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

US Doctors Bypassed For Foreign Ones?

US Doctors Bypassed For Foreign Ones?

By Joe Guzzardi 

Congress, immigration advocacy groups and immigration lawyers are urging the Trump administration to increase the number of foreign-born doctors to alleviate the alleged medical responders’ shortage during the coronavirus pandemic. Minnesota Democratic Senators Amy Klobuchar and Tina Smith, along with colleagues in the House and Senate, wrote to U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services requesting that the agency resume premium processing for international medical school graduates (non-U.S. citizen international medical graduates) who are seeking employment-based H-1B and J-1 visas. On March 20, USCIS announced that because of COVID-19, it would suspend premium processing.

US Doctors Bypassed For Foreign Ones?


According to the letter, more foreign-born doctors would increase health care availability, especially in rural areas, through the Conrad 30 Waiver Program, which allows U.S.-trained foreign medical school graduates to stay in the country as long as they practice in underserved areas. The “30” refers to the number of doctors per state that can participate in the program.

Traditionally, foreign national doctors who trained in the U.S. must return home for two years after their provisional period has ended before they can reapply for a new visa or permanent residency. Last year, Senators Klobuchar, Susan Collins (R-Maine) and Jacky Rosen (D-Nev.) introduced legislation to extend the Conrad 30 program through 2021. The Conrad State 30 and Physician Access Reauthorization Act, S. 948, has 15 cosponsors, eight Republicans, six Democrats and one Independent.

Americans are united in their desire to do all possible to end the spread of coronavirus. But a reality dose is in order. There are U.S. doctors ready to work who Klobuchar, Collins, Rosen et al appear to be ignoring. National Resident Matching Program (NRMP) data shows that each year since 2011 up to 2,000 current year medical school graduates and prior year graduates did not place into a medical residency at a teaching hospital. Without that residency, they cannot practice medicine.

But in that same ten-year period, more than 36,000 non-U.S. citizen international medical graduates (IMGs) received residency positions – spots that are largely funded by U.S. taxpayers through Medicare dollars. In fact, the number of non-U.S. citizen IMGs has increased each of the years since 2011, from 2,721 to more than 4,222 in 2020.

A sensible solution to the imbalance between overseas and U.S. doctors would be to reduce the number of residencies available to non-U.S. doctors which should increase residency slots for U.S. doctors.

American medical school graduates have worked hard, often taking on tremendous debt loads to earn their undergraduate and M.D. degrees. An unmatched Georgetown University School of Medicine graduate who I’ll call Dr. X, and who I interviewed for this column, told me that to obtain his medical degree he took on $50,000+/year in federal student loans to pay for his education. The cost of a medical degree at GUSOM is even higher today.

With an interest rate of 6.7 percent, Dr. X’s student loans accrue interest at more than $25,000/year and have ballooned to an aggregate that exceeds $460,000, a sum he’s unlikely to retire if he’s unable to work as a physician. Dr. X passed his U.S. medical licensing exams and has extensive medical volunteer experience, as well as other health services experience. Still, without residency, Dr. X can’t practice.

Yet, just since 2011, 36,000 foreign-born doctors are practicing throughout the U.S. even though the federal government has no regulatory authority to oversee the quality of medical education in India, Pakistan, China and Iran, the home countries of the majority of these incoming doctors.

Not only is the existing system and the proposed congressional effort to increase the total number of foreign medical practitioners unfair to American doctors, it’s unjust to the sending countries. In this current pandemic, doctors are needed in their home countries. For instance, India reported a shortage of 600,000 doctors which means that there is one government doctor for every 10,189 persons versus the World Health Organization’s recommended ratio of 1:1,000.

American doctors have the reasonable expectation that upon earning their medical school degrees, and passing their licensing exams, they’ll be able to practice their chosen profession. To shut U.S. doctors out while hiring foreign nationals violates America’s social contract with its citizens, and is a gross injustice.


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.

US Doctors Bypassed For Foreign Ones?

Mulvaney Wants More Immigration

Mulvaney Wants More Immigration

By Joe Guzzardi  

One Capitol Hill lead pipe certainty: every year Congress will try to pass legislation to import more overseas workers, and an equally strong push to grant an amnesty for the millions of unlawfully present aliens that will include lifetime valid work permits. Annual congressional attempts to pass immigration legislation that will expand the workforce, and greatly increase the nation’s population, are as certain as rain. The strategy, so far unsuccessful, is for a prominent Republican to endorse the proposed bill. With Republicans on board, the media can then label the legislation bipartisan, a helpful tool in selling the bill to unsuspecting, under-informed readers.

Mulvaney Wants More Immigration


See the roll call of prominent Republicans who have been all-in on the worst of bad immigration bills over the last 15 years: the 2005 McCain-Kennedy bill; the 2013 Gang of Eight bill that included Marco Rubio, Jeff Flake, Lindsey Graham and John McCain; the former Senate Judiciary Chair Orrin Hatch-championed I-Squared Act that would have increased by 110,000 the H-1B visa cap, and the 2019 Fairness for High-Skilled Immigrants Actthat would eliminate the per-country numerical cap for employment-based immigrants which Utah’s Mike Lee heartily backs. The Senate is indifferent to the cruel reality that endless numbers of H-1B visa holders have displaced, and continue to displace, U.S. tech workers since the enactment of the Immigration Act of 1990.

Invariably, the Republicans joined with the most pro-immigration Democrats to support the expansive immigration bills. The Democrats were in 2005, Ted Kennedy; in 2013, Richard Durbin, Chuck Schumer, Robert Menendez and Michael Bennet, and in 2019, Kamala Harris.

This year, the most prominent and loudest cheerleader for more immigration is former South Carolina U.S. representative and current Acting White House Chief of Staff Mick Mulvaney. Before a private UK audience, Mulvaney said: “We are desperate – desperate – for more people. We are running out of people to fuel the economic growth that we’ve had in our nation over the last four years. We need more immigrants.”

Today’s specific amnesty agenda calls for the Senate, in a push that current Senate Judiciary Chair Graham is spearheading, to adopt an upper chamber version of Zoe Lofgren’s (D-Calif.) agriculture amnesty, the Farm Workforce Modernization Act, a cheap labor, indentured servitude bill that would allow an estimated 1.5 million aliens access to Green Cards in exchange for their labor for a fixed period, between four to ten years.

The federal government has not given the slightest indication that it can properly manage any immigration bills, let alone a farm worker amnesty. In 1986, President Ronald Reagan’s Immigration Reform and Control Act included the Special Agricultural Workers (SAW) provision. SAW was a disaster, so bad that The New York Times wrote that it was “one of the most extensive immigration frauds ever perpetrated against the United States government.”

Mulvaney’s comment that the country is in dire need of more people is a complete lie. Ask commuters driving to work if the nation needs more people. More to the point on employment, despite the rosy reporting on jobs, data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics shows that millions of prime working-age people including minorities continue to be unemployed or under-employed. Nevertheless, every year more than 1 million legal immigrants get work permits, and about 750,000 guest workers receive employment-based visas. Then, there are the tens of thousands of workers who come unlawfully.

The unasked and therefore unanswered question in the Mulvaney mystery is whether President Trump encouraged his chief of staff to promote immigration. President Trump has made several references to his expansive immigration vision including his State of the Union bombshell that he wants the “highest [immigration] numbers ever.” For months, the president’s son-in-law Jared Kushner has been touting an immigration bill that would, among its other anti-American worker features, increase high-skilled labor or so-called “merit-based” immigration – a terrible outcome for U.S. tech workers that would flood the market with cheap labor.

If President Trump wins re-election, in his second term he’d be unencumbered by his campaign pledge to “hire American” that helped put him in the White House. Depending on whether President Trump decides to defend American workers or cave to demands from big business for low-cost labor, the next four years could signal an immigration apocalypse.


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

Mulvaney Wants More Immigration Mulvaney Wants More Immigration

Feds Finally Tackle Birth Tourism Criminals

Feds Finally Tackle Birth Tourism Criminals

By Joe Guzzardi

As the old saying goes, half a loaf is better than none. Today’s subject isn’t bread baking but rather the recent and long overdue Homeland Security Investigations’ action against 19 California-based Chinese nationals for birth tourism operations. HSI’s action followed up on its 2015 sweep that uncovered several illicit goings-on that included criminal offenses at maternity hotels that centered on women who paid as much as $80,000 for the privilege of giving birth to a U.S. citizen child.

Feds Finally Tackle Birth Tourism Criminals


 By violating immigration laws and committing other crimes involving conspiracy, visa fraud, income tax fraud and money laundering, the unscrupulous birth tourism proprietors raked in tens of millions of dollars over the years. One of the operators, Dongyuan Li, faced the seizure of her $2.1 million Irving, Calif., home, six luxury vehicles and more than $1 million from bank accounts, as well as many gold bars and coins. According to the ICE press release, Li “received $3 million in international wire transfers from China in just two years.”
 
According to the indictments, birth hotel owners advised their clients to lie on their visa applications, a crime, and to hide their pregnancies from airport Customs and Border Protection officials. The end game for the foreign-born mothers is to secure U.S. citizenship for their children through the current misinterpretation of the Constitution’s 14th Amendment.
 
Although no court has ruled on the 14th Amendment as it applies to U.S.-born children whose mothers are not American citizens, those children born on U.S. soil are granted automatic citizenship, a practice known as jus soli.Constitutionalists argue that since the foreign-born mother isn’t “under the jurisdiction thereof…” (the U.S. government), citizenship should be conferred only on children whose parents are citizens, known as jus sanguinis.
 
Birth tourism hurts Americans in multiple ways. Later in their lives, the newly minted citizens will have unfettered access to jobs, Social Security and other affirmative benefits. The birth tourism industry is big business. Estimates for the annual births related to the tourist scam range between 40,000 and 60,000 annually. Birth tourism spawns population-busting chain migration since the anchor babies, once they turn 21, can sponsor their parents for permanent residency. Then, in turn, the parents will eventually sponsor their non-nuclear family members. In 2016, the U.S. admitted more than 300,000 people through chain migration.
 
As welcome as the HSI action is, the best hope is that it will send a warning shot over the operators’ heads, and possibly deter other global foreign nationals from signing up for birth tourism packages. It would be more effective, however, if the State Department announced that it will no longer issue travel visas to obviously pregnant women. Then, pregnant women who ignore the State Department’s warning should be turned away at their port of entry.
 
Since this is the first federal intervention into the sleazy, criminal birth tourism businesses that’s been thriving for more than a decade, the question is what took so long. The query is especially significant because the preferred destination for many wealthy pregnant Russians is Florida Trump properties. Although the Trump Organization doesn’t profit from the subleased condominiums that the Russians rent at up to $85,000, it’s inconceivable that President Trump, who railed against chain migration, is unaware of birth tourism on his Florida property.
 
Joseph Macias, Special Agent in Charge of HSI Los Angeles, said that “America’s way of life is not for sale,” and promised to aggressively target “those who would make a mockery of our laws and our values to benefit and enrich themselves.” HSI has a long row to hoe. Dozens of birth tourism scams are still thriving, although perhaps less brazenly.
 
 
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.

Feds Finally Tackle Birth Tourism Criminals
 

World Can Fit In Texas But Don’t Try It

World Can Fit In Texas But Don’t Try It

By Jack McKerrigan

“If every member of the United States lived in an area with the population density of Brooklyn, New York, all 327 million of us could fit into New Hampshire,” wrote Jennifer Wright in a recent article in Harper’s Bazaar. (The current U.S. population actually is 330 million.)

World Can Fit In Texas But Don't Try It

Similar nonsensical pieces have made similar claims – everyone could fit in Texas or the Grand Canyon. These statements are so naïve they leave me practically speechless. Are the authors of these comments, including Bazaar’sWright, who has the seemingly impressive-sounding title of “Political Editor at Large,” so incapable of conceptualizing what actually is required to maintain human life? Besides the physical space that one occupies, vastly larger amounts of space are required to support life! Anyone who believes that the entire U.S. population could live in New Hampshire must never leave New York City and believe everything they eat and use is made by fairies off planet.

According to a 1998 study by Mathis Wackernagel and J. David Yount, of the total space on Earth, 71 percent is ocean, 16 percent is biologically productive land and 13 percent is desert, ice caps and barren land. However, the amount of available biologically productive land would drop dramatically if the availability of energy significantly decreased. Energy is needed to move water to otherwise uninhabitable areas (Los Angeles), pump water from the ground (Ogallala Aquifer) and make the water suitable for human consumption. In addition, energy is required to heat (New Hampshire) and cool (Phoenix) homes and transport food supplies to less temperate climates.

According to the same Wackernagel/Yount study, the space required to support a lifestyle is called an ecological footprint. The ecological footprint (which varies by location) does not include just the space where you are actually living, but includes everything for a steady supply of the basic requirements for life, including energy for warmth and mobility; wood for housing, furniture and paper; materials for clothing and products; food and water, and ecological sinks for waste absorption and other nonconsumptive life support activities. There should also be included in the footprint space for biodiversity preservation. According to this study, the average 1998 U.S. citizen style of life required 21 acres of biological productive space (BPS) per person.

There were only approximately 19 acres of BPS per person available in the U.S., according to the study. That means there was only sufficient space for approximately 91.5 percent of the U.S. population to live the lifestyle of the average U.S. citizen in 1998.

Since 1998 the population of the United States has increased 19.5 percent which means that only approximately 73.7 percent of the current U.S. population can currently live what was previously thought as the average citizen’s style of life in 1998. If every person on Earth in 1998 had the U.S. lifestyle requiring 21 acres of BPS per person, it would have required an area the size of six Earths, and for the current world population, eight Earths.

Since Texas is much larger than New Hampshire (and approximately 25 percent of New Hampshire consists of the White Mountains which are uninhabitable), let’s limit our calculations to how much BPS Texas acreage would be available to each individual on Earth.

To do this, we calculate the number of acres in Texas every person on Earth would receive if we divided the total acres in Texas by current total world population.

This calculation yields .02 acres, or approximately 960 square feet (the size of a small apartment), per every person on Earth. It should be noted that this is total acres, not BPS Texas acres per person. Estimates range that up to half of Texas is uninhabitable, but if we just exclude the 12 percent of Texas which is desert to calculate the Texas BPS acres, it would reduce the space to 844 square feet per person, and this space includes no space for biodiversity. The ecological footprint of the average Japanese, who are some of the most efficient people ecologically in the world, is approximately 441,000 square feet, or approximately 522 times the size of the calculated Texas BPS acres.  

Accordingly, the argument that we could put all families in the world in the state of Texas is true, but as we can see from the footprint needed in Japan all of these people would be dead within a week from starvation, lack of water or poisoned from no waste disposal.

And in New Hampshire, they’d just be put out of their misery sooner.


Jack McKerrigan spent 10 years with an international consulting firm where he worked with companies on five continents while living on three. His clients were large international companies and local governments. He has held senior finance positions for two Fortune 500 companies and was the CFO for four public companies.

Trump Vs Sanctuary State California

Trump Vs Sanctuary State California

By Joe Guzzardi 

In his State of the Union address, President Trump made clear his disgust with sanctuary state California. During the Trump administration’s first three years, the Department of Justice was unable to convert its multiple threats to California and other blatant sanctuary havens to withhold funding. In March 2018, then-Attorney General Jeff Sessions traveled to Sacramento to address several hundred California law enforcement officers. Sessions defended the White House’s lawsuit against California’s sanctuary practices, and correctly noted that federal law is the nation’s “supreme law.” Former Gov. Jerry Brown quickly demonized Sessions, and accused him of waging war against California.

Trump Vs Sanctuary State California

The first round went to California as the state blatantly ignored warnings, and the feds failed to use its full power to force Brown and his equally contemptuous AG Xavier Becerra to comply. Under California’s permissive laws, the state – home to an estimated 2.5 million illegal aliens – protects illegal immigrants by limiting state and municipal cooperation with Immigration and Customs Enforcement.

For the ensuing two years, California’s illegal sanctuary status continued. ICE only apprehended a fraction of the number of illegals in California versus the number arrested in Texas. For example, the Los Angeles ICE field office averaged only about 35 criminally charged arrests monthly compared to 300 per month for Dallas in non-sanctuary state Texas.

According to Pew, Los Angeles metro has twice as many illegal aliens as the Dallas metro area which means that Los Angeles ICE doesn’t arrest thousands of criminal aliens. Nationwide in 2018, ICE issued detainers for criminal aliens collectively responsible for 2,500 murders, nearly 30 percent of the nation’s 9,049 homicide arrests. More than 3 million aliens with criminal records currently live in the U.S.

Regardless of the feckless, hallow sanctuary defenses that brazen sanctuary advocates put forward, the aggregate statistics are shocking and indefensible. Earlier this month, Orange County (CA) Sheriff Don Barnes announced that 1,500 illegal aliens with detainers were released in 2019. Of those, 238 were re-arrested for committing new preventable crimes, including assault and battery, rape and robbery. The Immigration Reform website found that the recidivism rate among criminal aliens is 25 percent. Nevertheless, during the last three years, the number of sanctuary cities has doubled.

Individual victims’ stories are heartbreaking. As part of his SOU address, President Trump referenced Junior “Gustavo” Garcia-Ruiz, a repeat illegal alien offender with previous arrests for assault, robbery and drug offenses, who was charged with murdering Tulare County resident Rocky Jones. On December 18, 2018, at a local gas station, Garcia-Ruiz shot Jones in the face several times. Garcia-Ruiz was incarcerated just days before he murdered Jones, and he also committed multiple other crimes within a 24-hour period. Yet despite Garcia-Ruiz’s numerous prior arrests and earlier deportations, the Tulare County Sheriff’s Office ignored the ICE detainer. Later during the same month that he murdered Jones, Garcia-Ruiz died during a police chase.

After telling Jones’ story, President Trump urged Congress to pass legislation that would allow sanctuary city victims to sue government officials who violate federal immigration laws. North Carolina Sen. Thom Tillis promptly introduced S. 2059, the Justice for Victims of Sanctuary Cities Act, that would give local officials immunity for assisting federal immigration officers and would also allow Americans to pursue legal action against sanctuary cities.

S. 2059 is all well and good. But legislation that empowers the federal government to swiftly act against sanctuary cities and their irresponsible leaders is already on the books. 8 USC 1324 states that a person who knowingly “conceals, harbors, or shields from detection” illegal aliens is punishable by up to ten years in prison.

The time to end mollycoddling the more than 564 sanctuary cities and ten sanctuary states is over. Not a single tangible reason exists to tolerate American taxpayers and citizens funding the costly, craven sanctuary city fallout with money and lives.


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.

Trump Vs Sanctuary State California

Unraveling California’s Quick Demise

Unraveling California’s Quick Demise

By Joe Guzzardi

Through incredibly good fortune, I’ve been unable to watch the tedious impeachment trial. I’m traveling and my destinations don’t have television. I can’t report having the same luck, however, with the daily immigration news. Bulletins pour into my email inbox, and since immigration has been my journalism beat for more than 30 years, I’m professionally obligated to keep current. The news is relentlessly dreary, and reflects how far from the rule of law California has drifted.

Unraveling California’s Quick Demise

In its story “This Immigration Lawyer Understands Her Clients; She’s Undocumented,” the Los Angeles Times was almost giddy over illegal alien Lizbeth Mateo and her representation before the Executive Office for Immigration Review (EOIR) of a fellow illegal alien. Let that sink in: an illegal alien lawyer defending an illegal alien in a U.S. Court. According to a former legacy Immigration and Naturalization employee, no one can serve as an attorney or be a member of the state bar if they are criminals – Mateo entered and reentered the United States illegally. Nor are they eligible to represent an alien before the EOIR since their immigration status conflicts with the laws at issue.

Instead of focusing its story on the absurdity and legal questionability of an illegal immigrant subject to immigration laws, including arrest and deportation, representing another illegal immigrant, the Times instead referred to Mateo as “polished, savvy” which may be true but is also incomplete. Mateo is certainly savvy. Several years ago, she and eight other activists, known collectively as the The Dream 9, traveled to Mexico, then demanded and received reentry permission so they could protest what they perceived as President Obama’s harsh immigration policy.

That California would be the epicenter of such an outrageous immigration failure surprises no one. In 2013, as it began its slide into the depths of incomprehensible catering and entitlement-dole-out to unlawfully present migrants, then-Gov. Jerry Brown signed AB 1024, legislation that allowed illegal aliens who passed the California bar to receive law licenses.

During the same week, Brown also approved state-issued drivers licenses for aliens. A boastful Brown said, “While Washington waffles on immigration, California’s forging ahead, I’m not waiting.” One year later, Brown signed more expansive legislation that ordered the 40 licensing boards which the California Department of Consumer Affairs recognizes to, by 2016, accept applications regardless of immigration status. To replace the previously required Social Security number on all professional license applications, aliens could substitute the easily acquired federal Individual Taxpayer Identification Number.

Brown was correct, but not in the way he imagined, when he called Washington an immigration waffler. In the nearly seven years that have passed since Brown signed AB 1024, Congress has done little to end the privileges like driving, sanctuary city protection, and access to lower in-state university education fees that states and counties have awarded to illegal immigrants. As a California native and long-time immigration analyst, the question I’m most often asked is: What happened to the Golden State? In recent memory California was a conservative bastion under U.S. Sen. Richard Nixon, and Governors Ronald Reagan and Pete Wilson.

But then, as president, Reagan went rogue and signed the Immigration Reform and Control Act of 1986. During the ensuing years, tens of thousands of legal and illegal immigrants arrived. The legal immigrants and their children who came of age in the late 1990s and early 2000s favor higher immigration levels, self-define as Democrats and vote accordingly. Among the illegal alien contingent that came to California, many have remained, and some have received amnesty and therefore voting rights. They too support immigration expansion.

Today in California, as the EOIR example proves, federal immigration laws are meaningless. If they’re willing to objectively study California’s immigration history, other states could learn an important lesson. Too much identity politics accelerates great states’ declines and fall. In about a half-century, California went from being America’s most coveted destination to today’s societal mess from which residents with options can’t flee fast enough.


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.

Unraveling California’s Quick Demise

H-2B Visas Hurt American Wages

H-2B Visas Hurt American Wages

By Joe Guzzardi

In what has become an annual display of businesses’ addiction to cheap labor, commerce leaders are lobbying the acting Department of Homeland Security Secretary, Chad Wolf, to increase the H-2B visa cap. The H-2B is a seasonal, temporary, nonagricultural visa with a current 66,000 cap, and is frequently used in landscaping, hospitality and construction industries – blue-collar jobs where wages have been stagnant for years. Last year, the cap was increased by 30,000 visas.

H-2B Visas Hurt American Wages



Adding foreign-born workers to an economy that President Trump touts as the greatest in America’s history would be counter-productive and hurtful to middle-class U.S. workers who are just starting to benefit from a tight labor market. A record-high 158.8 million Americans are currently employed.

The H-2B visa has a long history of being used by employers to pass over qualified Americans and, under the false labor shortage narrative, hire instead cheap, pliant foreign-born labor. A U.S. Government Accountability Office report confirmed that multiple employers in numerous states violated wage, housing and documentation standards among H-2B workers. And a Buzz Feed News exposé based on Labor Department statistics and titled “All You Americans Are Fired” found that “many businesses go to extraordinary lengths to skirt the law, deliberately denying jobs to American workers so they can hire foreign workers….”

Last week, the Congressional Budget Office reported that mass immigration, which the U.S. has experienced for decades, adversely affects the wages of Americans who compete directly with new immigrants for employment. Expansionists argue that immigration grows the economy, a half-truth. More people mean a bigger economy, but per capita income suffers. From the CBO: “And there are many new immigrant workers to compete with. Immigrants account for about half of all newcomers to the workforce each year.” The CBO concluded that wages are negatively affected in whatever category in which American workers must compete in a labor market artificially inflated by mass immigration.

The degree to which Americans have suffered because of a surfeit of immigrant labor is eye-opening. Census Bureau data from the first quarter of 2019 show that 5 million adult immigrants without a bachelor’s degree have been allowed to settle in the country just since 2010. As a result, wages have stagnated or declined for the less educated. Since 2000, the bottom quarter of earners saw just a 4.3 percent real-wage increase – equivalent to an annual raise of just 0.2 percent. An immigrant labor overage most adversely affects teenagers, U.S.-born blacks and other minorities.

Despite pleas from big business that H-2B visa hikes are necessary to offset an acute labor shortage, and even avoid bankruptcy, numerous nonpartisan studies find no evidence of scarcity. Among other respected bipartisan organizations, the Economic Policy Institute, a liberal, pro-immigration, Washington, D.C.-based research firm found “no evidence at all of labor shortages in the labor market.”

The H-2B visa has been so flawed for so long, and has been so harmful to American workers, that even hard-core pro-immigration Democratic senators have written to Wolf and Labor Secretary Eugene Scalia urging them to reject corporate crocodile tears about worker shortages. Calif. Sen. Dianne Feinstein, Conn. Sen. Richard Blumenthal and Ill. Senator Richard Durbin, all of whom throughout their long congressional careers have consistently voted in favor of more employment-based visas, joined their Republican colleagues Iowa Sen. Charles Grassley and Ark. Sen. Tom Cotton to object to increases in the existing 66,000 cap. In their letter to Wolf and Scalia, the senators asserted that the H-2B visa incentivizes employers to hire foreign nationals and pass over qualified Americans.

President Trump is the wild card in the equation. From time to time, the president has demonstrated an understanding about how excessive immigration hurts American workers. But President Trump’s recent comments about the need for more skilled immigration, talking points taken straight from the Chamber of Commerce’s playbook, have the pro-American labor lobby on edge. As is often said around Capitol Hill, when it comes to President Trump’s thinking, no one ever knows.


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.

H-2B Visas Hurt American Wages