Immigration Control or Cultural Suicide
Trump has an opportunity to rectify Obama's disastrous record.
Now that the Left’s quasi-hysterical effort to derail the election results has failed, President-elect Donald Trump will begin getting down to the business of governance. And based on his campaign promises, one of the first items on his to-do list should be immigration, both legal and illegal. On the legal front, a lawsuit filed against Walt Disney Parks and Resorts last week should bring the abuses of the H-1B visa program front and center. On the illegal front, building a wall resonates, but there are far more effective efforts that can be conducted before that wall becomes physical reality.
First up, 30 of the approximately 250 IT workers fired by Disney almost two years ago and replaced with H-1B visa-holders — who they were forced to train as a condition of their severance packages — are taking an unusual tack in their quest for damages. Because the visa-holders are all from India, the fired IT workers are alleging they are victims of racial discrimination. “Between October 2014 and January 31, 2015, Plaintiffs applied for employment in several available positions posted by Defendant,” the filing states. “Plaintiffs were well-qualified for these positions, but were denied further employment with Defendant. On or about January 31, 2015, Defendant terminated the employment of Plaintiffs based solely on their national origin and race, replacing them with Indian nationals.”
Clever, but not likely to succeed. Disney, like many other American companies, almost certainly isn’t using race as a criterion for hiring foreigners to replace Americans. One sentence in UK newspaper The Register says it all: “Companies love H-1B workers because they are cheaper than hiring American staff, and they complain less and generally work longer hours because if their employer sacks them, they have only 14 days to leave the country.”
But not exactly. On the last day of 2015, Barack Obama issued an executive action offering extensions to high-skilled H-1B workers that would give them more time to be approved for a permanent employment-based green card. This would allow these workers to stay in America even if their employment was terminated.
This is a transparent effort to bypass the visa caps established by the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA) of 1952. The INA states that no nation may receive more than 7% of the total number of green cards available in a given year. This would bust the system completely and give far greater numbers of foreign college graduates a chance to compete with their American counterparts. “What is going on is he is effectively giving Green Cards to people on H-1B visas who are unable to get Green Cards due to the quotas,” explained immigration lawyer John Miano at the time. “It could be over 100,000.”
With the election of Trump, times have changed. During his campaign he made it clear where he stands on the issue, contending the H-1B program “is neither high-skilled nor immigration: these are temporary foreign workers, imported from abroad, for the explicit purpose of substituting for American workers at lower pay. … I will end forever the use of the H-1B as a cheap labor program, and institute an absolute requirement to hire American workers first for every visa and immigration program. No exceptions.”
Since his election, he has set up an advisory group of prominent CEOs called President’s Strategic and Policy Forum. It’s mission is “drawing on private sector expertise and cutting the government red tape that is holding back our businesses from hiring, innovating, and expanding right here in America,” Trump stated Dec. 2. It will hold its first meeting at the White House in February.
Ironically — or is that tellingly — one of those CEOs is Disney’s Bob Iger. Stay tuned.
On the illegal immigration front, Center for Immigration Studies (CIS) director Mark Krikorian rightly insists that America’s border problem “isn’t so much physical as political.” And there is nothing more political than Obama’s de facto catch-and-release program. “We’re releasing basically everybody as long as you’re not from the country of Mexico,” National Border Patrol Council president Brand Judd told a Senate Judiciary Subcommittee last May. “And even if you’re from the country of Mexico and you claim that you have a credible fear and you’re asking for asylum for one reason or another — we’re still releasing those individuals.”
Judd estimated a whopping 80% of apprehended illegals have been released into America and stanching this flow, Krikorian asserts, “is probably more important than the wall, and quicker to implement.”
The urgency of this cannot be underestimated. During the month of November alone, U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CPB) apprehended a staggering 47,214 illegal aliens — as in nearly 1,574 per day — at the U.S.-Mexico border. That total marked the fifth straight month of escalation.
Next up and equally as important (if not more so), is cracking down of those who overstay their visas. Such overstays account for as much as half of the illegal population. As Kirkorian explains, this problem needs to be addressed at both ends of the equation. The State Department has to be far more circumspect in terms of issuing visas to people likely to remain here illegally, while the Department of Homeland Security has to make sure those who are supposed to leave do so at the appropriate time.
Once again, it’s all about political will. A Trump State Department and DHS are far more likely to enforce the same immigration laws an Obama administration was either willing to ignore or undermine. Thus, a wall mandated by the Secure Fence Act of 2006 can be completed and expanded. An exit visa system mandated in 1996 and re-mandated seven times can be instituted. A crackdown on businesses who hire illegals mandated by the 1986 immigration law and gutted by unilateral Obama edicts can be enforced with vigor. Sanctuary cities ignored by the Obama Justice Department can be forcefully challenged.
All of the above upends an odious status quo embraced by both political parties. One aspect of it is galling: Americans are expected to compete economically with non-citizens and those here illegally, even if that competition drives down wages and makes jobs harder to find.
The other aspect of it borders on insanity, and the latest carnage in Germany exemplifies it: as in the EU, Americans are expected to endure a “reasonable” level of general lawlessness, serious crime — and, yes even domestic terror — so the ruling class can maintain their commitment to “diversity” and “multiculturalism.”
A Trump administration must thoroughly reject all of it.
Self-inflicted cultural suicide — or Rule of Law, defensible borders and economic stability. Making America Great Again demands a full embrace of the latter choice. Trump won the presidency in large part based on promises to be proactive on the immigration front. Millions of Americans expect nothing less — the sooner, the better.