The Woke and Bob Feller In Cleveland

The Woke and Bob Feller In Cleveland

By Joe Guzzardi


Last week, the perpetually offended scored another big win. The venerable Cleveland Indians announced that next year their nickname will be the “Guardians,” a reference to two large landmark stone edifices near Progressive Field. For the woke, the triumph isn’t quite on the scale of tumbling down or defacing statues of America’s founding fathers, George Washington and Thomas Jefferson, but the symbolism is identical.

The Woke and Bob Feller In Cleveland

Indians’ management claims that polling found that the Indians name generated deep dissatisfaction among its fan base. Maybe, but skeptics would like to see who was polled, and how the questions were phrased. In all probability, those questioned were progressive whites who are affronted with almost everything about America’s past. Leading the anti-Indians charge was MLB’s meddlesome and super-woke commissioner, Rob Manfred. In a saccharine-sweet social media video complete with melodramatic music, Hollywood pitchman Tom Hanks introduced the Guardians.

On the Indians official website, the chief executives’ biographies appear. Paul Dolan, owner, chairman and chief executive officer has a University of Notre Dame J.D. degree. The second in command, Chris Antonetti, president of baseball operations, is a Georgetown University business administration magna cum laude graduate with a master’s degree in sports management from the University of Massachusetts.

Third in the Indians hierarchy, Brian Barren, is a Princeton University alum whose thesis analyzed MLB’s integration. After more than a year of brainstorming, in consultation with other high-powered Clevelanders, and checking in with focus groups, the extraordinarily well-educated Indians management could do no better than rebranding the team the “Guardians.” Only a herculean effort could produce a dumber name.

Some Indians fans hoped that management would reach back into the team’s deep, often unhappy past, and revive the “Spiders.” In 1899, the Spiders logged the worst record in baseball history, 20-134, a dismal performance that included losing 40 of 41 consecutive games. Other names the Indians could have selected, each better than the Guardians, include the old Cleveland-based Negro League teams: the Stars, the Elites or the Hornets.

The Indians have produced some of baseball’s greatest players, including Hall of Fame members Satchel Paige, Larry Doby, Bob Lemon, Early Wynn, Tris Speaker and Bob Feller. One wonders what their take on the Guardians would be – an educated guess is that they would strongly oppose eliminating the Indians, and political correctness in general.

Take Feller, a no-non-sense guy. Feller, an unadulterated patriot, would have been unlikely to immediately enlist in the Navy for World War II if he knew that 44 months later, he’d return to a woke America.

On December 7, 1942, Feller, in his spanking brand-new Buick Century with all the available extras – a heater and a radio – was driving toward Chicago to sign his new contract. At 24, Feller had notched 107 wins, and big money awaited him. Then, over the radio, Feller heard the news that the Japanese had bombed Pearl Harbor. Feller drove on, and on December 9 enlisted in the Navy at a Chicago recruiting office, the first professional athlete to sign up for World War II combat.

When Feller looked back at his war experiences as gun captain, he said that he was constantly surrounded by scares and tragedies. The worst, Feller recalled, didn’t occur in battle, but rather when the USS Alabama was caught in week-long Typhoon Cobra whose 180 mph winds sunk three U.S. destroyers. The choppy waves made refueling impossible. More than 800 American sailors drowned or were eaten by sharks after their ships capsized in the storm. During his service, Feller earned six campaign ribbons and eight battle stars. Ironically, because he was attending to his cancer-stricken, dying father, Feller had a military deferment.

Not only did Feller pass up the big money that his 1943 contract offered him, but he sacrificed nearly four years of his pitching career. About players who served in the two World Wars and Korea, fans speculate what they might have achieved had they not lost key baseball years fighting to protect their country. Ralph Winnie, a Seattle baseball statistician, calculated that Feller would have won 107 more games which would have brought his career total up from 266 to 373, notched 1,070 additional strikeouts up to 3,651, pitched five no-hitters instead of three, and 19 one-hitters instead of 12.

Feller and the other Indians greats are fading from memory, and wokeness is accelerating their disappearance. The Indians have thrilled or disappointed Cleveland fans for 115 years, but Indians – deemed “racist” to the woke – had to go. Dolan said that an “epiphany” motivated his decision to rebrand the Indians as the Guardians. But Dolan is listening to the wrong people. Feller was often asked what his greatest win was. Instead of answering that moment came when he threw an Opening Day no hitter, Feller unhesitatingly replied, “World War II.” Defending America, her history  and her greatness was Feller’s proudest accomplishment. If they would only heed history’s lessons, therein lies a valuable lesson for the Indians’ management and the wokesters. Tearing things down is easy; building, tough.

Joe Guzzardi is a Society for American Baseball Research and an Internet Baseball Writers Association member. Contact him at guzzjoe@yahoo.com.

The Woke and Bob Feller In Cleveland

Man Is A Man Is A Woman

Man Is A Man Is A Woman

By Bob Small

This begins in the summer of 1979, my living arrangements had transitioned to an unaffordable apartment in South Philly based on my current salary and debts, which were not expected to change any time soon. At the same time, there was someone I had gotten to know, whose time at the same way station I had stayed at, was rapidly ending.

Man Is A Man Is A Woman

BMA (initials) was mid-20’s and had recently escaped from an abusive religious family who had tried to both beat and pray “the gayness devil” out of him. He had some help in this “escape”, which can be detailed later.

BMA had decided that, as a Gay Catholic man, the only way he could “get right with God”, would be to transition to becoming a Gay Catholic Woman. As such, he would no longer be transgressing. In no way, do I mean to denigrate Catholicism, which provides solace to many.

Fortunately, at that time in Pennsylvania, Transition Surgery required a certain length of time for the applicant to enter Therapy prior to being accepted for “the final cut”. He ended up going to group therapy at Hall Mercer which was part of Pennsylvania Hospital).

Long story short, he ended up removing his Catholicism rather than anything else. He then joined the local branch of MCC (Metropolitan Community Church), a Gay and Lesbian Welcoming Church that also had excellent potlucks and was open to everyone. Eventually, after another wrong turn, he ended up with a healthy Gay Relationship. We would sometimes meet at 30th Street Station during switching of trains and he would inevitable buy me coffee and pastry, as he was now earning much more than I was.

Now all of this is to preface that transexuality, like marriage, should not be entered into lightly.

Not all men, or boys, who express a desire to become a woman, should be guided to do that. I’ve known a number of “draq queens”, for instance who only want to do “dress up”, but would not want to have to suffer an entire life in high heels, etc.

Now, “I’ve said all that to say all this”, to paraphrase a long ago female drinking partner and lover. We now come up to present day, at least in a paragraph or two.

By the early 1980’s, my interests had transitioned to the Philly Poetry Scene, where I ended up leading a number of organizations, prime among them Poets and Prophets, until around a decade ago. I’m still involved with local poetry scenes but am not in charge of anything except being “Lord of the Compost” for our household’s Vegetable Garden, a sometimes Blog, and walking the Terrible Terrier three times a day, and, oh yes, driving wherever my wife tells me to.

One of the people I got to know during our weekly Readings At Bacchanal, The Middle East Restaurant, and other now defunct bars and restaurants, was a poet I’ll call Scott N, (names are changed to protect the guilty). Scott N, who most people had a love/hate relationship with, many at the same time, was an excellent poet but had a habit of not otherwise knowing when to keep silence, sometimes with almost dire consequences. He frequently needed rescuing.

He had been an early supporter of transgender rights in the form or Marina Brown (see Stonewall) and would occasionally send me articles on this topic, from his cave in woodsy Vermont.

Here is a recent article on the Wi Spa controversy:

Violent Antifa, Trans Extremists Attack Women Protesting Naked Man in Women’s Spa Area

Basically, in the Wi Spa, in LA, a pre-op transexual, with the original equipment, saw fit to be naked and shameless, in what is supposed to be a woman’s only spa. The management explained that transexuals were welcome, though one thinks they meant Post-op.

Evidently this person believed his intentions allowed him to be there, and evidently, so did his/her Lawyer. Now, my opinion is that gender non-conforming people should not be showing their penis in public. That kind of behavior is actually male gender conforming, at least in some sad circles.

Further, if he’s so proud of Mr. Peter, why would he be so willing to become peterless? My unsolicited advice is for him to return to therapy before anything else.

In the 1970’s/80’s, the incidence of transitioning, before such phenomena as ìThe Danish Girlî mainstreamed this procedure, usually required many months of Therapy. Also, in my distant memory, I know there were age limits, at the very least, requiring one be post-adolescent.

More to follow on the Wi Spa battles.

Man Is A Man Is A Woman

Biden Pondering Afghan Visa Increase

Biden Pondering Afghan Visa Increase

By Joe Guzzardi


As the United States exited Afghanistan under cover of darkness, the 20-year war racked up costs of a staggering $2.3 trillion. The albatross was left over from the Bush administration. Brown University’s Costs of War Project calculated that the federal taxpayer has spent about $16,000 per person to keep this futile conflict raging. The War Project consists of 35 scholars, legal experts, human rights practitioners and physicians who have been studying the Afghan War’s devastation since 2011.

Biden Pondering Afghan Visa Increase

Brown University further estimates that the $2.3 trillion cost is understated because the totals don’t include the funds the U.S. is obligated to pay in future healthcare costs for veterans or future interest payments on the money borrowed to finance the war, $600 billion in interest expense through 2023, and billions more to come in the following decades. The analysis also estimates that 241,000 people died in the Afghanistan War, a total that includes 2,442 U.S. military service members, nearly 4,000 U.S. contractors, and more than 71,000 civilians.
 
Now the U.S. is left to deal with Afghanistan’s aftermath, one of which is the country’s at-risk or displaced nationals anxious to migrate to America. Atop that list are Afghans who worked alongside and assisted U.S. troops during the two-decade war. Among them are 18,000 interpreters, drivers, engineers, security guards and embassy clerks who are stuck in a bureaucratic quagmire. After applying for Afghan Special Immigrant Visas (SIVs), available to Afghans who may face threats because of their work for the U.S. government, the applicants can often wait as long as six or seven years, far too long some observers claim given the danger the U.S. allies might encounter.
 
To speed up the SIV process, in late June the U.S. House of Representatives overwhelmingly passed, 366-46, a bill that would waive the mandatory medical examination, allegedly a hardship, and replace it with a requirement that a physical be completed within 30 days of U.S. arrival. Whether this relaxed medical condition would be confirmed once stateside is uncertain.
 
But, as is standard operating procedure with immigration advocates, they’ve pressured their colleagues and President Biden to loosen the existing requirements, and issue more visas. Since 2014, the State Department has authorized 26,500 Afghan visas, but Rep. Jason Crow, (D-Colo.), who served three tours in Iraq and Afghanistan, introduced the ALLIES Act that would increase the visa cap by 8,000, and remove judicious requirements like obtaining “credible sworn statements” that the applicants have worked for or on behalf of the U.S. government. Crow wants to “streamline and strengthen,” words that in immigration parlance translate to open-wide-up and weaken. Predictably, given the nature of the legislation, the ALLIES Act has significant bipartisan support.
 
To be clear, fair-minded Americans want to help allies who have supported us in the extended Afghan War. But neither do Americans want the Afghan SIV to devolve into the fraud-ridden Iraqi SIV program. In breaking news, Reuters reported that 4,000 Iraqis are suspected of filing fraudulent resettlement applications. The State Department is re-examining 40,000 cases that involve more than 104,000 people, 95 percent of them still in Iraq, and has frozen those applications until further clarification. More than 500 already-admitted Iraqi refugees have been implicated in the fraud and could be deported or stripped of their U.S. citizenship.
 
Earlier this year, the Department of Justice indefinitely suspended the Iraqi SIV program after it learned that foreign nationals from Russia, Iraq and Jordan stole from the State Department’s database files refugee applicants’ employment records, security checks, military history and their personal persecution accounts, all breached by the infiltrators. Prosecutors said that undeserving Iraqis could duplicate stolen information to gain approvals that they would otherwise have been denied, and may also have pushed some deserving refugees out of the queue.
 
When he learned about the fraud, Michael R. Sherwin, then-acting U.S. Attorney for the District of Columbia, said: “It is important to hold accountable those who would seek to defraud such programs [Iraqi SIV], particularly when the crimes compromise our national security and public safety, when they impose such high costs on taxpayers…”
 
Obtaining SIV means eventual U.S. citizenship, permission to petition nuclear and extended family members, legal and lifetime valid work authorization, and also represents, as Sherwin warned, a potential national security threat. In light of an SIV’s benefits, the existing requirements are reasonable, and didn’t deter the 60,623 Afghans who were admitted between 2007 and 2018.
 
Can the Biden administration be counted on to vet the Afghans properly and thoroughly? Or, will the administration instead greenlight all the applicants? Those are the questions of the hour. Judging from Biden’s nonenforcement of Southwest border policy, long-time immigration observers are wagering that, despite the inherent risks, he will welcome the Afghans with little, if any, oversight.
 
Whether dealing with SIVs or other immigration issues, the federal government never has been able to get immigration right. U.S. Rep. Barbara Jordan (D-Texas) understood. Jordan, now deceased, said in 1995:
 
“Those who should get in, get in; those who should be kept out, are kept out; and those who should not be here will be required to leave.”
 
Those straightforward guidelines could help avoid difficult uncertainties like the Iraq and Afghan SIVs.
 
 
Joe Guzzardi is a Progressives for Immigration Reform analyst who has written about immigration for more than 30 years. Contact him at jguzzardi@pfirdc.org.

Biden Pondering Afghan Visa Increase

Biden Pondering Afghan Visa Increase
 

Pennsylvanians Face Higher Electric Bills Thanks To Democrats

Pennsylvanians Face Higher Electric Bills Thanks To Democrats

By Leo Knepper

In February, the Independent Regulatory Review Commission (IRRC) requested that the Environmental Quality Board (EQB) delay joining the Regional Green House Gas Initiative (RGGI) for a year. On Tuesday, July 13, the EQB ignored that request and approved the RGGI regulation. As we’ve mentioned previously, this is an attempt by Governor Wolf and the Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) to sidestep the General Assembly. Joining RGGI will bring the Commonwealth into a regional cap-and-trade scheme, devastate a swath of the economy, and increase electric bills for every ratepayer in PA.

It is hard to overstate just how much damage joining RGGI will do to PA’s economy. In their statement on the EQB’s vote, the Power PA Jobs Alliance did an excellent job in summarizing some of the problems this will cause:

“RGGI will also preclude the construction of any new natural gas fired electric generation plants within the Commonwealth that could otherwise replace lost generation from the closure of older fossil fuel plants. In recent years, Pennsylvania union workers built more than a dozen major natural gas plants within the Commonwealth at a cost of over $14 billion. Under RGGI, these projects will no longer occur within Pennsylvania and, as we have already seen just from the threat of RGGI, Ohio and West Virginia are benefiting from billions of capital investment in existing coal and natural gas plants, but also new natural gas plants.”

Power PA Jobs also notes that three coal-fired power plants in Indiana and Armstrong Counties are responsible have a $2.87 billion impact on the economy. This impact includes hundreds of direct employees and thousands of associated jobs. Governor Wolf’s misguided attempt to remake the Pennsylvania economy as he sees fit will destroy the livelihoods of these people and their families.

The House and Senate are considering legislation to prevent the Governor from unilaterally entering RGGI. The Senate passed SB 119 with a veto-proof majority in June; it is awaiting action in the House. The legislation is currently assigned to the Environmental Resources and Energy Committee.

We urge you to email your House and Senate members and encourage them to support the legislation to stop the Governor. You can do that by clicking here and filling in your information.
Pennsylvanians Face Higher Electric Bills Thanks To Democrats
Pennsylvanians Face Higher Electric Bills Thanks To Democrats

Privacy Beats $6K

Privacy Beats $6K

By Bob Small

They told me to trust them

First of all, I’m retired which means tired squared. So, I’m trying to keep my life as simple as possible and not do any unnecessary activities. However, when a friend called to tell me that FEMA is giving out grants for funeral expenses for those who died from Covid, knowing that was exactly what my 99-and-half-year-old mother had died from, I decided to pursue this. When he further explained that it only required a single phone call, in most cases, I was suddenly less tired.

Privacy Beats $6K First of all, I'm retired which means tired squared. So, I'm trying to keep my life as simple as possible and not do any unnecessary activities.

Of course it wasn’t that simple, bureacracy never is.

The very second step was that FEMA required my social security number. Mine! After pointing out that the public is constantly told not to give out their social security number under most circumstances and that the grant was for my mother, not me, they repeated that they needed it. When they were asked why they needed it, they basically said “because”.

Now it should be mentioned that my previous life included drudging for the state of Pennsylvania, in benefit determination. Now this required the applicant to provide their SSN, so we could match it with any employment, etc. income. However, even this did not capture many of those who were in “the underground economy”.

However, in the case of FEMA, I was told that “you can trust us” and, again, the only reason given was “because”, which my parents told me until at least the age of 12.

So I next did what any typical American citizen would do. I called my Congressperson. Their office said that they guessed FEMA needed proof that the person applying was not an illegal alien, either from Russia or Mars. They suggested that a Pennsylvania Birth Certificate would answer that concern.
Unfortunately. my second call went about the same as the first. The couldn’t tell me why they needed the SSN, and only the SSN, only that, like with many recipes, no substitutions were allowed. When momma said don’t touch the stove, she had a damn fine reason!

So I came to the decision that my privacy is worth $6,000 more than my finances. Not everyone could afford to do this. As someone somewhere must have said, “having money means you can have principles”. As it is, my inner libertarian came through this time.

Privacy Beats $6K

America Bigger Than Baseball — Remembering Jerry Coleman

America Bigger Than Baseball — Remembering Jerry Coleman

By Joe Guzzardi

Lieutenant Colonel Jerry Coleman was a New York Yankees second baseman who won the 1949 Rookie of the Year award, and in 1950, the World Series Most Valuable Player award. After his playing career ended in 1957, Coleman broadcast New York Yankees, California Angels and then, for 40 years, San Diego Padres games. Coleman also had a brief, unsuccessful stint as the Padres manager.

America Bigger Than Baseball -- Remembering Jerry Coleman

Although Ted Williams and Coleman served in World War II and Korea, only Coleman saw active duty in both conflicts. In World War II, Williams was a stateside flying instructor, while Coleman flew Douglas SBD Dauntless bombers over the Pacific.

Williams and Coleman were flying buddies in Korea. During Williams’ 39 Korean combat missions, often as Colonel John Glenn’s wingman, enemy fire hit the plane of “Teddy Ballgame” and forced a crash landing. But as harrowing as Williams’ experience was, during one flight deep into North Korea, Coleman watched his tentmate Max Harper, flying just ahead of him, get shot down and perish. Despite the emotional burden of seeing his good friend killed in battle, Coleman carried on.

In his autobiography “An American Journey: My Life on the Field, In the Air and On the Air,” Coleman wrote about his early, challenging youth in San Francisco. Coleman’s father, Gerald, a former Pacific Coast League catcher with the San Francisco Seals and the Seattle Rainiers, drank heavily. One evening, suspecting that his wife Pearl was two-timing him, Gerald followed her to a local nightclub, and shot her several times, a crime for which he was never prosecuted. Young Coleman went to live with his grandmother, and excelled at sandlot baseball and high school basketball. In 1944, he enrolled in the Navy’s V-5 flight training program at age 18, the minimum age for the training. Coleman eagerly enlisted; he feared that World War II might end before he saw action.

The war over, the Yankees activated Coleman just in time for the thrilling 1949 pennant race that the Bronx Bombers won on the season’s last day when the team beat the Boston Red Sox. Coleman had his career year in 1950, but the Marines recalled him at the end of the 1951 season. By 1953, he had learned to fly Corsair attack planes, and was sent to Korea. By the end of the 1953 season, the 29-year-old Coleman, now physically and emotionally exhausted, returned to the Yankees where he struggled in his few token appearances. Coleman’s on-the-field slump continued in 1954 and 1955. By 1957, the playing days of the 33-year-old Coleman were over, and he embarked on his broadcasting career which eventually landed him in the Cooperstown Baseball Hall of Fame where he received the Ford C. Frick Award for excellence in baseball broadcasting.

Coleman’s only baseball regret was when he piloted the Padres in the 1980s. San Diego finished last in their division, and Coleman happily returned to the broadcast booth where he spent more than four decades in total calling the Padres games.

When Coleman died at age 89 in La Jolla, Calif., he was a San Diego icon, most often known around town by his nickname, “The Colonel.” C. Paul Rogers III in his Society for Baseball Research Coleman biographywrote that the bona fide war hero was buried with full military honors, including a 21-gun salute and an F-18 flyover in the missing-man formation.

Looking back at his long and memorable life, Coleman said that he was most proud of his U.S. Marine Corp dive-bomber, fighter pilot days during his 57 World War II missions, and 63 Korean War missions. Coleman won 13 Air Metals, two Distinguished Flying Cross citations, the World War II Victory Metal, and eight other awards. Coleman once said that America “is bigger than baseball.”

Joe Guzzardi is a Society for American Baseball Research and Internet Baseball Writers Association member. Contact him at guzzjoe@yahoo.com.

America Bigger Than Baseball — Remembering Jerry Coleman

Biden Immigration Policy Swamping Arizona

Biden Immigration Policy Swamping Arizona

By Joe Guzzardi

In Arizona, residents are increasingly frustrated and often angry at President Biden’s disregard for their safety and well-being as border patrol agents green-light illegal immigrants into the state. Last month, the Tucson Sector border patrol agents apprehended a cluster of 124 migrants, 105 of which were unaccompanied minors. Tucson Sector Chief John Modlin said that during the pre-Biden era, agents normally detained groups of single adults. On duty at the Douglas Station, horse patrol unit agents encountered 32 illegal border crossers from Mexico dressed in camouflage to blend in with the desert shrubs.

Biden Immigration Policy Swamping Arizona

Unlike Texas that has plans to build eight emergency shelters with capacities of up to 14,000 children, including facilities at San Antonio and El Paso military bases, Arizona had been releasing migrant families into Yuma, Ajo and Gila Bend where nonprofits attempt to care for them. CBP also built “soft-sided facilities,” air-conditioned outdoor tents in Tucson and in Yuma that increased holding capacity for families and children.

But now that the Biden administration’s border mismanagement has reached Scottsdale’s high-rent district, where the median home price is $700,000, locals have protested more vocally. As part of a $530 millionagreement between Immigration and Customs Enforcement and the Texas-based nonprofit, Family Endeavors, a vacant Scottsdale hotel will provide up to 1,239 beds. A former Biden staffer facilitated the deal.

Yuma Mayor Doug Nicholls criticized the hotel plan and said it “actually encourages” more illegal immigration because the migrants know “they’re going to be released to an American hotel where they get room service….” Municipal officials said they only received one day’s notice. Protestors carrying “Save America” signs and the United States flag noted that armed guards surrounded the hotel, and that their reasonable concerns were ignored. Throughout Arizona, BLM bumper stickers and signs – Biden Loves Minors – are popping up.

A letter from Arizona Attorney General Mark Brnovich to the hotel property principals listed his questions, all unanswered, and his grave concerns about the detention center. First, who is in the facility and when would they leave? Second, will the migrants eventually filtrate into the community? Third, is a Scottsdale hotel the best location to house the migrants?

In his statement, Brnovich echoed Arizonans’ concerns. Brnovich wrote that Biden “is using Arizona as an experiment with his reckless border policies. I will continue to stand up for Arizonans and do everything I can to stop the Biden Administration’s attempt to abolish ICE. All of us will pay the price, not only with our tax dollars, but also with our national security, and the safety of our families.”

Arizonans and other states may be surprised to learn that, when it comes to expanding immigration, the Biden administration is just getting warmed up. Last week, the Department of Homeland Security and the Department of State announced that Central American migrants, often illegally in the U.S., with pending – not approved – asylum claims will be able to petition for their minors to join them. The Central American Minors Refugee and Parole(CAM) program originated in the Obama administration, and the Trump administration temporarily ended it. CAM represents another Biden administration overreach that will allow previously inadmissible aliens a legal path to the U.S., and access to affirmative benefits, employment authorization and eventually citizenship.

The majority of the tens of thousands of migrants who have unlawfully entered the U.S. since Biden took office will file asylum claims, and wait an average of 930 days for a decision. During that period, and with the Biden administration’s blessing, their Central American children and certain of their relatives will travel north on U.S. taxpayer-funded journeys. Also potentially included in the CAM free-for-all could be adult caregivers – grandparents, siblings, aunts and uncles.

Looking back at the 2020 presidential election, neither Arizonans nor any other of the 49 states voted for a huge immigration increase, but that’s what they’re getting. Arizona certainly is not an open-borders promoter. Biden’s Arizona campaign was a nonstarter, and he won there by the narrowest margin, about 10,000 votes. Largely because President Trump turned off Arizona’s Republicans, for the first time since 1996, the former red state turned blue. But 10,000 votes aren’t a mandate to restructure Arizona, impose heavy costs on the existing residents, and underwrite the uninvited aliens’ daily lives.

Before providing for more migrants, Biden should give Arizona’s existing immigrant population a chance to achieve the coveted middle-class lifestyle. Currently, the state’s population is 31.7 percent Hispanic; 27 percent speak a language other than English at home, and the per capital income is $30,700.

Arizonans have mixed opinions about immigration. But they’re near-unanimous that they should have a voice in how federal immigration policy is determined, especially when it expands the state’s total population, and presents more societal challenges. Under the Biden regime, Arizonans, like the rest of America, are on the sidelines watching the illegal immigrant influx continue unabated.

Joe Guzzardi is a Progressives for Immigration Reform analyst who has written about immigration for more than 30 years. Contact him at jguzzardi@pfirdc.org.

Biden Immigration Policy Swamping Arizona
Biden Immigration Policy Swamping Arizona

Economics Drives Migration, Not Violence Or Climate

Economics Drives Migration, Not Violence Or Climate

By Joe Guzzardi


The University of Houston’s Borders, Trade, and Immigration Institute (BTI), a Department of Homeland Security Center of Excellence unit, describes itself as a “a multi-disciplinary team of national and international experts” that works to create “technology-driven solutions, data-informed policies, workforce development opportunities … and trans-disciplinary education.”

Economics Drives Migration

In accordance with its mission to secure U.S. borders, facilitate legitimate trade and travel, and ensure immigration integrity, BTI released its report titled, “Economic Motivations of Migrants from the Northern Triangle.” BTI’s findings would have been valuable to Vice President Kamala Harris prior to her failed trip to Guatemala and Mexico to discuss migration’s root causes, and could have saved her the time, trouble and embarrassment. Based on BTI’s biannual surveys, researchers learned that, overwhelmingly, migrants left their home countries for economic reasons. The causes that the immigration lobby, congressional advocates and refugee resettlement groups most often cite, violence and natural disasters, barely register, if at all. Family reunification ranks second as a pull factor, but significantly behind economics.
 
When BTI asked Salvadorans, Guatemalans and Hondurans to identify the specific cause that prompted them to leave their home countries, 68 percent, 92 percent and 83 percent, respectively, named lack of employment or poor economic conditions. Only in El Salvador did violence register at 19 percent. Natural disasters scored 0 percent across the board.
 
As for the mainstream media’s unfounded claim that fear of violence is the Northern Triangle’s biggest push factor, BTI’s findings repudiated that falsehood. Asked if in the 12 months leading up to migrating, the surveyed person or any family member had actually been a victim of robbery or assault, threats or extortion, intimidation by gangs or criminal groups, religious or political persecution, domestic or family violence, conflicts with another person, homicide of a relative or an acquaintance, or violence in the local community, by a huge margin, often as high as 100 percent, the replies were “no.”
 
BTI found that for Northern Triangle migrants, U.S. employment increases their incomes ten-fold, an irresistible pull factor. Economics are the key, not only to the Northern Triangle job-seeking aliens, but also to the countries that they leave behind that are increasingly remittance-dependent, especially after the steep decline in monies sent back home during the COVID-19 pandemic. Through the first six months of 2020, remittances from El Salvador, Honduras and Guatemala dropped 8 percent, 4.2 percent, and 0.9 percent, respectively, or $219 million, $108 million and $47 million. These totals represent the largest percentage decline since 2009’s first six months when the Great Recession’s effect was felt most severely.
 
Biden’s critics are convinced that his administration has no interest in ending the illegal alien influx. Since Biden created the border surge, enforcement advocates are certain that he has little interest in ending the nation-busting problem, especially since an easy solution is readily at hand – E-Verify, the online program that would require employers to check their new hires’ eligibility. Only U.S. citizens and lawfully present immigrants can keep the jobs that they had recently been hired to perform.
 
For 40 years, government officials have known that jobs are the core attraction not just for Northern Triangle migrants, but from those coming to the U.S. from across the globe. In 1981, the Select Commission on Immigration and Refugee Policy concluded in its final report that “All studies indicate that undocumented/illegal aliens are attracted to this country by U.S. employment opportunities.” The New York Times followed up with an Op-Ed that powerfully reinforced the commission’s findings. The Times wrote that the best illegal immigration deterrent is to “make it harder for them [migrants] to get the jobs that lure them.” In turn, continued The Times, the most efficient way to achieve that goal “is to make it illegal for employers to hire them…. Without effective verification, there can be no effective enforcement of the borders.”
 
Since 1996, a full quarter of a century, Congress has half-heartedly kicked around various versions of E-Verify. None proved acceptable, and the program has never been nationally mandated, a remarkable disregard for national sovereignty and an insult to American workers. Pre-pandemic, U.S. workers had been displaced by about 8 million illegal immigrants of its total 12 million estimated population in nonfarm administrative, construction, manufacturing, leisure and health care jobs. As of 2020, more than 967,000 employers use E-Verify at more than 2.4 million worksites, with 1,500 new participating companies added weekly. Somehow, and to America’s detriment, E-Verify’s free cost, simplicity and its success have left Congress unswayed.
 
 
Joe Guzzardi is a Progressives for Immigration Reform analyst who has written about immigration for more than 30 years. Contact him at jguzzardi@pfirdc.org.

Economics Drives Migration, Not Violence Or Climate
Economics Drives Migration, Not Violence Or Climate

 

New Normal Means Freedom? Don’t Laugh

New Normal Means Freedom? Don’t Laugh

By Lowman S. Henry

The new normal. Of all the COVID-19 pandemic phrases to enter the popular lexicon the past year and a half, this is the one I hated most. That is because of the people who were using the term; folks like Governor Tom Wolf who intended the new normal to be one of extended if not permanent government regulation and control over of our lives.

But events of recent weeks have given rise to hope that the new normal might be one of enhanced freedom and opportunity. Among the lessons learned during the pandemic are that our rights and freedoms are fragile and must be jealously guarded; and that many laws and regulations are barriers to innovation and progress.

Here in Penn’s Woods, one of the most important aspects of the new normal is that never again can a despotic governor wield unchecked power through the endless exercise of emergency declarations. In a historic act, We the People ensured that by amending the state constitution to give our elected lawmakers the clear ability to end such power grabs.

The draconian actions of Governor Tom Wolf laid waste to tens of thousands of small businesses and exiled hundreds of thousands to the unemployment lines and a bureaucracy which itself was marked by chronic ineptitude. We have three branches of government for a reason, and the governor’s predisposition to act without consultation or collaboration made a bad situation infinitely worse.

Thus, for the first time, many people realized the importance and impact a governor can have on our everyday lives.  We also came to fully understand how the third branch of government – the judiciary – can be co-conspirators in stealing our freedoms through activist rulings and essentially re-writing laws.  With elections for statewide judicial offices this year and an open seat election for governor next year we have before us the opportunity to further restore constitutional balance to state government.

During the COIVD-19 pandemic many regulations, particularly those involving the delivery of health care, were relaxed or suspended. In exercising their newly approved constitutional authority to end Governor Wolf’s emergency powers, lawmakers were careful to leave in place the relaxation or suspension of many regulations that expedited the delivery of health care services. Look for new legislation in the coming months to make many of those changes permanent.

At the national level, we learned how important it is to remove regulatory barriers and approval processes slowed by a moribund federal bureaucracy.  The Trump Administration implemented Operation Warp Speed that got the government out of the way and sped up approvals to allow the private sector to develop effective COVID-19 vaccines in record time.  As a result, countless lives have been saved and the pandemic – at least in the USA – has been largely brought under control.

What this has proven is that many of these regulations and approval processes are either not needed or unnecessarily complex and slow. Going forward, reforms need to be implemented to remove these barriers to the development of other pharmaceutical products so we can more quickly make advances in the prevention and treatment of more diseases.

We also learned what does and what does not work. Pennsylvania and other states with dictatorial governors suffered a prolonged and more severe pandemic both medically and economically than did states which took a more hands-off approach. Florida and its Governor Ron DeSantis have emerged as the gold standard of how to handle a pandemic: reasonable caution without excessive government interference.

The COVID-19 pandemic spurred many citizens who otherwise paid scant attention to state government into action. Social media was alive with activists pushing back against Governor Wolf’s draconian policies and many went into the streets attending rallies and protests. Having been awakened, the new normal should include a continuation of this citizen engagement.

But the most important aspect of the new normal is a new appreciation for the old normal. COVID-19 impacted the lives of all of us in one way or another. It closed schools, churches, and community events. It isolated many from family and friends.  Those things we took for granted were suddenly gone.  If nothing else, as all of those things return to the “old normal,” our “new normal” will be to appreciate that “normal” is actually something very special.

Mr. Henry is chairman and CEO of the Lincoln Institute and host of the weekly Lincoln Radio Journal and American Radio Journal

New Normal Means Freedom? Don’t Laugh
New Normal Means Freedom? Don’t Laugh
New Normal Means Freedom

SCOTUS Upholds Immigration Law, Setback for Expansionists

SCOTUS Upholds Immigration Law, Setback for Expansionists

By Joe Guzzardi

On June 7, the Supreme Court of the United States ruled that the immigration program known as Temporary Protected Status – protected from deportation – doesn’t necessarily mean a permanent stay. SCOTUS’ unanimous decision may represent a pause in the Biden administration’s relentless pursuit of never-ending, permanent immigration increases both at the border and, through weakened enforcement, in the interior. One can hope!

SCOTUS Upholds Immigration Law, Setback for Expansionists

The case SCOTUS heard, Sanchez v. Mayorkas, was relatively straightforward. In the 1990s, Jose Santos Sanchez and his wife Sonia Gonzalez illegally entered the United States from El Salvador. The federal government granted them TPS in 2001 when the U.S. included El Salvador as part of the TPS program after that country’s earthquake. TPS allows unlawfully present foreign nationals to remain if conditions are deemed unsafe in their home countries.

For two decades, Republican and Democratic White Houses have on multiple occasions extended El Salvador’s TPS time limits. During those 20 years, Sanchez and Gonzalez stayed in valid TPS status. Sanchez’s employer, a yacht company, also filed a skilled-worker immigration-visa petition on Sanchez’s behalf which was granted.

The government, however, denied the couple’s subsequent application to use the adjustment-of-status process to transition from temporary to permanent residency. Citing the Immigration and Nationality Act’s Section 1255 (a) which restricts the in-country adjustment-of-status process to noncitizens who were “inspected and admitted or paroled into the U.S.,” immigration officials ruled that the couple’s original unauthorized entry disqualified them from obtaining the Green Cards they sought. Neither Sanchez nor Gonzales was inspected, admitted or paroled.

During April arguments, Associate Justice Brett Kavanaugh hinted at the eventual decision: Kavanaugh told lawyers for Sanchez and Gonzales: “We need to be careful about tinkering with the immigration statutes as written, particularly when Congress has such a primary role here. You have an uphill climb.”

In her opinion, Justice Elena Kagan confirmed Kavanaugh’s skepticism when she wrote that “Lawful status and admission… are distinct concepts in immigration law: Establishing one does not necessarily establish the other.” Kagan added that “because a grant of TPS does not come with a ticket of admission, it does not eliminate the disqualifying effect of an unlawful entry.”

SCOTUS’ ruling is the third in recent weeks in which the high court has disagreed with the 9th Circuit Court on immigration law interpretation. Last week, SCOTUS set aside a ruling that presumed immigrants seeking asylum were telling the truth unless an immigration judge found an “explicit” lack of credibility. Earlier, the court ruled immigrants who were once deported could be prosecuted for an unlawful entry, even if their original deportations were questionable.

TPS is one of dozens of immigration programs that devolved from compassionate and well-intended to comically permissive. No rational person would define “temporary” as a 20-year span, the exact period that Sanchez and Gonzales have lived in New Jersey. Whether Sanchez’s employment in the yachting company represents a “skilled” job is likely debatable; Gonzales works at Atlantic City’s Borgata Casino. The couple has American birthright citizenship children.

For Sanchez and Gonzales to return home after 20 years would be disruptive, perhaps cruel. Blame the U.S. government which doesn’t insist that TPS recipients from all nations return home when conditions permit. The devastating impact of El Salvador’s earthquake ended long ago; the country is now a tourism hot spot. The Pew Research Center found that Salvadoran migrants, as well as those from Guatemala and Honduras, identify economic opportunity and reuniting with relatives as the reasons they traveled north, not personal safety. Were Salvadorans with admirable work ethics like Sanchez and Gonzales to return to El Salvador, they could become agents for change in that troubled country.

Since TPS is poorly administered – no one goes home – the program has no credibility. TPS represents a ticket to lifetime U.S. residency. Central Americans who refuse to go home, and the U.S. government that refuses to make them go home after civil wars and natural disasters have ended are, like Sanchez and Gonzalez, holding U.S. jobs that would otherwise be filled by unemployed Americans.

But as expected given its expansionist agenda, the Biden administrationadded Venezuela and Burma to the TPS-eligible list, bringing the total nations to 12, and the total persons covered to more than 600,000. In the government’s eyes, more immigration is always better.

Joe Guzzardi is a Progressives for Immigration Reform analyst who has written about immigration for more than 30 years. Contact him at jguzzardi@pfirdc.org.

SCOTUS Upholds Immigration Law