegal immigrants who are criminals or who pose a threat to national security. But given the broad nature of the Homeland Security edict, it’s clear that the true purpose is to grant a backdoor amnesty to an unlimited number of illegal aliens.

In her letter sent to Senator Richard Durbin, who sponsored various versions of the DREAM Act, and 20 of his like-mined colleagues, Napolitano outlined the new system.

Working groups from the Department of Homeland Security and the Department of Justice will develop specific criteria to identify so called low-priority removal cases that will be considered for what they refer to as “prosecutorial discretion.” In other words, federal officials will use their own “discretion” to decide which aliens that, under the law, should be deported, will instead be allowed to remain.

Included in the discretionary category will be individuals present in the U.S. since childhood, DREAM Act candidates, minors, the elderly, pregnant and nursing women, victims of serious crimes, veterans and members of the armed services and individuals with serious disabilities or health problems.

In short, virtually every illegal immigrant—young or old, victim or veteran, healthy or disabled—has an excellent chance of being exempted from deportation.

Predictably, some Democrats including U.S. Representatives Zoe Lofgren, Luis Gutierrez and White House Intergovernmental Affairs Director Cecila Munoz, a former National Council of La Raza Senior Vice President, hailed Obama for what they described as his compassionate, sensible approach to a realistic immigration policy.

In his retort, Republican House Judiciary Committee Chairman Lamar Smith said, “The Obama administration should enforce immigration laws, not look for ways to ignore them.”

What motivates Obama’s rash decision is unclear. Perhaps he’s responding to Gutierrez’s “Change Takes Courage” campaign that threatens Obama with the frequently made charge that that Hispanic voters will stay home unless the president acts swiftly and boldly to end deportations.

Of course, that’s speculation on Gutierrez’s part. The facts are that Obama’s presidency is in deep, profound trouble. To get re-elected he needs Independent voters of whom there are millions more than there are Latino voters. Obama’s duplicity angers most independents.

Nevertheless Obama, defying the Constitution and insulting the majority of Americans who favor immigration law enforcement, has cast his lot with amnesty and open borders proponents. Obama’s gamble is a big one that he may rue come November 2012.

Joe Guzzardi has written editorial columns, mostly about immigration and related social issues, since 1986. He’s a Senior Writing Fellow for Californians for Population Stabilization (CAPS) and his columns are syndicated in various U.S. newspapers and websites. Contact him at JoeGuzzardi@CAPSweb.org.

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Offshoring – How’s it Working Out for You? http://www.cagle.com/2011/08/offshoring-hows-it-working-out-for-you/ http://www.cagle.com/2011/08/offshoring-hows-it-working-out-for-you/#comments Mon, 08 Aug 2011 21:08:33 +0000 Joe Guzzardi http://blog.cagle.com/?p=473168 The claim first made ten years ago and repeated by Republican and Democratic administrations that corporate offshoring would increase domestic employment turned out to be a painful hoax perpetrated on American workers.

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Adam Zyglis / Buffalo News (click to view more cartoons by Zyglis)

Matthew Slaughter, a Dartmouth College Tuck School of Business professor and an economic advisor to George W. Bush, touted the universally accepted globalism mantra that “…for every one job that U.S. multinationals created abroad…they created nearly two U.S. jobs in their [U.S.-based] parents.” Today, Slaughter admits his error. In the meantime unemployed, indebted and foreclosed Americans pay the price for the federal government’s folly.

Despite the current administration’s ongoing rhetoric to the contrary, few well-paying jobs will be created near term. U. S. corporations find it more lucrative to do business overseas.

Here’s the evidence. According to a report issued July 27 by Moody’s Investor Services, U.S. non-financial corporate cash holdings rose to $1.24 trillion at the end of 2010 with nearly half of the total on deposit abroad. Apple, Inc., Microsoft Corp., Cisco Systems, Inc., Pfizer, Inc. and Google, Inc. held the largest amounts of cash. The huge sums reflect the growing strength of major corporations’ international operations.

Based on a Moody’s internal survey, the agency concluded that: “We believe companies will keep this cash outside the U.S. as they pursue international acquisitions, invest in their own overseas operations or await tax breaks on overseas earnings they bring back to the U.S.”

Instead of broad-based hiring, major corporations hoard cash, slash domestic payroll and hire abroad. According to the U.S. Department of Commerce, during the 2000s, companies cut their U.S. work forces by 2.9 million while increasing employment overseas by 2.4 million. Compare that to the 1990s when large corporations added 4.4 million domestic jobs versus 2.7 million abroad.

Compounding the unemployment problem is that GE, Wal-Mart, Cisco, Oracle and dozens of others pay little if any federal income tax. Consider Microsoft which just released its fiscal fourth quarter statement that reflected record sales of nearly $17.4 billion, a 30 percent increase in after-tax profit and a 35 percent gain in earnings per share. On a $6.3 billion profit, Microsoft paid only 7 percent in taxes or a meager $445 million. Microsoft’s foreign earnings make up 68 percent of its overall income.

According to Microsoft’s IRS filings, over the past six years the company’s pre-tax profits booked overseas nearly tripled to $19.2 billion in the fiscal year just ended from $6.8 billion in the year ended June 2006. During the same four year period, its U.S. earnings have dropped to $8.9 billion from $11.4 billion.

Microsoft shrunk its tax bill by channeling global sales’ earnings through the low-tax havens of Ireland, Puerto Rico and Singapore.

To end offshoring and thereby restore American job opportunities, strong federal intervention is required—something light years away given the insidious link between Silicon Valley campaign donations and Capitol Hill.

A September 2010 effort failed when Senate Republicans blocked the Creating American Jobs and Ending Offshoring Act that included two amendments that would ensure that Americans are first in line for any domestic jobs. Currently, no similar legislation is pending.

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Joe Guzzardi has written editorial columns—mostly about immigration and related social issues-since 1986. He is a Senior Writing Fellow for Californians for Population Stabilization (CAPS) and his columns are syndicated in various U.S. newspapers and websites. Contact him at JoeGuzzardi@CAPSweb.org.

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Senator Chuck Schumer’s Distortion: “Immigration Creates Jobs” http://www.cagle.com/2011/07/senator-chuck-schumers-distortion-immigration-creates-jobs/ http://www.cagle.com/2011/07/senator-chuck-schumers-distortion-immigration-creates-jobs/#comments Fri, 29 Jul 2011 13:07:31 +0000 Joe Guzzardi http://blog.cagle.com/?p=465775 When it comes to what Democrats call comprehensive immigration reform, Senator Chuck Schumer lives in his own little world.

Schumer, obsessed with passing an immigration bill that would grant amnesty to more than 10 million illegal aliens, has a new wrinkle he hopes will fool an American public that has for more than a decade rejected rewarding law breakers.

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R.J. Matson - St. Louis Post-Dispatch (click to view more Matson cartoon)

According to Schumer, immigration creates jobs. He recently stated “We [his Senate allies] decided we ought to start highlighting the fact that immigration creates jobs rather than takes them away.”

Schumer, the Senate’s third ranking member and the Chairman of the Judiciary Subcommittee on Immigration, Refugees and Border Security held a hearing Tuesday titled “The Economic Imperative for Enacting Immigration Reform” with the typical witness list that included only those who support more immigration.

With the Obama administration’s all-consuming emphasis on the economy and the pathetic employment reports, Schumer would like to portray immigration, especially through H-1B visas for so called high skilled workers, as vital to job growth.

On at least two counts, Schumer is whistling past the graveyard. First, even though Schumer claims that the immigration talks “are not dead,” they could not be deader. The enforcement-minded House is solidly opposed to amnesty. And any bill that might come out of Schumer’s committee would also have the tough, if not impossible, task of getting Senate approval.

Second, immigration doesn’t create jobs; it takes them. Recent immigrants either need jobs or social services to survive. The U.S. unemployment rate is 9.2 percent. Cities and states are broke and cannot afford to dole out more welfare benefits.

My compassion is for unemployed Americans, those who would obviously be displaced by recently arrived immigrants.

While immigration does in some sense grow the economy-more people equal a bigger economy- a decade of high immigration has hurt American workers. Every year for the last decade, the federal government has issued over one million permanent green cards. As a result of that largess, fewer native-born workers were employed in 2010 than in 2000. The net employment gains went to foreign-born.

For native employment to return to its 2000 level, 12 million jobs would have to be created. Considering that, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics’ June analysis, the economy created only 18,000 new jobs. So, at this rate, getting to 12 million would take several lifetimes. Even the liberal, global policy think tank RAND confirms that there is no work shortage in Schumer’s area of keenest interest, the science, technical, mathematical and engineering fields.

Schumer and his cry wolf strategy is doomed. His job shortage claims and similar appeals based on the unproven theory that the nation needs more immigration were non-starters during the two booming George W. Bush administrations. With the nation in the grips of the greatest jobs crisis since Franklin Delano Roosevelt, why isn’t Schumer more concerned with the millions of unemployed Americans?

For Schumer to hold rigged hearings designed to deceive the public about immigration as a solution to unemployment when the country has so many more pressing problems represents dereliction of his sworn duties. Schumer’s responsibility is to work on behalf of all the American people and not just special interest groups.

Unfortunately, Schumer is simply conducting business as usual on Capitol Hill.

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Joe Guzzardi, a Californians for Population Stabilization Senior Writing Fellow has been writing syndicated editorials about immigration and other social issues since 1986. Contact him at joeguzzardi@capsweb.org

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Reduce the Deficit Through Strict Immigration Enforcement http://www.cagle.com/2011/07/reduce-the-deficit-through-strict-immigration-enforcement/ http://www.cagle.com/2011/07/reduce-the-deficit-through-strict-immigration-enforcement/#comments Thu, 21 Jul 2011 01:59:32 +0000 Joe Guzzardi http://blog.cagle.com/?p=463601 With the federal debt ceiling debate at crisis level, Republicans and Democrats are rumored to be working hard to cut fat from the budget.

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Dario Castillejos / Dario La Crisis (click to view our latest cartoons)

As usual, however, illegal immigration is not one of the variables under consideration. If I didn’t know better, I might think the United States didn’t have an illegal immigrant population that is at least 11-30 million strong. And I might also think, mistakenly, that since illegal immigration isn’t part of the budget debate, it represents no cost to taxpayers.

In his July 18 Fox News opinion column Bob Dane, communications director for the Federation for American Immigration Reform, wondered how federal funding to millions of illegal immigrants could be left off the table. Since Congress refuses to discuss illegal immigration as a significant factor in layers of national debt, then we can sadly conclude that it has no plan other than to allow the status quo to continue. Doing nothing, however, guarantees that costs associated with illegal immigration will increase indefinitely

Dane offers several practical recommendations, with which I agree, that would not only gradually reduce expenditures on illegal immigrants but also would create job opportunities for millions of unemployed Americans.

According to FAIR’s analysis, American taxpayers spend $113 billion annually to subsidize illegal immigration. State and local taxpayers are the most heavily hit. They provide $84 billion in services while the federal government pays out $29 billion. With funding for illegal immigration—housing, education K-12 and college, ESL, emergency medical care and AFDC—obviously a major budget factor, the question for Congress is how to permanently eliminate those costs that taxpayers should not have to bear.

If Congress fails to act decisively, then the costs associated with illegal immigration remain. Trying to eliminate programs one-by-one like the Women, Infants and Children nutrition program or K-12 education that aliens are able to take advantage of would be politically unfeasible. Among other hurdles, U.S. citizens are also WIC beneficiaries and many of the students who benefit are the American citizen children of illegal immigrants.

The more effective solution is the long term, permanent one. A problem the magnitude of illegal immigration, which began with the Immigration Act of 1965 and has continued uninterrupted for nearly 50 years, won’t go away over night.

Congress’ immediate goal should be approve legislation that makes it increasingly less appealing to immigrate to the United States and may also encourage illegal immigrants already residing here to go home. The top priorities are the two pending bills, one in the Senate and another in the House, that would mandate E-Verify, the free-to-employers program that confirms whether newly hired workers are legally authorized to hold jobs.

Once E-Verify is in place, the U.S. jobs magnet—not as powerful as it was a decade ago but still alluring—disappears. And gradually, illegal immigrants living in the U.S. will find it increasingly difficult to get jobs. Many will eventually go home.

Now is the time for Congress to act. According to a new Rasmussen poll, 75 percent of Americans favor strict penalties against employers who hire aliens. With a tough election looming in 2012, Congress can take advantage of the electorate’s mood by passing mandatory E-Verify and then campaigning on a platform of acting in the best interests of American workers.

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Joe Guzzardi has written editorial columns—mostly about immigration and related social issues – since 1986. He is a Senior Writing Fellow for Californians for Population Stabilization (CAPS) and his columns have frequently been syndicated in various U.S. newspapers and websites. Contact him at JoeGuzzardi@CAPSweb.org.

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The DREAM Act Collides With the Real World http://www.cagle.com/2011/07/the-dream-act-collides-with-the-real-world/ http://www.cagle.com/2011/07/the-dream-act-collides-with-the-real-world/#comments Wed, 13 Jul 2011 19:31:28 +0000 Joe Guzzardi http://blog.cagle.com/?p=462924 During a decade of trying to pass the DREAM Act, its supporters have continuously hit a brick wall. Since 2001, the DREAM Act has been shot down 13 times.

Advocates have tried every trick in the book. With the hope of slipping it past unsuspecting critics, the DREAM Act has occasionally been buried in part of broader legislation but without success. Even when the DREAM Act deck was heavily stacked in its favor as it was during last year’s lame duck session, the result was the same—no sale.

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Eric Allie / Cagle Cartoons (click to view more immigration cartoons)

And yet…although Capitol Hill experts from both sides of the political aisle agree that the legislation has no chance of passing during the current immigration enforcement-minded Congress, the DREAM Act was re-introduced last month by its most tenacious Democratic Senate allies, Richard Durbin, Harry Reid and Chuck Schumer.

The DREAM Act playbook is unchanged. Recent high school or university graduates with impeccable academic and personal resumes are paraded in front of Congress with the inference that all illegal alien students excel and accordingly deserve deep tuition discounts. Religious groups and ethnic identity lobbyists suggest that defeating the DREAM Act, and thus potentially denying the United States’ fastest growing minority an advanced education, would doom America to an uncertain future.

Throughout the ten-year battle against the DREAM Act, Americans have remained firm in their resolve against it. The DREAM Act is an amnesty, rewards illegal behavior and encourages more immigration. Taxpayers continue to be angry that, despite the multiple messages sent to Congress that have blocked the DREAM Act, the fight is on again.

Consider Maryland’s case. In April, the state legislature narrowly passed its own DREAM Act version. Scheduled to take effect on July 1, Maryland’s law would allow illegal aliens who could prove they attended a state high school for three years and whose parents have paid taxes would qualify for in-state tuition rates at universities, colleges and community colleges.According to Maryland’s Department of Legislative Services, by 2016 the state would have to fund an additional $3.5 million annually to provide aliens advanced education. Since taxpayers are already on the hook for illegal immigrants’ K-12 public education, more expenditures have outraged the public.

Maryland can ill-afford more debt. In an effort to balance its $2.5 billion fiscal year 2011 budget deficit, Governor Martin O’Malley has cut more than 3,500 state jobs. Even so, O’Malley supports providing more generous services to aliens.

For many Maryland residents, the legislative process that bypassed voters and added debt during a budget crisis so that illegal immigrants could pay lower college tuition rates was the last straw. Taxpayers organized a petition drive to collect signatures that would put the Maryland DREAM Act on the November 2012 statewide ballot. To date, more than twice the necessary signatures have been secured. This has forced the DREAM Act’s July starting date to be suspended.

Once the Maryland DREAM Act reaches voters, and its opponents must first overcome an American Civil Liberties Union challenge and heavy lobbying by the Roman Catholic Church and others, it will likely be defeated.

Despite claims to the contrary made by federal and state officials, the DREAM Act is bad law. Americans want tighter enforcement and an end to illegal immigrant entitlements of which the DREAM Act is a prime example.

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Joe Guzzardi has written editorial columns—mostly about immigration and related social issues – since 1986. He is a Senior Writing Fellow for Californians for Population Stabilization (CAPS) and his columns have frequently been syndicated in various U.S. newspapers and websites. Contact him at JoeGuzzardi@CAPSweb.org.

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Birth Tourism Fraud Exposed in Chinese Mainstream Media http://www.cagle.com/2011/06/birth-tourism-fraud-exposed-in-chinese-mainstream-media/ http://www.cagle.com/2011/06/birth-tourism-fraud-exposed-in-chinese-mainstream-media/#comments Wed, 29 Jun 2011 13:50:20 +0000 Joe Guzzardi http://blog.cagle.com/?p=461925 A pregnant woman’s journey from a remote village in China to an American birthing center is geographically long and arduous. But skilled middlemen well-schooled in the loopholes of U.S. immigration policy can make her travels much easier. The woman’s mission, to deliver an American-born child with all the privileges associated with citizenship status, is a priceless commodity that makes whatever risks she may take worthwhile.

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Daryl Cagle - msnbc.com (click to view more cartoons by Cagle)

Wherever people who yearn to migrate to American may reside, eager “consultants” will, for a fee, provide the necessary training to increase their chances of success. Traditionally, these intermediaries have thrived through newspaper advertisements, leaflets distributed in public places and word of mouth. More recently, they offer their services—sometimes above board and quasi-legitimate but often unscrupulous and with criminal intent—over the Internet.

Since the proliferation of U.S. birthing centers has been much in the news, it’s worthwhile to study how the process begins. In Shanghai for example, an entrepreneurial married couple established a business to hook up pregnant women with Chinese-owned, U.S.-based hospitals that offer care provided by other Chinese speakers. For a mere $1,500, everything is arranged including shopping and sightseeing trips. The women, responsible for getting their own visas, have to cover all costs incurred in their travel and during their four month stateside stay. According to the Shanghai couple, a former marketing director and a former television producer, they have helped between 500 and 600 mothers give birth to American babies since 2005.

But agencies do much more than simply provide the basics. A recent story published in a Chinese news outlet titled “China’s ‘Born in the USA’ Frenzy” outlines a much more troubling picture that begins with the birth tourists’ fraudulent visa application.

Chinese national Liu Li, six months pregnant, followed the instructions of her middleman to a tee. Prior to her Embassy interview, Li carefully chose her clothes and memorized all the U.S. tourist spots so as to seem just another Chinese woman on a shopping trip. Once at the airport, Li held her handbag in front of her stomach exactly as she had been coached to do. Once through customs, Li proceeded to her prearranged U.S. hospital facility to eventually give birth. Li, and other pregnant women across the globe who come to the U.S. for birthing purposes, count on fraudulent visa applications to enter the country.

Without fraud, birth tourism couldn’t exist. Shutting it down would be easy to do and is a step that the federal government should immediately take. If someone comes to the United States deceptively claiming to be a “tourist” as most of the pregnant women do, they are guilty of fraud pursuant to the federal statue “False Statement in Application and Use of Passport” (18 U.S.C. § 1542), a felony which for first time offenders carries a fine and/or imprisonment for up to ten years. The perpetrator is subject to immediate deportation.

When it comes to enforcing federal immigration law, the government is often paralyzed. But in clear-cut cases of fraud like the ones involved in birth tourism, once a pattern of enforcement is established and violators are prosecuted, the problem will quickly resolve itself.

Joe Guzzardi has written editorial columns—mostly about immigration and related social issues – since 1986. He is a Senior Writing Fellow for Californians for Population Stabilization (CAPS) and his columns have frequently been syndicated in various U.S. newspapers and websites. Contact him at JoeGuzzardi@CAPSweb.org

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The Arizona Fires and the Conspiracy of Silence http://www.cagle.com/2011/06/the-arizona-fires-and-the-conspiracy-of-silence/ http://www.cagle.com/2011/06/the-arizona-fires-and-the-conspiracy-of-silence/#comments Thu, 23 Jun 2011 03:24:30 +0000 Joe Guzzardi http://blog.cagle.com/?p=461546 When it comes to illegal immigration, President Obama’s policy is clear: If you can’t say something nice, then don’t say anything at all.

Rather than having a meaningful national discussion about how over-immigration costs American workers jobs, crowds schools, and strains local and state budgets, the White House offers nebulous, unsupported banalities like we are a nation of immigrants or immigration is the lifeblood of our economy.

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David Fitzsimmons / Arizona Daily Star (click to view our latest cartoons)

Given Obama’s illegal immigration avoidance policy, his failure to so much as hint that aliens may have played a role in the southern Arizona forest fires comes as no surprise. Mexican cartels have carved out the territory surrounding the raging Horseshoe 2 Fire northeast of Douglas and the Murphy Complex Fire northwest of Nogales as human and drug trafficking corridors.

The fires’ causes are officially under investigation, although little progress has been made. They may have been started by lightning although no strikes have been reported. Careless campers may be at fault,but the Coronado National Forest had been closed since June 9, three days before the fires started.

The ecological damage caused by the fires is immeasurable. To date, the Horseshoe 2 Fire has burned 128,652 acres in the Chiricahua Mountains including three homes and six buildings. The Murphy Complex Fire has destroyed 68,033 acres including the historic Atascosa Lookout. Both rank among the top 10 largest wildfires in Arizona in more than two decades. An additional 1,560 acres within Mexico have been lost.

Clues point to illegal alien participation,either accidentally or in an effort to distract pursuing border patrol agents,yet no one wants to include that among the possibilities. Investigators, who do not focus on the immigration status of those who start fires, will only acknowledge that humans are the probable cause.

Tucson-based Arizona Daily Star reporter Brady McCombs tried to learn more. McCombs approached a Northern Arizona University Forestry School fire ecologist to ask if any research had been or would be done to discover what the role of illegal aliens might have been. The answer was no.

And at a meeting of concerned citizens earlier this week in Sierra Vista, Kym Hall, Coronado National Memorial superintendent, said in response to the same question about possible illegal immigrant involvement that it would be difficult to answer.

In view of the wall of silence surrounding the blazes, credit must be given to Senator John McCain who thinks the fires were set by aliens to divert law enforcement, to send signals to other smugglers or simply to stay warm. McCain, as reported by CNN, said We are concerned about, particularly, areas down on the border where there is substantial evidence that some of these fires are caused by people who have crossed our border illegally. The answer to that part of the problem is to get a secure border.”

Therein lies the rub. President Obama has repeatedly insisted that the border is secure and that, accordingly, the nation can get about the business of granting amnesty to millions of illegal aliens. In May, speaking from El Paso, Obama boldly declared the border more secure than ever.

If an in-depth federal investigation confirmed illegal alien involvement that would be counter-productive to Obama’s secure border agenda. That’s why we’re unlikely to ever know much more about the fires than we do today.

Joe Guzzardi has written editorial columns,mostly about immigration and related social issues – since 1986. He is a Senior Writing Fellow for Californians for Population Stabilization (CAPS) and his columns have frequently been syndicated in various U.S. newspapers and websites. Contact him at JoeGuzzardi@CAPSweb.org.

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E-Verify Opponents Tilting at Windmills http://www.cagle.com/2011/06/e-verify-opponents-tilting-at-windmills/ http://www.cagle.com/2011/06/e-verify-opponents-tilting-at-windmills/#comments Thu, 16 Jun 2011 12:37:24 +0000 Joe Guzzardi http://blog.cagle.com/?p=460959 Last week, Alabama Governor Robert Bentley signed legislation (HB 56) that requires the use of E-Verify by all state employers. The law also gives Alabama some of the country’s strongest illegal-immigration enforcement tools.

Over the last decade, illegal immigration has increased in Alabama by 325 percent.

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Nerilicon / Cagle Cartoons (click to view our latest cartoons)

In a statement that underlines how over-immigration hurts American workers State Senator Scott Beason, a HB 56 cosponsor, said, “This is a jobs bill. We have a problem with an illegal workforce that displaces Alabama workers. We need to put those people back to work. That’s the No.1 priority.”

Another supporter, Republican state Rep. John Merrill said he didn’t hesitate to back the legislation because it is “good for Alabama” and will reduce illegal immigration into the state while “providing equal opportunities for all because who want to come to Alabama legally.” HB 56 requires all businesses, public and private, to begin using E-Verify effective April 1, 2012. Businesses that do not comply face suspension of their license and loss of employee expensing for state income tax purposes.

Other features of HB 56 will create misdemeanors for hiring day-laborers when Americans are available, failing to carry an alien registration card, producing fake ID and aiding and abetting illegal immigrants. It also will ban illegal aliens from attending state universities and colleges as well as prohibit sanctuary city policies.

In an effort to determine what the exact costs are of education for illegal alien children, HB 56 requires elementary and secondary schools to request a birth certificate for all enrolling students. That provision will enable Alabama to determine whether such minors were born outside of the U.S. or are children of illegal aliens requiring English-as-a-Second-language classes.

Detractors like the Alabama-based Southern Poverty Law Center’s legal director Mary Bauer quickly labeled HB 56 “mean-spirited, racist, unconstitutional and going to be costly.”

But Bauer and others who oppose strong immigration enforcement measures are tilting at windmills. Enforcement is high on the list of states’ government priorities. As many as 30 are considering or currently drafting legislation similar to Alabama’s for the simple reason that they are broke and can no longer afford to provide services and jobs to illegal aliens. Rep. Micky Hammon, the measure’s original sponsor, added that the bill was carefully drafted to be sound constitutionally. Challenges to the Arizona E-Verify law may have encouraged Alabama’s meticulous care in determining its language.

More important, two recent Supreme Court decisions have upheld states’ rights to enforce immigration laws. In 5-3 decisions, the high court sided with Arizona and Hazleton (PA.) by allowing enforcement of local laws that prohibit employers from knowingly hiring illegal aliens and confirmed that state governments can force the use of E-Verify even though Congress has never mandated its use.

About the court’s decision last month on the Arizona case, Chief Justice John Roberts wrote: “(Federal law) expressly reserves to the states the authority to impose sanctions on employers hiring unauthorized workers, through licensing and similar laws. In exercising that authority, Arizona has taken the route least likely to cause tension with federal law.”

With the handwriting on the wall, business lobbies like the U.S. Chamber of Commerce should work with Congress for a national bill instead of allowing each state to have its own version of E-Verify legislation.

Joe Guzzardi has written editorial columnsā?”mostly about immigration and related social issues – since 1986. He is a senior writing fellow for Californians for Population Stabilization (CAPS) and his columns have frequently been syndicated in various U.S. newspapers and websites. He can be reached at JoeGuzzardi@CAPSweb.org

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Carlos Santana Sides with Hispanic Lobby on Jobs http://www.cagle.com/2011/05/carlos-santana-sides-with-hispanic-lobby-on-jobs/ http://www.cagle.com/2011/05/carlos-santana-sides-with-hispanic-lobby-on-jobs/#comments Fri, 20 May 2011 01:46:50 +0000 Joe Guzzardi http://blog.cagle.com/?p=458032 In an outrageous affront to working Americans, multi-millionaire entertainer Carlos Santana insulted Georgians, Arizonans and everyone else who thinks that enforcing U.S. immigration laws is a good idea. Last week, Santana appeared at Atlanta’s Turner Field to receive the MLB civil rights “Beacon of Change” award. Unfortunately, Santana proved how ignorant he is about civil rights’ true meaning. Born in Mexico, Santana loudly objected to Georgia and Arizona laws that require employers to process new hires through E-verify to ensure that they’re legally authorized workers. Without E-verify aliens often get jobs that otherwise would go to Americans or legal immigrants. Here, as reported by the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, is what Santana said: “I represent the human race. The people of Arizona, the people of Atlanta, Georgia, you should be ashamed of yourselves. This is about fear that people are going to steal my job. No, we ain’t. You don’t clean toilets and clean sheets, stop shucking and jiving.” Interestingly, Santana’s use of “we” aligns him with Mexico even though he’s lived in the United States for at least 50 years and has been a naturalized American citizen since 1965, the same year he graduated from San Francisco’s Mission High School. Santana continued his tirade against E-verify when he added that: “It’s an anti-American law. It’s a cruel law, actually. If you remember what it was like here with Martin Luther King and the dogs and the hoses. It’s the same thing, only it’s high tech. So let’s change it.” Although there’s not the slightest similarity, Hispanic lobbyists like Santana, Eva Longoria and the National Council of La Raza often compare illegal aliens’ efforts to get a foothold in mainstream American society with the 1960s civil rights movement. Santana and his peers are either ignorant of the facts or willfully ignore them. The “dogs and hoses” Santana referred to were used against black American citizens to deny them the civil rights to which they were legally entitled including jobs, fair wages and voting rights. On the other hand, Georgia’s new law that Santana called “cruel” protects American citizen workers against being rejected by unscrupulous employers who prefer cheap, alien workers. According to estimates, about 425,000 illegal immigrants work in Georgia. Those they displaced are disproportionately black. As for Santana’s claim that Americans don’t “clean toilets and sheets,” he’s wrong there too. An extensive 2009 Center for Immigration Studies’ report titled “Jobs Americans Won’t Do? A Detailed Look at Immigrant Employment by Occupation” found that 55 percent of maids and housekeepers are native-born. Furthermore, the CIS analysis revealed that of 465 civilian occupations, only four are dominated by immigrant labor: plasterers, agricultural sorters, tailors and personal appearance support staff. Those classifications together account for a mere one percent of the labor force. Even though Santana’s opinion should have no bearing on the nation’s immigration debate, his high profile status means that his views, especially when expressed in a public venue, will generate press and stir up anti-American sentiment. Despite the good fortune that’s befallen him since coming to America, Santana rarely expresses gratitude. Santana’s net worth, including revenues from his Mexican restaurant chain and shoe line, is conservatively estimated at $40 million. Most likely, Santana wouldn’t have amassed so much wealth in his native Mexico. Santana’s criticism should be directed at Mexico for its failure to provide for its citizens and forcing them to come to the United States where the disreputable hire them for less than the minimum wage. Joe Guzzardi has written editorial columns-mostly about immigration and related social issues – since 1986. He is a senior writing fellow for Californians for Population Stabilization (CAPS) and his columns are frequently syndicated in various U.S. newspapers and websites. Contact him at JoeGuzzardi@CAPSweb.org.

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The Most Effective Way to End BirthTourism http://www.cagle.com/2011/05/the-most-effective-way-to-end-birthtourism/ http://www.cagle.com/2011/05/the-most-effective-way-to-end-birthtourism/#comments Tue, 10 May 2011 21:26:33 +0000 Joe Guzzardi http://blog.cagle.com/?p=457155 The debate about “anchor babies,” American citizen children born on United States’ soil to illegal alien mothers, has moved into the spotlight. According to a recent CNN story titled “Is the Next Immigration Fight over ‘Anchor Babies’?” Senator Lindsay Graham and House Judiciary Committee Chair Lamar Smith are among many legislators considering a requirement that at least one parent be either a citizen or a legal resident before a child can be granted citizenship.

91784 600 The Most Effective Way to End BirthTourism cartoons

Ares / PoliticalCartoons.com (view more immigration cartoons)

In January, the State Legislators for Legal Immigration also proposed a legislative correction to prevent anchor babies from being citizens. The coalition of lawmakers from 40 states claims that the 14th Amendment has been wrongly applied to those born on U.S. soil to mothers who are not citizens.

Yet as the birth tourism industry continues to grow, Congress remains mute about the scandal. The current Congressional brouhaha is about individuals who illegally cross the border and take up residency (possibly for years) before having children. The birth tourism industry differs in that pregnant foreign-born women come to the United States for the sole purpose of having citizen children, live in specially designed facilities to cater to their maternal needs and leave America as soon as medically feasible postpartum.

The solution to this blatant disregard for United States sovereignty is, I suggest, easier than most might think, assuming that Immigration and Customs Enforcement has the will to act. The U.S. State Department cannot deny a woman a temporary visitor visa simply because she is pregnant but it can deport people who lie on their applications. According to the State Department, any lie, fraud, perjury, or forgery on an immigration application or in an interview is grounds for criminal prosecution and revocation of any immigration benefit granted.

Here’s how the birth tourism industry could be stopped cold. ICE could mount an investigate inquiry into the birthing centers much like it did at the Chipotle Mexican Grill. A review of the visas held by the mothers-to-be would reveal that they had listed the purpose of their U.S. visit as “tourist,” an obvious fabrication since they would be living at a birthing center.

Their next temporary home would be a deportation center where they would promptly be assigned for removal. Although howls of outrage would follow, the reality is that if the threat of deportation hangs over anyone’s head who chooses to gamble on coming to American for birthing purposes, foreign nationals would think twice before shelling out tens of thousands of dollars in fees that they would never recover. And, of course, their mission of having an American citizen child would be foiled.

On the other hand, if ICE fails to act the birth tourism industry will expand. The Internet offers information about dozens of birthing centers that reaches a worldwide audience.

If you’re impressed by brazen tactics, check out the Cupid Center in Queens, New York, website address www.usanybaby.com. In an interview “Anna,” the owner, admitted that “Many of them [her clients] want American citizenship for their children.” Anna encourages the women to arrive three months early to maximize their chances of clearing customs. Total cost to the “tourists”: room and board between $13,000-$25,000 plus an additional $8,000-$11,000 for hospital expenses. Just in case anyone has misgivings about what birthing centers’ intentions are, posted image has an infant lying next to a U.S. passport.

Without ICE intervention, the numbers of birthing centers will mushroom. The blatant disregard for American citizenship should end today.

Joe Guzzardi has written editorial columns-mostly about immigration and related social issues – since 1986. He is a senior writing fellow for Californians for Population Stabilization (CAPS) and his columns have frequently been syndicated in various U.S. newspapers and websites. He can be reached at JoeGuzzardi@CAPSweb.org

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