Week of Nov 30

This Issue: Pro-Visa-Lottery Representatives relentlessly attack NumbersUSA activists for opposing increases in foreign workers

We were a little surprised to see things get so personal on the House floor this morning in the debate that led to a 245-139 passage of HR 6429 that increases STEM visas while eliminating the Visa Lottery. Nonetheless, we take great pride in having open-borders leaders make it clear to the nation that NumbersUSA indeed is working to "reduce" the number of foreign workers brought in to compete with jobless Americans. For that, we were called "extreme" and "shameful." (See my blog for more details.)
The White House has told Senate Democr ats to just allow the bill to die in the final days of this lame duck Congress because it wants next year to exchange STEM visas for a full-scale amnesty. Thus, the importance of today's House activity was what it may have told us about the shape of immigration debates when the new Congress convenes in January. The attacks on NumbersUSA's 1.3 million activist members by many of the Democratic speakers during the debate suggests that pro-amnesty forces believe that every immigration bill has to increase the number of foreign workers -- that there can NEVER be any reduction.
Sadly, a person listening to the speeches by both Democrats and Republicans this morning would not have the s lightest indication that our country remains in a jobs depression with 20 million still unable to find full-time employment. Nor would a listener have sensed that immigrants and Americans compete in the same job markets.
But, at least, the Republicans did point out the near insanity of every year raffling off another 55,000 permanent work authorizations to foreign citizens regardless of their skills and nearly regardless of their education. And that made Democratic speakers furious. They castigated Republicans for their failure to simply increase the overall number of foreign workers and instead bowing to the long-standing pressure from NumbersUSA's grassroots army to end the Visa Lottery.
Rep. Luis Gutierrez (the leader of the open-borders movement) summarized for all of his pro-lottery colleagues:
"I'm going to tell you why you (Republicans) wouldn't negotiate with us (to save the Lottery). Because you had to negotiate with NumbersUSA. Why don't we just say it. They're the party that's not present here in the well of the House, but they are here in the spirit and in the legislative policy that is being reiterated today."
Well, NumbersUSA did not endorse or write HR 6429. We took a neutral stance. But we did work diligently for months to ensure that it contained as many protections for American STEM students and workers as possible and that it included the elimination of the Visa Lottery. And because so many Members of Congress really care what you think about their immigration actions, HR 6429 was improved considerably over all other versions.
Rep. John Conyers (who managed the opposition on the floor) said the elimination of the lottery was a "naked attempt" to satisfy groups like NumbersUSA. Rep. Zoe Lofgren (ranking member of the House immigration subcommittee) claimed that the bill had "actually been designed to REDUCE immigration." And so it went for a couple of hours of complaints tha t there appears to be a "zero sum game" going on in which no door to new immigration can be opened unless a door to some other immigration is closed. Rep. Hank Johnson of Georgia even accused all of us of racism, if not in intent, in effect.
But apparently no epithet could be worse than the word "reduce."
Mr. Gutierrez made this clear when he produced what he suggested was the smoking gun for why NumbersUSA is the "most extreme element of American society on immigration." He quoted from our website that NumbersUSA is an "immigration-REDUCTON organization." The word "reduction" seemed like a snarl that h e hurled back at Republicans: "So who did you negotiate with? The immigration-REDUCTION organization."
The federal bi-partisan commission chaired by the celebrated civil rights champion Barbara Jordan recommended both of the things that the open-borders folks were decrying today. Jordan called for the end of the lottery (among other things) and for REDUCTIONS that might cut the annual new foreign worker competition in half. The pro-Lottery statements about extremism today would be funny if they weren't such an insult to a woman and her commission who worked so hard to recommend an immigration system that showed true compassion for the most vulnerable workers of our society and th eir families.
Thanks so much to all of you at NumbersUSA who have for years pounded the fax machines, phones and local offices of your Members of Congress with demands to REDUCE the unfair foreign worker competition.
Read my blog for more information on the most interesting votes cast today and other observations.

roy beck
Fri, Nov 30th