SCOTUS Must Rule on Birthright Citizenship

SCOTUS Must Rule on Birthright Citizenship

By Joe Guzzardi

The rush to resettle thousands of Afghan evacuees and the Southwest border bungling prove one thing if nothing else – the U.S. has little interest in preserving its sovereign nation status. Illegal immigration tolerance and an eagerness to admit worldwide refugees aren’t unique to the Biden administration, however.

Since the Immigration and Nationality Act of 1965, Republican and Democratic administrations have shown a willingness to look the other way at illegal immigration, create dozens of unnecessary employment-based visas that have diluted the labor market, and enabled foreign nationals to take coveted U.S. jobs. During the same 56-year period, Congress has refused to make legislative changes that could, assuming the legislative bodies were determined to defend the nation, reverse history’s course.

SCOTUS Must Rule on Birthright Citizenship

The U.S. is traditionally the largest refugee resettlement nation, and the most illegal immigrant-tolerant. These conditions can only continue if Americans don’t feel that newcomers are displacing them.

Among its other many immigration-related failures, Congress has steadfastly refused to end or even urge a Supreme Court review on birthright citizenship, an issue which has once again surged to the forefront as a major sovereignty concern.

On the Del Rio, Texas-Mexico, border, several Haitian nationals have given birth to U.S. citizen babies, and under the bridge, 300 mothers-to-be await delivery. At Wisconsin’s Fort McCoy, Afghan mothers have delivered three babies. The newborns are, thanks to a misguided federal policy that grants automatic citizenship to anyone born on U.S. soil, American citizens. Mothers could be Disneyland tourists, Neiman Marcus shoppers, birth hotel patrons, or migrants and evacuees, all of whom have little-if-any U.S. ties. Their children are automatically citizens.

Every year, American mothers give birth to about 4 million children. In 2021, immigration officials expect 2 million aliens to enter the U.S. illegally; up to 100,000 Afghan evacuees will be resettled, and President Biden promised to lift the annual refugee cap to 125,000. Aliens, evacuees and refugees will total a record 2.25 million. Most will eventually be entitled to petition their family members from abroad, a population-busting process.

No intellectual argument can be made that birthright citizenship and chain migration are sound policies that have America’s best interests at heart. While both sides of the aisle argue, let the Supreme Court decide whether birthright citizenship is legal, an action that the court must take immediately given nonexistent border enforcement. At the heart of the debate is the U.S. Constitution’s 14th Amendment which includes in the opening sentence: “All persons born or naturalized in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and of the state wherein they reside.” The court must rule on the “subject to the jurisdiction of…” definition. Some scholars say that the phrase essentially means anyone born in the U.S. is automatically a citizen, but critics claim that the 14th Amendment’s authors hadn’t intended to grant citizenship to every foreign national born in U.S. territory.

While Congress and advocates on both sides are stalemated, criminals have been able to take advantage of the birthright citizenship loophole. In 2019, federal officials arrested 20 people who operated businesses helping pregnant women travel to the U.S. expressly to give birth to citizen children. Chinese mothers-to-be paid between $40,000 and $80,000 each to come to California, stay in upscale dwellings and give birth. Perpetrators included the Chinese national and the website You Win USA founder Dongyuan Li, charged with visa fraud, money laundering and conspiracy. Similar schemes have been ongoing, mostly without federal intervention, in the U.S. for more than a decade.

The Birthright Citizenship Act of 2021, introduced by U.S. Rep. Brian Babin (R-Texas), would grant citizenship to any child born in the U.S. if at least one parent were either an American, a lawfully present alien or serving in the U.S. military, a reasonable approach to a critical and escalating problem. To date, only about 10 percent of House Republicans have signed on as cosponsors.

Only Canada and the U.S. among developed nations grant jus soli, the right to citizenship for anyone born on U.S. soil. Taxpayer costs to underwrite illegal immigrant births are estimated at $2.4 billion annually. With the borders wider open than ever, and Afghan evacuees arriving at unprecedented levels, the Supreme Court must intercede to help preserve 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.

SCOTUS Must Rule on Birthright Citizenship

SCOTUS Must Rule on Birthright Citizenship

More People Means Reservoirs Shrink

More People Means Reservoirs Shrink

 By Kathleene Parker


Showing reservoirs, including iconic Lake Mead at Hoover Dam, shrunk to a fraction of their intended size, national news media is reporting that the American Southwest is in the worst 20-year drought in 1,200 years.

Yet, no one asked why President Biden is hellbent on increasing immigration – which has exploded the U.S. population by an average approaching 30 million a decade over the last three decades – when he can’t ensure adequate water for those here now. The Southwest is the fastest growing region of ours, the third most populated nation and one of the world’s fastest growing developed nations – something else never reported.

More People Means Reservoirs Shrink


There are roughly 200 reservoirs along the length of the Colorado River – the primary water source for at least 45 million people in the Colorado River Basin and beyond – that were thought to ensure a 50-year water supply in drought. Yet, by the early 2000s, that 50-year supply was sucked dry!

At Lake Mead, the water level recently fell below the trigger point for the first-ever federal water emergency. That will mean mandatory water cutoffs, delivering a body blow to the Southwest’s economy and drying up farmland needed to feed the nation’s exploding population. But even that might not stop a collapse of the Colorado River system, a vast network of diversion projects and reservoirs stretching from Wyoming to the Mexican border. Meaning, reservoirs might run dry and diversions might no longer take water into cities of millions!

Today’s Phoenix, Arizona, was so named when settlers in the 19th century realized that they were building on the ruins of some long-ago civilization – that of the Hohokam – and named their new settlement after the mythical bird that arises from the ashes of another.

The Four Corner states – Colorado, Arizona, New Mexico and Utah – today are dotted with the ruins of the mysterious cliff dwellings and towns of the ancestral Puebloans – the Hohokam, the Anasazi and the Mimbres – who were forced into what we call the Great Abandonment, during the prolonged drought of the late 1200s though the mid-1300s. Hundreds of thousands of people fled what had been relative paradises in Colorado’s Montezuma Valley and on the once-verdant Mesa Verde, in the Gila Mountains of New Mexico and on the high uplands of Arizona, relocating to areas, mostly along the Rio Grande, with somewhat dependable water.

Lake Mead, the second largest reservoir in North America, is now 35 percent “full,” but since the bottom 20 percent is useless sludge, that means nearly empty, just as the Scripps Institute of Oceanography warned would happen in the 2020s. In California, some reservoirs can no longer generate hydropower, and Lake Powell, just upstream from Lake Mead and the largest reservoir in North America, also flirts with being empty. Yet, Big Media never ask if Biden grasps:

  1. That this might not be drought, but merely a return to far-drier norms than 1960 to 1995, the wettest time in the Southwest in 2000 years.
     
  2. That there is not “always ‘new’ water” to be found or some miraculous technofix to save us – although, admittedly, more people mean more sewage effluent to process for drinking. Yum!
     
  3. That the current drought might pale in comparison with what climate change might bring.

In 1922, the Colorado River Basin states of Wyoming, Colorado, Utah, New Mexico, Arizona, Nevada and California met near Santa Fe to legally divide, or allocate, the Colorado River. But the resulting Colorado River Compactbegan with an “Oops!” of staggering proportions, as 16-million acre feet were divvied up, even though the river usually carries only 13 m.a.f. (An acre foot is the amount of water it takes to cover an acre of ground with a foot of water.)

That didn’t matter in a Southwest that at the time supported under 5 million people. But, if immigration continues at the astronomical rates of recent decades, or even increases, the Southwest could see its population double, even as flows on the Colorado will likely average a paltry 7 m.a.f. a year, maybe even as low as 5 m.a.f.

So, twice the people, half the water.

Will that bring our own Great Abandonment, an exodus of 45 million people trying to flee anywhere other than a drought-and-climate-change seared Southwest?

Are you even aware, Mr. Biden, of that possibility?


A contributing writer to Progressives for Immigration Reform, Kathleene Parker, of Los Alamos, New Mexico, is a fifth-generation resident of the American Southwest. A retired journalist who long covered a national laboratory in New Mexico, she now writes nationally on water, population and the need to re-regulate major media.

More People Means Reservoirs Shrink

Human Traffickers Profit Under Biden

Human Traffickers Profit Under Biden

By Joe Guzzardi


Down on the Southwest border, business is booming – criminal business, that is.

The federal government steadfastly refuses to protect the border or the interior. Instead, since the Biden administration’s first day, his administration has announced to the world that protections that President Trump put into place would be canceled, and that both Immigration and Customs Enforcement and the Department of Homeland Security would be neutered.

Human Traffickers Profit Under Biden

Those ill-advised White House decisions have enabled drug and human traffickers to make small fortunes transporting their cargo to the United States where taxpayers will foot the bill for illegal aliens’ housing, education and eventually a host of other affirmative benefits. Not a peep from Biden, Vice President Kamala Harris or the president’s Cabinet about the unfairness or the devastating long-term effects their indifference will have on the nation.

But for enterprising criminals, the income potential from Biden’s willful neglect is virtually unlimited. When border patrol agents finally apprehended Victoria Perez, she told them she earned $200,000 over a ten-month period smuggling aliens through the El Paso checkpoint. Perez’s fee was $1,500 per individual if the checkpoint was closed; $600 if open. Her work was easy. By driving only two days a week, Perez raked in, calculated Washington Times reporter Stephen Dinan, more than sitting members of Congress, $174,000 annually, and about three-times a border agent’s $70,000 starting salary. Perez was apprehended at a Texas checkpoint with 12 passengers, or at $1,500 a head, a load worth $18,000. Although Perez pled guilty, she was arrested again for trafficking during the six-month period before she was ordered to jail.

Income opportunities abound for other players in human trafficking’s criminal endeavor. Stash house operators, deliverymen who bring food and other supplies to the stash house, and extortionists who beat migrants to force their families to shell out more on top of the already exorbitant fees paid up front. In all, migrants pay billions of dollars each year to be dangerously and illegally smuggled into the U.S., a dicey gamble that sometimes ends in apprehension or even death. Migrant deaths at the border have nearly tripled since the same time last year from 45 to 128.

Experts predict that fees will rise as long as the Biden administration continues to encourage illegal crossing. Harris’ much-touted trip to Mexico and Guatemala to uncover migration’s root causes was laughed off by those governments as a waste of their time, a conclusion that the White House agreed with.

Disgracefully, the world’s largest social media company and prominent anti-First Amendment power broker, Facebook, is aiding and abetting the smugglers. Thanks to soaring advertising revenues, Facebook posted its strongest first quarter earnings, a revenue of $26.1 billion, 48 percent more than the $17.7 billion it garnered in last year’s first quarter, and nearly $3 billion more than Wall Street analysts anticipated. Net income also smashed analysts’ expectations, hitting $9.5 billion, double 2020’s $4.9 billion.

Facebook’s willingness to accept drug money from Mexican cartels contributed to the company’s advertising revenue and its staggering quarterly income surge. U.S. Rep. Kat Cammack, R-Fla., sent a letter to Facebook after she uncovered ads for human smugglers and cartels on the platform. Cammack said migrant border crossing treks are organized via Facebook communications. Upon arriving in the Donna, Texas, processing facility, Cammack asked young migrants how they came to the U.S. All responded that they coordinated logistics through Facebook, paid through Facebook and exchanged ideas on the Facebook-owned WhatsApp. A link titled “Viaje a Estados Unidos” took Cammack to a page with directions, routes and prices: $6,000 to enter the United States, $9,300 for drop-off in San Antonio.

Under 8 U.S. Code § 1324, encouraging or inducing an alien to come to, enter or reside in the U.S., or aiding and abetting any of these activities, is subject to financial penalties and imprisonment for periods of five years or longer. The likelihood of the Biden administration criminally punishing Facebook is a statistical impossibility – less than zero. Facebook played a prominent role in assuring that Biden would be elected, and the president isn’t likely to punish his friend regardless of the helping hand it provides in the illegal border surge.

During Biden’s presidency, immigration crime perpetrators go unpunished, but Americans must unfairly endure migrant waves flowing into their local communities, and then subsidize the everyday lives of these people for the indefinite future. Nothing could be more unjust.

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.

Human Traffickers Profit Under Biden

Human Traffickers Profit Under Biden

Price of Human Cargo to the U.S.

Price of Human Cargo to the U.S.

By Kevin Lynn


A tragedy occurred outside of Holtville, California, when a northbound big rig rammed into the driver’s side of an SUV that pulled out in front of the semi-truck, killing 13 people. This tragic event morphed into the surreal when we learned that the SUV was packed with 25 people who had been smuggled into the United States.

Price of Human Cargo to the U.S.

That’s right, 24 passengers and a driver packed like sardines in a vehicle designed to hold eight adults at maximum. Perhaps the driver who hailed from Mexicali, Mexico, was distracted when he pulled out in front of the semi making its way down Route 115. Anyone who has been in a Ford Expedition has to be thinking to themselves, HOW? How do you get 25 people into a vehicle like that?

Well, you start with ruthless, morally shipwrecked cartels that make steep profits trafficking humans across the border. Todd Bensman of the Center for Immigration Studies recently wrote that cartels expect to make $2,500 per individual smuggled from Mexico. When we do the math, that SUV had a human cargo valued around $60,000.

To give an example of just how revolting this incident is, one has to go back to the American slave trade in the 18th and 19th centuries. According to History.com, slave ships could be either “tight pack” or “loose pack.” A tight pack could hold more slaves than the loose pack, because the amount of space allocated to each slave was considerably less, but more slaves would die on route to the Americas. It would appear the cartels these days have chosen the tight pack model.

Next, you have to look at the people making the journey to enter the U.S. illegally. Coming from Mexico, they have to fork over the $2,500 and be willing to place their lives in the hands of unscrupulous smugglers. How many other deprivations do they suffer along the way, and what motivates them to do so?

The motivation is to rush to the border and be physically present in the U.S. while the Biden administration plays musical chairs with immigration policy. Will the Biden administration win sweeping amnesties for illegal aliens, or will it fail to deliver on its promises? Many people are betting on the former and are engaged in a desperate and dangerous run to bust through the border in an attempt to claim a chair when the music stops.

Since Jan. 20, Americans have become more apprehensive of the Biden administration’s plans to make sweeping changes to immigration. The majority of Americans are in fact becoming more restrictionist as opposed to expansionist in their views.

The Rasmussen Immigration Index for the week of Feb. 14 – 18, 2021, fell to 86.0, and it’s fallen by nearly 15 points since the week before the November election. This shows voters want tighter immigration control from President Biden’s administration. Right now, the Immigration Index is the lowest since it began in December 2019.

The administration is playing with dynamite, and has pinned itself in a corner that leaves two ways out. They can either abolish the border or enforce our immigration mandates to the fullest extent of the law. To do anything less is to invite more tragedy the likes of which we saw last week.

It is not just traffickers who profit off this immoral trade. There are a dozen industries that profit from cheap, compliant and easy to abuse labor. When I was a kid growing up in the 1960s and ‘70s, there were roughly 750 meat packing plants across the country. My mother worked the front counter of a local one called Lustig’s. The work and pay were good.

Today, 80 percent of our beef products come from three companies. The work and pay are bad. These huge factory meat processors rely on a steady stream of illegal aliens. Their business model would not work without them, and only when compelled to do so by ICE raids are they inclined to pay more, offer benefits and improve work conditions to attract a native workforce.

Neoliberal technocrats also are culpable in this and other tragedies stemming from the trafficking of illegal aliens. These are the toadies that carry the water for the oligarchs who seek to maximize profit via the unbridled movement of people and capital across international borders. They despise the concept of the nation state with its quaint and, in their minds, antiquated concepts of societal norms and democracy. They filter and shape the news and commentary to fit their deranged world views. And in this way, they are most culpable in all of this.

Kevin Lynn is the executive director of Progressives for Immigration Reform. Contact him at klynn@pfirdc.org.

Price of Human Cargo to the U.S.
Price of Human Cargo to the U.S.

Willfully Blind White House Ignores Border Chaos

Willfully Blind White House Ignores Border Chaos

By Joe Guzzardi

The daily Southwest border updates are generating nationwide concern except in Washington, DC, where indifference reigns. The latest Department of Homeland Security report showed that in February more than 100,000 people were either apprehended by, or surrendered to, federal immigration officials on the U.S.-Mexico border. Those totals, a 14-year high, include about 9,460 unaccompanied minors and more than 19,240 family units which reflect 62 percent and 38 percent increases, respectively, when compared to January’s statistics.

Willfully Blind White House Ignores Border Chaos

Nonetheless, President Biden, his DHS Secretary Alejandro Majorkas, and his Press Secretary Jen Psaki refuse to even hint that the administration’s lax border policies need immediate reining in. For his part, Biden has not spoken officially about what his administration calls a border challenge. But Psaki refused to call the border rush a crisis, instead labeling it “an enormous challenge.” Mayorkas, when asked a similar question about whether the border events represented a crisis, answered with a flat out “no.”

But Texas Gov. Greg Abbott didn’t hesitate to call the growing border chaos a crisis. Abbott has a better perspective on the border influx than White House operatives, and the governor formed Operation Lone Star to deploy personnel from the Texas Department of Public Safety and the Texas National Guard to the border to secure the area. Abbott said Operation Lone Star’s goal is to “deny Mexican cartels and other smugglers the ability to move drugs and people into Texas.”

While the White House border rhetoric has focused almost exclusively on what it describes as the need for a humanitarian response to migration, it’s ignored the undeniable connection between open borders and human smuggling. Sen. Rob Portman (R-Ohio) is the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs top Republican who has overseen three separate committee investigations that date back over several administrations.

Portman’s 2016 investigation, “Protecting Unaccompanied Alien Children from Trafficking and Other Abuses,” uncovered that the Department of Health and Human Services failed to adequately vet or to conduct in-depth background checks on the Ohio adults to whom it released minor children. The adults turned out to be human smugglers. The 2018 report, “Oversight of the Care of Unaccompanied Minor Children,” came to similarly shocking and dangerous conclusions. HHS and DHS didn’t make the recommended post-2016 changes to trafficking crimes and to tracking whether released aliens report for their designated immigration court dates.

Biden appears either under-informed or indifferent to the growing human trafficking trade that his administration encourages. After ending the Remain in Mexico policy, the latest federal government’s inducement for more unaccompanied children to rush the border is that HHS will pay for minors in its custody to be flown to their sponsor or family member’s home, often illegal immigrants, when, as is invariably the case, the receiving adult cannot pay. Furthermore, Biden’s DHS submitted a notice to the Federal Registerto withdraw an existing proposed rule that would require the receiving immigrant to sponsor and care for an arriving migrant once s/he becomes a lawful permanent resident.

While Biden and those close to him debate semantics, last week DHS reached its breaking point, and begged ICE deportation officers to travel to the border ASAP to help with what the agency called “security operations” for the illegal immigrant children and families that have overwhelmed a swamped Border Patrol. Michael Meade, Immigration and Customs Enforcement acting director, pleaded for “immediate action.” Volunteers would include civilians with medical or legal experience as well as drivers and food servers.

Officials on the scene won’t speculate on when the emergency request for increased border assistance might be called off. The Biden administration is in full denial, and the president refuses to travel to the border to evaluate conditions. As the surge with its associated criminal and COVID risks intensifies daily, an educated guess is that the existing calamitous circumstances will remain unchanged well into the peak summer months.

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.

Willfully Blind White House Ignores Border Chaos

Transformative Immigration Bill Hits Congress And It’s Bad

Transformative Immigration Bill Hits Congress And It’s Bad

By Joe Guzzardi

Now that analysts have had enough time to wade through the 353 pages that makes up the U.S. Citizenship Act of 2021 (USCA), the small print comes into focus. The USCA’s broad strokes have been widely publicized: the legislation proposes to grant amnesty to an estimated 14.5 million or more unlawfully present foreign nationals, increase annual legal immigration totals, issue more employment-based visas, and otherwise completely overhaul established immigration law.

Transformative Immigration Bill Hits Congress And It's Bad

Millions of new work permits would be granted. The 353 pages don’t contain a single provision that helps American citizens or recently arrived lawfully present residents who are struggling during the coronavirus pandemic to establish themselves. Also harmed and insulted are immigrants who waited years and paid significant fees to come to the U.S. through proper channels. U.S. Sen. Bob Menendez (D-N.J.) and U.S. Representative Linda Sanchez, (D-Calif.) introduced the bill, and its cosponsors are long-time immigration expansionists.

From his first day as president, Biden urged Congress to draft and pass USCA. Menendez called the legislation “a moral and economic imperative.” And Sanchez said that the bill “is our moment to finally deliver big, bold, and inclusive immigration reform that our nation and its people deserve.” But the details prove otherwise.

For example, the bill allows every illegal alien that the Trump administration deported to return, and apply for amnesty. Under Biden’s concept, aliens who have gone through either expedited removal or been ordered deported by a Department of Justice immigration judge – a lengthy and thorough process – will be welcomed back to the U.S. and put on a path to citizenship. The Federation for American Immigration Reform estimates that because of amnesty and other relaxed laws, 52 million more legal and illegal immigrants will eventually join the general population.

Another large chunk of the bill will retrain Customs and Border Protection agents about where and when they can enforce immigration laws. Although USCA doesn’t include the specific language, Capitol Hill insiders have learned that the Biden administration plans to, within 90 days, dismantle Immigration and Customs Enforcement by abolishing deportation officers’ jobs and removing only hardened criminals.

While USCA is winding its way through Congress, some Biden officials have promoted the idea of flying to the U.S., at taxpayer expense, Central American asylum seekers currently detained in Mexico as part of President Trump’s  “Remain in Mexico” program. A United Nation’s official relayed to the Reuters news agency the federal government’s interest in transporting the asylum-seekers by air into the U.S. where they’ll be given a date to appear before an immigration judge. Immediately after the U.N. created a website that allowed asylum seekers to register remotely for processing at the U.S.-Mexico border, hundreds of migrants signed up.

Biden’s radical immigration agenda is best reflected in his administration’s directionto the Department of Homeland Security to stop using the words “alien” and “illegal alien” in public communications or in intra-agency exchanges. The word “alien” is part of U.S. code, and is historically used to define “any person not a citizen ornational of the United States.”

In a memo from U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services to DHS, however, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services acting director Tracy Renaud wrote that the language changes must include using “noncitizen” instead of “alien,” and “undocumented noncitizen” or “undocumented individual” instead of “illegal alien.” Assimilation, most new immigrants’ decades-old goal, has also been deemed offensive, and must be replaced by “integration or civic integration.” The administration’s new rhetoric is, said officials, “more inclusive.”

The proposed immigration overhaul is so extreme that Democrats on the front lines – Texas and other border states – are alarmed about possibly losing control of the House of Representatives in 2022. Calling Biden’s plan a “catastrophe,” and a “recipe for disaster,” U.S. Rep. Vicente Gonzalez (D-Texas) cautioned him against “going off the rails,” the course he perceives that Biden is traveling.

Other Texas House members echoed Gonzalez’s fears. Border municipalities are in an uproar too. The mayor of Del Rio, Texas, has asked Biden to stop releasing untested illegal immigrants into his community. Mayor Bruno Lozano said the city doesn’t have the resources to help illegals, and he fears health risks to his citizens.

As currently written, USCA provides lots more immigration and lots less enforcement, and it has little public support. But the legislation could be parceled into smaller, standalone bills or snuck into major must-pass legislation. Either way, the Biden administration could remake 21st century immigration, and in the process permanently destroy millions of working Americans’ livelihoods and their children’s futures.

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.

Transformative Immigration Bill Hits Congress And It’s Bad
Transformative Immigration Bill Hits Congress And It’s Bad

Biden Border Blunders

Biden Border Blunders

By Joe Guzzardi

According to Capitol Hill insiders, Joe Biden’s first matter of business will be to pass immigration amnesty legislation. Biden promised to, as he described his intentions, “introduce” an immigration bill within his administration’s first 100 days. And without wasting a moment, the president-elect’s advisors met last week with the Congressional Hispanic Caucus chair Rep. Raul Ruiz, and other House amnesty proponents, to develop a strategy to move forward. In December, signaling their party’s intention for the 117th Congress, Joaquin Castro (D-Texas) and Linda Sanchez (D-Calif.) introduced a bill with the short title of the “Seasonal Worker Solidarity Act of 2020.”

Biden Border Blunders

Biden’s staff is still ironing out further details, but if he’s is serious about his 100-day timeline, then a bill that legalizes deferred action for childhood arrivals, (DACAs) would be his path of least resistance. The DACA population is relatively small; the Migration Policy Institute puts the total as of June 2020 at about 650,000. And the Pew Research Center’s push-polling on DACAs found that 74 percent of Americans favor legalizing DREAMers, a 2012 program that President Obama initiated through an Executive Branch memorandum.

Strategically, moving forward on a full amnesty will be tricky for the new administration. First, workable guidelines must be developed. No one knows how many illegal immigrants currently reside in the U.S., with estimates ranging from 12 million to 30 million. Amnesty advocates and the legacy media use the smaller total. Others, including Arturo Sarukhan, the former ambassador to the U.S. from Mexico, cite 30 million as more accurate.

A related immigration puzzle pertains to the caravans gathered at the border overheard to be chanting “Biden, Biden.” Latest reports indicate that large numbers of Hondurans have already headed North, and anticipate arriving at the Southwest Border before January 20, Inauguration Day, and just in time, they hope, to cash in on amnesty.

Social media is instrumental in forming the caravans, and even if migrants are turned away initially, they invariably regroup to try once more. To date, the Biden team has shown little interest in border enforcement, and instead has outlined an expansive plan to increase immigration at all levels. Biden intends to “promptly undo” the asylum accords that President Trump has negotiated with Honduras, Guatemala and El Salvador, as well as to eventually end the Remain in Mexico policy which has been effective at curtailing amnesty fraud.

Other changes that President-elect Biden would like to implement include lifting the H-1B visa cap, which would serve well his Silicon Valley masters, and importing more low-skilled workers who would compete with American citizens with less than a college education for scarce jobs. About 25 million Americans are unemployed or underemployed.

Millions of Americans oppose amnesty, for understandable reasons. Amnesty means that the federal government will pardon illegal immigrants for breaking U.S. immigration laws and using false Social Security numbers or other fraudulently obtained state identification cards that enable them to gain employment and unlawfully remain in the country.

Biden’s immigration agenda is exceptionally aggressive, especially for an incoming president whose victory edge in key swing states was narrow. In Pennsylvania, Biden’s margin over President Trump was 50.0 percent to 48.8 percent; in Arizona, 49.4 percent to 49.0 percent; in Georgia, 49.5 percent to 49.3 percent, and in Nevada, 50.0 percent to 48.0 percent. And with the 2020 House of Representatives election a far-cry from the big blue, plus-20 seat wave that Democrats predicted – instead, the GOP gained about 12 seats – President-elect Biden may be well advised to start off slowly with his immigration agenda lest he begin his tenure with big border backfires.

On January 20, President Trump will be gone from office. But newly elected President Biden should remember that gone doesn’t mean forgotten, especially among those faithful 75 million voters who want to keep Trumpism.

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

Biden Border Blunders

American Workers First In Pandemic

American Workers First In Pandemic

By Congressman Paul Gosar and Kevin Lynn
If the most conservative member of Congress can partner with the director of Progressives for Immigration Reform, then there is a real chance our nation can undertake true meaningful immigration reform. Prior to coronavirus laying waste to the economy, President Trump often correctly said that we have the “greatest economy in the history of the U.S.” We boasted about low unemployment numbers and celebrated new stock market highs, GDP growth and job creation. What looked promising on the surface belied serious flaws that lay beneath.

American Workers First In Pandemic

Even when unemployment was reported to be low, Americans were being displaced by foreign workers at alarming rates. Today a record 30 million Americans have filed for unemployment – most in the last six to eight weeks. For reasons only a few can fathom, the Administration seems hell-bent on bringing in more workers from abroad through our employment-based visa programs, such as the H-1B, H-2B and Optional Practical Training (OPT). In good times and bad, corporations and policymakers are unwilling to recalibrate employment visa quotas to current economic conditions. We saw this in 2008, and we see it now. It needs to change now.

At the time of this writing we face an unemployment rate that meets or exceeds the peak of the Great Depression. The institutionalizing of neoliberal policies that has enabled the unfettered movement of people and money across international borders so as to maximize profits has gutted the nation’s productive class. In the 1990s we were told there were jobs that didn’t have an economic right to exist and shipped a large portion of our vital manufacturing sector overseas.

Later, we were falsely told there were jobs Americans simply would not do, so we opened the floodgates to large numbers of legal immigrants and turned a blind eye to people coming here illegally who were only too eager to work for less money and no benefits. Now we are being told there are jobs that Americans can’t do. Almost as if the country that put a man on the Moon and invented the Internet could no longer produce skilled knowledge workers and needed to place its homegrown technology infrastructure in the hands of foreigners. The truth is Americans have always been among the most productive and hardest working people. But they should not have to work for below-market wages, kept artificially low by cheap foreign labor.

In the words of Lisa, a knowledge worker:

“I have degrees in math and computer science from the late 80s. Ditto my husband. He’s a database administrator. We’ve both been in IT our entire careers and are sickened to see what’s happened with all of the outsourcing. We are sick of training our Indian replacements.”

Another American wrote to us:

“I’m a 47-year-old database developer. I’ve been replaced multiple times (that I’m aware of) by OPT workers, and I’ve seen my entire IT department at a major corporation replaced by Indian H-1Bs. I do ‘have skills.’ I’m highly regarded and well-respected by my peers and boss, and I have a well-established work history. I’ve been fighting the work visa treason for years, and I never feel like anyone in Washington, D.C. cares about American workers.”

That is why Congressman Gosar has filed H.R.3564, the Fairness for High-Skilled Americans Act of 2019. It would eliminate the OPT program that is used to hire foreigners over U.S. citizens and pay them less. It is immoral and wrong. We encourage our students to get into STEM fields, but because of OPT, 50 percent of STEM graduates can’t get a STEM job.

The pandemic spotlighted that outsourcing and offshoring of jobs have not made America stronger, rather the country has been weakened, vulnerable to the whims of foreign interests. How can we stave off a pandemic when most if not all the components of personal protective equipment are produced overseas or when 90 percent of our antibiotics and antiviral drugs are produced abroad? This is not only an economic concern; it is a national security concern. At one point China threatened to withhold pharmaceuticals from Americans. This is no small threat when almost all are made in China.

But there’s more. The nation’s top financial services and insurance companies have offshored hundreds of thousands of IT and call center jobs, with many going to India. Does it leave us vulnerable having so many foreign nationals able to access our citizens’ sensitive data?

Coronavirus has exposed the greed and corruption of the neo-liberal system and its high priests. In the face of a pandemic, our healthcare system failed us. These efficient and complex global systems did not function well when stressed. Truth be told, the system was beginning to crack before the virus, and it was financialization – not productivity – that was propping up the world’s economy.

However, in the midst of all this chaos, could there be a silver lining? It is time for our elected officials to act and reform the system. This is a great opportunity to hammer out a plan that repatriates manufacturing and back-office operations to the U.S. Moreover, we can take this opportunity to implement immigration reform that puts American interests first. It is time to bring back America, and one way to do it is to make America first when it comes to hiring.

Congressman Paul Gosar represents Arizona’s Fourth District in Congress and has an America First platform that starts with ending cheap foreign labor. He is consistently ranked among the most conservative in Congress.

Kevin Lynn is the executive director of Progressives for Immigration Reform, an organization focused on the unintended consequences of immigration policies and guest worker programs that undermine working Americans.

American Workers First In Pandemic

Cotton Seeks Restricting Student Visas For Chinese

Cotton Seeks Restricting Student Visas For Chinese


By Joe Guzzardi

Sen. Tom Cotton (R-Ark.) said in a nationally televised interview that issuing F-1 visas to Chinese students to allow them to pursue “quantum computing degrees” is a self-defeating exercise. Studying Shakespeare and the Federalist papers would be okay with Cotton, a Harvard J.D. graduate, U.S. Army captain and Afghanistan war veteran. But educating Chinese nationals who become, as Cotton said, so many of the Chinese Communist Party’s “brightest minds” is “a scandal.”

Cotton Seeks Restricting Student Visas For Chinese

Cotton’s comments set off a firestorm of criticism. The Washington Postwrote a scathing editorial that strongly rejected Cotton’s proposal; the Internet was abuzz with harsh retorts to limiting F-1 visas to Chinese students.

However, the facts support Cotton whose suggestion is actually too limited. The 2019 Open Doors Report on International Education released by the Institute of International Education and the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs showed that 872,214 overseas students were enrolled during the 2017-2018 academic year, while another 223,085 were in Optional Practical Training programs (OPT). Chinese nationals comprised 369,548 of the 872,214 international students; India ranked second with 202,014 enrollees.

OPT’s history is a sad lament of a greed that leaves Americans on the unemployment line. At an elitist Georgetown cocktail party years ago, multi-billionaire Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates whined to then-Department of Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff, his globalist friend, that the tech industry suffered from insufficient H-1B workers.

Congress couldn’t be swayed to lift the H-1B 85,000 cap, so tech lobbyists concocted the OPT scheme that allowed science, technology, math and engineering students to remain in the U.S. and take jobs that otherwise would go to Americans. Bottom line: without congressional approval, OPT which originates with the F-1 visa has, in recent years, ballooned into a major U.S. tech worker job displacer.

In 2017, Amazon hired about 2,400 OPT foreign-born workers, and placed them in white-collar jobs that should have gone to Americans. Amazon’s preference for OPT workers is easily explained: DHS data found that Amazon earned nearly $25 million in tax breaks by employing foreign workers. And since the long-ago Georgetown soiree, the self-serving Gates’ net worthhas doubled from $50 billion to $100 billion, while thousands of OPTs have bumped U.S. tech workers from their jobs.

Many of the foreign-born OPT students matriculate at public universities like the University of California’s Davis, San Diego, Berkeley and Irvine campuses. In 2016, Chinese students made up 34 percent of that year’s Berkeley admissions. Penn State, Michigan State and Iowa State universities are also among international students’ preferred destinations.  PSU, MSU and ISU are land-grant schools, state taxpayer-funded institutions specifically for local citizen-residents’ advancement in the agriculture, science, military science and engineering disciplines. At no time since President Abraham Lincoln signed the 1862 Morrill Act that ceded federally controlled land to the universities has the legislation designated that international students be admitted while rejecting U.S. citizens.

Foreign student high enrollment means that qualified U.S. high school graduates are shut out, an inarguable fact. Only a fixed number of freshman seats are available each academic year, and Americans must have the first priority.

Universities are the major culprit in the steadily soaring international admissions injustice. The Wall Street Journal reported that aggressive recruiting abroad has led to a 79 percent international enrollment increase over the last decade, and has created a financial bonanza for the universities. At UC Berkeley, for example, in 2020 undergraduate fees and tuition was $14,253 for residents; out-of-state, $44,000, more than three-times what locals pay.

The F-1 visa was originally intended to provide overseas students with an opportunity to obtain a quality U.S. education. Upon graduation, the students were expected to return to their native countries and apply the skills they learned in the U.S. to improve their home nations. Instead, the F-1 visa has devolved into a job-eating force that’s ballooned out of control. Moreover, and to Cotton’s point, the federal government has no ability to track international students after they arrive. Many of them routinely vanish. An alarmed FBI has urged universities to review ongoing research involving Chinese students and researchers whose academic pursuits could have defense applications.

Cotton’s call to restrict F-1 visas to Chinese nationals is a good start. But Cotton needs to include other countries like India whose presence denies education and employment opportunities to deserving Americans. Congress won’t give Cotton much support, if any. President Trump needs to intercede with an executive order.


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.

Cotton Seeks Restricting Student Visas For Chinese

Pre-Paid Debit Cards For Illegals In LA

Pre-Paid Debit Cards For Illegals In LA

By Joe Guzzardi

The handful of journalists who have spent decades on the immigration beat have a saying: “Never say never.” Translated, the maxim means that no matter how outrageous or illegal federal, state or local lawmakers’ outreach is to unlawfully present aliens, a more shocking development will soon supersede it.

Pre-Paid Debit Cards For Illegals In LA

As an example of the inherent wisdom of never say never, turn to Eric Garcetti, the legacy mayor of Los Angeles. With Garcetti’s wholehearted endorsement, Los Angeles city officials are accepting applications for pre-paid debit cards, including from illegal aliens. The cards, funded privately, will have values of $700, $1,100 and $1,500, depending on the applicants’ household income, assuming that annual earnings fall below the federal poverty line and that the household’s head has a 50 percent income reduction directly related to COVID-19. As of this writing, 450,000 people have submitted applications for what Garcetti calls Angeleno cards.

No one argues that being down and out in Los Angeles, and with limited prospects for significant lifestyle improvements, is awful. But neither can anyone disagree that Garcetti’s action, and the actions that precipitated the cards’ issuance, involves multiple federal immigration offenses. Employers are guilty of hiring illegal immigrants, the aliens are guilty of falsifying employment documents that may involve identity theft and of working without legal authorization, and Garcetti is guilty of harboring aliens. Specifically, Title 8, U.S. Code 1324 prohibits proving direct cash assistance to illegal aliens that enable them to remain in the United States. Nevertheless, Garcetti said, “Applicants will not be asked anything about their immigration status. We are all Angelenos.”

For more than 20 years, California’s Republican and Democratic governors Gray Davis, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Jerry Brown and Gavin Newsom have disregarded immigration laws. During that period, the governors, along with mayors like Garcetti, San Francisco’s Willie Brown and Ed Lee, and Oakland’s Libby Schaaf, have willfully turned their backs on U.S. workers.

The Migration Policy Institute estimates that Los Angeles County has more than 1 million unauthorized residents; 80 percent fall into the prime working-age demographic, 16 to 54. Furthermore, MPI found that 66 percent of Los Angeles’ civilian, over-16 population is employed – a total that includes unlawfully present immigrants. Contrary to the old, discredited saw that illegal immigrants do jobs that Americans won’t do, Los Angeles’ alien population is nearly exclusively employed in manufacturing, food services, construction, professional services and retail. In an increasingly tight employment market, most Americans would eagerly take jobs in those employment sectors.

University of Southern California Dornsife Center for Economic and Social Research study found that more than half of Los Angeles’ residents are unemployed. Within the next three months, the USC study estimates about 33 percent of those unemployed residents will run out of money, and will be unable to meet their financial obligations. Chaos will likely follow.

As Los Angeles slowly reopens its economy – an event that, given Garcetti’s hardline “we will shut you down” stance, may be weeks away – U.S. citizens and lawfully present immigrants are entitled to have the first opportunity to fill jobs as they become available. Since there is literally zero likelihood that California’s state or municipal officials will prioritize American workers, mandatory E-Verify is the best and perhaps only chance U.S. citizens and legal permanent residents will have to get back on the road to economic stability.

President Trump has consistently punted on E-Verify. During the employment crisis, now is the time for the president to step up and put his office’s full weight behind the companion House and Senate bills, the Accountability Through Electronic Verification Act, which Senate Finance Committee Chair Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) and U.S. Rep. Mo Brooks (R-Ala.) introduced. The legislation would permanently reauthorize E-Verify. Within a year, all employers would be required to use the program, and existing employees would have to be E-Verify-checked. Employers that refuse to adopt E-Verify would be subject to fines up to $2,500, and risk further penalties.

Congress should do everything in its power to protect the jobs and wages of hard-working Americans. The Accountability through Electronic Verification Act would be one part of that elusive goal.


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.

Pre-Paid Debit Cards For Illegals In LA