Early next week, the Senate will take up defense proposals. Roy Beck has been alerted that several Senators have come together and will attempt to attach immigration provisions onto the bills that come up for approval. Many Republican Senators, in dire straits because of the continued Iraq mess and who are not really opposed to open borders anyway, will likely be willing to include these attachments in return for getting the military spending they want. Let’s try and disrupt that relationship of convenience that will be doubly-disastrous for the US.
Write, fax, or call your Senators (find their contact information here). Feel free to cut+paste what I’ve sent to mine (below), or use anything therein as a talking point.
Dear Senator ____,
Please do not allow for the DREAM Act attachment (amendment 2237) to be surreptitiously added to the Defense bill next week. It is a gross expansion of so-called ‘birthright citizenship’–which is founded upon a very questionable interpretation of the 14th Amendment–to ‘birthright-plus-minor citizenship’, allowing those who were not yet adults when they first illegally entered the US to become permanent residents by making a few token gestures. What does granting amnesty to those who claim they were minors when they flaunted US sovereignty do for our collective national defense? The American public expressed their overwhelming opposition to an attempted Senatorial amnesty earlier this year. That collective opinion has not changed.
The SKIL Act attachment is also problematic. The reason I, and so many of my friends, went into the financial and accounting fields, instead of engineering, is that the former two paid as well or better than the third. This, despite the elevated difficulty of obtaining an engineering degree compared to either of the two business degrees. Why? Because of our H1-B program. By allowing businesses to keep wages down by paying foreign workers little (and letting citizens pick up the difference in terms of forgone tax revenue), we are ensuring that Americans find those fields increasingly less attractive. It’s a vicious circle. If nothing else, we should at least laden H1-B applications with every possible incentive to get these high-skilled workers to become US citizens. Make the granting of the Visa contingent upon a deposit that is forfeited unless they remain in-country for a decade, or punish employers who cannot get their workers to stick around.
The H2-B Visas are the worst of all. The idea that there are jobs in which no one will do, when those jobs require virtually no skill set, is risible and requires a complete disregard for the fundamental rules of basic economics. Perhaps few will do the jobs at $4 an hour paid under-the-table. Well, then the very profitable agro-industry will have to pay a little more. If labor costs become too high to operate a certain business segment, then drop it. The US cannot compete on low-cost internationally. It’s never going to be a core competency until we resemble Brazil. Let’s go the technological route–fund some mechnization programs for agriculture instead.
We need a merit immigration system that ensures migrants are net taxpaying, wealth-creating, healthy, proficient in the English language, and well-educated. We need to be sure of these things prior to admitting entry. The immigration question must focus not on what is good for foreigners, but what is good for the average American citizen. After all, that is putatively your raison d’etre.