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Thread: Donald Trump Backslides on Campaign Promise To Curb Legal Immigration

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  1. #1
    Administrator Jean's Avatar
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    Donald Trump Backslides on Campaign Promise To Curb Legal Immigration

    12 May 2017

    President Donald Trump has slid back from his campaign promises to curb the annual legal immigration of roughly 1 million foreigners.

    In an interview with pro-globalist Economist magazine, Trump was asked: “Do you want to curb legal immigration?” Trump responded by saying he prefers merit-based immigration of skilled people. The interviewer pressed him again on the scale of legal immigration, asking “[are you] not looking to reduce the numbers?”

    “No, no, no, no, we want people coming in legally. No, very strongly,” Trump replied, as two of his economic advisors sat beside him — top economic staffer Gary Cohn, and Steve Mnuchin, the Secretary of the Treasury.

    Trump also backed proposals to keep importing temporary contract workers for the agricultural sector, even though the cheap labor will retard farmers’ emerging interest in buying new machinery, such as robot apple-pickers and robot cow-milkers. Trump told the Economist:

    We also want farm workers to be able to come in. You know, we’re going to have work visas for the farm workers. If you look, you know we have a lot of people coming through the border, they’re great people and they work on the farms and then they go back home. We like those people a lot and we want them to continue to come in.

    Immigration reform advocates are not surprised at Trump’s back-sliding, but they are confident that Trump’s dependence on his blue-collar base in the 2020 election is pressuring him to stick with his campaign promises, amid constant elite pressure for more legal immigration.

    “The president was unambiguous in his [2016] campaign … one of the things he said was that he would support reductions in immigration,” said Ira Mehlman, communications director at the Federation for American Immigration Reform. “If he is backing off, we will fight to remind him that he did make this commitment during the campaign and we intended to hold him to it,” he told Breitbart.

    “Anyone following Trump’s primary campaign could have predicted this – he repeatedly justified guestworker visas of various kinds and stressed the ‘big beautiful door’ that would be built into his wall,” wrote Mark Krikorian, the director of the Center for Immigration Studies. “Both the anti-borders crowd and some starry-eyed immigration hawks mistook Trump’s commitment to enforcement (which seems genuine) to mean he was also skeptical of the overall level of immigration,” he said, adding that the next generation of populist GOP leaders — such as Sen. Tom Cotton — understands the many harms caused by mass immigration.

    But Trump’s backsliding isn’t a done deal. Former President Barack Obama also backed off many of his promises, even while he was urging his supporters to publiccly protest his actions and to push back the lobbies that were blocking his agenda. Obama also adopted a gradualist stop-and-go political strategy which helped the GOP establishment ignore his gradual progress towards his big-government goals, and he achieved many goals for his supporters via little-noticed court decisions and agency regulations by allied appointees.

    With constant pressure by Trump’s supporters, Trump will be more willing and better able to ignore or overcome establishment opposition and gradually get his agenda implemented stage-by-stage.

    In August 2015, Trump issued his very popular immigration plan to raise wages by reducing legal and illegal immigration:

    "The influx of foreign workers holds down salaries, keeps unemployment high, and makes it difficult for poor and working class Americans – including immigrants themselves and their children – to earn a middle class wage … Every year, we voluntarily admit another [1] million new immigrants, [plus 1 million] guest workers, refugees, and dependents, growing our existing all-time historic record population of 42 million immigrants. We need to control the admission of new low-earning workers in order to: help wages grow, get teenagers back to work, aid minorities’ rise into the middle class, help schools and communities falling behind, and to ensure our immigrant members of the national family become part of the American dream."

    "Requirement to hire American workers first. Too many [contract worker] visas, like the H-1B, have no such requirement. In the year 2015, with 92 million Americans outside the workforce and incomes collapsing, we need companies to hire from the domestic pool of unemployed. Petitions for workers should be mailed to the unemployment office, not USCIS…."

    "Immigration moderation. Before any new green cards are issued to foreign workers abroad, there will be a pause where employers will have to hire from the domestic pool of unemployed immigrant and native workers. This will help reverse women’s plummeting workplace participation rate, grow wages, and allow record immigration levels to subside to more moderate historical averages."

    Trump repeated those commitments in many subsequent speeches. For example, in March 2016, Trump called for a two-year pause in legal immigration, saying “I think for a period of a year to two years we have to look back and we have to see, just to answer the second part of your question, where we are, where we stand, what’s going on … I’d say a minimum of one year, maybe two years.”

    In his January 2017 inauguration speech, he described the theme of his administration as “Buy American, Hire American.”

    Some polls show that promise is extremely popular. For example, a November 2016 poll by Ipsos showed that only 12 percent of respondents strongly opposed plans to “change the legal immigration system to limit legal immigration.” Four times as many, or 57 percent, back reductions in legal immigration, while 13 percent did not take a position.

    To a large extent, Trump has followed through on those promises. He has revived enforcement of immigration law, slashed the inflow of illegal immigrants, and he is pushing a popular merit-based reform that would likely reduce the inflow of unskilled legal immigrants. Trump’s merit-based reform is also backed by some GOP legislators who want to increase Americans’ productivity, not just the number of American consumers.

    But Trump is under constant pressure from business leaders — including some of his advisors — who have a huge incentive to boost legal immigration, no matter the cost to ordinary Americans.

    In strictly economic terms, legal immigration is far more important than over-the-border illegal immigration, because it is far larger and has far greater impact on employees, companies, and investors, wages, housing prices, profits and stock prices. In fact, multiple economists — including economists at Goldman Sachs — say government should try to boost the size of the economy by importing more consumers and workers.

    Federal immigration policy adds roughly 1 million legal people, workers, consumers and renters per year to the economy. This annual inflow is further expanded by the immigrants’ children, which now combine to create a population of roughly 63 million consumers and workers –not counting roughly 21 million illegals and their U.S. children.

    That means roughly one-quarter of the nation’s consumers have been imported into the 330 million-strong economy via legal or illegal immigration.

    This legal inflow includes some very skilled workers and some people who become very successful entrepreneurs, but it also dumps a lot of unskilled workers into the country just as a new generation of technology is expected to eliminate many types of jobs. It also annually shifts $500 billion from employees to employers and Wall Street, and it forces state and local government to provide $60 billion in taxes to businesses via routine aid for immigrants, and it pushes millions of marginal U.S. workers out of the labor force and into poverty, crime and opioid addiction.

    High immigration also reduces employers’ need to recruit disengaged Americans, to build new facilities in high-unemployment areas, or to buy productivity-boosting machinery or to demand that local schools rebuild high school vocational training departments for the millions of youth who don’t gain much from four-year colleges.

    The resulting poverty and civic conflicts increase ballot-box support for Democrats, ensuring that more states — especially high-immigration California — are dominated by the Democratic Party’s big-government policies.

    Under Obama, the annual inflow of legal immigrants was roughly twice the inflow of illegals. Roughly 550,000 illegals arrived in 2016, but fewer are expected in 2017, according to the Center for Immigration Studies.

    Whenever the inflow of extra immigrant customers is threatened by public opposition, business groups say their companies and investors will be damaged.

    For example, in July 2016, a Wall Street firm tried to help Hillary Clinton by declaring that Trump’s opposition to illegal immigration would hurt companies and investors by forcing them to pay higher wages, and by reducing the cost of housing.

    “As the immigrants leave, the already tight labor market will get tighter, pushing up labor costs as employers struggle to fill the open job positions,” the report declared. “Mr. Trump’s immigration policies will thus result in … potentially severe labor shortages, and higher labor costs,” the critical report promised. The formal unemployment rate would immediately drop by a third, from 5 percent in 2016 to 3.5 percent in 2017, the report predicts. Housing prices would drop by almost 4 percent in 2018 and 2019, says the Moody’s report, which did not admit that higher wages and lower housing prices are popular throughout America.

    “Reduced immigration would result in slower labor force growth and therefore slower growth in potential GDP,” or annual economic activity, according to a 2017 report by Goldman Sachs.

    Similarly, Jamie Dimon, the chairman and CEO of JPMorgan Chase, recently called for an amnesty for illegals and a potentially huge increase in white-collar immigration to help stimulate the economy. “I hope eventually we have proper immigration. Good people who have paid their taxes and haven’t broken the law, get them into citizenship at the back of the line … [and] if people get educated here, and they’re foreign nationals, get them a green card,” he said.

    In the same interview, Dimon portrayed himself as concerned about the economic condition of ordinary Americans, saying:

    "Middle-class wages haven’t gone up. One is, lower-class wages haven’t gone up enough to create a living wage. One is, people losing jobs, more to automation than anything else. … There’s some more terrible numbers — men, age 25 to 55, the labor-force participation rate is down 10%. That’s unbelievable. There are 35,000 dying of opioids every year. Seventy percent of kids age 17 to 24 can’t get into the US military because of health or education. Obesity, diabetes, reading and writing. Is that the society we wanted? No. We should be working on these things, acknowledge the flaws we have, and come up with solutions. Not Democrat. Not Republican. Not knee-jerk."

    But the 2016 election showed that Trump and centrist Americans recognize that higher immigration means reduced wages, more unemployment, more drug addition, higher housing prices and longer commutes. That is how Trump won the 2016 election in Wisconsin, Michigan, and Pennsylvania, and why his on-again, off-again, pro-American immigration policy is at the core of his impending 2020 race.
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  2. #2
    Senior Member JohnDoe2's Avatar
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  3. #3
    Senior Member Judy's Avatar
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    That's just a <acronym title="Google Page Ranking">PR</acronym> statement by Trump supporting an existing agricultural farm workers program (support the farmers) and talking about his merit-based visa program for skilled workers (support industry). He's going to reduce if not get rid of all the rest of it, but now is not the time to declare or even expose that mission. When people eventually understand how Trump works, "look over here, while I'm over there", style of getting things done, they'll like the result. His goal is not to raise the mantra of "anti-immigrant", "xenophobic" criticism, so he's saying look at me here on legal meriit-based needed immigration while he's over there running the illegal aliens out of the country.
    A Nation Without Borders Is Not A Nation - Ronald Reagan
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  4. #4
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    It's migrant agricultural workers from Mexico that started this whole mess. "Migrant" was supposed to mean just that. They were seasonal workers who came north to work and then went back home when the season was over. Now it is an immigration program. Now it is supposed to work the same way for everyone who can get here legally for any reason. Even worse, you don't even have to get here legally, you just have to sneak across the border. Even worse than that, you don't even have to sneak across the border, you just have to be squirted out by somebody who did sneak across the border.

    We need to start enforcing the "migrant" part of migrant work visas.
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  5. #5
    MW is offline
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    Jun 2006
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    IRCA and the Evolution of the ‘Nonimmigrant’

    By Rob Sanchez
    Volume 22, Number 1 (Fall 2011)
    Issue theme: "America transformed"

    Email this articlePrinter friendly pageArticles by this authorView original PDF format

    Keywords: irce nonimmigrant

    Using foreign immigrants for cheap labor has a long history in the United States. It’s useful to look at the history of immigrant labor importation in order to understand how we ended up with visa programs such as H-1B.

    In the year 1932 the concept of the “nonimmigrant” was formalized into law. Aliens who were to come into the U.S. for the purpose of performing temporary labor were classified as “nonimmigrants” because they were admitted into the U.S. for a specified period of time. Timelines were set for their departure from the U.S. that were often enforced by requiring employers to post bonds that were redeemable when the alien departed from the U.S.

    The Bracero program of 1942-1964 was the first major guest worker farm program in the United States. It permitted Mexicans to take temporary work in the U.S. agricultural industry. While the Bracero program succeeded in expanding the farm labor supply, it was very unpopular because it resulted in depressed wages in the Southwest. Organized labor groups who viewed the Bracero program as destructive to the American workforce managed to stop the program in 1964.

    Running in parallel with the Bracero program, the H visa guest worker program was created in 1952. It hummed along without any major changes or controversy for 13 years. For the most part this labor importation program received scant attention because it was used mostly to import sheepherders and goatherders who worked in squalid conditions on western ranches.

    Abolishing the Bracero program didn’t mean the end of nonimmigrant labor. One year later the landmark 1965 immigration act marked the beginning of the H-2 program, which was written into law in order to placate farmers that claimed they couldn’t find enough American workers to tend to their farms. H-2 marked an escalation in guest worker visas because it allowed employers to hire foreign workers for both agricultural and non-agricultural jobs in locations that were deemed to have a shortage of domestic workers. The H-2 laws stipulated that all foreign sheepherders from the 1952 law be governed by the new H-2 program.
    By 1986, the H-2 program was criticized as having similar problems as the Bracero program — it depressed wages and American citizens were losing jobs as they were replaced by nonimmigrant aliens that came into the U.S. legally with H-2 visas. The Immigration Reform and Control Act of 1986 (IRCA) was enacted to solve all the problems caused by the Bracero program and the H-2 visa.

    IRCA contained two major sections that dealt with the supply of foreign labor:
    1. A general amnesty for illegal aliens that have been in the U.S. for a specified period of time.2. An escalation of the H-2 visa program to cover a wider variety of job categories.

    IRCA set up two classifications of amnesty in order to allow illegal aliens to stay in the U.S. One was called Legal Temporary Resident (LTR), for agricultural workers who claimed they had applied for adjustment of status within a 24-month period starting in December 1987. The other was called Special Agricultural Worker (SAW), which granted aliens amnesty if they could prove they performed agricultural work for 90 days during a one year period before May 1986.

    Farmers and ranchers weren’t happy that IRCA would give amnesty to their large pool of illegal alien laborers. They argued that if illegal aliens were given amnesty, then agribusiness wouldn’t be able to find enough workers that would do stoop labor for paltry salaries. The theory was that once illegal aliens were given a path to citizenship, they would start demanding fair salaries and living conditions that were on par with those of the average American citizen. As a compromise to the farmers, new guest worker programs were created by splitting the H-2 visa into two new categories: H-2A for agricultural laborers and H-2B for non-agricultural. Agri-businesses were assured that these programs would provide a means for them to continue to exploit plentiful labor supplies from third world nations.

    Congress sweetened the pot for farmers by allowing additional agricultural workers to replenish the labor supply vacated by aliens who are granted amnesty. Additional aliens were allowed entry to the United States as temporary residents between 1990 and 1993. All farmers had to do to hire the aliens was to prove there was a shortage of farm workers — which has never been difficult if the wages and working conditions are so substandard that Americans would prefer other jobs.

    Unlike the Bracero program and for the most part the H visa, which used workers almost exclusively from Mexico, the H-2A program expanded the list of countries the aliens could come from. Currently there are over 50 different countries on the list, including Brazil, Chile, Croatia, Fiji, Poland, Romania, Samoa, Serbia, Turkey, and Tuvalu. Significantly, the H-2A/B visa programs marked the beginning of the internationalization of the guest worker labor supply and the broadening of the types of jobs that aliens could be employed for.

    IRCA established provisions that were touted as protections for the wages and living conditions of nonimmigrant agricultural workers. Employers are required to provide housing and to give compensation for medical care for work-related injuries. It all sounds good on paper, but enforcement of the rules by the Department of Labor (DOL) is almost non-existent. IRCA gave the DOL primary enforcement power for the H-2A program but didn’t ensure that it would have adequate manpower or the budget to enforce the rules.

    The number of investigators has actually gone down since IRCA was enacted. Between 1974 and 2004 the number of investigators was reduced by 14 percent and the number of actual claims against employers has declined by 36 percent.
    Enforcement of the rules is problematic because many of the H-2A employees work in remote rural areas. Conducting investigations and audits is time consuming and expensive, so it’s simply not practical to enforce IRCA rules, as lax as they are. Of course the lobbyists who designed the program were well aware of the impracticalities involved with enforcement.

    Although the DOL is empowered with enforcement responsibility, the lines of authority aren’t straightforward. Several government agencies manage the program. In addition to the ETA division of the DOL, which has enforcement power there is the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), and the U.S. Department of State (DOS). Various state workforce agencies are involved also. Given the complexity of the program it’s very easy for bureaucrats to pass the buck when something goes wrong. Nonimmigrants and citizens with complaints must try to navigate the web of bureaucracy if they want employers to be investigated.

    H-2A has provisions that penalize employers for hiring illegal aliens, but often employers prefer the illegals because it’s slightly less of a hassle than using the H-2A program, and of course the risk of getting caught for violating the law is very low. Providing a cockroach infested mobile home for a crew of H-2A workers is more expensive than providing a piece of land for the illegal aliens to pitch a tent. Although the program has no limit as to the number of nonimmigrants that can be hired is rarely used because the pool of illegal aliens is so ample.

    It is important to keep in mind that claims that farmers cannot find enough legal farm help are false because the H-2A program is unlimited. Farmers can hire as many aliens as they want but, they don’t feel that following the rules is worth their time and/or money.

    IRCA provides an illusion that nonimmigrants can protect themselves from abuse by allowing individual employees to file lawsuits against their employers if the rules have been violated. This “protection” is rarely used by exploited laborers because they are not able to afford expensive lawyers, and of course nonimmigrants who complain are subject to job loss, blacklisting, and deportation. IRCA forbids groups of H-2 visa holders from filing class action lawsuits, which puts them at a huge disadvantage when going against large employers who have a pattern of violating the rules.

    As Philip Martin said in his article “Guestworker Programs for the 21st Century”, the purpose of the H-2A program was to “add workers temporarily to the U.S. workforce without adding permanent residents to the population, and to do so in a manner that does not adversely affect U.S. workers.” Unfortunately the H-2A/B programs have been miserable failures at all those goals.

    In 1987 regulations were provided by the Department of Labor Employment and Training Administration (DOLETA) to offset the adverse effects of immigration on U.S. workers in regards to wages and working conditions. It was an official admission that the government understood that American workers would suffer as a result of the changes to the H-2 visa.

    Guestworker programs such as H-2A/B fail to limit the number of permanent residents that would be created because IRCA didn’t provide penalties for employers who don’t make sure that their H-2A workers go back to their home country after their visa has expired. Requirements in the 1932 law were gutted that stipulate that bonds must be posted that could be redeemed when it’s certified the alien worker left the U.S., so employers had no incentive to make sure their nonimmigrants are sent back to their home countries. Most of these people become “out-of-status” after their visa expires and end up becoming part of the illegal alien population. This loophole has never been plugged, so the number of out-of-status illegal aliens continues to grow.

    From its beginning, IRCA was a complete failure at everything besides giving illegal aliens amnesty. To fix the problems it created, the Immigration Act of 1990 was passed.

    The 1990 act made several changes to IRCA in an attempt to prevent employers from paying H-2 employees below market wages. Wages for H-2A/B are calculated using a formula called the Adverse Effect Wage Rate (AEWR). The number is calculated regionally by individual state agencies. It’s supposed to guarantee that Americans that want to do similar back-breaking work don’t have to accept below-market wages in order to compete with the nonimmigrants. Of course the AEWR is subject to statistical anomalies and political manipulation, but it does require that H-2A/B workers must make at least minimum wage. Assuming the employers really pay AEWR, Americans are assured they can have these stoop labor jobs for similar pay scales.

    The 1990 Act did nothing more than add to the problems created by the previous nonimmigrant programs. It gave birth to the infamous H-1B guest worker program, which many people now call the “high tech Bracero visa.” It would be more accurate to call H-1B a global labor arbitrage bill that forces American wage earners to compete with the cheapest labor that can be found anywhere in the world.

    "The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing" ** Edmund Burke**

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