Senate Immigration Bill A Threat

It is quite a legislative recipe when a few Senate Republicans craft policies favoring their business cronies and contributors addicted to cheap illegal labor. Then sprinkled in from liberal Democrats is language promoting an open borders and “multicultural diversity” agenda. The result? U.S. Senate Bill 2611 — which creates a huge new guest worker/amnesty program that, in the estimate of the Heritage Foundation, imports 66 million aliens into our country over a 20-year period and puts them on the path to citizenship.

The bill is so expensive and harmful to our nation’s economy and culture that one U.S. senator tells me the Senate GOP leadership is now too embarrassed to bring it before a conference committee for compromise with House-passed legislation.

The Senate legislation grants amnesty (“earned citizenship”) to 12 to 20 million people who have already snuck across our borders- and who will then become recipients all sorts of taxpayer-supported services. They are also allowed to bring in their families under an insane chain-migration policy. The 66 million estimate previously cited might even be low.

Such a massive influx of unassimilated foreigners and their families means we will import poverty. The National Research Council reports an immigrant to the U.S. without a high school diploma consumes $89,000 more in government services than he pays during his lifetime. The Center for Immigration Studies finds over half of the illegals here are high school dropouts and have a 42 percent rate of out-of-wedlock births (and the babies get automatic U.S. citizenship).

Any guest worker or amnesty program is liable to depress wages of the American laborer on a larger scale than has already been seen. The Washington Times reported over 30,000 illegal aliens descended upon Louisiana, Alabama and Mississippi after Hurricane Katrina. Naturally contractors needed workers to clean up and rebuild. But the contractors were greedy and hired illegals. Employment manger Linda Swope told the Americans who were originally promised jobs that they weren’t needed. “They actually cried, and we cried with them,” she said. This is an outrage.

Illegal aliens are wage thieves. They steal jobs from unemployed Americans- especially low-income whites, blacks and teenagers.

One of the most outrageous features of S. 2611 – aside from rewarding lawbreakers with services like college tuition breaks and eventual citizenship- is requiring employers to pay foreign workers higher wages at construction jobs. The Davis-Bacon Act requires the local prevailing wage be paid to all workers in federally-contracted construction projects. Those wages, which are up to four or five times higher in some construction fields than the federal minimum wage of $5.15 per hour, are set by the Labor Department. S. 2611 requires the higher wage be paid to temporary foreign workers in all construction occupations, even if the project isn’t federally-funded.

This bill would supposedly protect American workers by ensuring that new immigrants would not take away jobs. However, the bill’s definition of “United States worker” includes the “temporary” foreign guest workers, so the protection is meaningless.

S. 2611 also creates an unnecessary F-4 visa category. It’s essentially an automatic green card for any foreign student who earns a graduate degree in engineering or the physical sciences at a U.S. university. But as Prof. Norm Matloff at the Univ. of California-Davis researched, there is absolutely no shortage of American Master’s and PhD engineers. Again, foreigners will be poised to take jobs from Americans.

Progress toward achieving sustainable yearly immigration levels can come by rejecting S. 2611, and by passing the “border enforcement only’ House Bill 4437 — which includes that badly-needed fencing for portions of the Mexican border.

For interviews please contact Phil Kent directly at (404) 226-3549 or AIC President Bob Goldsborough at (410) 435-7086