COMMENTARY: by NPG President Donald Mann
For eight full years, President George Bush’s administration did very little to strongly enforce our nation’s immigration laws and the immigration crisis that prevails today is surely a direct result of that lax enforcement of immigration policies.
However, for all of the faults of the Bush White House in failing to address this critical issue, our former president never took the law into his own hands or did an end run around the Constitution when it came to enforcing our nation’s immigration laws.
That all changed with the Obama White House.
As of a few weeks ago, our current president decided that if Congress was not going to deliver on immigration reform, he would do it by executive fiat. Today, in the words of one astute national columnist, “Like it or not, amnesty is here.”
The Obama Administration’s outrageous executive power-grab became evident with the announcement that it will immediately halt deportation proceedings against illegal immigrants. It spells out a broad range of situations that cover a huge number of illegals presently residing in our nation. Under the guise of a critical need to save money and make those with “criminal records” the principal targets of deportations, the president’s actions will allow millions of illegal immigrants to stay in the U.S. indefinitely. They can now breathe easier that they will not be forced to return to their native country – despite the fact that they are already “criminals” for having entered America without proper papers in the first place.
The pro-immigration mass media has labeled this action a “sensible step.” But it truly fails that test. It seriously undercuts our nation’s rule of law. It shows arrogant disdain for the will of the American people. And it signals to all those around the world who feared entering the U.S. only to be deported, that they now have a “safe haven” as long as they don’t get into trouble.
Without question, this unilateral action by the White House will have dire consequences for the long-term well-being of our country unless Congress steps in to negate it. A continuing flow of millions of illegals entering our country will only serve to spike our population growth and lead to incalculable economic, social and environmental problems for future generations.
What is even more ridiculous about the White House pullback from deporting illegals is that it severely undercuts efforts by many government leaders to scale back the massive federal spending that is fueling our nation’s record deficit. President Obama’s actions in permitting millions of illegal aliens to remain in our country will only add to the estimated $113 billion annual cost that illegals pass along to taxpayers at the federal, state and local levels. In all, the president will lose any steam for his argument that the nation needs to raise taxes if he is only going to use the new tax dollars to support millions of people in the country illegally.
As we reported in last month’s NPG Journal, NPG has taken a leadership role on this issue and has been very vocal in condemning President Obama’s actions. Just this week, we will be following up on our August press release, as well as our letters to the White House, Secretary Napolitano and ICE Director John Morton, denouncing the new deportation policy, by running an “Open Appeal to Congress” ad in the weekly edition of The Washington Times (see related story below). This ad calls on Congress to “take back their constitutional role in making America’s immigration laws.”
SHORTAGE OF SKILLED WORKERS
In a recent Backgrounder issued by the Center for Immigration Studies, CIS fellow David North examines the following question: Is There a Shortage of Skilled Foreign Workers? His basic answer is – not really.
He builds a strong case outlining the fact that those clamoring to expand current visa programs to accommodate vast numbers of the world’s “best and brightest” are a bit off base. There are no solid guarantees that back projections that such a policy will bring forth dramatic new breakthroughs and innovation and create new businesses and jobs. Indeed, they are just that – projections.
North provides a solid overview of the current U.S. visa policy and gives a detailed outline of the text of Rep. Zoe Lofgren’s (D, CA) bill, H.R. 2616.
Ms. Lofgren is the ranking minority member of the House of Representative’s immigration subcommittee and her bill will seemingly be the centerpiece of any major changes in visa policy to come out of the 112th Congress if it decides to address this issue.
North hits the proper target in commenting on Lofgren’s bill by noting: “Her press release supporting the bill contains the following statement: ‘More than 52 percent of Silicon Valley startups were founded or co-founded by immigrants and immigrant-founded companies produced $52 billion in sales and employed 450,000 workers in 2005. Immigration has historically made our economy stronger.’”
It is a solid point, but it doesn’t tell the whole story. He then goes on to comment: “Let’s assume, at least for the moment, that all these happy boxcar numbers are all correct.
What she [Lofgren] did not say, and probably will not say, is that all of this innovation, and all of this economic activity, was created under the current set of immigration laws.
So why change the laws? Or more pertinently, why change them in the direction of more migration?”
NPG is against passage of H.R. 2616 and any legislation designed to expand our nation’s current visa system. We do strongly endorse Congressional passage of H.R. 704, The SAFE Act, aimed at eliminating the present visa lottery that permits 50,000 people, many unskilled, to enter America each year, further adding to our population growth.
Those interested in the work visa issue will find this report quite interesting. It is available at www.cis.org.
WAITING FOR THE JUDGE IN ALABAMA
When U.S. District Judge Sharon L. Blackburn issued a temporary stay on Alabama’s new law cracking down on illegal immigration, she promised that she would issue a longer ruling on September 28th. The state awaits her action.
At stake is the future of what is considered one of the toughest state laws in the country which has sparked widespread controversy both within and outside its borders.
A very controversial provision calls for schools to verify the citizenship status of students, but doesn’t prevent illegal immigrants from attending public schools. A recent report in The Huffington Post notes that other strict provisions “would make it a crime to knowingly assist an illegal immigrant by providing them a ride, a job, a place to live or most anything else.”
Alabama legislators passed the strong initiative – with the full backing of Governor Robert Bentley – earlier this year. The newest U.S. Census numbers show that the state’s Hispanic population more than doubled between 2000 and 2010 to 182,602 and according to the Post “supporters of the law contend many of them are in the country illegally.”
Noting that federal judges have already weighed in to block all or parts of immigration-related legislation in Arizona, Utah, Georgia and Indiana, the state anxiously awaits Judge Blackburn’s decision. However, House Majority Leader Micky Harmon has made it clear that Blackburn’s decision will not be the final word. He noted: “We must remember that today’s ruling is simply the first round in what promises to be a long judicial fight over Alabama’s right to protect its borders. To put it in sports terms, it is the first half-inning of the first game of a seven-game World Series.”
MAKING THE CASE FOR WORK-SITE ENFORCEMENT
According to the latest polls, jobs and the economy seem to be the number one issue on the minds of most Americans these days and Congressman Lamar Smith (R, TX) who serves as Chairman of the House Judiciary Committee in the U.S. House of Representatives laid out his thoughts on this issue in a recent Letter to the Editor of The Washington Times. We reprint the majority of his text below:
“Immigration enforcement contributes to our economic prosperity. Full enforcement of our immigration laws opens up job opportunities for unemployed American workers. After Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) conducts work-site enforcement actions, businesses replace illegal workers with those authorized to work in the United States. They often increase wages, too.
For example, when Georgia’s Crider Inc. lost more than 600 illegal workers following an ICE work-site enforcement action, the company increased wages by $1 an hour and attracted legal workers. There are stories like this all over the United States: Enforce immigration laws, and unemployed Americans will be back on the payroll and earning a living for themselves and their families.
Unfortunately, President Obama has all but abandoned work-site enforcement efforts. Over the past two years, work-site enforcement efforts fell 70 percent. Under the Obama administration, there have been fewer arrests of illegal workers, fewer criminal arrests, fewer indictments and fewer convictions.
With continued high unemployment and underemployment, jobs are scarce and families are worried. We should do all we can to put America back to work. That includes the full enforcement of our immigration laws.
We also could open up millions of jobs by requiring all U.S. employers to use E-Verify. This program quickly identifies people working illegally in the United States and protects jobs for citizens by checking the Social Security numbers of new hires.”
Congressman Smith is the author of H.R. 2497, The Legal Workforce Act which would mandate that all employers use the federal E-Verify system to confirm job eligibility status for new employees. NPG wholeheartedly supports this legislation.
THE CHALLENGES OF SPRAWL
“We have not kept up with the growing population.”
That quote, uttered by Oklahoma City police chief Bill Citty, pretty much summed up the challenges faced by the Sooner State’s largest city as its leaders and more than 500 people recently met to confront the issue of sprawl and to decide how they were going to cope with future growth.
The story on the meeting reported by Michael Kimball at www.newsok.com highlighted the fact that Oklahoma City is the third-largest in the U.S. in land area at 621 square mile and 31st largest by population according to the 2010 U.S. Census.
The chief complaint among the gathering’s attendees was a lack of public transportation, the growing costs and need to build and maintain the city’s vast street network and a “generally overstretched” infrastructure.
As with many cities laid out in the 20th century where land was plentiful, one of the chief complaints of citizens who attended the meeting was that “Oklahoma City was built in a way that requires a car for almost any resident who wants to get around town.”
City officials held the meeting as a follow-up to their promise to define the issues, define the scope of the problem and bring it to the public.
A WATER WOE SOLUTION
For months, vast swaths across Texas have been hard-hit by an extended drought and water is getting more scarce by the day.
But as solid proof of the old axiom that “every problem has a solution,” some cities are teaming together to solve the drought problem for the long term with a solution which “may have seemed absurd a generation ago,” according to an Associated Press story on the issue.
The AP report continues in stating: “Construction has begun on a $13 million water-reclamation plant thought to be the first in Texas. Officials have worked to dispel any fears that people will be drinking their neighbors’ urine, promising the system will yield clean, safe water. Some residents are prepared to put aside any squeamishness if it means having an abundant water supply.”
Cities participating in the project include Big Spring, Midland, Odessa and Stanton. The newly-built plant is expected to supply 2 million gallons of water per day. Similar plants are already in operation in Tucson, Arizona and parts of California.
The AP notes that: “Water authorities predict other American cities will follow suit as they confront growing populations, drought and other issues.”
TAKING OUR MESSAGE TO AMERICA AND CAPITOL HILL
NPG is working hard to get our message across this month as we go out with two major ads in national publications:
STANDING FIRM AGAINST OBAMA DEPORTATION RULING
Our first ad carries the bold headline of an “Open Appeal To Congress” with the subhead of “Take Back Your Constitutional Role In Making America’s Immigration Laws!”
The ad strongly denounces the action of the Obama Administration’s unilateral decree that they will dramatically scale back deportation proceedings (see Commentary section above). It notes that we consider these actions to be “stealth amnesty” and that we are calling on Congress to stop sitting on the sidelines in this fight and “put in place fundamental reforms that will put our nation on a path to a smaller, truly sustainable, population.”
NPG makes it clear in the ad that we consider the new directive for severely limiting deportations “shows arrogant distain for the will of the American people” and that the president’s actions in bypassing Congress and changing the law by himself gives “tacit approval to illegal immigration.”
Our ad also states: “NPG and all Americans who favor responsible immigration laws abhor President Obama’s actions on this issue. We consider it a slap in the face to all citizens and taxpayers who demand stricter – not more lax – immigration laws.”
DEMANDING CONGRESSIONAL ACTION ON TWO IMPORTANT ISSUES
The second ad NPG will run this month will be a full-page of text surrounded by hundreds of names of NPG members and supporters from across the country. This citizen-sponsored ad is the follow-up to our August media appeal and carries the headline “We Demand Congressional Action.” It is directed to all Members of the 112th Congress.
The ad is built around the message that with the Senate and House of Representatives stalemated on the issue of amnesty/citizenship for the millions of illegal immigrants in our country, it is time to move away from the concept of one comprehensive piece of legislation and advance specific bills which can and should be debated and enacted so that we can make at least some progress in fixing our failed immigration system. The ad asks Members of Congress to co-sponsor and support two significant bills:
H.R. 140 – The Birthright Citizenship Act of 2011 which would require that at least one parent be a U.S. citizens or legal permanent resident for a newborn to receive automatic citizenship; and
H.R. 692 – The Nuclear Family Priority Act which would change current family- sponsored immigration policy and reduce the number of individuals who can enter the country through chain migration.
We are very grateful to all NPG members for your generous contributions that enable us to run our informative and educational ads and we want to especially thank those members and supporters who agreed to have their name listed in the Congressional Action ad.
“The important thing to remember is that the economy has to add about 90,000 to 150,000 jobs per month simply to keep up with population growth.”
The American Spectator
“Twenty-four million Americans are unemployed or cannot find full-time work. Meanwhile, 7 million illegal immigrants work in the United States. Americans want to see our immigration laws enforced to open up these jobs and deter illegal immigration.”
Congressman Elton Gallegly – (R, CA)
Chairman of U.S. House Subcommittee on
Immigration Policy and Enforcement
“We may debate the human causes and even the reality of global warming; however, the diminishing supply of fresh water in the world undoubtedly is caused by man, and only man can fix it. Our water consumption is doubling every 20 years while our sources of fresh water are diminishing.”
Gary Anderson, reviewing the book,
“The Ripple Effect: The Fate of Fresh
Water in the Twenty-First Century,”
by Alex Prud’homme
“Out of the 4.3 million residents that the Lone Star state added over the past decade, 2.8 million or 65% were Hispanic.”
Extracted from a Wall Street Journal article
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