Congresscritters Personally Ignore Afghans

Congresscritters Personally Ignore Afghans

By Joe Guzzardi

Not content to resettle thousands of Afghan evacuees into reluctant, already-struggling municipalities, Congress wants those cities’ taxpayers, and other Americans, to foot the very hefty bill. At President Biden’s urging, Congress has requested $6.4 billion for transportation, government processing and medical screening for the Afghan nationals after their arrival.

Congresscritters Personally Ignore Afghans

Approximately 65,000 evacuees have landed in the U.S. Of those, some 50,000 are temporarily housed at domestic U.S. military bases, and another 18,000 are waiting their turn at overseas military stations. A nasty measles outbreak among the overseas Afghans prompted the Center for Disease Control and Prevention to ask that outgoing flights to the mainland be temporarily suspended “out of an abundance of caution.” The CDC request to pause flights came too late to spare some Virginia and Wisconsin residents; health officials in both states identified several measles cases among recent Afghan arrivals. Because of an effective vaccination program, the U.S. eliminated measles here two decades ago.

The Biden administration’s haphazard resettlement scheme invites trouble. To begin with, despite Biden’s multiple assurances and reassurances that the arriving Afghans are friends and allies, no one has any idea who most of them are or what their intentions may be. A previously convicted and deported Afghan rapist boarded one of the outbound, U.S.-destined planes, and a second felon was later found aboard an evacuation flight. After examining the State Department’s data, Dr. Nayla Rush, the Center for Immigration Studies’ senior researcher, concluded that “amid the chaos and the urgency, most who got onboard (124,000) had nothing to do with the U.S. government or any of its contractors.” Those lucky few are now referred to as “Afghans at risk,” a newly coined term that Dr. Rush translates as meaning anyone who isn’t a Taliban terrorist.

When the dust swirling about the Afghan crisis settles, many evacuees will head to one of 19 cities that the State Department has designated as suitable landing spots for Afghans, based on living costs but without input from current residents or mayors. Census Bureau Quick Facts’ published findings indicate that most of those cities have their hands full without an influx of Afghans coping with new challenges. Buffalo, one of the 19, had a median household income expressed in 2019 dollars of $37,400; St. Louis, America’s reigning murder capital and a city that urban decay symbolizes, $43,900; and Baltimore, second place behind St. Louis in the murder capital competition, $50,400.

For all their pontificating, hectoring and lecturing Americans about the compelling and immediate need to lend Afghans a helping hand, individuals in Congress who are most financially able to directly assist haven’t lifted a finger. Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders called for the U.S. to open its doors to Afghans after the failed 20-year long war ended. Sanders has three homes – two in Vermont and a Washington, D.C., rowhouse. With his approximate $3 million net worth, Sanders could literally open lots of doors to welcome Afghans.

Along with dozens of senators including Sanders, California’s Dianne Feinstein promoted an easier process for Special Immigrant Visa applicants which would enable them and their families to come more expeditiously to the U.S. But Feinstein, net worth about $90 million, could do much more. Not only could she and her husband Richard Blum, an equity investment manager with a $1 billion net worth, make significant cash donations to the crying-poor resettlement agencies, but could also house several Afghan families. Feinstein and Blum just listed their $41 million Lake Tahoe property, five acres with three houses, 11 bedrooms and nine bathrooms.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, Congress’ fourth richest Californian with a $30 million net worth, has plenty of space for Afghans, especially for the women and girls she’s expressed such concern for on her walled-in, multimillion dollar Napa Valley estate. Pelosi’s neighbor said rich and famous visitors know they’re getting close to the Speaker’s vast compound when they see the black SUVs circling her property “like planes gathering over O’Hare Airport.”

In Congress, talk is cheap. To convince skeptical Americans that they truly want to help newly arrived Afghans, Congress’ elected officials could make a personal show of their compassion by inviting the evacuees to temporarily share their mansions and their abundant wealth. If Congress led by example instead of empty platitudes, Americans might follow along.

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.

Congresscritters Personally Ignore Afghans

Terrible Towel Tender Back Story

Terrible Towel Tender Back Story

By Joe Guzzardi


The 2021 National Football League season is underway. In the Buffalo opener where two of last year’s AFC division champs faced off against each other, the six-time Super Bowl champion Pittsburgh Steelers dispatched the Bills 23-16.

Terrible Towel Tender Back Story

Even though the Steelers played on enemy turf in Buffalo’s Highmark Stadium, the Yinzers felt right at home. The Pittsburgh contingent among the 70,000 football-starved fans encouraged the Steelers by waving thousands of Terrible Towels. Wherever the Steelers play, loyal followers wave their black and gold towels with abandon. No matter the occasion, there’s a towel to match.

Around Pittsburgh or online, fans can buy towels for about $10 that celebrate Thanksgiving, Christmas, Independence Day, Halloween and St. Patrick’s Day. Steelers’ fans have taken their towels to Iraq, Afghanistan, the top of Mount Kilimanjaro, Mount Everest’s peak, the International Space Station, the South Pole, the Great Wall of China and Vatican City. A pink towel, introduced in 2009, promotes breast cancer awareness.

At Heinz Field, a Terrible Towel Wall displays each of the special edition towels for the Steelers’ worldwide, stadium-visiting fans to admire. The towel is hung over televisions and radios during game time, and is often used as a fun drape for pets and babies. When Steelers’ receiver Hines Ward won the 2011 Dancing with the Stars’ Mirrorball Trophy, his former teammate and Hall of Fame running back Franco Harris urged him on by twirling his Terrible Towel.

But few non-Yinzers know the touching legacy behind the towel, which is much more than evidence of Steelers’ excellence, and the team’s passionate fan base. Here’s the towel’s wonderful backstory: Myron Cope, a beloved Steelers’ broadcaster, the team’s voice for 35 years, and a National Radio Hall of Fame member, created the towel in 1975, and it debuted on December 27 in a winning playoff game against the Baltimore Colts. From that moment on, fans and players considered the towel the team’s lucky charm, as the Steelers, in the following weeks, defeated the Oakland Raiders and the Dallas Cowboys, and then won Super Bowl IX, beating the Minnesota Vikings, 16-6. The Steelers’ successful play helped towel sales take off.

In 1996, Cope turned the towel’s trademark over to the Allegheny Valley School (AVS), which has several campuses and group homes throughout Pennsylvania, and operates more than 125 programs across Pennsylvania designed to help the developmentally disabled. Cope’s son, Danny, once attended. Danny, who has never spoken a word and is today 54, enrolled in 1992. Thanks to the loving care he received at AVS, Danny eventually moved on to a meaningful assembly line job at a major snack food company.

AVS receives each penny of profit from towel sales. Cope specifically outlined how the school must spend the proceeds. Each dollar goes to benefit residents and must not go into the general construction fund. The money is earmarked for, among other essentials, specialized wheelchairs and programs that will enable the most challenged to turn on lights or music by merely blinking their eyes. As the school’s then-chief executive officer, Regis Champ, said: “Our needs are daily.”

Steelers’ administration manages the marketing of towels and then cuts a check, usually in the low five figures, payable to the school. When the Steelers play in the Super Bowl, sales often exceed $1 million. Some eager fans have purchased 200 towels at a time. Since Cope donated the Terrible Towel’s trademark, sales have generated more than $3 million for AVS.

As Champ recalled the glorious day that the towel’s rights were transferred to AVS, Cope came into his office with a pile of documents, threw them down on his desk and said, “‘Regis, I’m giving you the Terrible Towel.’ I was speechless. I knew that this would be the legacy that outlived Myron.”

In 2008, Cope, age 79, passed away. His daughter Elizabeth draped Cope’s coffin with a quilt that a fan made out of Terrible Towels and sent to the Cope family. Whether you are a Steelers fan or not, remember that Terrible Towels promote a most worthy cause, helping autistic people get on the road to living normal lives.

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

International Student Enrollment Endures Despite Pandemic

International Student Enrollment Endures Despite Pandemic

By Joe Guzzardi

Amidst COVID-19 chaos and confusion, the new academic year has started. At some institutions, weekly COVID-19 testing for students, including those who are fully vaccinated, and mask requirements, regardless of vaccination status, are required indoors and outdoors. Faculty and staff members are subject to the same rigorous requirements.

International Student Enrollment Endures Despite Pandemic

To help end COVID’s spread, a few universities have implemented rigid protocols. The University of Virginia and Xavier University of Louisiana disenrolled students who refused to get the COVID-19 vaccine prior to the fall semester. Duke University, specifically, stated they will fire unvaccinated faculty, the most extreme punishment that could set a new standard at other universities.

Since concerns about COVID-19 and its Delta variant are so widespread among campuses, the CDC and the Biden administration, issuing F-1 student visas to prospective enrollees from overseas nations struggling with the pandemic too is at odds with the cautionary advice that the establishment endlessly harps on. Nevertheless, more than 55,000 Indian students and exchange visitors will study in the U.S. this year, “an all-time record,” that exceeded pre-pandemic levels, the U.S. embassy boasted. Many more are expected to arrive as the year progresses.

The State Department’s approval of record numbers of Indian student visas is more incomprehensible in light of India’s battle to contain COVID-19. India, with its 1.4 billion population, has recorded more than 33 million COVID-19 cases, and rising, that have led to 442,000 deaths. Secretary of State Tony Blinken has rejected his own pandemic solutions. In his February remarks to the UN Security Council, Blinken urged global-wide participation in a transparent, robust process for preventing and responding to health emergencies, an impossibility for the U.S. if it persists in issuing temporary visas to foreign nationals.

The U.S. is poorly served when it continues to admit thousands from nations still coping with their own COVID-19 crises. India and China are the two largest student-sending nations. Open Doors, which conducts an annual census of international student enrollment in U.S. universities and colleges, reported that for the 2019/2020 academic year, the aggregate total hit 1.075 million arrivals.

Beyond the risky admission of hundreds of thousands of international students that may transmit the virus on the campuses and in the communities where they will reside is the other glaring negative. Republican and Democratic administrations have punished qualified U.S. high school graduates by allowing international students to occupy a fixed number of coveted, but limited, freshman classroom seats.

A partial explanation is that consecutive White Houses, beginning with President Carter up to and including President Biden, have been captured in globalism’s unrelenting grip. The local high school graduate may be a good student with impressive credentials, but the international student is the preferred candidate simply because he satisfies the White House’s globalism-at-all-costs goal.

The remaining, more specific clarification is that colleges and universities obscenely enrich themselves when they accept international students who pay significantly higher enrollment fees. At the University of Wisconsin, for example, instate students pay $10,800 per academic year versus $39,000 for an international student. At Wisconsin, the difference between out-of-state and instate tuition varies by a factor of nearly four, a typical nationwide discrepancy. A 2015 analysis found that the country’s public universities raked in more than $9 billion in foreign student tuition and fees which explains their determination to enroll as many international students as possible.

The quid pro quo for the foreign-born student is that exorbitantly high tuition fees may buy him not only a U.S. college degree, but also a white-collar job and, if he secures a sponsor, eventual permanent residency. Today marks a stark contrast to the original intent of the F-1 visa which didn’t include employment authorization, and required students to return home shortly after completing their coursework. Now, however, international graduates in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) can, through nonstatutory extensions that total 42 months, remain on the Optional Practical Training program (OPT) and get a tech worker job that otherwise might have gone to a worthy American.

Harvard Kennedy school labor economist George Borjas studied the long-term effects of admitting 1 million to-be international college graduates annually, and estimated that after a decade and a half, native-born college grads’ wages would drop by 15 percent. Furthermore, the reduced return on investment of the college education would, over time, translate into a 15 to 30 percent drop in native college enrollment. Wealthy overseas parents could afford to fund their children’s U.S. college education, but for native-born, the lofty tuition would be out of reach.

The winners in International enrollment are the international students, the universities, employers who profit from the cheaper labor that OPT workers provide and the elitists like immigration lawyers who promote but don’t suffer from endless immigration’s adverse consequences. The losers: high school students who, because of 1 million high-paying international students, are unfairly shut out from a college education opportunity; U.S. workers, especially minorities, displaced from their jobs in an over-immigration loosened labor market, and sovereign America.

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.

International Student Enrollment Endures Despite Pandemic

International Student Enrollment Endures Despite Pandemic

Pedal to the Metal For Afghan Resettlement

Pedal to the Metal For Afghan Resettlement

By Joe Guzzardi
 

The State Department has designated 19 U.S. cities as acceptable for refugee resettlement which made the Biden administration’s resettlement policy clear: pedal to the metal; damn the torpedoes, full-speed ahead. Afghan resettlement deserves maximum caution; the administration took the opposite road. The official argument for speedy resettlement is that our allies – those who purportedly worked side-by-side with the American military – are in grave danger, and must be airlifted out of Kabul immediately. No doubt, there’s some truth in that assessment. But Americans want guarantees that only friends receive invitations.

Pedal to the Metal For Afghan Resettlement

Since Americans are, by and large, trusting people who want to help at-risk strangers, most would be accepting of new refugees if confident that they had been properly vetted, and the good guys were weeded out from the bad guys. The White House assures a wary public that incoming refugees are being processed by “intelligence professionals or law enforcement officials.” The Biden administration insists the vetting is “rigorous,” and dedicated officials are working “around the clock” to safely process Afghan refugees.

Safely vetting 83,000 refugees in a matter of hours is impossible. Wisconsin Sen. Ron Johnson, a Republican, visited his home state’s Fort McCoy where Maj. Gen. Darrell Guthrie told him that many incoming refugees had no identification and weren’t Special Immigrant Visa holders. The administration classifies unidentified Afghans as part of a vulnerable population, are therefore granted humanitarian parole – once a rarely used DHS option, but now commonplace – and are admitted, no questions asked. Afghan advocates are lobbying for a 50,000-person humanitarian parole.

Biden’s resettlement strategy is slipshod, begs for abuse and could lead to tragic homeland consequences. Comprehensive refugee vetting is a six-step process that, according to the UN High Commissioner for Refugees’ website, should take between 18 and 24 months. First, the prospective refugee must register with the UN High Commissioner for Refugees who refers the individual to a U.S. Embassy. Then, the State Department steps in, and begins several security checks carried out through myriad federal security agencies.

The State Department’s Bureau of Population, Refugees and Migration will partner with other agencies to create an Overseas Processing Entity, a document ultimately given to a U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services officer. Eventually, the officer interviews the refugee face-to-face to determine if he can be resettled. Finally, the case returns to the Bureau of Population, Refugees and Migration for the final approval, subject to medical screening. The bottom line on faux vetting: the Taliban controls the U.S. Embassy. Documents that might help validate refugee petitions are inaccessible or have been destroyed. Anything other fable that the establishment elites’ offer up is smoke and mirrors.

Blood has been shed of Americans and innocent Afghans; trillions of dollars have been squandered, and countless establishment lies over two decades have been told and shamelessly retold. After American deaths, mountainous waste and brazen deceit, Biden adds insult to injury when he boasts about airlifting Afghans out of Kabul while citizens are left behind. Then, Biden, having done irreparable damage, forces his poorly managed resettlement plan on a skeptical public still coping with COVID-19’s fallout.

Although Americans never voted on the potentially nation-altering resettlement, taxpayers will fund the hundreds of millions of dollars the process requires over a multi-year period. No administration official has sought the opinions of the residents who live in the 19 cities. The administration is brazenly indifferent to deep doubts about the hasty decision to aimlessly resettle Afghan nationals. The refugees are, like it or not, on the way. Resettlement Biden-style is potentially a deadly Russian Roulette game of chance where Americans could be the victims.

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.

Pedal to the Metal For Afghan Resettlement

Volags Getting Refugee Rich

Volags Getting Refugee Rich

By Joe Guzzardi
 

The State Department recently identified 19 U.S. cities as preferred destinations for Afghan refugees. Chosen because they’re “locations with reasonable cost of living, housing availability, supportive services, and welcoming communities with volunteers and resources,” the list includes Cleveland, Buffalo, Philadelphia, St. Louis and Baltimore, as well as other Southwest and Rocky Mountain cities like Salt Lake, Denver and Phoenix.

Volags Getting Refugee Rich

The usual suspects – the White House, the media, the bicoastal elites, 100 percent of congressional Democrats, and 80 percent of virtue-signaling congressional Republicans, a rough estimate based on how few in the GOP have objected – can barely contain their glee over what promises to be, at least in the initial refugee wave, between 22,000 and 30,000 Afghan arrivals. Even former President Donald Trump, who slashed refugee resettlement to historically low annual levels, advocated for resettling Afghans who assisted U.S. military, a category that’s broad enough to include office personnel and other nonessential workers.

But few are more thrilled than the “volunteers and resources” groups noted above, also known as “volags” – voluntary agencies – the so-called faith-based organizations, often disparagingly called the refugee resettlement industry. In her 2018 research report compiled from the latest publicly available data, senior researcher Dr. Nayla Rush of the Center for Immigration Studies found that the federal government funded the nine major U.S. volags at the rate of 58 percent to 97 percent. Taxpayer funds go to provide refugees support with housing, food, clothing, community orientation, English lessons, enrollment in various benefits and welfare programs, referral to social service providers including health care, and employment. Volags’ chief operating officers earned, at the time of Dr. Rush’s research, annual salaries that range from a low of $132,000 to a high of $671,749.

Although many resettlement workers may be motivated by good intentions, the indisputable conclusion is that, since volags are reimbursed on a per-capita basis, fewer refugees also mean fewer jobs and less income for the agencies and their employees. Logically, volags anticipate that the Afghan crisis represents a potential pot of post-Trump gold, and are pressuring Biden to expedite the maximum total of refugees. As Lutheran Immigration and Refugee Service’s president and CEO Krish O’Mara Vignarajah candidly said, “We’ve been screaming from the rooftops for months now that we need to get these allies to Guam or another U.S. territory.”

Earlier this summer, the Senate, in anticipation of what it knew would be a significant Afghan refugee influx, unanimously passed a bill that provided $1 billion toward easing the Special Immigrant Visa (SIV) application process. SIVs are issued to nationals of countries who have assisted U.S. military forces, often as translators. To coincide with the Senate bill, the State Department announced that it would confer Priority-2 (P-2) designation that grants access for permanent U.S. residency to certain Afghan nationals and their eligible family members that don’t or haven’t yet qualified for SIVs. Included would be Afghans who worked for U.S. government contractors, for U.S.-funded programs, or U.S.-based media or nongovernmental organizations, as well as their families.

John Kirby, assistant to the Secretary of Defense for Public Affairs, enthusiastically proclaimed that “we want to have the capacity to get up to several thousand immediately and want to be prepared for the potential of tens of thousands….We’re going to focus on getting as many folks [Afghan refugees] out as we can.” What total “many folks” might climb to, no one can predict. In a letter to Biden, U.S. representatives Barbara Lee (Calif.) and Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (NY) urged the president to set the refugee cap at “no less than 200,000,” an increase of nearly 140,000 from the 62,500 established for 2021, and many thousands more than the 125,000 the White House previously said it would seek in 2022. Other advocates want 1.2 million Afghans resettled.
In Congress, the progressive caucus speaks loudly, and has significant sway with its receptive audience in the White House. Reaching 200,000 refugees in fiscal 2022 sounds like a stretch, but it would be consistent with the Biden administration’s America-Last agenda which has been on full display at the Southwest border since Day 1.
 
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.

Volags Getting Refugee Rich

Volags Getting Refugee Rich

Americans Fund Afghan, Border Blunders

Americans Fund Afghan, Border Blunders

By Joe Guzzardi

No sooner had the Taliban taken control of Kabul than the establishment demanded that thousands of Afghans be given immediate U.S. resettlement privileges. Allegedly, and likely at least partially accurate, some Afghans are friendly to the U.S. government, and worked with American military. Now, so goes the standard patter, with our allies’ lives reportedly endangered, the Biden administration has a moral duty to invite them to America to find safe haven.

Americans Fund Afghan, Border Blunders

In a bitter irony, the most passionate cry to immediately resettle Afghans came from former President George W. Bush whose fallacious “weapons of mass destruction” claim first drew the U.S. military into a 20-year long Middle East quagmire. Bush, a devoted immigration expansionist, urged Biden to “cut the red tape” to expedite Afghans’ safe and secure exit out of the now Taliban-controlled country.

As the old English proverb goes, and as history has proven, “There’s many a slip ‘twixt the cup and the lip.” The first hurdle in a resettlement plan is President Biden’s demonstrated inability to effectively manage any immigration-related issue. The Southern U.S. Border, where last month a 21-year high of 210,000 aliens crossed, is the most shocking example, but other instances, all still in progress, are Biden’s unconstitutional refusal to enforce existing immigration law, his proposed 96 percent budget reduction in border security assets and his gutting of Immigration and Customs Enforcement, the agency that protects the interior. Given Biden’s dismal immigration track record, only the most naïve could assume that his State or Homeland Security Departments could successfully vet tens of thousands of Afghans.

To be clear, fair-minded Americans want to help allies who have supported us in the extended Afghan War. But Americans don’t want the Afghan Special Immigration Visa (SIV) program to devolve into a similar situation to that of the fraud-ridden Iraqi SIV program. In June, Reuters reportedthat 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.

Despite documented fraud in the Iraqi SIV program, Biden initiated a similar program for Afghanistan. The Department of Defense reportedly will, post-Kabul, place 30,000 Afghan refugees in Wisconsin’s Ft. McCoy and Texas’ Ft. Bliss. Assistant to the Secretary of Defense for Public Affairs John Kirbyannounced that, “We want to have the capacity to get up to several thousand immediately, and want to be prepared for the potential of tens of thousands.” Kirby’s inevitable undertaking will cost American taxpayers tens of billions of dollars.

The border crisis is expected to result this year in 2 million aliens, unvetted and some COVID-19 positive, allowed into the country. On August 17, the Department of Homeland Security unveiled a new “Case Management Pilot Program” to pay cities, counties and nongovernmental organizations to offer “cultural orientation,” medical screening, mental health services, legal orientation programs and other assistance for illegal immigrants who have been caught and released. U.S. taxpayers will fully fund the administration’s program, a version of which the Trump administration canceled because of cost inefficiency.

The 2 million-plus border surge, added to the as-yet-undetermined tens of thousands of Afghan refugees that will be resettled, will ensure that the nation’s transformation will continue unabated. Census Bureau datashowed that immigration, births to immigrants, the opioid epidemic and lower-than-anticipated birthrates among millennials after the Great Recession have contributed to a more diverse America.

The border fiasco and the Afghanistan mess are the direct consequences of wholly misguided, power-crazed elitists and inept military leadership. But, as always, Americans pay the financial tab and must adapt to whatever cultural changes and fallout that accompany the irresponsible politics that Washington, to citizens’ detriment, insists on forcing upon them.

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.

Americans Fund Afghan, Border Blunders

Americans Fund Afghan, Border Blunders

Woke Against Democracy

Woke Against Democracy

By Joe Guzzardi

On July 28, The New York Times published an op-ed titled, “There Is No Good Reason You Should Have to Be a Citizen to Vote.” The Times described Atossa Araxia Abrahamian’s opinion piece as “part of a series [‘Snap Out of It, America’] exploring bold ideas to revitalize and renew the American experiment.”

Boldrevitalize and renew are the misleading words that the Times chose instead of the more accurate: radicalaudacious and subversive. The American experiment that the Times boasts proudly of championing is overthrowing America’s existing, time-honored voting system which legally excludes voting rights for noncitizens.

Woke Against Democracy

Abrahamian, the Canadian born author of “The Cosmopolites: The Coming of the Global Citizen,” and who holds Swiss and Iranian citizenship, proposes, among other extreme concepts, that voting rights be given to foreign nationals residing in the U.S. on temporary work visas, and Green Card holders. Those immigrant categories would include non-English speakers and those who have briefly lived in the U.S. Ironically, Abrahamian’s proposal would also extend to illegal aliens who have knowingly and willingly broken U.S. law, and presumably would also be granted to the estimated 2 million aliens who will surge the Southwest Border this year.

The Illegal Immigration Reform and Immigrant Responsibility Act of 1996, however, expressly barred noncitizens from voting. But the 1996 act has been steadily chipped away at and criminally disregarded. A San Francisco 2016 referendum joined a few other municipalities to give illegal immigrants voting privileges in local school board elections. The supporting argument was that about one-third of San Francisco school district pupils had foreign-born parents. Whether those parents were legally present was not part of the debate. Advocates also speciously argued that participating in the electoral process gives unlawfully present immigrants a greater sense of community involvement.

Illegal immigrants have, fraudulently and feloniously, registered to vote and have cast possibly deciding ballots in federal elections. In its essay, “Aliens and Voter Fraud,” the Center for Immigration Studies wrote that when Old Dominion University (ODU) and George Mason University (GMU) researchers analyzed noncitizen participation rates from the Cooperative Congressional Election Studies’ 2008 and 2010 data, they estimated that roughly 620,000 noncitizens were registered to vote prior to the 2008 election.

The researchers then turned their attention to the 2008 North Carolina presidential results as well as to the Minnesota senate race. By comparing the noncitizen turnout to the vote margin needed to win the elections, ODU and GMU analysts concluded that noncitizen voting likely won the elections for the Democratic Party candidates in both instances. In the North Carolina election, the ODU and GMU authors wrote that “it is likely … that John McCain would have won North Carolina were it not for the votes for Obama cast by noncitizens.”

The Minnesota senate election was one of the most crucial congressional races in the 2008 election cycle, given that it ensured a 60-vote filibuster-proof Democratic majority. Notably, after a mandatory recount, and eight months after Election Day, 312 votes determined the Senate winner. Highlighting the paper-thin margin in which Democrat candidate Al Franken defeated Republican incumbent Norm Coleman, the authors wrote that “participation by more than 0.65 percent of noncitizens in MN is sufficient to account for the entirety of Franken’s margin. Our best guess is that nearly ten times as many [noncitizens] voted.”

A University of Alabama study, “Immigration Status, Immigrant Family Ties, and Support for the Democratic Party,” concluded that immigrants, their children and theirgrandchildren are all more likely than Americans without close immigrant relatives to support the Democratic Party. If the entire illegal alien and temporary resident population were granted voting rights, Abrahamian’s goal, years if not decades will pass before the GOP won enough federal elections to make a difference.

To all but the woke, a group that includes the Times, globalist Abrahamian and far too many Washington, D.C., elites, sovereign American and inalienable voting rights that go with citizenship are treasured values to defend, fight and die for.

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.

Woke Against Democracy

Woke Against Democracy

Border Surge And Drought Are Incompatible

Border Surge And Drought Are Incompatible

By Joe Guzzardi

The federal government’s U.S. Drought Monitor indicates that nearly half the nation is suffering from abnormally dry drought conditions. States in the West are the most adversely affected, but parts of the Midwest and the East are classified as experiencing extreme, severe or moderate drought. The Pacific Northwest had not seen a spring this dry since 1924, and this is the second driest March to June on record for Washington, Oregon and Idaho.

Border Surge And Drought Are Incompatible

In California and Nevada, reservoirs are low, approaching but not quite matching 2012 to 2016 levels. Continued drying increases wildfire risk throughout the region, reflected in several recent out-of-control incidents in northern California, which has more than 200 vulnerable communities. The Dixie Fire, California’s second largest in the state’s history, destroyed iconic Greenville, burned hundreds of homes and forced evacuations in the adjacent 48,000 acres. As of August 8, Dixie has torched more than 463,000 acres and is only 21 percent contained.

Nevada and California, both states in 100 percent drought conditions that range from moderate to exceptional, had record warm temperatures in June which escalated the severe effects, including fire potential, water temperature impacts on fish and increased evaporative demand. Drought impacts on pasture conditions, ecosystem health, water supply, recreation and fire potential have intensified and expanded.

Just as the National Weather Service predicts no relief in sight, neither do population analysts foresee a reduction of the numbers of new arrivals that will drink, cook with, bathe in, irrigate or flush with the increasingly scarce water normally available for everyday activities. California Gov. Gavin Newsom asked residents to voluntarily cut water use by 15 percent. Many but not all will comply. Posh resorts, golf clubs, baseball diamonds, college football fields as well as the rich and famous like the Kardashians likely won’t do their share. Post-pandemic California anticipates millions of visitors this summer season, and through 2023. Out-of-state tourists who pay an average $2,757 per week to visit California may take their 15-minute shower and opt for freshly laundered linens.

Whether California residents heed Newsom or whether visitors pay attention to their lodgings’ pleas to consume less water is beyond anyone’s control. But controlling the millions of future water consumers pouring across the Southwest border is well within the federal government’s power. At the current pace, by the end of his first year in office President Biden will have overseen and unconstitutionally sanctioned the unlawful entry of more than 2 million illegal immigrants. Add those 2 million to the autopilot annual 1 million lawful permanent residents and hundreds of thousands who arrive on employment-based visas but rarely return home, and more than 3 million new arrivals will join the country’s already overcrowded 330 million.

Here’s the simple formula: too many people will equal not enough water. Some areas have been dramatically hurt by too little water, and too rapid population growth. The Texas Commission on Environmental Equality found that since 1940 the population of the 10 largest sister cities that straddle the U.S.-Mexican border, an arid region already short of water, has exploded twentyfold, from 560,000 people to roughly 10 million today.

Without taking into consideration the ongoing border surge, the Census Bureau predicts that the nation’s mid-century population will exceed 400 million, a 25 percent increase from today’s level, and about 90 percent driven by immigrants and births to immigrants.

Don’t blame immigrants for the water crisis. The Biden administration graciously invited border crossers to live in the U.S., and Department of Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Majorkas facilitated their safe and orderly dispersal throughout the nation. After immigration officials apprehend the aliens, they’re released into the interior, often on charter flights. Eventually, they’ll receive the government’s full complement of affirmative benefits. Those who have come, and those who will continue to come. are here to stay. But the water that they’ll need can’t be manufactured. The looming, acute water shortage will create a hard time for all, immigrants and citizens alike.

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.

Border Surge And Drought Are Incompatible

Border Surge And Drought Are Incompatible

Gov Lamm Supported Sensible Immigration

Gov Lamm Supported Sensible Immigration

By Joe Guzzardi 

On July 29, Richard D. Lamm, Colorado’s three-term governor, 1975-1987, died of complications from a pulmonary embolism. He was a week away from his 86th birthday. Lamm was a Democrat who earned his J.D. degree from the University of California, Berkeley, served in the U.S. Army and became an attorney for the Colorado Anti-Discrimination Commission. Once his third gubernatorial term ended, Lamm was executive director of the University of Denver’s Center for Public Policy, and wrote several books.

Gov Lamm Supported Sensible Immigration

During his 12 years as Colorado’s governor, Lamm spoke out unflinchingly about the issues most important to him – protecting the fragile environment, defending women’s rights and promoting commonsense immigration. Lamm, who criticized overdevelopment and the relentless sprawl it spawns, opposed Interstate 470, a proposed circumferential highway around the Denver Metropolitan area. Years later, and because of never-ending development, the highway was built. Today, Denver has some of the nation’s most congested highways, and much of Colorado’s open spaces are a distant memory as housing projects have paved over what was once rural land. Lamm knew and loved Colorado’s countryside; in 1974, running on his campaign to limit growth, he walked across the state to promote his platform.

Because it adds millions of new residents to the U.S.’s population annually, Lamm, unlike many Democrats with similar academic and professional credentials, bluntly criticized federal immigration policy as ill-conceived, destructive to the environment and harmful to low-wage American workers.

In 2003, Lamm gave his most widely known speech, “I Have a Plan to Destroy America.” At the time of Lamm’s speech, Congress had passed the Immigration Reform and Control Act of 1986, and the Immigration Act of 1990. Republican presidents Ronald Reagan and George H.W. Bush had signed the two legislative acts that opened the borders to more illegal immigration, and created more employment-based visas that, over the last three decades, helped displace millions of American low- and high-skilled workers.

Presciently, Lamm foresaw immigration’s growing, detrimental effect on the U.S., as well as the amassed power that its advocates had on Congress and the media. Lamm’s eight-point program, which he subtitled “and many parts of it are underway,” include, despite multiculturalism’s multiple global failures, making America a bilingual, bicultural country; encouraging immigrants to maintain their own language and culture instead of, as previous immigrant waves did, assimilating; ensuring that the fastest growing demographic is the least educated, thereby creating a second, permanent underclass; getting big business and powerful foundations to donate huge sums toward promoting ethnic identity, victimology and diversity. Lamm’s most compelling point noted that all of his above observations must be treated as “off limits…taboo.” Make sure that opposition is squelched on unfounded xenophobe and racist charges that end debate. Because immigration was “once good,” Lamm predicted that its advocates would insist that it “must always be good.” Lamm anticipated that the immigration-related problems he identified in 2003 would grow worse over the years to come.

Although often at odds with Lamm, especially about immigration, the Denver Post’s editorial board wrote a mostly gracious commentary about the former governor, and referred to him as “a kind, humble and generous man…. a man of conviction… whose policy on immigration was drastically different from that of the modern Democratic Party.…”

I knew Dick from several Washington, D.C., conferences where we met, began and maintained a friendship. On a trip to Denver years ago, Dick and his wife, Dottie, invited me to their home for dinner. Dottie, once a Colorado U.S. Senate candidate, Dick and I spoke about his 2003 speech, and bemoaned how much of it had come true.

Dick enjoyed a long, full life. In an era where most politicians speak double talk or test which way the wind blows before addressing a crowd, Dick spoke his mind even when he knew his foes were ready to pounce. As the Postwrote: “Colorado will be poorer without him here offering his unvarnished and genuine takes on the most important policies of our time.”

Governor Lamm’s many allies in the uphill climb for stable, sustainable population and manageable immigration will deeply miss his strong, rational voice. The fierce battle that Dick predicted will be more challenging without him.

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.

Gov Lamm Supported Sensible Immigration

Countless Biden Ploys To Immigration Increases

Countless Biden Ploys to Immigration Increases

By Joe Guzzardi

In the criminal justice system, parole means a prisoner’s early release, pursuant to certain conditions, from his sentence. But in immigration law, parole has a different meaning. The Immigration and Nationality Act (INA) authorizes the federal government to exercise discretion to temporarily allow certain otherwise inadmissible aliens applying for admission at a port of entry to physically enter the United States even if they have no legal basis for admission.

Countless Biden Ploys To Immigration Increases

Typically, DHS only grants parole, and limits it to individuals outside the United States, if the agency determines that there are urgent humanitarian needs or a tangible public benefit. Parolees, legally considered arriving aliens, are expected to depart when their authorized time periods lapse.

Another parole category is parole-in-place, available to some aliens already residing in the U.S., and often living with their illegally present family members. For the fortunate aliens who are paroled in place, they receive lifetime valid work permits, Social Security numbers and other affirmative benefits like driver’s licenses. As originally written, parole in place can only be granted on a case-by-case basis. But the Obama administration, unable to pass comprehensive immigration reform, began to use parole as a cover to give amnesty to small groups, a little bit at a time.

In October 2013, then-President Obama ignored separation of powers, and granted amnesty via parole to small groups of illegally present aliens: illegal alien spouses, children and parents of military personnel and veterans, as well as certain relatives of those who entered under the Visa Waiver program, itself badly in need of stricter oversight. Obama had earlier tipped his hand about his willingness to go around Congress when he signed off on deferred action for childhood arrivals, DACA, the program that eventually gave 650,000 aliens temporary status and work permission.

In March, parole once again jumped to the forefront of immigration news. The Biden administration announced that it would “reinstitute and improve” the Central American Minors Refugee/Parole program (CAM) that Obama initiated in 2014, but that President Trump ended in 2017. Interviewed by George Stephanopoulos on ABC News, Biden personally proclaimed that Northern Triangle migrants need not go through the hazardous and costly process of paying traffickers. Soon his administration would send Department of Homeland Security and Health and Human Services representatives to El Salvador, Honduras and Guatemala to process asylum petitions in person. Biden: “And the process of getting set up, and it’s not gonna take a whole long time, is to be able to apply for asylum in place. So don’t leave your town or city or community.”

Under Biden, who ignores immigration law and has looked the other way as thousands of worldwide foreign nationals have walked in, parole is poised to become a much larger challenge for keeping immigration at levels the nation can support. Criminals are well-aware of the ease of entry at the Southwest border. At the Rio Grande Valley border sector, Customs and Border Protection reported a 380 percent increase in criminal alien arrests over last year’s total. And what CBP calls “gotaways” have spiked 156 percent since 2020.

Biden has disregarded the American majority and provided an immigration policy diametrically opposed. The parole authority is broad, without statuary limitations, and therein lay abuse opportunities that the Biden administration will take advantage of.

Combined with executive actions and executive orders on immigration, parole is a dangerous tool that allows the sitting president to circumvent Congress, and carry out his immigration vision unilaterally. Conceivably, Biden could decide to grant parole to millions of illegal immigrants, an action that’s consistent with his proven, open borders immigration agenda.

In his reckless rush to admit as many foreign nationals as possible in the shortest time period, Biden’s power grab has exposed citizens to public health risks, added to U.S. workers’ job concerns and further endangered the environment. Americans want a meaningful immigration process – one that enforces congressionally written and passed laws that the U.S. president dutifully signed.
 

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.

Countless Biden Ploys To Immigration Increases

Countless Biden Ploys To Immigration Increases