Michael Cutler | Progressives for Immigration Reform
On April 12, 2015 just days after announcing his candidacy for President, Rand Paul was interviewed on “Face the Nation” by CBS News Correspondent Bob Schieffer. CBS News subsequently posted an article about the interview under the title, “Rand Paul on why a “libertarian-ish” Republican can win.”
The interview lasted only a few minutes, giving Senator Paul just minutes to quickly respond to a series of questions. In years past, although it was an important issue, immigration often went unnoticed by the news media. That immigration was raised in this brief interview demonstrates that the immigration crisis has become so serious that the topic of immigration can no longer be ignored.
Our immigration laws have two primary goals, to protect national security and innocent lives and to preserve the jobs of American workers. My commentary on this topic will be published in two segments covering each of these components separately. Given the riots in Baltimore and the issue of poverty that has been raised by politicians and journalists alike, the first half of my commentary will focus on the issue of immigration and the impact on American jobs, wages, and poverty.
In the era of “soundbites” pat phrases and clichés now have come to be accepted as substantive responses to questions. Often, when asked questions concerning their goals for impacting the world, beauty pageant contestants offer generic answers like “ending world hunger.” This parallels the way that politicians and political candidates readily parrot the now obligatory political promise- “First we must secure the border” a phrase intended to create the illusion of being “tough” on immigration and the rule of law.
Recently the House Committee on Homeland Security attempted to cobble together a legislative disaster that would have required the administration to secure the border as a prerequisite for providing lawful status to millions of illegal aliens.
On February 5, 2015 FrontPage Magazine posted my article: “The ‘Secure Our Border First Act’ Deception Why it’s no solution to the immigration crisis.”
Paul did not deviate from this formula as noted in the CBS report:
Paul also detailed his views on immigration. Unlike some in his party, he believes that people in the U.S. illegally should be able to eventually get work permits.”What I want to do is, first, secure the border. If we secure the border, and we can say we know who’s coming, who’s going, and only people come legally, the 11 million that are here, I think there can be a work status for them,” Paul said. “What we want is more legal immigration, so we have less illegal immigration. But I am open to immigration reform.”He said he voted against the bipartisan immigration reform bill that passed the Senate in 2013 because it limited the number of legal work visas.
It is stunning that Paul claimed he voted against the senate immigration reform bill because it “limited the number of legal work visas.” Schieffer did not ask him how many additional work visas should be provided to foreign workers, especially at a time when tens of millions of American workers are unemployed and/or underemployed and, thousands of American computer programmers and other highly skilled, educated and experienced Americans have been fired and replaced by foreign workers.
An April 29, 2015 Computerworld article, “Fury rises at Disney over use of foreign workers: A restructuring and H-1B use affect the Magic Kingdom’s IT operations” reported on Walt Disney Parks and Resorts firing American IT workers in October 2014.
The article included this paragraph:
“Disney CEO Bob Iger is one of eight co-chairs of the Partnership for a New American Economy, a leading group advocating for an increase in the H-1B visa cap. Last Friday, this partnership was a sponsor of an H-1B briefing at the U.S. Capitol for congressional staffers. The briefing was closed to the press.”
The final paragraph of the report makes it clear that the intentions of our immigration laws are not only being ignored by allowing millions of illegal aliens to remain in the United States and acquire employment authorization but astonishingly, even the “legal” immigration system has been perverted to work against Americans. That paragraph can be accessed here.
Politicians invariably promise to create jobs or at least create an environment conducive to creating jobs. The issue is whether those jobs will go to American workers or their foreign competitors.
Today the promise of helping to increase the number of jobs by various means, is as much a cliché as is the talk about “first securing the border.” What is never noted is that effective immigration policies and enforcement efforts can most certainly liberate jobs by removing aliens from jobs that they have no legal right to have. Effective immigration enforcement can also deter employers from hiring illegal aliens. For American workers, a job that is liberated by effective immigration enforcement is no different from a job that has been newly created.
Rand Paul’s desire to greatly increase the number of visas for foreign workers would just lead to more unemployed American workers – hardly a good outcome for them or our nation, yet Schieffer did not challenge Paul’s assertion that we should not limit the number of legal work visas.
On April 9, 2015 Southern California Public Radio station 89.3/KPCC posted an AP news report, “US senators seek investigation into abuse of H-1 visa program at Edison” that focused on how thousands of American workers are losing their jobs to temporary foreign workers.
This is how this report began:
Citing concerns about hiring practices at California’s second-largest utility, a bipartisan group of U.S. senators Thursday asked for an investigation into whether companies are firing American workers and replacing them with foreigners to cut costs.
The 10 senators said several U.S. employers have reportedly laid-off thousands of Americans and replaced them with foreign workers holding H-1B visas, frequently used in the technology sector to bring in engineers and computer programmers.
The senators asked the departments of Justice, Homeland Security and Labor to investigate whether the H-1B visa program is being used as intended: to bring in, on a temporary basis, skilled workers with highly specialized skills not readily available in the U.S.
The letter follows a hearing last month by the Senate Judiciary Committee, which invited Southern California Edison to testify, though the company declined.
Ronil Hira, a professor at Howard University, said at the hearing that the utility outsourced work to two companies, and those companies employed H-1B staffers who were then trained by the employees they were replacing. “There could not be a clearer case of the H-1B program being used to harm American workers’ wages and working conditions,” Hira said.
The report identified the ten senators, both Republicans, Democrats and an “independent” who are questioning this situation. They are to be commended.
Republicans seeking the investigation are Sens. Charles Grassley of Iowa, Jeff Sessions of Alabama, James Inhofe of Oklahoma, and Bill Cassidy and David Vitter of Louisiana.
Democratic senators seeking the investigation are Richard Durbin of Illinois, Richard Blumenthal of Connecticut, Sherrod Brown of Ohio and Claire McCaskill of Missouri.
Sen. Bernie Sanders, an independent from Vermont, also signed the letter.
On January 23, 2015 Californians for Population Stabilization posted my commentary, “For America to Do Well, Americans Must Do Well.” Undermining the middle class hurts the U.S. economy and hence our nation. America’s middle class is the primary consumer base for many industries and represents America’s heart and soul. Today the United States admits many more authorized foreign workers than the number of new jobs that are created.
I addressed this issue in my July 22, 2014 article for FrontPage Magazine: “Immigration ‘Reform’: Engineered Destruction of the Middle Class » The real reason high-tech titans are lining up behind the amnesty effort.”
The DHS report, “Nonimmigrant Admissions to the United States: 2013″ provided the admission statistics for temporary foreign visitors in 2013. Table 1 (found on pages 3 and 4) noted that in 2013 a total of 2,996,743 temporary foreign workers and their families were admitted into the United States with nonimmigrant visas. The chart also indicates that a total of 1,853,915 temporary workers and trainees were admitted but does not include the approximately one million lawful immigrants admitted into the U. S. each year who are immediately granted employment authorization and also does not report on the hundreds of thousands of other aliens who are granted employment authorization under the Deferred Action Childhood Arrivals Program and other programs, such as political asylum.
The DHS chart does not make note of how many foreign workers were already present in the United States. Nor do the statistics include the approximately one million lawful immigrants who are admitted into the United States each year and are immediately granted employment authorization.
Finally, the dearth of ICE (Immigration and Customs Enforcement) agents, coupled with the non-enforcement policies of the current administration mean that aliens who are working illegally have virtually nothing to fear. They need only hide in plain sight awaiting a massive amnesty program that would be enacted by Democrats or by political Conservatives such as Rand Paul.
Here is some advice for Rand Paul and, in fact, all of our politicians – don’t bring sand to the beach, when you find a hole in the bottom of your boat, it is a really bad idea to drill more holes to let the water out and just as bad an idea to import more foreign workers when you don’t have enough jobs for American workers!
Michael W. Cutler is a former Special Agent with the INS, where his career spanned nearly 30 years. Mr. Cutler has provided expert witness testimony at more than a dozen Congressional hearings. He has testified before the 9/11 Commission and regularly provides expert testimony at state legislative hearings and in trials where immigration is at issue. Michael Cutler can be reached through his website, www.michaelcutler.net that contains his commentaries, Congressional testimony and links to his appearances on national television news programs and other public venues.