Bi-Partisan Guest Worker Bill Introduced in House

Is Immigration reform on the horizon?

A bipartisan proposal for comprehensive immigration reform that would allow millions of illegal immigrants to participate in a guest-worker program and possibly gain citizenship was introduced in the House yesterday, the first to be submitted since Democrats took control of Congress this year.

The proposal from Reps. Jeff Flake (R-Ariz.) and Luis V. Gutierrez (D-Ill.) is a far cry from a measure passed by the Republican-controlled House in 2005 that focused on tough enforcement actions to reduce illegal immigration. The House bill died in a conference committee along with a competing Senate bill that was similar to the Flake-Gutierrez proposal.

Of course, Tom Tancredo calls it an amnesty bill. It's anything but. My question is, is it enough? I haven't seen a copy of the bill, but I'll update when it becomes available.

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    Looks like amnesty to me. (none / 0) (#1)
    by Gabriel Malor on Fri Mar 23, 2007 at 01:02:25 AM EST
    I can only partially support this bill because, though it fulfills the major concerns I've outlined here before (border security, illegal aliens currently in the U.S., employers of illegal aliens, and possible incentive effects related to amnesty), its provisions for securing the border are limited to "planning" and "reports" to Congress.

    The amnesty sections are in Title VII of the act. It creates an H-5B nonimmigrant visa status for aliens currently present in the U.S. who entered without inspection. Their entry against law is forgiven (that's the amnesty part) provided they meet the usual criteria (pay a fee, meet the admissibility requirements, have employment, submit to fingerprinting and background checks).

    It also contains the vital provision that the H-5B only applies to aliens who are present in the country before the date of enactment. This way, there is a reduced incentive for aliens currently outside the U.S. to cross the border to take advantage of this relief (as we saw happen with the late 1980s amnesty and the ABC case). As usual, the alien carries the burden for proving admissibility, employment, and continuous presence.

    The H-5B lets the alien stay for six years (which is on the long side for nonimmigrant visas). I'm not sure what the renewal conditions are, but I don't think they're all that important given the impact of Section 702 of the bill.

    Section 702 lets an immigrant who has been approved for an H-5B NIV immediately adjust his status to a legal permanent resident (that's a greencard, folks). There is no waiting period or other restriction (in fact, if this passes expect DHS to roll the application for H-5B and adjustment of status into a single hearing for reasons of administrative efficiency).

    I'm not sure why Jeralyn continually badmouths this type of amnesty bill.

    Whoops. (none / 0) (#2)
    by Gabriel Malor on Fri Mar 23, 2007 at 01:09:30 AM EST
    On closer reading, I see that Jeralyn hasn't seen a copy of the bill yet. I'm working off of 2005's version which I'm told is substantially the same.

    That version can be found here (PDF).

    Guest workers? (none / 0) (#3)
    by TomStewart on Fri Mar 23, 2007 at 04:24:18 AM EST
    Isn't this just another way to break the unions?

    Yes. It is an excellent way. (none / 0) (#7)
    by jimakaPPJ on Fri Mar 23, 2007 at 09:32:03 AM EST
    And the union leadership doesm't seem to care.

    Pay $1000 (none / 0) (#4)
    by Wile ECoyote on Fri Mar 23, 2007 at 06:07:09 AM EST
    dollars and be free.  Sounds like amnesty to me.

    I think amnesty would be..... (none / 0) (#11)
    by kdog on Fri Mar 23, 2007 at 05:10:35 PM EST
    paying zero dollars and be free....come to think of it, I like the sound of that...free freedom!

    A cool G for crossing an imaginary line...highway robbery!  A parking ticket is a 100 bucks or so, and thats robbery.  A grand?

    On the brightside...its better than chains and cages.


    Well, no it doesn't go far enough (none / 0) (#5)
    by fafnir on Fri Mar 23, 2007 at 07:08:41 AM EST
    A serious comprehensive immigration reform bill will accomplish the following objectives:

    1. Increase work-site enforcement efforts and penalties, including stiff fines for employers and mandatory jail time for repeat hiring offenses. Allow states to augment illegal immigration worksite enforcement activities. Without work (or job magnet), many illegals will leave on their own over time. (Also known as attrition through work-site enforcement.)

    2. No amnesty. (Do not reward people for entering or remaining in our country illegally, and for committing identity fraud.

    3. Allow illegals to return to their country of origin, where they may apply for legal entrance.

    4. Lower legal immigration levels from 1 million per year (1.3 million last year) to 250K per year. A tight labor market is the best friend the working-class workers (especially for black workers) ever had. Wages and benefits increase when employers abide by the laws of economics to compete fairly for labor. Additionally, a lower immigration level promotes healthy communities, where revenues can adequately service a community needs for social support, education, housing, health care, transportation, energy consumption and waste disposal.

    5. Lower H-1B visas to reduce insourcing of middle-class jobs in technology, knowledge and medical. Nursing schools are filled to the brim, yet hospitals are importing nurses from Africa and Asia. Also, many technology workers with advanced degrees are not working in their desired profession, because too many tech companies are hiring over them to reach cheaper workers in India and China.

    6. Overhaul H-2A and H-2B visas to minimize the use of so-called "guest workers." According to a new report by the Southern Poverty Law Center, Close to Slavery: Guestworker Programs in the United States, "Guest workers are usually poor people who are lured here by the promise of decent jobs. But all too often, their dreams are based on lies, their hopes shattered by the reality of a system that treats them as commodities. They're disposable workers in the global economy."

    7. Promote foreign investment that values the economic security of American workers, while helping poor countries build sustainable economies that support poor people where they live, so that they do not have to leave their home of origin for better wages.

    8. Construct a barrier along the border to further discourage illegal entry and, most importantly, drug trafficking.

    Finally, Democrats should not throw native and legal immigrant workers overboard in order to help deliver an unnecessary and undeserved "win" for Bush and his anti-labor, big-business, open-border cronies.

    By jove you have it right. (none / 0) (#6)
    by jimakaPPJ on Fri Mar 23, 2007 at 09:30:32 AM EST
    Fafnir (none / 0) (#8)
    by Che's Lounge on Fri Mar 23, 2007 at 12:03:17 PM EST
    Excellent. But will the busineseses stay here if NAFTA allows them to relocate? There needs to be some incentive to keep jobs here also. And they might change black workers to minority workers.


    And the union leadership doesm't seem to care.

    Can you point out some articles to back that?

    Briefly, (none / 0) (#10)
    by fafnir on Fri Mar 23, 2007 at 01:48:43 PM EST
    If Toyota can be successful building cars in the US, then so should GM, Ford, and Chrysler.

    Neo-liberal economists like to use "comparative advantage" as an excuse for moving manufacturing jobs to poor countries. The truth, of course, is that they are leaving America to exploit cheap labor globally, as well as escaping environmental and workplace safety regulations here at home.

    We need to discourage businesses from relocating based upon wages by assessing a wage differential tax on their products or services, and reward companies that factor in environmental efficiencies into their costs of doing business.

    Moreover, we need to change how businesses view workers. That is to say, workers should be viewed as assets that provide a return on investment, rather than a resource to be acquired cheaply then discarded.


    Wage protections (none / 0) (#9)
    by Che's Lounge on Fri Mar 23, 2007 at 12:45:53 PM EST
    similar to the ones proposed in the 2006 bill (?McCain/Kennedy) are needed. Unions actually are OK with guest worker programs when the labor market is tight. But only if it is tight due to a true labor shortage, not an artificial shortage created by illegally low wages, so that no one but the convenient and cheap undocumented immigrants will want the job. As long as jobs are first offered to legal workers, if no one wants them, then the businesses should be allowed to hire guest workers.

    No to amnesty bill. Email and call your Congressm (none / 0) (#12)
    by mk1116 on Tue Mar 27, 2007 at 12:27:33 PM EST
    This was done in 1986. The same promises the same lies. They will legalize up to 20 million illegals and our borders will never be closed. Read this research I did. It scares the Hell out of me.
    If you don't care about our country at least care about your children and grandchildren. Support HR 938. Repeal the 14th amendment. Attrition through enforcement!

    Apologists for illegal immigration like to paint it as a victimless crime.  But in fact, illegal immigration causes substantial harm to American citizens and legal immigrants, particularly those in the most vulnerable sectors of our population--the poor, minorities, and children.
    Illegal immigration causes an enormous drain on public funds.  The seminal study of the costs of immigration by the National Academy of Sciences found that the taxes paid by immigrants do not cover the cost of services received by them. We cannot provide high quality education, health care, and retirement security for our own people if we continue to bring in endless numbers of poor, unskilled immigrants.  
    Additionally, job competition by waves of illegal immigrants willing to work at substandard wages and working conditions depresses the wages of American workers, hitting hardest at minority workers and those without high school degrees. Ý
    Illegal immigration also contributes to the dramatic population growth overwhelming communities across America--crowding school classrooms, consuming already limited affordable housing, and straining precious natural resources like water, energy, and forestland

    Taken from the Child trends data bank

    In 2005, Hispanic women had the highest fertility rates, followed by non-Hispanic black women, Asian women, Native American women, and non-Hispanic white women.* Fertility rates for Hispanic women were over 45 percent higher than those for non-Hispanic black women and Asian women (99 births per 1,000 for Hispanic women versus 67 births per 1,000 for non-Hispanic black and Asian women), and more than 65 percent higher than those for Native American women and non-Hispanic white women (60 and 58 births per 1,000 women, respectively). (See Figure 3)
    Among Hispanic women, in 2004 (the most recent year for which such estimates are available), Mexican woman had a much higher fertility rate than Puerto Rican and Cuban woman (107 births per 1,000 compared with 68 births per 1,000 and 53 births per 1,000, respectively). (See Table 1)

    Taken from the population resource center.

    Projections indicate that minorities will make up one-third of the U.S. population by 2015 and nearly half of the population by 2050. The current U.S. population is 72 percent non-Hispanic white; 12 percent African-American; 11 percent Hispanic; and five percent Asian and other.
    The minority share of the U.S. population has more than doubled since 1950. By 2050, whites - who were an 87 percent majority in 1950 - will comprise only 53 percent of the U.S. population.
    Asians (including Pacific Islanders) are the fastest-growing minority group, having increased by 179 percent since 1980. By 2050, Asians will comprise nearly ten percent of the U.S. population.
    Since 1980, the number of Hispanics in the U.S. has grown five times faster than the rest of the population, making the United States the third largest Spanish-speaking country in the world.
    At 33.1 million in 1999, African-Americans remained the largest single minority group nationally, yet between 2005 and 2015, Hispanics are expected to pass African-Americans as the country's largest minority group.
    More legal immigrants (7.6 million) came to the U.S. from 1991 to 1999 than in any other decade except 1901 to 1910. Approximately 42 percent of these immigrants came from Spanish-speaking countries; 33 percent from Asia; 17 percent from Europe; and five percent from Africa. The government estimated in 1996 that an additional five million immigrants were in the U.S. illegally.

    Hispanic Birth Rates, Single Mothers & Government Services
    "The government social-services sector has already latched onto this new client base; as the Hispanic population expands, so will the demands for a larger welfare state. Since conservative open-borders advocates have yet to acknowledge the facts of Hispanic family breakdown, there is no way to know what their solution to it is. But they had better come up with one quickly, because the problem is here--and growing.

    The dimensions of the Hispanic baby boom are startling. The Hispanic birthrate is twice as high as that of the rest of the American population. That high fertility rate--even more than unbounded levels of immigration--will fuel the rapid Hispanic population boom in the coming decades. By 2050, the Latino population will have tripled, the Census Bureau projects. One in four Americans will be Hispanic by mid-century, twice the current ratio. In states such as California and Texas, Hispanics will be in the clear majority. Nationally, whites will drop from near 70 percent of the total population in 2000 to just half by 2050. Hispanics will account for 46 percent of the nation's added population over the next two decades, the Pew Hispanic Center reports."

    This is how they will take over our country. They will out breed us, bankrupt us, turn us into a Third world country like they came from and when we have nothing left to offer they will go back home to their beloved Mexico.