Black Caucus Ignores Wage Gap Solutions

Black Caucus Ignores Wage Gap Solutions

By Joe Guzzard

The Martin Luther King, Jr. holiday came and went, as it always does, without a peep from the Congressional Black Caucus about how the influential U.S. representatives could most help African-Americans. If the powerful Caucus, 58 members strong, would demand an immigration pause, black Americans could close the earnings gap between them and other ethnic groups, mostly whites, that has plagued them for at least seven decades.

Economists at the Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis found that: “No progress has been made in reducing income and wealth inequalities between black and white households over the past 70 years.” Similar research from the Federal Reserve’s Survey of Consumer Finances showed that the median net worth of black households in 2016 was $17,150, while the same statistic at the same time period for white families was $171,000, nearly ten times as high.

Inarguably, more employment-authorized immigration weakens labor markets, and puts downward pressure on wages – the supply and demand law at its most basic. Unchecked immigration also gives cheap, labor-addicted corporations license to under-pay immigrants who need jobs but have limited skills.

In his January 10 Chicago TribuneOp-Ed, “A Major Culprit in the Wage Gap between Blacks and Whites is America’s Immigration Policy,” Frank Morris noted that when the Congressional Black Caucus votes in unison to expand immigration and to authorize more guest worker employment-based visas, they’re rejecting the counsel of earlier black heroes. Morris, drawing in part from Roy Beck’s recently published book, “Back of the Hiring Line,” wrote that during the decades following the Civil War, black leaders like social reformer Frederick Douglass, civil rights champion W.E.B. Du Bois, activist Marcus Garvey and labor unionist A. Philip Randolph who, in 1925, organized and led the Brotherhood of Sleeping Car Porters, the first successful African-American led labor union, all favored restricting immigration to help free enslaved people and their descendants. As Du Bois said, in words that ring as true today as they did then, stopping the importation of cheap labor “on any terms has been the economic salvation of American black labor.”

Black Caucus Ignores Wage Gap Solutions

Not only have blacks in Congress, as well as state and local governments’ black elected officials, turned a deaf ear to historically prominent figures like Douglass, Du Bois, Garvey and Randolph, but they’ve also ignored Coretta Scott King, Martin’s widow who is often referred to as “The First Lady of the Civil Rights Movement.” In 1991, after the 1986 Immigration Reform and Control Act passed with employer sanctions that penalized hiring illegal immigrants, the Senate began drafting provisions that would weaken those sanctions, and dilute interior enforcement. King and other black community leaders wrote to then-U.S. Sen. Orin Hatch (R- Utah) to urge that he postpone the introduction of his employer sanctions repeal legislation. The group wanted an opportunity to prove to the Senate that a repeal would have a devastating effect on the economic livelihood of low-skilled workers, a disproportionate percentage of whom were African-American and Hispanic. King’s efforts to persuade Hatch were unsuccessful. For more than 30 years, illegal immigrant labor has, just as King feared, severely affected blacks, Hispanics and other minorities, and has denied them an opportunity to move up and into the middle class.

The CBC has abandoned its constituency, choosing to support foreign nationals. Instead of helping struggling blacks, the CBC actively hurts them. The caucus accepts without criticism the current illegal alien border surge which will eventually loosen the labor market when the aliens are paroled with work permits. The caucus votes as a block in favor of immigration-expansion legislation including amnesty for millions, and it promotes paths to citizenship for deferred action and temporary protected status holders. American blacks are excluded from CBC’s progressive agenda which guarantees that, for years to come, the wage gap between African-Americans and whites will remain unchanged.


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.

Black Caucus Ignores Wage Gap Solutions

Throwing Money At Migration Means More Failure

Throwing Money At Migration Means More Failure

By Joe Guzzardi

Vice President Kamala Harris, doubtlessly growing exasperated by the criticism she’s received for neglecting her Southwest border duties, called on Wall Street chief executive officers to help her sort out immigration problems. The summoned executives came from prominent commercial banks like J P Morgan Chase and Citigroup, as well as industry titans from Microsoft, Chobani, PepsiCo Latin America, Cargill and Airbnb.

In early January, Harris announced more than $1.2 billion in new funding to address, as she so often calls it, the “root causes” of migration to the United States. The concept is to foster more economic opportunity in the Northern Triangle countries of Honduras, Guatemala and El Salvador to deter illegal immigration. Harris made the announcement during a roundtable with the CEOs. Offering a preview of Harris’ announcement to reporters, a Senior White House representative praised “her leadership, her vision.”

A more complete analysis of the promised funding is that it represents a major commitment by the big businesses, but no money has been invested yet, no jobs have been created, and no one even knows if the subsidy, assuming it ever gets off the ground, will have the promised effect – deterring illegal immigration. A look back at history suggests that Harris’ throw-money-at-the-problem plan is doomed to fail, and colossally.

Not that long ago, in 2015 to be exact, and under exactly the identical circumstances of border surging that included large numbers of unaccompanied minors, the Obama administration proposed a huge investment in the Northern Triangle countries. Then-Vice-President Joe Biden wrote a New York Times op-ed titled “A Plan for Central America” which envisioned “systematic change” that would stabilize neighborhoods to reduce crime, encourage investments and create more effective tax collections among local governments. Biden promised that the Obama administration’s financial support would end “endemic violence and poverty.”

In his op-ed, Biden also compared the Obama administration’s proposed team up with the Alliance for Prosperity to the 1999 Plan Colombia, a failed six-year, $9 billion anti-drug experiment. By 2006, the State Department, then under President George Bush’s direction, shifted its funding to Mexico, and the Merida Initiative with part of its funding designated for Central America. The initiative promised to curtail “the illicit flow of drugs, people, arms, and cash,” a vow that has been broken virtually since the moment the ink dried on the pact.

Throwing Money At Migration Means More Failure

In 2010, the Central America program was separated from the Merida Initiative, and repackaged as CARI. From 2008 to 2013, the Merida Initiative and CARI received more than $2 billion and $574 million in federal funding, respectively. But CARI did nothing to stem violence or to reduce the migrant surge into the U.S. If anything, the opposite happened. In Honduras and Guatemala, homicide rates climbed steadily as U.S. funding for militarization via CARI began to flow. Honduras sent the largest number of kids to the U.S. border, followed by Guatemala. In 2012, two full years into CARI, there were 7,172 recorded homicides in Honduras, marking the most violent year in the country’s recent history. Murders in Honduras have since declined, but are still an unacceptably high at 3,496 in 2020.

Over the years, the U.S. has poured billions of dollars into the Northern Triangle countries with little to show for the money invested. Thousands of poetic words have been spoken and written like Biden’s and Harris’ about U.S. commitment to help the Northern Triangle nations help themselves. But Harris, the so-called border czar knows, as well as anyone, that with the borders wide open and beckoning, no amount of money or posturing, flowery editorials or public relations-written canned speeches will stop traffickers from bringing drugs and humans north. The National Center for Health Statistics reported that drug overdose deaths in the U.S. during 2020 soared 31 percent to 91,977. Sex trafficking for profit is big business, but prosecutions for those crimes are rare. Through its willful neglect, the Biden and Harris administration encourages trafficking despite its tragic and preventable cost in American lives.

As of early January 2022, the White House has given no indication that it will stop the huge inflow – a record high 1.7 million-plus during 2021 – of mainly poor, unskilled and under-educated migrants. Few fault migrants for wanting to improve their lives. But the unasked and therefore unanswered question is what will happen to education, health care, housing and myriad social challenges if, as appears probable, those waves of migrants continue coming. The latest Census Bureau data indicates that the U.S. has 37 million people that it classifies as living in poverty, and millions of Americans unemployed or underemployed. Struggling Americans are nowhere on the Biden administration’s radar.

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.

Throwing Money At Migration Means More Failure

MLB Lockout Is Billionaires Versus Multimillionaires

MLB Lockout Is Billionaires Versus Multimillionaires

By Joe Guzzardi

Major League Baseball’s player lockout had no sooner begun than commissioner Rob Manfred sent a letter to fans attempting to assuage ire about the possibility of another partial season – the sixth in 50 years – or even no season at all.

Fans can read through Manfred’s letter, but cutting through its tedious gobbledygook, the bottom line is that the billionaire owners, who preside over a multibillion-dollar industry, want to keep as much of their fortune as possible. The players, many of them already multi-millionaires, want to earn oodles more even sooner. MLB has at least ten billionaire owners; four of them have a net worth that exceeds $2 billion. The New York Yankees are the wealthiest team; it’s valued at $5.25 billion.

From a list of the 20 richest players that includes the active, the retired and the disgraced, their net worth ranges from a low of $80 million – CC Sabathia – to the highest – Alex Rodriguez – $350 million. In 2021, the average player’s salary was $4.2 million, nearly a two-fold increase since 2003, while the 2019 median household income was $69,000. The minimum MLB salary for an eight-month work schedule is $570,000. Fans have no rooting interest in the confrontation between owners and players; a pox on both their houses is a commonly heard rebuttal to clashes between the billionaires and the millionaires.

MLB Lockout Is Billionaires Versus Multimillionaires

Baseball is in trouble, not a news flash, but an indisputable fact that should grow more worrisome to the commissioner, the owners and the players. On the field, a single game illustrates baseball’s woes: the World Series, 1960, game seven, Pittsburgh Pirates against the New York Yankees: a day game, played on grass, that the Pirates won, 10-9. Even though the teams scored 19 runs, and combined for 26 hits, the game wrapped up in a tidy 2:36.

Today’s fans, especially the younger ones that baseball desperately needs as it plods forward, find the games too long and too boring. The average length of nine-inning games in 2021 was a record 3:10, compared to about 2 hours and 30 minutes in the 1970s. Games in the 2021 postseason were even longer. The average length of a nine-inning game was 3 hours and 37 minutes with nine of the 36 games grinding endlessly on four hours or longer.

The major culprit is the number of pitchers used in a game. The 2020 rule which requires that, barring injury, a pitcher must face a minimum of three batters or complete an inning before he can be removed is ineffective. In the 2021 regular season teams used a record 3.4 relief pitchers per game. In the postseason, nearly half the starting pitchers were yanked before the sixth inning which boosted the average number of relievers summoned in a nine-inning game to 4.3. No surprise then that last 30 World Series games have all ended past 11 p.m. EDT. Back in 1960, the Pirates finished off the Yankees at 3:36 p.m.

Today, MLB has more in common with Apple than it does with what was once reverently referred to as the national pastime. Immediately endangered is Spring Training which, in the dead of winter, fans eagerly anticipate – sunny skies, swaying palm trees, green grass and fastballs. Assuming the games are played, bring your wallet. The well-heeled Yankees charge $100 for standing room tickets.

Dinosaur fans remember a happier era when the months leading up to Spring Training were about baseball, not lockouts. No fans had the months between February and April better than Brooklyn Dodgers’ rooters who visited Dodgertown, in Vero Beach, Fla.

In his book, “Dodgertown,” author Mark Langill described how the camp became the fruition of team executive Branch Rickey’s long-time dream to bring his players together in a single, top-notch training facility so that all the Dodgers – regulars and minor leaguers – could be evaluated at the same time. Vero Beach, with its vacant, post-World War II Naval facility, was the perfect place. Dodgertown provided dozens of batting cages, two mechanical pitchers, an electric eye umpire that also measured the velocity of each pitch, a sliding pit and a track coach. Some of those baseball-oriented features were Rickey’s innovations. Off the field, the Dodgers kept their players occupied and happy by providing jukeboxes, shuffleboard, horseshoes, croquet and pinball machines. Food was readily and abundantly available. “Take all you want, but eat all you take,” read the cafeteria sign.

But just as the Dodgers left Brooklyn in 1957 for Los Angeles’ lucre, they abandoned Vero Beach in 2009 for the more profitable Camelback Ranch. The Arizona facility offers tourists more than 150 Dodgers caps for sums that range up to $65.00. Those lordly prices help explain why the Dodgers franchise has $3.6 billion value, and why baseball fans are turned off.

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

MLB Lockout Is Billionaires Versus Multimillionaires MLB Lockout Is Billionaires Versus Multimillionaires

Harry Reid Once Championed Pro-American Immigration Reform

Harry Reid Once Championed Pro-American Immigration Reform

By Joe Guzzardi

On Jan. 12, former Senate Majority leader Harry Reid will lie in state at the Capitol Rotunda, following a Jan. 8 funeral in Nevada. Reid joins a long and growing list for this honor that was once limited to former presidents and military leaders, but now includes ordinary citizens.

Since 2000, the number of deceased Americans who have lain in the Capitol is 13. In the previous two decades, the total honorees was four, including two Capitol police officers killed in the line of duty, Florida Sen. Claude D. Pepper and an unknown soldier from the Vietnam War. Going back further to the 1960s and 1970s, Congress honored only eight Americans, including four presidents. No law, written rule or regulation specifies who may lie in state. Concurrent action by the House and Senate determines who will lie in state in the rotunda, assuming the family approves. The honor is at risk of becoming partisan.

Shortly after Reid’s death, legislators from both sides of the aisle sung the Nevada Democrat’s praises. South Carolina Sen. Lindsey Graham said that Reid would be in his prayers, that he was “a good man” who fought hard for his causes, and that he will be missed. Chuck Schumer, who holds Reid’s old job in the Senate, said that his friend always “looked out for people.”

Schumer’s praise for his old friend and mentor is more insightful than he might have imagined. Reid once championed meaningful immigration reform that would have benefited Americans, especially blue-collar workers. Eventually, Reid drifted over to the extreme left, and supported illegal immigrant amnesties as well as more employment-based visas.

In 1993, about six years after Nevada voters promoted him from the U.S. House of Representative to the Senate, Reid introduced a far-reaching comprehensive immigration reform bill that Democrats, especially former President Barack Obama and Schumer, would prefer to forget about. As per a press release issued from his office, Reid outlined what he called “the first and only comprehensive immigration reform bill in Congress,” the Immigration Stabilization Act of 1993 (ISA).

The first item of business the press release addressed was to overhaul the nation’s immigration laws and begin “a massive scale-down of immigrants allowed into the country from approximately 800,000 to 300,000.” Legal immigration reduction groups have been lobbying for similar reductions for years. The current 1 million-plus annual lawful permanent residents is an unsustainable level since chain migration eventually converts the initial 1 million immigrants into about 3 million. A Princeton University study found that, on average, each immigrant petitions slightly more than three family members to join him in the U.S.

Harry Reid Once Championed Pro-American Immigration Reform

Another long-sought change reductionists have favored for decades: ending birthright citizenship. Reid wanted clarified that a U.S.-born child to an alien mother who is not a lawful resident should not be considered a U.S. citizen. If ISA were approved, Reid said the incentive for pregnant alien women to enter illegally, often at risk to mother and child, for the purpose of acquiring citizenship for the child and to then receive federal benefits would be eliminated.

Other Reid recommendations have a familiar ring: a “crack down” – Reid’s wording – on illegal immigration, then an estimated 3.3 million, ending asylum fraud along with the “phony” claims that allow unqualified aliens to enter, excluding aliens who cannot financially support themselves without assistance, and beefing up border security.

For a period, too short as things turned out, Reid was committed to rational immigration. In his 1994 Los Angeles Times Op-Ed, Reid scorned his colleagues for their failure to reduce legal immigration, and he urged lawmakers to reject “unfounded” racism charges to act “quickly” to pass ISA. He concluded that the “real injustice to future Americans would be to do nothing [to reduce immigration].”

Reid was a spot-on prognosticator. Congress did nothing, and in the three decades that have passed, the illegal immigrant population has quadrupled from 3 million to nearly 12 million. The border that Reid wanted to reinforce is a horror show as officials predict that 2 million aliens will cross illegally this year.

In his official statement about Reid’s death, President Joe Biden praised him “for his power to do right for the people.” Reid was, Biden concluded, a “giant.” Had Reid stuck to his 1993 immigration wish list, he would have done “right for the people,” and could truly be remembered as a giant. Instead, Reid dropped the ball and – platitudes being heaped on him aside – was just another politician whose views shifted with the Capitol Hill winds.

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

Harry Reid Once Championed Pro-American Immigration Reform Harry Reid Once Championed Pro-American Immigration Reform

Forecasting 2022 at the Border

Forecasting 2022 at the Border

By Joe Guzzardi

Since the Biden administration hasn’t indicated that it will shift in its Southwest border policy, the U.S. can expect the surge of illegal crossers to continue throughout 2022. If change is coming, it will take the direction of even more illegal immigrants entering, and being released – clandestinely in some cases – into the interior.

During 2021’s last days, a border report revealed that the commonly cited illegal immigrant encounters of 1.7 million, the highest total since at least 1960, may be significantly understated. Border patrol agents assigned to the nine Southwest sectors said that they apprehended more than 1.9 million migrants who illegally crossed the shared border with Mexico between ports of entry during 2021. Many if not most of the 1.9 million surrendered to agents and were released, a practice known as catch and release. Another estimated 500,000 aliens avoided apprehension, the so-called “got-aways,” and snuck into the U.S. interior.

Biden and Department of Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas sanction the worst imaginable human and drug traffickers who ply their billion-dollar trades with few consequences. In December, agents came upon a stolen commercial tractor-trailer perilously overloaded with 52 people from Mexico, Honduras, Guatemala and El Salvador who had illegally crossed into the U.S. and were headed north. Other Customs and Border Protection encounters involved an SUV with seven Mexicans, and another vehicle with 12 Mexicans and Guatemalans inside, all being trafficked north from the southern border. Two days before Christmas, Eagle Pass Station agents arrested a Honduran national convicted in 2018 of sexual assault of a child, and sentenced to four years in prison. After serving only two years, the Honduran was deported, but reentered illegally. Agents said that their interactions with dangerous criminals occur daily.

Forecasting 2022 at the Border

Assuming the status quo – and there’s every reason to expect Biden and Mayorkas will continue their unconstitutional border agenda exactly as they did in 2021 – by the time Biden’s first term ends in 2025, nearly 10 million released illegal immigrants and 2 million got-aways will have merged into the general population. That’s millions of newcomers who will need to be provided for in a nation that has nearly 40 million Americans, about 11.4 percent of the total population, who live below the $26,695 poverty line for a four-person family.

The border is a mess, and no one knows better than Mustafa Joseph, a ten-year veteran agent who recently resigned in disgust. In his letter to Border Patrol Chief Raul Ortiz, Joseph called out the Supreme Court, “in disarray,” on constitutional clarity issues, presumably regarding immigration. Summing up his conclusion that most Americans came to months ago, Joseph wrote: “The undocumented have gone from a fear of infringing the law to brazenly inquiring about what’s taking so long with their right to unconditional assimilation. Have we become ‘Handmaids’ to their cause? Incomprehensible… Particularly as the concept of ‘law’ becomes an increasingly nebulous moving target.” To Joseph, his job, and the U.S. government in general, is unrecognizable. In closing, Joseph wished his former boss, Ortiz, good luck dealing with the “deck of cards” he’s been dealt.

Americans who value sovereignty are rooting for Ortiz and all dedicated border patrol agents. A Rasmussen poll taken in December found that most rated 2021 as the worst year ever, and are ready to move on to better times. The nation’s collective hope is that the White House shares citizens’ disappointment with 2021’s failures, and will take giant steps forward to make 2022 a better year. Enforcing immigration laws at the border is a good place to start.

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.

Forecasting 2022 at the Border

Mayorkas Now Subverting Labor Market

Mayorkas Now Subverting Labor Market

By Joe Guzzardi

Department of Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas isn’t content with criminally and unconstitutionally throwing open the Southwest border to all comers, disrupting the lives of border state residents and putting Americans at risk of hostile enemy attacks. Doubling down on his inconceivably blatant disregard for the nation’s well-being,  Mayorkas has independently and without congressional approval chosen to reward some of those aliens during fiscal year 2022 with an additional 20,000 temporary seasonal employment-based H-2B visas that will lead to good American jobs. Among those jobs are landscaper, lifeguard, forestry worker, housekeeper, waiter, cook, amusement park worker, among jobs in other employment sectors where Americans have traditionally worked.

The DHS press release announced that “the supplemental H-2B visa allocation consists of 13,500 visas available to returning workers who received an H-2B visa, or were otherwise granted H-2B status, during one of the last three fiscal years. The remaining 6,500 visas, which are exempt from the returning worker requirement, are reserved for nationals of Haiti and the Northern Triangle countries of Honduras, Guatemala, and El Salvador.” Those nations are among the largest senders of illegal aliens.

Mayorkas also hinted that more H-2Bs are on the way. The press release included this warning: “In the coming months, DHS will seek to implement policies that will make the H-2B program even more responsive to the needs of our economy….” In conclusion, Mayorkas said what many consider a brazen pack of lies, the most glaring of which is that DHS will protect American workers and existing visa holders. The current U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services cap is 33,000 for workers who begin employment in the first half of the fiscal year, Oct. 1 – March 31, and 33,000 for workers who begin employment in the second half of the fiscal year, April 1 – Sept. 30. USCIS is an operational component of DHS, and is ultimately accountable to Mayorkas.

In his declaration, the always disingenuous Mayorkas falsely claimed that the extra visas would “help fuel the nation’s historic economic recovery” even as millions of unemployed Americans want to re-enter the labor market, assuming they could earn a decent wage.

Mayorkas Now Subverting US Labor Market

Consider the message that Mayorkas is sending to the millions-strong worldwide community of prospective illegal aliens: Come! We won’t deter you! Once here, we’ll give you a federally issued work permit to lay out the red carpet that will smooth your way into the employment market. Neither DHS nor the Department of Labor give a hoot about unemployed American workers who might lose the opportunity to compete for a good job. We care about you, foreign nationals who knowingly and willingly broke U.S. laws!

A thumbnail sketch of Mayorkas’ disastrous year-long tenure as America’s alleged protector-in-chief: by the end of 2021, more than 2 million aliens from countries across the globe will enter the U.S., and be released into the general population, some are COVID-19 infected. Border patrol agents have identified other aliens as U.S.-convicted rapists, thieves or general “undesirables.” Drug and child sex traffickers ply their criminal multi-billion dollar enterprises with abandon while the White House looks the other way. CBP has apprehended two Yemeni and one Saudi “known or suspected terrorists;” others may be among the 600,000 “got-aways.” Yuma, Ariz., and Del Rio, Texas, declared states of emergency to deal with the alien surge.

Before his Senate confirmation hearing, many Capitol Hill skeptics cautioned against Mayorkas’ appointment. Serving as President Obama’s USCIS directorMayorkas helped foreign investors with ties to prominent Democrats, including then-Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, Democratic National Committee Chair Terry McAuliffe, and former Pennsylvania Governor Ed Rendell, secure coveted EB-5 investor visas. In March 2015, the Office of Inspector General, Department of Homeland Security issued a scathing report that itemized in exhaustive detail Mayorkas’ misdeeds. Nevertheless, Mayorkas was confirmed, 56-43. Despite the alarm bells about Mayorkas’ questionable character and his partisan bias, six Republicans voted “yea.” The six are Shelley Capito, West Virginia; Susan Collins, Maine; Lisa Murkowski, Alaska; Dan Sullivan, Alaska; Rob Portman, Ohio, and Mitt Romney, Utah.

A president who cares about U.S. security and the future of America as a sovereign nation would demand that Mayorkas be impeached immediately. Sadly, Mayorkas’ destructive agenda is par for the America-last course that Biden and his cohorts fully embrace.

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.

Mayorkas Now Subverting Labor Market

Parliamentarian Christmas Gift To USA

Parliamentarian Christmas Gift To USA

By Joe Guzzardi

After nearly a year of watching President Joe Biden and Department of Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas ride roughshod over federal immigration laws, trample the U.S. Constitution and their oaths of office, Senate Republicans finally scored a victory.

Senate Parliamentarian Elizabeth MacDonough gave the GOP a huge helping hand when she rejected for the third time Democrats’ bids to include an amnesty for 8 million illegal immigrants in the administration’s Build Back Better bill. MacDonough said the Democrats’ proposal, as written, would violate the Byrd Rule, which requires all provisions included in the budget reconciliation legislation to be primarily related to budget matters.

The proposed amnesty for illegal aliens required that they must have entered the U.S. before January 1, 2011; those who qualify would receive five-year parole, an immigration status that protects them from deportation, and provides them with affirmative benefits including employment authorization. Of note: legally, parole is issued temporarily and on an emergency humanitarian or significant public benefit basis to individuals residing outside the U.S. Parole should not be unilaterally granted to millions of illegal border crossers, all in one sweeping gesture.

Parliamentarian Christmas Gift To USA

An assist in blocking a Senate vote is owed to West Virginia Sen. Joe Manchin, a Democrat, who steadfastly refused to endorse BBB because he felt that the bill’s $1.75 trillion price tag is too costly in the current hyper-inflationary era. The Congressional Budget Office’s report that BBB would add, over the next decade, $3 trillion to the deficit also gave Manchin grave concern. Manchin also went on record as saying that he wouldn’t vote to overrule MacDonough, an option the Democrats were, and still are, mulling. Without Manchin’s yea vote on either an overrule or on the standalone legislation, defeat and the subsequent embarrassment to the administration were inevitable.

South Carolina Sen. Lindsey Graham predicted that BBB is “dead,” not just for 2021, “but forever.” In light of his decades-long experience battling Democrats with few victories to show for his engagements, Graham’s “forever” prediction is surprising. Immediately following the parliamentarian’s ruling, pro-amnesty advocates and some House Democrats began a campaign to pressure Senate Democrats to overrule or disregard MacDonough’s decision.

Mike Fernandez, American Business Immigration Coalition co-chair, bemoaned his rejected-for-the-third time amnesty expectations. With Fernandez and other immigration expansionists’ hopes now dashed, so too are their goals for permanent legalization and citizenship for 8 million deferred action for childhood arrivals, temporary permanent status holders, farmworkers and other vaguely categorized essential workers. “The Senate should not let that stand,” Fernandez railed.

Taking Fernandez’s cue, Sens. Dick Durbin (D-Ill.) and Bob Menendez (D-N.J.) hinted that Democrats might put forth a fourth attempt for more amnesty options to the parliamentarian for consideration. In a joint statement made shortly after MacDonough’s ruling, Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) stated that he would “pursue every means to achieve a path to citizenship” in the bill.

Amnesty plus the unprecedented border crisis would be a devastating double-blow to Americans who want to protect U.S. sovereignty. Syracuse University data found that more than 70 percent of illegal immigrant border crossers remain in the U.S. despite undergoing so-called deportation hearings. But rarely is deportation the end results of the hearings. The Biden administration, by encouraging the illegal entry of 2 million aliens and 600,000 “got-aways,” as well as flying back President Trump-era deportees, is working feverishly to destroy the America that multiple generations treasure, and want to preserve.

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.

Parliamentarian Christmas Gift To USA

Wage Thieves Steal $95M From H-1B Holders

Wage Thieves Steal $95M From H-1B Holders

By Joe Guzzardi 

Economic Policy Institute analysts Ron Hira, a Howard University associate professor, and his colleague Daniel Costa, EPI’s director of U.S. immigration law, international labor migration, farm labor and a forced migration specialist, recently published their research study titled “New Evidence of Widespread Wage Theft in the H-1B Program.” The title’s key words are “new,” because H-1B wage theft is a long-standing abuse, and “widespread” because incidents similar to those Hira and Costa exposed have occurred for years, and at some of the nation’s most well-known and deep-pocketed corporations.

A small sampling among the offenders includes Disney, Google, FedEx, Caterpillar and Facebook. The estimated, accumulated wage theft, Hira and Costa calculated, is $95 million, a devastating underpayment to H-1B holders. In this case, the Indian employer HCL, referred to as a “body shop,” cheated its fellow Indian nationals. Foreign-born visa holders aren’t the only victims. U.S. workers displaced by H-1Bs or who experienced wage depression because of the abundant availability of cheaper H-1B labor also lose.

The latest H-1B-related scandal came from the India-based HCL Technologies, full name Hindustan Computers Limited, an IT staffing firm that, in 2020, earned $11 billion. HCL’s Santhosh Jayaram, the company’s Global Head of Sustainability will, according to its website, enable the company “to refine and focus its current agenda and strategy in the key areas of environmental, social and governance (ESG).

Wage Thieves Steal $95M From H-1B Holders

Despite the lofty language, after EPI reviewed an internal HCL document, released as part of a whistleblower lawsuit against the firm, Hira and Costa found that large-scale and criminal illegal H-1B worker underpayment “is a core part of the firm’s competitive strategy.” The lawsuit’s discovery process revealed that HCL engaged in non-payment of Social Security, Medicare and federal unemployment insurance taxes on wages paid and that the company fraudulently used B-1 tourist visa holders as workers, and hired L-1 international executive visas, which cost less than H-1B workers. H-1B statutes mandate that employers pay their H-1B workers no less than the actual wages paid to their similarly employed U.S. workers.

But unscrupulous employers elude those federal guidelines by contracting with IT outsourcing firms. That tactic essentially puts outsourced H-1B workers in a different DOL category for evaluation, and allows them to avoid the wage requirements. The loophole that Hira and Costa identified is treating “contractor hires differently than direct hires when enforcing the wage and other provisions in the H-1B statute,” which leads to the extensive wage theft.

Because DOL considers contract hires different than direct hires, the agency doesn’t view the abuses as actionable violations that would normally lead to sanctions. The outsourcing loophole allows firms like HCL and the big tech companies that use outsourcing firms to get around those provisions. Because of its failure to enforce the wage laws or close the outsourcing loophole, DOL is in effect subsidizing and encouraging the offshoring of high-paying U.S. jobs in information technology that once served as a pathway to the increasingly elusive middle class.

The question that Hira and Costa, as well as other H-1B critics and U.S. tech workers’ defenders, want answered is when will the Department of Labor acknowledge that employers have and will continue to commit crimes that violate federal law as long as the federal government aids and abets them. DOL has idly stood by, watched passively as H-1B abuses that harm middle-class American IT workers have piled up. DOL’s indifference has, in effect, subsidized the offshoring of white-collar jobs to overseas workers.

Companies like HCL that earn billions of dollars annually can afford to pay a fair salary to their employees without sacrificing much if anything to their bottom lines. But the blame isn’t all on HCL. DOL’s role in the ongoing H-1B wage scandal must be emphasized. DOL’s Labor Secretary is Marty Walsh, the former Boston mayor who once declared that his city would be a “safe place” for illegal immigrants. Walsh went further, offering his office as shelter for illegal aliens facing deportation. An open borders advocate like Walsh is the wrong person to appoint Labor Secretary.

In 2017, under President Trump, DOL announced actions to increase protections for American workers, and more aggressively confront entities committing visa program fraud and abuse. The Biden administration has unfairly and inexplicably dashed the goal of protecting U.S. tech workers and salvaging their jobs. With the recent nixing of the H-1B lottery rule that would prioritize selection based on highest wages, the new Biden standard is to use any of a variety of employment-based visas to add as many foreign-born workers as possible to the labor pool even though Americans will suffer. Look no further to the immigration provisions added to the House passed Build Back Better bill that Biden eagerly wants passed soon.

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.

Wage Thieves Steal $95M From H-1B Holders

Wage Thieves Steal $95M From H-1B Holders

Clock Ticking On Biden Build Back Better

Clock Ticking On Biden Build Back Better
By Joe Guzzardi

If only Congress would take its winter break, then the rest of the nation – in other words, the non-elite – could enjoy the Christmas season. But, a congressional recess much before December 23 may be as improbable as a down-the-chimney visit from jolly Old St. Nick. Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY), the quintessential Christmas grinch, has vowed to keep the Upper Chamber in session until Build Back Better (BBB) gets a full floor vote.

Schumer may be optimistic, but he’s also stubborn. Several road blocks stand in Schumer’s way. First, Senate parliamentarian Elizabeth MacDonough who has ruled twice against including amnesty in the $1.7 trillion social spending bill must be favorably swayed. The parliamentarian decides what can be included in Senate legislation, and has rejected two previous proposals. Most congressional Democrats, Senate and House, want amnesty as well as other affirmative benefits including work permission granted to about seven or eight million unlawfully present foreign nationals. But when amnesty is the goal, Democrats’ never-say-die commitment evolved into a third iteration for MacDonough’s review. Plan C’s fate is unknown.

Clock Ticking On Biden Build Back Better

Schumer’s second Senate hurdle is West Virginia’s Joe Manchin who has sent various signals that he’s leery. Most recently, Manchin said that he wouldn’t defy the parliamentarian’s immigration decision. Manchin: “The bottom line is the parliamentarian; you stick with the parliamentarian, that’s all. You stick on every issue. You can’t pick and choose.”

From the outset, Manchin has expressed concerns over what’s now a nearly $2 trillion package; he was influential in cutting the price tag from its original $3.5 trillion. But despite the $1.5 trillion cut, Manchin, concerned about hyperinflation and the nation’s tenuous economy, is still edgy. Manchin also reiterated his long-held concern that that Democrats are using budget gimmicks to conceal the true, higher cost of the president’s spending bill.

For months, President Biden assured Americans that BBB wouldn’t cost a penny. In September, Biden tweeted that his then $3.5 trillion BBB agenda “costs zero dollars,” a claim that Republicans bluntly labeled “a lie.” Rep. Claudia Tenney (R-NY) quickly countered Biden with the impossible-to-dispute calculation that a $3.5 trillion cost can’t possibly translate to zero dollars.

The nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office and the Joint Committee on Taxation gave Tenney a figurative A+ math grade. They projected that the modified version of the bill they reviewed would increase the national deficit by $3 trillion over the 2022 – 2031 period, a total that includes the effect of interest cost.

BBB’s amnesty provisions alone will cost taxpayers $124 billion over the first decade, and would create an additional $359 billion in net costs during the second post-passage decade, making amnesty’s total net cost over 20 years a whopping $483 billion.

As the Center for Immigration Studies observed, amnesty costs increase over time as illegal immigrants become eligible for more and more social programs, especially Social Security and Medicare. The millions of illegal immigrants that BBB covers will also immediately qualify for parole, an immigration status that includes work permission, protection from deportation and other affirmative benefits. An already-weak labor market that the latest Bureau of Labor Statistics report reflected will expand when millions of newly work-authorized immigrants enter the employment market to compete with or displace Americans.

Little if anything in BBB will enhance American lives. On the other hand, Biden, congressional Democrats, D.C. bureaucrats, the big businesses that hire cheap labor, illegal immigrants and the immigration lawyers they’ll hire to advise them will all gain significantly.

The best thing BBB opponents have in their favor, Republicans and Democrats alike, is that if Manchin votes “yea,” he’ll be out of his Senate job in 2024. In 2016, heavily Republican West Virginia rejected Biden; Trump carried the state by nearly 40 points, a margin that Manchin can’t hope to make up if he endorses BBB.

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

Clock Ticking On Biden Build Back Better

Afghan Resettlement Costs Mount

Afghan Resettlement Costs Mount

By Joe Guzzardi
 

As with many immigration-related matters, too much information is purposely hidden from public view.

We just witnessed an excellent example of the Biden administration’s immigration subterfuge. The must-pass continuing resolution bill to fund the federal government at its current level, and therefore avoid a government shutdown, included a completely unrelated $7 billion to help resettle evacuated Afghan nationals, mostly unvetted or, at best, superficially screened. The breakout of how the $7 billion will be spent was kept secret from the public – the very people that provide the money. As former Illinois Sen. Everett Dirksen said, perhaps apocryphally, “A billion here, a billion there, and pretty soon, you’re talking real money.”

Americans know as confirmed fact that the arriving Afghans are unvetted because Department of Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas, contradicting his earlier claim, sheepishly admitted to the Senate Judiciary Committee that he had no idea how many evacuees had been vetted. Pressed by Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC), Mayorkas confessed: “We are not conducting in-person, full refugee interviews of 100 percent” of Afghan evacuees.” Moreover, Mayorkas couldn’t provide Sen. Josh Hawley (R-Mo.) with specific data for how many Afghans went through full interviews. Mayorkas’ testimony exposes White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki’s deceptive statement assuring that “no one” has entered the U.S. without “a thorough screening and background check process.”

Afghan Resettlement Costs Mount

The federal government’s failure to properly protect Americans through the sensible requirement to vet foreign nationals from a country that is an avowed U.S. enemy has already, just weeks after the Afghan evacuation, had serious consequences. In September in New Mexico, the FBI began an investigation into a small group of male Afghans who, temporarily housed at the Doña Ana Complex, allegedly sexually assaulted a female U.S. soldier. Also in September, at Ft. McCoy, Wisconsin, two evacuees were charged, separately, with the alleged sexual assault of a minor using force, and spousal assault by strangulation and suffocation.

The individuals identified in these crimes hardly sound like they belong as part of “Operation Allies Welcome,” most of whom arrived on the six-week long airlift known as “Operation Allies Refuge” that moved 124,000 individuals out of Afghanistan, placing them around the country. Some of their destinations will be in areas that are struggling to recover from the pandemic, and have other long-standing societal woes engrained in their fabric before the evacuees’ arrival.

State Department data for the Afghan Placement and Assistance program obtained by the Associated Pressed showed that California is expected to accept more Afghan evacuees than any state, 5,200. Three months ago, California Gov. Gavin Newsom and the state’s legislative leaders requested $16.7 million in taxpayer funding to help resettle refugees. Contradictorily, the State Department promised to resettle Afghans in states with affordable housing. Yet California’s officials have for years bemoaned the shortage of that exact commodity. California is also plagued by high average gas prices, $4.68, and above-average state and local taxes at 10.9 percent of adjusted personal income. California’s income inequality level is among the five worst states, and the state’s K-12 public school system struggles with overcrowded classrooms that hamper teachers’ ability to effectively educate their students. For Afghans starting a new life in California, they’ll face many obstacles before they can hope to get on their feet.

For Americans keeping score on the dollar cost of the Afghanistan resettlement, here’s a partial tally. The 20-year war cost $2.3 trillion, with the estimated interest payments on that sum coming in at $925 billion. By 2030, estimated interest costs will ratchet up to $2 trillion, and by 2050, $6.5 trillion. Military equipment worth billions more dollars was abandoned during the hasty and incompetent U.S. retreat from Afghanistan. Those are painfully high sums. But no dollar amount can be attached to the loss of 2,400 American lives, the lives of 3,800 U.S. contractors and the thousands left behind to face an uncertain and possibly deadly future.

Now Americans will be required to finance Afghan evacuees’ U.S. resettlement, the $7 billion in the continuing resolution, plus mounting federal, state and local costs. The Center for Immigration Studies estimatedthat in their first five years of U.S. residency, each Middle Eastern refugee costs taxpayers $64,370, or 12 times what the U.N. estimates would be the cost to care for one refugee in a country close to his home. Regional resettlement never occurred to the Biden administration. There’s no reason it should when it has U.S. taxpayers to rely on.

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.

Afghan Resettlement Costs Mount