The H-2B visa program, whereby businesses are allowed to import foreign workers every year, has dragged down the wages of blue-collar Americans, a new study reveals.
Every year, U.S. companies are allowed to import 66,000 low-skilled H-2B foreign workers to take blue-collar, non-agricultural jobs. For some time, the H-2B visa program has been used by businesses to bring in cheaper, foreign workers and has contributed to blue-collar Americans having their wages undercut.
The latest study by the Center for Immigration Studies (CIS) finds that throughout Fiscal Year 2018, blue-collar Americans in landscaping, conservation work, the meatpacking industry, construction industry, and fishing jobs have had their wages dragged down by foreign workers imported through the H-2B visa program.
When CIS researchers reviewed wage data comparing the wages of H-2B foreign workers to the national wage average for each blue-collar industry, about 21 out of 25 of the industries offered lower wages to foreign workers than Americans.
In the construction industry, wage suppression is significant, with H-2B foreign workers being offered more than 20 percent less than their American counterparts. In the fishing industry, foreign workers were offered more than 30 percent less for their jobs than Americans in the field; and in the meatpacking industry, foreign workers got 23 percent less pay in wages than Americans.
(Center for Immigration Studies)
Despite the H-2B visa program keeping working-class Americans’ wages down, the Democrat and Republican political establishments have joined the business lobby to push a plan that would give U.S. industry an unlimited supply of low-skilled foreign workers through the H-2B visa program.
The plan would cut poorer and working-class Americans completely out of the U.S. labor force by replacing them with foreign workers.
Though President Trump signed his “Buy American, Hire American” executive order in early 2017, his Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Secretaries, General John Kelly and Kirstjen Nielsen, have each approved an additional 15,000 foreign workers for business to import in 2017 and 2018.
Every year, the U.S. admits about 1.1 million mostly low-skilled legal immigrants, many of whom immediately become low-wage competition for America’s working and middle class. The latest data from the U.S. Census Bureau marks a nearly 108-year record high of immigration to the country. In 2017, the foreign-born population boomed to 13.7 percent, encompassing 44.5 million immigrants.
The Washington, DC-imposed policy of mass immigration is a boon to corporate executives, Wall Street, big business, and multinational conglomerates, as every one percent increase in the immigrant composition of each occupation’s labor force reduces those Americans’ hourly wages by 0.4 percent. Every one percent increase in the immigrant workforce reduces Americans’ overall wages by 0.8 percent.
John Binder is a reporter for Breitbart News. Follow him on Twitter at @JxhnBinder.
THE PELOSI DOCTRINE:
BOTTOMLESS WELFARE FOR ILLEGALS, ENDLESS WARS FOR BANKSTERS AND MUSLIM DICTATORS. NO WALL TO PROTECT US FROM THE NARCOMEX CARTELS!
BILLIONAIRES (ALL DEMOCRATS) FOR wider OPEN BORDERS TO KEEP WAGES DEPRESSED and AMERICA FLOODED WITH FOREIGNERS.
But Benioff’s cheap-labor importation plan would also shrink the income and careers sought by millions of American college graduates, many of whom will vote in 2020 for or against Trump.
The nation’s workforce now includes roughly 1.5 million foreign college-graduate contract-workers who are imported via the H-1B, L-1, OPT, O-1, J-1, and other visa programs. These outsourcing workers are not immigrants, but instead, they are contract workers hired for one to six years, at lower wages, to take jobs that would otherwise go to American graduates.
The Americans’ salary loss, however, would be a gain for the CEOs who see their profits rise and their stock options spike as middle-class salaries decline.
OPEN BORDERS FACILITATE AMERICA’S RACE TO THE BOTTOM
For decades the United States government, on all levels, has betrayed its own citizens, promoting open borders policies that have come to undermine national security, public safety, public health, and jobs and wages for American workers.
The massive influx of alien children who lack English language proficiency also has a profound impact on the education of American kids. Increasingly schools across the United States are forced to provide costly ESL (English as a Second Language) services draining funds that could and should be used to provide quality education for American children. Additionally, as autism rates soar and with it the growing need for special services and early intervention for such learning challenged children, money that should be spent on those vital programs that could help so many of those children live better and more productive lives is being used, instead, to fund those ESL programs for illegal aliens and frequently the children of illegal aliens who do not speak English in their homes.
When early intervention is withheld from at-risk students, the results are frequently catastrophic, yet with all of the emotional arguments posed by the immigration anarchists who call for compassion for illegal aliens, their calls for compassion utterly disregard the plight of American children.
Open borders policies permit huge numbers of foreign workers to enter the United States and displace American workers, not because American’s “won’t do these jobs” as claimed by the duplicitous politicians, but because these foreign workers are willing to accept lower wages and worse conditions than would the American workers whom they displace.
We can all think back to the days when we were growing up and sought our very first jobs to provide us with some spending money, enabling us to put our foot on the bottom rung of the economic ladder.
We often encountered the conundrum of not being able to get a job without a reference. In order to get a reference we had to have a previous employer vouch for us. This made getting that very first job all the more difficult and, at the same time, all the more important.
I remember my first job, when I was 14 yeas old, working during my summer vacation in a Kosher delicatessen, a short bike ride from home in Brooklyn where I washed dishes, fried potatoes and served hot dogs at the counter, waited on tables and delivered sandwiches to the women who spent hours at the nearby beauty parlors.
It was exciting and empowering to be earning money instead of asking my parents for an allowance. Although I didn’t realize it at the time, that job also provided me with an education in life lessons, teaching me to be responsible, punctual and take instructions from an employer. That job also taught me the value of money, I was far less likely to squander money when I had to work so hard to earn it.
Finally, that job provided me with that important first reference that helped me get other jobs in the future as I climbed the economic ladder to a successful life.
Many of my friends also worked in nearby restaurants. Brooklyn has no shortage of great places to eat, often small “mom and pop” restaurants and everyone of those establishments routinely hired teenagers and college students who were desperate to earn money.
Today most of those jobs in all too many local restaurants and other businesses are not taken by teenage American kids, but but illegal aliens, thereby shutting out Americans.
Consequently, these American kids are often unable to get that first job that would mean so much to them and provide them with important life lessons including a sense of self-worth and empowerment.
Unable to find legitimate employment, some kids, particularly in the poor neighborhoods, resort to committing crimes to get their hands on some money to take a girl on a date or make purchases. This often puts these teenagers on a trajectory that does not end well for them or for their communities, or for America.
Illegal alien day laborers often displace construction workers, resulting in massive unemployment for American and lawful immigrant workers, boosting the profits of their employers who hire them “off the books” and pay them extremely low wages.
The open-borders/immigration anarchists are quick to invoke arguments about the need for compassion. The reality is that there’s no compassion in the exploitation of vulnerable foreign workers nor is there compassion in the destruction of wages and jobs for Americans.
Now with the legalization of marijuana in many cities and states across the United States the issue not being raised in the media is that inasmuch as many companies test their employees for illegal drugs, it is likely that those who are encouraged to smoke marijuana will lose their jobs, perhaps leading to the globalists claiming that not only are lazy Americans not willing to take physically demanding jobs, and too dumb to take hi-tech jobs but are now too stoned to take any jobs.
The displacement of American workers is not limited to the economic bottom rung jobs. America has been increasingly importing computer programmers and other hi-tech workers from India and other countries to displace Americans.
The Democratic Party used to act in the interests of American workers and, as a part of their efforts to protect the jobs and wages of Americans, opposed the importation of foreign workers. Today, the Democratic Party no longer represents American workers and, in fact, has come to betray American workers and their families. Today’s Democratic Party insists on raising the minimum wage to $15.00 per hour to achieve “wage equality.” This works out to an annual wage of slightly more than $30,000. The question that is never asked, particularly by the mainstream media is: “with whom would these workers become equal?”
It would be one thing if they insisted on a $15.00 minimum wage to help America’s working poor. But to tout that wage as a means of achieving “wage equality” should give all Americans cause for pause.
As I noted in an article I once wrote about the veiled attack on the middle class,
The Wage Equality Deception, Alan Greenspan the former Chairman of the Federal Reserve Bank, invoked the notion of wage equality way back on April 30, 2009 when he testified before the Senate Subcommittee on Immigration, Border Security and Citizenship that was, at that time, chaired by Chuck Schumer.
But there is little doubt that unauthorized, that is, illegal, immigration has made a significant contribution to the growth of our economy. Between 2000 and 2007, for example, it accounted for more than a sixth of the increase in our total civilian labor force. The illegal part of the civilian labor force diminished last year as the economy slowed, though illegals still comprised an estimated 5% of our total civilian labor force. Unauthorized immigrants serve as a flexible component of our workforce, often a safety valve when demand is pressing and among the first to be discharged when the economy falters.
Some evidence suggests that unskilled illegal immigrants (almost all from Latin America) marginally suppress wage levels of native-born Americans without a high school diploma, and impose significant costs on some state and local governments.
Greenspan must not have gotten the memo- when America’s poorest workers suffer wage suppression they are likely to become homeless and, indeed, across the United States, homelessness has increased dramatically. This not only creates chaos in the lives of the homeless and their children, but imposes severe economic burdens on cities that have to cope with this disaster.
Greenspan went on to state the United States must accede to Bill Gates’ demand for more H-1B visas as Gates noted in his testimony at a previous hearing, that we are "driving away the world's best and brightest precisely when we need them most."
Where I come from, “the world’s best and brightest” are AMERICANS! This is what is commonly referred to as “American Exceptionalism.”
Greenspan supported his infuriating call for many more H-1B visas by the following “benefits” for America and, as you will see, the last sentence of his outrageous paragraph addresses the notion of reducing “wage inequality” by lowering wages of middle class, highly educated Americans whom Greenspan had the chutzpah to refer to as “the privileged elite”!
Consider this excerpt from his testimony:
First, skilled workers and their families form new households. They will, of necessity, move into vacant housing units, the current glut of which is depressing prices of American homes. And, of course, house price declines are a major factor in mortgage foreclosures and the plunge in value of the vast quantity of U.S. mortgage-backed securities that has contributed substantially to the disabling of our banking system. The second bonus would address the increasing concentration of income in this country. Greatly expanding our quotas for the highly skilled would lower wage premiums of skilled over lesser skilled. Skill shortages in America exist because we are shielding our skilled labor force from world competition. Quotas have been substituted for the wage pricing mechanism. In the process, we have created a privileged elite whose incomes are being supported at noncompetitively high levels by immigration quotas on skilled professionals. Eliminating such restrictions would reduce at least some of our income inequality.
Generally, the prospect of high-paying jobs incentivized American students to go on to college and acquire costly and time-consuming educations to be qualified to take those exciting and well-paying jobs. If wages for high-tech professionals are slashed, those jobs will no longer be attractive to Americans.
Greenspan, Schumer and their cohorts are determined to create a $15.00 per hour “standard wage” to be paid to all workers irrespective of education or the nature of their jobs. This is called Communism!
Many have said that the Democrats want to import immigrants who will vote for their candidates.
What is often overlooked is that the downward economic spiral caused by the massive influx of cheap alien labor pushes ever more beleaguered Americans to vote for the Democrats who promise to help the hapless, financially strapped Americans for whom, no matter how hard they may strive, the “American Dream” has become an unattainable dream.
NY Times: ’40-Year’ Flood of Immigration Turns Orange County Blue
The New York Times admits a “40-year rise in the number of immigrants” living in Orange County, California has transformed the region from a “fortress of conservative Republicanism” to a Democrat electoral sweep.
The Times notes in a piece titled “In Orange County, a Republican Fortress Turns Democratic” that the rapid demographic changes of the county — which now has a more than 30 percent foreign-born population — has swiftly handed the region over to Democrats.
Breitbart News reported that Orange County’s booming foreign-born populations of mostly Asian immigrants and migrants from Central America coincided with Democrats sweeping the midterm elections in an area that gave birth to President Richard Nixon.
The Times now acknowledges the demographic changes are at least partially responsible for the diminishing Republican representation in Orange County:
There was a steady decrease in white voters in the seven congressional districts that are in and around Orange County between 1980 and 2017, according to census data. In 1980, whites made up 75 percent of the population in the district where Mr. Cisneros won. By 2017, that number dropped to 30 percent. [Emphasis added]
The county’s immigrant population grew five times as fast as the general population between 1980 and 2000, and while the pace of immigration has slowed, the Latino and Asian populations continues to increase, driven by the children of immigrant families born in the United States. [Emphasis added]
“You went from a solid Republican county to one in which Republicans were just barely the majority, and it fell pretty quickly in the past two years,” said Ms. Godwin. “You have had continued demographic changes. This is a county that went from majority-white to having a majority that are Latino and Asian-American.So that has gone hand-in-hand — particularly with the rising Asian-American population — to voting more Democratic.” [Emphasis added]
In a series of charts, Times reporters Robert Gebeloff and Jasmine C. Lee. reveal that while Orange County has become less and less Republican, the foreign-born population has grown significantly, the share of college graduates has peaked, and the white American population has fallen drastically.
(Screenshot via the New York Times)
Months ago, Breitbart News reported the district-by-district breakdown of Orange County’s enormous foreign-born populations, which have aided the Democrats’ electoral sweep in the region.
California’s 46th District, already a Democrat-held congressional seat, has a foreign-born population that is now reaching 40 percent with four-out-of-ten residents being born outside the United States.
The other Democrat-held congressional seat in Orange County, California’s 47th District, has a foreign-born population of nearly 30 percent.
Three of Orange County’s four Republican districts that have flipped to Democrat have foreign-born populations that make up 25 percent or more of the region. For example, California’s 39th District — where Democrat Gil Cisneros won over Republican Young Kim — has a 34.1 percent foreign-born population.
In the 45th District, where Rep. Mimi Walters (R-CA) has conceded to Democrat Katie Porter, the foreign-born population makes up nearly 30 percent of the district.
Similarly, in the state’s 48th District, Rep. Dana Rohrabacher (R-CA) — the former speechwriter to President Ronald Reagan — lost to Democrat Harley Rouda after serving in the seat since 2013. That district’s foreign-born population is now near 25 percent.
Even in the 49th District, where the foreign-born population remains below 20 percent, Democrat Mike Levin beat out Republican Diane Harkey. The district has anywhere between an 18 to 19 percent foreign-born population with about 55 percent of foreign-born residents arriving from Latin America and nearly 30 percent coming from Asia.
Democrats have increasingly swept congressional districts whose demographics have been quickly changed due to the country’s policy of mass legal and illegal immigration.
The process known as “chain migration,” for instance — whereby newly naturalized citizens can bring an unlimited number of foreign relatives to the U.S. with them — has imported more than nine million foreign nationals since 2005.
As Breitbart News reported, if chain migration is not ended — as President Donald Trump has demanded — the U.S. electorate will forever be changed, with between seven to eight million new foreign-born individuals being eligible to vote because of chain migration, and overall, an additional 15 million new foreign-born voters.
John Binder is a reporter for Breitbart News. Follow him on Twitter at @JxhnBinder.
HOME TO DIANNE FEINSTEIN, NANCY PELOSI, KAMALA HARRIS AND GAVIN NEWSOM
Adios, Sanctuary La Raza Welfare State of California A fifth-generation Californian laments his state’s ongoing economic collapse. By Steve Baldwin American Spectator What’s clear is that the producers are leaving the state and the takers are coming in. Many of the takers are illegal aliens, now estimated to number over 2.6 million. The Federation for American Immigration Reform estimates that California spends $22 billion on government services for illegal aliens, including welfare, education, Medicaid, and criminal justice system costs.
BLOG: MANY DISPUTE CALIFORNIA’S EXPENDITURES FOR THE LA RAZA WELFARE STATE IN MEXIFORNIA JUST AS THEY DISPUTE THE NUMBER OF ILLEGALS. APPROXIMATELY HALF THE POPULATION OF CA IS NOW MEXICAN AND BREEDING ANCHOR BABIES FOR WELFARE LIKE BUNNIES. THE $22 BILLION IS STATE EXPENDITURE ONLY. COUNTIES PAY OUT MORE WITH LOS ANGELES COUNTY LEADING AT OVER A BILLION DOLLARS PAID OUT YEARLY TO MEXICO’S ANCHOR BABY BREEDERS. NOW MULTIPLY THAT BY THE NUMBER OF COUNTIES IN CA AND YOU START TO GET AN IDEA OF THE STAGGERING WELFARE STATE MEXICO AND THE DEMOCRAT PARTY HAVE ERECTED SANS ANY LEGALS VOTES. ADD TO THIS THE FREE ENTERPRISE HOSPITAL AND CLINIC COST FOR LA RAZA’S “FREE” MEDICAL WHICH IS ESTIMATED TO BE ABOUT $1.5 BILLION PER YEAR.
Liberals claim they more than make that up with taxes paid, but that’s simply not true. It’s not even close. FAIR estimates illegal aliens in California contribute only $1.21 billion in tax revenue, which means they cost California $20.6 billion, or at least $1,800 per household.
Nonetheless, open border advocates, such as Facebook Chairman Mark Zuckerberg, claim illegal aliens are a net benefit to California with little evidence to support such an assertion. As the Center for Immigration Studies has documented, the vast majority of illegals are poor, uneducated, and with few skills. How does accepting millions of illegal aliens and then granting them access to dozens of welfare programs benefit California’s economy? If illegal aliens were contributing to the economy in any meaningful way, California, with its 2.6 million illegal aliens, would be booming. Furthermore, the complexion of illegal aliens has changed with far more on welfare and committing crimes than those who entered the country in the 1980s. Heather Mac Donald of the Manhattan Institute has testified before a Congressional committee that in 2004, 95% of all outstanding warrants for murder in Los Angeles were for illegal aliens; in 2000, 23% of all Los Angeles County jail inmates were illegal aliens and that in 1995, 60% of Los Angeles’s largest street gang, the 18th Street gang, were illegal aliens. Granted, those statistics are old, but if you talk to any California law enforcement officer, they will tell you it’s much worse today. The problem is that the Brown administration will not release any statewide data on illegal alien crimes. That would be insensitive. And now that California has declared itself a “sanctuary state,” there is little doubt this sends a message south of the border that will further escalate illegal immigration into the state.
"If the racist "Sensenbrenner Legislation" passes the US Senate, there is no doubt that a massive civil disobedience movement will emerge. Eventually labor union power can merge with the immigrant civil rights and "Immigrant Sanctuary" movements to enable us to either form a new political party or to do heavy duty reforming of the existing Democratic Party. The next and final steps would follow and that is to elect our own governors of all the states within Aztlan." Indeed, California goes out of its way to attract illegal aliens. The state has even created government programs that cater exclusively to illegal aliens. For example, the State Department of Motor Vehicles has offices that only process driver licenses for illegal aliens. With over a million illegal aliens now driving in California, the state felt compelled to help them avoid the long lines the rest of us must endure at the DMV. And just recently, the state-funded University of California system announced it will spend $27 million on financial aid for illegal aliens. They’ve even taken out radio spots on stations all along the border, just to make sure other potential illegal border crossers hear about this program. I can’t afford college education for all my four sons, but my taxes will pay for illegals to get a college education.
California used to be home to America's largest and most affluent middle class. Today, it is America's poverty capital. What went wrong? In a word: immigration.
According to the U.S. Census Bureau's Official Poverty Measure, California's poverty rate hovers around 15 percent. But this figure is misleading: the Census Bureau measures poverty relative to a uniform national standard, which doesn't account for differences in living costs between states – the cost of taxes, housing, and health care are higher in California than in Oklahoma, for example. Accounting for these differences reveals that California's real poverty rate is 20.6 percent – the highest in America, and nearly twice the national average of 12.7 percent.
Likewise, income inequality in California is the second-highest in America, behind only New York. In fact, if California were an independent country, it would be the 17th most unequal country on Earth, nestled comfortably between Honduras and Guatemala. Mexico is slightly more egalitarian. California is far more unequal than the "social democracies" it emulates: Canada is the 111th most unequal nation, while Norway is far down the list at number 153 (out of 176 countries). In terms of income inequality, California has more in common with banana republics than other "social democracies."
More Government, More Poverty
High taxes, excessive regulations, and a lavish welfare state – these are the standard explanations for California's poverty epidemic. They have some merit. For example, California has both the highest personal income tax rate and the highest sales tax in America, according to Politifact.
Not only are California's taxes high, but successive "progressive" governments have swamped the state in a sea of red tape. Onerous regulations cripple small businesses and retard economic growth. Kerry Jackson, a fellow with the Pacific Research Institute, gives a few specific examples of how excessive government regulation hurts California's poor. He writes in a recent op-ed for the Los Angeles Times:
Extensive environmental regulations aimed at reducing carbon dioxide emissions make energy more expensive, also hurting the poor. By some estimates, California energy costs are as much as 50% higher than the national average. Jonathan A. Lesser of Continental Economics ... found that "in 2012, nearly 1 million California households faced ... energy expenditures exceeding 10% of household income."
Some government regulation is necessary and desirable, but most of California's is not. There is virtue in governing with a "light touch."
Finally, California's welfare state is, perhaps paradoxically, a source of poverty in the state. The Orange Country Register reports that California's social safety net is comparable in scale to those found in Europe:
In California a mother with two children under the age of 5 who participates in these major welfare programs – Temporary Assistance for Needy Families, Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (food stamps), housing assistance, home energy assistance, Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants and Children – would receive a benefits package worth $30,828 per year.
... [Similar] benefits in Europe ranged from $38,588 per year in Denmark to just $1,112 in Romania. The California benefits package is higher than in well-known welfare states as France ($17,324), Germany ($23,257) and even Sweden ($22,111).
Although welfare states ideally help the poor, reality is messy. There are three main problems with the welfare state. First, it incentivizes poverty by rewardingthe poor with government handouts that are often far more valuable than a job. This can be ameliorated to some degree by imposing work requirements on welfare recipients, but in practice, such requirements are rarely imposed. Second, welfare states are expensive. This means higher taxes and therefore slower economic growth and fewer job opportunities for everyone – including the poor.
Finally, welfare states are magnets for the poor. Whether through domestic migration or foreign immigration, poor people flock to places with generous welfare states. This is logical from the immigrant's perspective, but it makes little sense from the taxpayer's. This fact is why socialism and open borders arefundamentally incompatible.
Why Big Government?
Since 1960, California's population exploded from 15.9 to 39 million people. The growth was almost entirely due to immigration – many people came from other states, but the majority came from abroad. The Public Policy Institute of California estimates that 10 million immigrants currently reside in California. This works out to 26 percent of the state's population.
This figure includes 2.4 million illegal aliens, although a recent study from Yale University suggests that the true number of aliens is at least double that. Modifying the initial figure implies that nearly one in three Californians is an immigrant. This is not to disparage California's immigrant population, but it is madness to deny that such a large influx of people has changed California's society and economy.
Importantly, immigrants vote Democrat by a ratio higher than 2:1, according to a report from the Center for Immigration Studies. In California, immigration has increased the pool of likely Democrat voters by nearly 5 million people, compared to just 2.4 million additional likely Republican voters. Not only does this almost guarantee Democratic victories, but it also shifts California's political midpoint to the left. This means that to remain competitive in elections, the Republicans must abandon or soften many conservative positions so as to cater to the center.
California became a Democratic stronghold not because Californians became socialists, but because millions of socialists moved there. Immigration turned California blue, and immigration is ultimately to blame for California's high poverty level.
Siting a shadow on economic recovery efforts in the United States is the cost of illegal immigration that consumes U.S. taxpayer dollars for education, healthcare, social welfare benefits, and criminal justice. Illegal aliens (or more politically correct, “undocumented immigrants”) with ties to Mexican drug cartels are contributing to death and destruction on U.S. lands along the southern border.
While the declining job market in the United States may be discouraging some would-be border crossers, a flow of illegal aliens continues unabated, with many entering the United States as drug-smuggling “mules.”
Increasingly vicious foot soldiers of the Mexican drug cartels are taking control of U.S. lands along the border, especially since U.S. Border Patrol units have been reassigned, some to offices 60 to 80 miles inland.
The U.S. Department of the Interior, Bureau of Land Management (BLM) early last year posted signs warning citizens to avoid Interstate 8 between Casa Grande and Gila Bend, Ariz., because of criminal activity in the area, an area that includes protected natural areas precious to the nation.
In reaction to public outrage over the signs, the BLM removed the offensive wording in October 2010, replacing it with the following: Visitor Information Update—Active Federal Law Enforcement Patrol Area.
As the liberal news media, far-left Democrats, and labor unions push for the “Hispanicazation” of U.S. culture, U.S. Department of Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano says the U.S. border has never been more secure.
Perhaps she is basing this on the reduced number of apprehensions, which result, of course, from reassigning Border Patrol agents inland.
In a recent New York Times article, Nicholas Kristof criticized U.S. citizens for not speaking a foreign language and suggested that “Every child in the United States should learn Spanish.” He concluded that as the United States increasingly integrates economically with Latin America, Spanish will be crucial for the United States.
For decades, the liberal left has argued that Latin America is essential for U.S. business and trade. Kristof states that Latin America “is finally getting its act together” but fails to mention the Obama administration’s $2 billion loan of U.S. taxpayer money in 2009 to Brazil’s Petrobras oil company for deep off-shore oil drilling. Obama confidant George Soros, through the Soros Fund Management LLC, until recently owned millions of dollars of Petrobras stock.
Kristof suggests that one day Spanish-speaking Americans will be part of daily life in the United States and that workmen such as mechanics will be able to communicate easily with Spanish-speaking customers.
He fails to explain why these customers will not be speaking English. After all, the ability to speak, read, and write English remains a requirement for U.S. citizenship.
President Barack Obama gives lip service to increasing border control resources with limited funding and personnel. Many officials, including the governors of Texas and Arizona, are skeptical regarding the Obama administration’s resolve. They resent that the United States is being blamed for the killing fields on both sides of the Mexico-U.S. Border.
For instance, U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton in March 2009, during her first official visit to Mexico, placed the blame for the Mexican drug cartels’ vicious murders on the United States.
In Mexico City, she announced that the U.S. appetite for illegal drugs and the easy acquisition of guns from the United States by Mexicans are the root causes of the Mexican crime wave. “Blame America” has become the global agenda of the Democratic Party.
The Obama administration’s plan to resolve the immigration chaos is to offer amnesty to all comers. President Obama re-affirms his support of a “pathway to citizenship” (amnesty) for illegal aliens in 2011.
The administration, however, has announced no plans to control the influx of future waves of illegal aliens or their skyrocketing costs to the nation. The administration, which condones U.S. sanctuary cities and states, has no plans to file charges against them for violations of federal immigration law. Nor does the administration seem concerned about the environmental impact that illegal aliens have on the ecology of the United States.
Many national forests, parks, monuments, wilderness areas, and wildlife refuges — once the pride of the nation — are serving today as marijuana fields for illegal alien gangs.
Former Democratic Speaker of the House
Nancy Pelosi reportedly said to a
gathering of illegal aliens in California in
2009 that U.S. immigration laws were
“un-American,” suggesting that they need
not be obeyed. Concerned citizens can only trust that the new speaker of the House, John Boehner, as part of congressional oversight of federal agencies, will demand enforcement of existing immigration laws.
When will President Obama recognize that illegal immigration is slowing economic recovery? Can he resolve the chaos while still appeasing his Hispanic base?
To maintain his populist aura, the president is in the habit of saying one thing to one audience and the opposite to another.
One Obama apologist explained, “Campaign rhetoric is one thing,” suggesting that governing is another. The deliberate Hispanicazation of the United States to secure a block of votes is quite another.
US House Democrats reaffirm right-wing program of austerity, bipartisanship
The 116th Congress opened Thursday with a nearly unanimous vote by the Democrats in the House of Representatives reaffirming their commitment to austerity by adopting a rules package which includes a “pay as you go” provision, requiring any increased spending on social programs or tax cuts to be offset by equivalent budget cuts or tax increases. The Democrats took control of the House for the first time in eight years following November’s midterms while the Republicans increased their majority in the Senate.
The new rules were moved by Democratic Representative Nancy Pelosi who was re-elected to the position of Speaker of the House earlier in the day, giving her effective control of its legislative agenda. Pelosi became the first woman to be elected Speaker when she held the position from 2007 to 2011. As Speaker, she is now second in line of succession for the presidency behind Vice President Mike Pence.
Pelosi’s great “achievement” in her first stint as Speaker was the 2010 passage of the Affordable Care Act, better known as Obamacare, aimed at shifting much of the burden of paying for health insurance from businesses and the government onto the backs of workers. In 2007, she worked closely with her top aides, Majority Leader Steny Hoyer and Majority Whip James Clyburn, to block any efforts to impeach President George W. Bush and ensure an unending stream of funding for the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. Hoyer and Clyburn have been returned to those positions for the 116th Congress.
House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy congratulates Democratic House Speaker Nancy Pelosi. [Credit: C-Span]
Pelosi’s re-election as Speaker was welcomed by President Donald Trump Thursday during an afternoon press conference called to pressure the Democrats on funding for his proposed wall along the US-Mexico border, in which he expressed his hope that they would work together on infrastructure and “so much more.” Trump has forced a partial shutdown of the government, now approaching the third week, with 800,000 federal employees either furloughed or working without pay, over his demand for $5 billion to fund the construction of the border wall.
The House passed two bills on Thursday which would reopen the government. However, the bills, modeled on legislation passed by the Republican-controlled Senate last year, must win Senate passage again in the new legislative session. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said he will not allow action on the House legislation because Trump has already declared he will not sign it since it does not include his demand for border wall funding.
While Pelosi told NBC News in an interview Thursday morning that it was an “open question” if Trump could be criminally indicted while in office or should be impeached, she has maneuvered over the last two years to suppress any efforts among House Democrats to move for impeachment. Pelosi and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer met publicly with Trump at the White House last month in an effort to strike a deal on immigration reform where they assured the president that they supported increased border security but sought a rhetorical climbdown on his part in relation to the wall.
“I think it’ll be a little bit different than people are thinking,” Trump quipped about his relationship with Speaker Pelosi while flanked by Border Patrol union officials Thursday.
Indeed, her first speech as Speaker was an olive branch to the right-wing within her own party as well as to the Republicans in Congress, singling out for praise Republican presidents Ronald Reagan and George H. W. Bush and calling for bipartisanship, meaning an even further shift to the right by the Democratic Party.
Pelosi was elected in a carefully orchestrated vote Thursday afternoon with the support of all but 12 Democratic representatives. The vote came after weeks of horse-trading and backroom deals in which Pelosi had to agree to a four-year term limit to win over a dozen members, mainly on the right wing of the Democratic caucus, who had threatened to block her election.
Among those who voted for Pelosi were Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez of New York and Rashida Tlaib of Michigan, both members of the pseudo-left Democratic Socialists of America faction of the Democratic Party. That they both cast their votes for Pelosi’s right-wing promise of bipartisanship, and Tlaib for a rules package which commits the House to austerity, shows that their association with socialism is entirely false, meant only to misdirect youth and workers who are looking for a genuine alternative to capitalism, and trap them within the Democratic Party.
Newly elected CIA Democrats made up a significant portion of those who did not vote for Pelosi, opposing her from the right, including former CIA officers Abigail Spanberger of Virginia, Elissa Slotkin of Michigan and Afghan war veteran Max Rose of New York.
Despite the much touted “historic” character of the newly sworn-in Congress, which will see the most female and minority representatives seated in US history, all of them go to Washington, D.C., as representatives of the capitalist class and enemies of the working class. The growing number of women, African Americans, Muslims and other minorities will do nothing to push Congress to the left.
The majority of members of Congress are millionaires and those who are not are vetted to ensure they will serve the interests of the rich and are increasingly drawn directly from the military-intelligence apparatus. The non-millionaires entering Congress for the first time will find their fortunes rising quite rapidly. The median Congressperson had a net worth of at least $1.1 million in 2015, and the figure has only continued to rise.
According to the latest data analyzed by Open Secrets, Speaker Pelosi had an estimated net worth of $100 million in 2013. Among her declared property holdings that year were a 59,000 square foot warehouse in San Francisco, worth between $5 and $25 million, and a vineyard in Napa Valley, also declared at $5 to $25 million. According to one admiring media profile, her main skill as a Democratic Party leader was as a fund-raiser, having raked in $728 million for Democratic congressional candidates since 2002.
Democrat Elizabeth Warren enters US presidential race
On New Year’s Eve, Senator Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts announced the formation of an exploratory committee to prepare a campaign for the Democratic presidential nomination in 2020. The formation of the committee is the main preliminary to launching a campaign, allowing Warren to raise money, hire staff and build a campaign organization.
Warren joins four lesser-known candidates who have already declared their intention to run, including former representative John Delaney of Maryland, former Obama housing secretary Julian Castro, West Virginia state senator Richard Ojeda and multimillionaire Andrew Yang.
The entry of the first major candidate for the Democratic presidential nomination is the beginning of a political fraud that will unfold over the next 673 days, until November 3, 2020. The Democratic Party will pretend to offer a progressive alternative to the politics of racism, reaction and militarism espoused by President Donald Trump. Its allies in the media, the trade unions and the pseudo-left groups will seek to present this reactionary party of big business as the advocate and defender of working people.
Some three dozen Democrats are reportedly mulling presidential campaigns, including as many as 10 senators, four governors, four members of the House, four mayors or former mayors, two billionaires (Michael Bloomberg and Tom Steyer) and former vice president Joe Biden, considered the front-runner if he enters the race.
The list is less an embarrassment of riches than an embarrassment, full stop. It demonstrates not the vigor of the Democratic Party, but its sclerotic character. The two leading candidates, Biden and Sanders, are 76 and 77 years old, respectively. This matches the three top leaders of the Democrats in the House of Representatives, who are 78, 79 and 78. Warren herself will be 71 on Election Day. Not a single candidate is identified with a significant social reform. Not a single candidate has any genuine connection to the struggles of working people.
Judging by the four-and-a-half-minute video released by Warren as she made the announcement, her campaign is aimed at securing the “left” lane in the contest for the Democratic nomination, displacing Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders, who has not yet announced his intentions but shows every sign of preparing to run again.
The video, narrated by Warren, portrays her
as an untiring fighter against corporate greed
and the wealthy, who are portrayed, for good
reason, as having robbed the American
people blind. Graphs and charts show the
decline in incomes for working-class families
—referred to always as the “middle class”—in
contrast to the accumulation of wealth at the
top of American society.
The video, for all its populist pretensions, is notably silent on the role of the Democratic Party in the growth of economic inequality, particularly the Obama administration’s bailout of the banks and its decision to block any efforts to punish the Wall Street speculators who triggered the 2008 global financial collapse. Obama is mentioned only for his role in appointing Warren to set up the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB), the toothless agency established after the financial collapse to provide a pretense of reform.
The video makes no reference at all to the Trump administration’s savage persecution of immigrants, including the ban on visitors from Muslim countries, the forcible separation of children from parents seeking asylum, the mobilization of federal troops to the border or the ongoing confrontation over Trump’s demands for a border wall.
While the language of Warren’s criticism of Wall Street is radical-sounding, the practical measures she proposes do not touch the fundamentals of the profit system. Along with several cosponsors, she introduced a bill last summer, the Accountable Capitalism Act, aimed at promoting a political swindle of the first order: the claim that the capitalist system, based on the exploitation of the labor of tens of millions of workers for the profit of a handful of capitalists, can be made “accountable” and “fair” for working people.
The bill would compel every corporation worth more than $1 billion to seek a federal charter—all US corporations currently operate under state charters, frequently issued by the state of Delaware, a notoriously lax regulator—under which measures similar to the German system of “co-determination” would be required. This would include placing “representatives” of the employees, usually union officials, on the boards of directors, limiting stock buybacks and other methods of enriching executives and big shareholders, and restricting corporate political contributions.
Aside from the obvious perks for the unions, the major purpose of the bill was to set out a case for capitalism and divert the rising support for socialism among working people and rank-and-file Democratic Party voters, who, according to polls published last year, preferred socialism to capitalism by a significant majority. That Warren would embrace such a perspective is no surprise, given her background as a longtime Republican who voted for Nixon, Ford, Reagan and George H. W. Bush, and has always supported conventional conservative “free market” economic policies.
Warren switched to the Democratic Party only in the mid-1990s, after her appointment to a tenured position at Harvard and after her focus on bankruptcy law led to rising prominence as an expert on the exponential rise in personal bankruptcies among working people. She wrote several best-selling books on the impact of declining incomes and rising health care costs on the budgets of working families, before coming to national attention as the chair of a committee appointed by Congress to oversee the Wall Street bailout.
After Obama nominated her to head the CFPB, and Republicans blocked the nomination with a filibuster, Warren launched her political career, returning to Massachusetts and defeating Republican Senator Scott Brown in 2012. She won reelection easily in November and her reelection campaign staff has now transitioned to her presidential operation.
Despite her tub-thumping attacks on Wall Street, Warren has been a patsy for big business in every serious crisis. She firmly supported the bailout of the auto industry, in which the Obama administration demanded a 50 percent cut in starting pay for all newly hired workers, escalating the spread of two-tier wage systems throughout manufacturing. She appeared at a conference of “left” Democrats in Detroit in 2014 and made no mention of the bankruptcy being imposed on Detroit by the Republican state government with the support of the Obama White House, in which a Democratic bankruptcy lawyer, Kevyn Orr, was installed as emergency financial manager and effective dictator over the city. Orr ruthlessly carried out his assigned task of imposing budget and pension cuts.
Entirely absent from Warren’s campaign video and her statement announcing the formation of an exploratory committee is any reference to foreign policy. In that, as well as her anti-billionaire demagogy, she might appear to be following the example of Sanders in 2016, who said little or nothing about foreign policy and made no appeal to popular antiwar sentiment against the notoriously hawkish Hillary Clinton.
But Warren has been preparing a substantive foreign policy position of an entirely conventional, pro-imperialist character. This began with obtaining a coveted seat on the Senate Armed Services Committee in 2017, followed by trips to the war zones in Iraq and Afghanistan with Republican senators John McCain and Lindsey Graham, adamant advocates of US military intervention abroad.
Warren gave a major foreign policy speech in November at American University in Washington in which she cited the need to end “unsustainable and ill-advised military commitments” around the world, including an end to the war in Afghanistan and a reduction in the resources devoted to the Pentagon. Echoing the recent Pentagon revision of its national defense posture, which declared that great power competition, not terrorism, was now its central focus, she said that “after years as the world’s lone superpower, the United States is entering a new period of competition.”
The Democratic senator criticized some specifics of the Trump administration’s foreign policy, saying, “In some cases, as with our support for Saudi Arabia’s proxy war in Yemen, US policies risk generating even more extremism.” She called for stepped-up sanctions on Russia for its alleged intervention in Ukraine and “meddling” in US elections, and attacked the Trump administration for its denial of climate change and its pullout of the Paris climate agreement.
This was followed by an article published in the January-February issue of Foreign Affairs, the principal journal of the US national security establishment, in which she espouses a criticism of globalization that frequently dovetails with that of Trump. In one passage, after hailing the “victory” of the United States in the Cold War, she writes that after this, “Policymakers were willing to sacrifice American jobs in hopes of lowering prices for consumer goods at home and spreading open markets abroad.” She continues: “They pushed former Soviet states to privatize as quickly as possible despite the risk of corruption, and they advocated China’s accession to the World Trade Organization despite its unfair trading practices.”
Warren warns that the focus on the “war on terror” has undermined US military capabilities for fighting more powerful rivals, and distracted Washington’s attention away from pressing challenges in Asia, Europe and Latin America (she cites Venezuela as a particular concern).
There is not a hint of an appeal to popular antiwar sentiment, but rather the voicing of concerns, similar to those of Trump, that Washington must focus on China and Russia and rebuild its manufacturing and technology base against supposed inroads from abroad.
In other words, Warren offers a warmed-over liberal imperialism, with a bit of anti-Wall Street demagogy to
disguise what is a firm commitment to the defense of US corporate interests and strategic positions around the world.
Dems Have No Arguments Left For Opposing Border Security