Memo to Dave Brat: Stick to Cutting Government Spending

Congressman Dave Brat has penned an Op-Ed in Roll Call (with Senator Jeff Sessions) on immigration. The column is illuminating for a number of reasons, none of which involves any wisdom in its content (for that doesn’t exist).

For starters, Brat and Sessions make it clear their aiming at immigration in total. There is no focus on illegal immigration here; in fact “illegal” is mentioned a grand total of once. No discussion of the security issues that come with unauthorized immigration was in the column, at all.

Instead it was all freshman-seminar-level economics, along with some statistical three-card-monty.

To wit, Brat and Sessions write…

Following the 1880-1920 immigration wave, which saw the foreign-born population double from 7 million to 14 million people, Congress passed a law to reduce future immigration. Between 1920 and 1970, America’s foreign-born population shrank from 14 million to 9.6 million. For half a century, the number of immigrants declined both in total number and as a share of the population.

This period witnessed rapid wage growth.

They neglected to mention that it also included the Great Depression.

They go on…

The Congressional Research Service reports that during the 43 years between 1970 and 2013 — when the foreign-born population grew 325 percent — incomes for the bottom 90 percent of earners fell nearly 8 percent.

Never mind that “between 1970 and 2013” also included the Great Inflation.

In fact, that dovetails into the larger problem with Brat and Sessions’ analysis: the complete lack of discussion on prices. They act as if wages are the only part of the discussion.

That doesn’t even make sense if we’re just focused on workplace effects. For example the authors blithely assume that high-skilled immigration must depress wages because H-1B visas do. Never mind that the very nature of the visas create hundreds of mini-monopsonies that would not happen if high-skilled immigration was freed of the H-1B regime. On low-skilled immigrants, the authors assume more labor means lower wages (which is defensible) and that low nominal wages are always bad (which is far less so, especially as it leads to lower prices for consumers).

In short, Brat and Sessions fall for the neo-Malthusian snake oil that has afflicted American economic thinking ever since the “Iron Law of Wages” nonsense from the 19th Century.

There are two sides to every market – product and resource. Brat and Sessions avoid the former and fixate on a simplistic view of the latter.

To be fair, Brat and Sessions have been very good on matters outside of this issue (be it the Fed’s effect on prices, or excessive government spending on the same). Sessions in particular voted against the Bank Bailout in 2008 and the Pitchfork Corporatist Farm Bill of 2014. They and their constituents would be better served if they stuck to that very good work.

  • Downstater

    Another attack on Congressman Brat by BD. Who represents us? Not BD. Not Cantor/Boehner. Not Obama and his overhanded attempts to turn this country into Central America. You should be writing an article on how Obama’s heavy handed thugery throw his use of executive orders to bless the illegals with an endless stream of social welfare benefits and now voting rights in some states (CA) has caused ordinary law-abiding Americans to start a backlash, resulting in a possible D.T. Republican candidacy. We are now looked at with distain in our country. It is all what can we do for illegal friggin’ immigrants. I shouldn’t even use the word “immigrants” – they are not people applying for immigration to the U.S., but more like squatters.

    • We would write that if it reflected anything that’s actually close to reality.

    • mpolito

      BD does not believe in governing in the interests of Americans but rather in the interests of foreigners. They want cheap slave labor- that is why the GOP is so cowardly on the issue, even though GOP voters want less immigration. In the end it will destroy a conservative GOP, but who cares? It means cheap nannies and waiters!

  • Downstater

    Remember when the press, (W. Post in particular), took Virginia to task for losing the next Speaker of the House, saying our state was now the loser, because I guess all that was important was having someone in power from VA?

    All they did was ridicule Cantor all the time anyway (made fun of his accent, & his so-called scowl) until he was defeated by Dave Brat, then they couldn’t laud him enough as the favorite son of VA that we had just thrown overboard. Should Ryan succeed, I will not feel like a loser. I think he’d be a good balance between R. factions.

  • David Obermark

    I am willing to discuss immigration reform as long as immigration reform does not include amnesty. If we have amnesty this time around, we might as just well throw the borders open and put out the welcome mat. We will not be allowed to set any limits of any type on who gets in. Whoever can overwhelm us gets citizenship.

  • mpolito

    Limitless mass immigration will destroy the Republican party. New immigrants will always prefer the party of redistribution and racial quotas to the party of the enterprise- this was true in 1988, right after the GOP supported an amnesty, and it is true now. We cannot change how they vote, but we can change how many can come.

    • No one is arguing for limitless mass immigration.

      And yes, of course we can change how they vote.

      • John Harvie

        “And yes, of course we can change how they vote.”

        No you cannot change the way they vote. Most from the southern border will always end up being on the dole.

        • Patrick Murphy

          They said the same thing about the Irish.

          • mpolito

            And why do you think Massachusetts became Democratic and has not looked back…? Mass immigration, except from communist countries, has never helped the GOP.

          • He we go with the bigotry again.

          • Patrick Murphy

            “.. has not looked back…”

            Except for Eisenhower, Reagan, Romney, and Brown. Of course.

            And that’s ignoring the foolish premise all Irish-Americans live in Massachusetts.

          • mpolito

            The exceptions prove the rule. The point is that Massachusetts was a GOP stronghold, and became a Democratic stronghold. It elects Republicans today only under exceptional circumstances, and the Democrats control 90% of the seats in its legislature.

          • Georgia was a Democratic stronghold. Now it’s a Republican stronghold. Did immigration cause that too?

          • mpolito

            Actually, Georgia is rapidly becoming blue, thanks to -you guessed it- immigration!

            Immigration does not cause everything, but it does cause some things. Georgia switched because white voters there became wealthier, and realized that the GOP had become the generic American party (and so it remains today). The Democrats, by contrast, are a coalition of the fringes.

          • Reinhardt Reganbacker lll

            Yes, but the popularity of Trump and Carson should tell the Republican Party what they may need to do to attract voters.

            The ratings of Jeb Bush should be a clear indicator to the party of what they need to do to lose voters

          • Stephen Spiker

            Actually, Donald Trump is the least popular candidate in the entire field among general election voters.

            Unless by “attract voters” you meant “attract old white male rural voters”.

          • Reinhardt Reganbacker lll

            Can you win without me?

          • Stephen Spiker

            You’ve told me in other discussions that you’re a Democrat, so… yes?

          • Reinhardt Reganbacker lll

            I do not recall that at all, find it please. I am an Independent.

          • Stephen Spiker

            It was when you were defending Elizabeth Warren because she and Trump agree on so many issues.

          • Reinhardt Reganbacker lll

            Nada, here is the exchange.

            Reinhardt Reganbacker lll Stephen Spiker 3 months ago
            I could care less about being Democrat or
            Republican.
            Using biblical standards to define conservatism, I am as conservative as anybody I know in any of these blogs.
            Not that I’m any better than anybody else.
            1 Edit View in discussion
            Reinhardt Reganbacker lll
            Reinhardt Reganbacker lll Stephen Spiker 3 months ago
            If you do not know the answer to that, you are completely out of touch with the blue-collar middle-class America.
            Illegal immigrants depress the blue collar labor rate.
            1 Edit View in discussion
            Reinhardt Reganbacker lll
            Reinhardt Reganbacker lll Stephen Spiker 3 months ago
            I would vote against any establishment Republican. How would I do that? I would vote for Warren in a heartbeat.
            Edit View in discussion

          • LarrytheG

            I think the Dems would salivate if Trump or Carson were the GOP nominees…

          • Reinhardt Reganbacker lll

            And just what do you think Dems will do if say, Bush or Cruz wins the nom?

            You got one named Bush. You got the other who reads Dr. Suess to Congress??

          • Yes. Please, please, please nominate Donald Trump or Ben Carson.

          • Downstater

            Just like we (my family) thought Obama would be a far more beatable oddball than Hillary back in ’08. We see how that turned out. Be careful what you wish for.

          • LarrytheG

            the fact that he got two terms is indicative of the fact that they knew how to GOTV both times confounding folks who thought they knew the numbers – like Rove and Morris.. who actually argued on air about returns coming in that ‘could not be”.

            GOP is set to lose again – if they don’t face reality and get a candidate who can win way more than it’s base.

          • Georgia is not becoming blue, come on. They have almost twice as many Republicans as Democrats in the State House, more than twice as many in their State Senate, the Governor is a Republican, both Senators are Republicans and 10 of the 14 Congressmen are Republicans, including some of the most conservative members of the House.

            If they’re turning blue, it’s because they’re holding their breath, not because of immigration.

            The parties realigned, that’s why Georgia votes Republican and that’s why Massachusetts went Democratic. It wasn’t immigration, it was the national realignment of the parties that began after the New Deal.

          • GirlFromIvy

            Actually yes, per political scientists, Georgia is trending blue, due to demographic change – it’s due to be majority-minority around 2025. In Georgia’s case, that is more due to increases in black residents, not immigration, although the latter also has an impact.

          • Actually, Georgia is beginning to trend toward purple, but this has nothing to do with immigration. The Atlanta urban center attracts a younger, more educated, and more diverse demographic. To the extent these people begin to outnumber rural whites, the state will trend to the left.

            To be sure, immigration contributes to this diversity. But Georgia will trend blue because of urbanization, not immigration.

          • Downstater

            and too many Yankees coming down…

          • Expansion of urban areas and the influx of a younger and more diverse population – mostly by far from domestic migration – has shaded Georgia a bit more purple lately. Even the Center for Immigration Studies estimates only about 100K immigrants – a third of these illegals who cannot vote – live there. Hardly enough to shift the politics of a state with 7 million people. From the CIS study Shaping Georgia:

            While immigrant settlement in Georgia has increased dramatically in recent years, it started from such a small share of the population, it has yet to even reach the national average. A much larger share of the population growth during the 1980s came from migration from other states, as well as from natural increase.

            Georgia switched parties because the GOP used dog-whistle rhetoric to build an electoral coalition of whites who resent civil rights for minorities (ethnic and religious), cultural change (feminism and sexuality), and the resulting erosion of white (and Christian) privilege. White voters there, wealthy and poor, realized that the GOP had become the generic white party while the Democratic party constructed a more diverse electoral coalition.

            Characterizing one as the “American” party and the other as a “coalition of the fringes” demonstrates your bigotry.

          • Downstater

            The old GA Democratic party was conservative by today’s standards. It in no way resembles today’s Obama Dem. party. That is why the South switched. in the old days, the Republicans were the party of Lincoln and, as the saying went, held their primary in a phone booth.

          • Patrick Murphy

            It was a Republican stronghold until the 1920s, then a battleground state until the 1980s.

            When exactly do you think the Irish showed up? It wasn’t in the 1990s.

          • John Harvie

            At least we and Irish shared a common language. I hope your grandchildren won’t have to press 2 for English.

          • Patrick Murphy

            You’re forgetting bilingualism is a marketable skill. I can’t even tell you how many times my ability to speak and write fluently in spanish has benefitted my candidates.

            Also, the soonest any of my grandchildren would be using a telephone is 2065. I’m not sure telephones will exist by then. Even if they do, they’d likely have built-in translation.

          • John Harvie

            They’ll be bi IF the learn English.

            John
            757.288.7211

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        • Populist much??? you do realize that regular ol’ white folk are almost as likely to receive aid as any other group. African Americans only a few % more.

          • mpolito

            They use plenty of welfare, and won’t bite the hand that feeds them. It’s a law of politics.
            http://cis.org/Welfare-Use-Immigrant-Native-Households

          • who feeds “them”…. seems like both parties have had chances to cut funding and both add more…. and btw Reagan granted “them” Amnesty real Amnesty not just some rights or a pathway….

          • Wrong. Even CATO debunked this study.

        • That’s idiotic.

      • mpolito

        In 2004 Bush Hispandered like crazy, the economy was doing well, and minority home ownership was at a high thanks to relaxed lending policies (of course, we saw how that turned out in 2008). And even then Bush only won 40% of the Hispanic vote. What kind of a group is it where it is a “victory” to only win 40%?! Of course, new immigrants are more Democratic than that. At some point, basic math has to take over from the “natural Republican” delusion.

        • And at some point we have to stop basing policy solely off political advantage.

          • mpolito

            We should just do what’s “right”… which is…what? Letting everyone who wants to come here come?

          • Fixing the system so that we let more who want to come do so legally, and recruit the best and brightest from around the world to live and stay here.

          • mpolito

            So if we let in 2 million a year instead of the current 1 million, and half of them vote, and 70% of them vote Democratic (a conservative estimate)…we are looking at a 200,000 net vote gain for the Democrats, per year. Again, math.

          • Like I said before, we shouldn’t make this decision based solely on political outcomes. If letting in 2 million creates a stronger economy, then that’s the right thing to do, regardless of the political outcome. We have to do a better job getting them to vote Republican. Frankly, if we fix the system and bring in the best and brightest, rather than simply those with the least to lose, we’ll have a better shot at getting those voters.

            In any event, I’m tired of just making policy decisions based on electoral outcomes.

          • GirlFromIvy

            Letting in 2 million a year doesn’t create a stronger economy. It does increase GDP – it decreases GDP per capita.

            Lots and lots of poorer people can add up to a higher GDP. What most of us consider a strong economy is an increasing GDP per capita – where each of us are wealthier. High levels of immigration don’t increase per capita GDP.

          • GirlFromIvy

            Why? I am all for the best and brightest – but for everyone else, when we don’t have enough jobs for people already here, how is it right to let more people in to compete for those jobs?

          • Why is it wrong? Isn’t competition a good thing?

          • GirlFromIvy

            No one can compete against an unlimited supply of people from all over the world, who are brought in specifically to lower wages, and are wiling to work for less than a US person.

            No, making our visa policy so that we have to compete for “race to the bottom wages” is not a good thing.

          • Sure they can – you’re assuming that the supply of people from all over the world are of the same quality and ability. We all know that’s not true.

            The market sets the wage rate – government is already shielding the market from the full effects of immigration, and you seem to be arguing that you want more government intervention in the market. That’s not the most conservative argument I’ve heard around here lately.

          • GirlFromIvy

            Brian, I don’t think people from other places are stupider than we are. Don’t kid yourself. Further, when an employer can pay significantly lower wages, they’ll take a hit in productivity.

            We, as a society, decide who gets to come here and live. Right now, we are largely down to jobs that can’t be outsourced – jobs that need to be done here. It’s not reasonable to expect that people will accept an unlimited number of people coming in, to push wages down.

            If a desire to have a decent life and to have my family have as good a life as I’ve had makes me not a conservative, what does that say about conservatism?

          • Your desire to have a decent life for yourself and your family makes you human. That’s a desire everybody has, not simply those of one particularly ideology. Where you stray from conservatism is when you want the government to take a role in protecting you against competition. That’s an interference in the market, and not something that we should be calling for without a significant compelling government interest, like national security.

            The private sector and the market should be setting wages, not the government.

          • GirlFromIvy

            Nope, Brian, that is not what I am asking. H1b was passed to address shortages of workers, with specific guidelines that were supposed to prevent it from being used to reduce wages.

            Those guidelines are ignored because big donors want them ignored, and now you’re trying to turn government efforts to force wages down into some kind of moral principle.

            H1b is a case where the government is now working directly against the interests of US workers. It doesn’t have to be that way – we need a way to bring in skilled people – but your arguments here go a long way to helping me understand the Trump phenomenon.

          • Big donors? Come on.

            These aren’t government efforts to reduce wages. They’re government efforts to craft an immigration system that meets the needs of the country. If it’s not being used the right way, then let’s reform it. But again, you’re asking for government to intervene on your behalf, and you’re arguing that instead they’re intervening on your employer’s behalf.

            Wouldn’t it be better if government were out of this all together and let you negotiate directly with your employer on these issues?

            Yes, if you want to throw out any kind of rational discussion, Trump’s your guy.

          • GirlFromIvy

            What do you think FWD.us is for? What do you think Bloomberg is lobbying for? How many big corporations lobby extensively for more immigration? You don’t think those people are big donors? Have you not looked into this, or are you kidding?

            This is, in fact, the government being used to reduce and cap wages. Our immigration policy is not, as you put it, being used the right way.

            I have not asked for government to intervene on my behalf. I have asked for government to follow the rules agreed on when these visas were created. They are not doing so, primarily to to lobbying from large corporations.

            No, I do not think immigration policy should be set by businesses. It should be set for the best interests of Americans.

            Trump is not my guy, but I have to say, he is arguably the only person in either party right now with any interest in looking at any serious questioning of our immigration policy. Greatly ratcheting up immigration when so many are underemployed and unemployed makes no sense, and it’s driving people to Trump.

          • Bloomberg is lobbying for gun control. I have not seen many non-agriculture companies advocating for more immigration. Facebook, maybe, but that’s press stuff, not on the ground lobbying. And if they are spending so much money and are so influential, wouldn’t you expect to actually see some progress? There ha been none.

            Everybody in the race wants immigration reform. If you think that a billionaire business guy is going to protect you and not his buddies – those big donors you’re claiming want open borders – you’re kidding yourself.

          • GirlFromIvy

            Bloomberg is extensively lobbying for increased immigration limits – it’s one of his core policies. A large number of business interests are actively lobbying for expanded H1b.

            Fwd.us has spent 50 million dollars on this – its’ not just press stuff, and yes, it has included on the ground lobbying. If you’re going to make these claims, you ought to at least take a couple minutes and Google.

            If the choice is between someone advocating for harmful levels of open borders, versus someone claiming more moderation – this is rapidly becoming an economic survival issue. Ignore it, and it doesn’t go away.

          • Downstater

            I expect the U.S. government to take a role in actually enforcing U.S. immigration law, yes.

      • Downstater

        limitless mass immigration is what we are getting now.

        • No, it isn’t. I don’t get why you guys constantly repeat this nonsense.

          • GirlFromIvy

            Actually, Brian, it kind of is. We are getting over a million new immigrants per year. That’s an awful lot – it’s enough that it impacts the job market in ways that depress wages, make it harder to get a job, and that drive up housing costs.

            Look at tech and the effect of H1b – if you don’t live in Silicon Valley or NYC, your tech wages have been largely flat, adjusted for inflation, for the past decade. That’s in the hottest field out there. For much of the economy, inflation adjusted wages are down, not up.

            It’s not nonsense. People are hurting.

          • It’s a third of one percent of the total population. Tech has also had to deal not only with h1-Bs but also with outsourcing. Immigration alone isn’t causing these problems. But hey – I’ve been saying tech workers should organize for a while now.

          • GirlFromIvy

            I’m in tech. Outsourcing has stabilized and actually, to some degree reversed.

            Replacement with and competition with H1b’s is a major problem. Not to mention L1. Some jobs can’t be outsourced – it seems a bit unfair to import unlimited competition to people who already live here, to force wages down.

            I should not have to join a union to protect me from my government making bad policy. I don’t need a union to negotiate with my employer.

          • Apparently you do, because you’re concerned with your employer sponsoring H1-B and L1 visa folks to come over and take your job. A union would level that playing field and take away the ability of your employer to undercut existing employee wages by hiring folks who are willing to work for less. That’s kind of the point of unions.

            You want the government to intervene with your employer on your behalf. That’s essentially what you’re asking for, isn’t it?

          • GirlFromIvy

            I am not concerned with my employer sponsoring people to take my job. I am very concerned with what I’ve seen with wage levels in my type of work, which is stagnant or declining – the type of work that is supposed to be the future sort of jobs that our kids should aspire to. When market levels are forced down, it affects my pay increase, too.

            No, I do not want the government to intervene with my employer on my behalf.

            I want my government’s immigration policy to reflect what is best for the citizens of my country. That does not mean deliberately working to force wage levels down.

          • Asking the government to reduce the number of H1-B visas so that immigrants don’t undercut your wages is asking the government to intervene with your employer on your behalf. You’re essentially asking the government to stop letting your employer find cheaper workers.

            I too want our government’s immigration policy to reflect what is best for the entire country – and that’s not going to be prioritizing some people over others.

          • GirlFromIvy

            No, it isn’t. H1b was passed to address shortages of workers. It was not passed to undercut wages, and it specifically was not supposed to undermine wages. I am asking the government to do what it promised – which it has been ignoring because of crony capitalism.

            Personally, I think people who live here should be prioritized over people who do not. That is what is best for the entire country.

          • And that’s a nativist philosophy. I think it’s wrong. Americans are Americans, whether they’re new Americans or they’ve been here a while. Everyone should be given the same opportunities and allowed to succeed or fail based on their own merits.

          • GirlFromIvy

            No, Brian, it is not a Nativist philosophy, and I have made absolutely no distinction between Americans born here and those born elsewhere. I am talking about people who want to come here, not people already here.

            However, I think the decision on how many more people we bring in needs to take the best interests and needs of Americans – born here or not – as the primary criteria.

          • Your point is that you want those who are here protected against competition from people who are coming here. That’s nativism, by definition.

          • Brian, it took me quite a while to realize that I had (past tense) nativist tendencies, I started studying trends and our history and quickly learned 2 important things:
            1. “It’s the economy, stupid”…. a vibrant economy invites employees from all over the globe. when the FED suppresses the rate (killing savings) and prints money (reducing the dollars strength) while boosting Wall Street then the rich get richer and Joe Public suffers. When the EPA places regulations that stiffen our ability to compete globally we are left with a retail –gig– economy, again nothing to do with immigration. There is many reasons our economy is struggling, but I think we are turning, TPP is good.
            2. EDUCATION – WE CAN GO ON AND ON about our failures to educate our kids in a competitive way. too much liberal arts not enough Tech/Trades…

          • GirlFromIvy

            My point is that US policy should benefit the US.

            Our elected representatives are elected to serve the interests of our country and our citizens and residents. They are not elected to serve everyone else everywhere to the detriment of those living here.

            Is that now the GOP platform? “Sure, it’s going to lower your wages and raise your housing costs, and your kids may have a harder time getting a good job – but …. principle!”

            Is that going on a bumper sticker?

          • What policy has done that?? I would think being able to tax guest workers is a hell of a lot better than having illegal aliens work off the books…..

          • US policy does benefit the US.

            If Microsoft can hire a few more workers at a lower cost, they can lower the cost of the products they create that consumers want to buy. That means I spend less money buying their stuff. That makes it more likely that more people will buy their stuff because it’s more affordable.

            That causes their stock price to go up because their profits have gone up. Which helps my pension, too.

            Competition is a good thing. It’s part and parcel of the free enterprise system. That’s what we, as Republicans, pledge to support. Protectionism for economic benefit is something we’ve been fighting for almost a century now.

            Big government that intervenes in the market to protect folks from competition is not what the GOP is all about.

          • GirlFromIvy

            Policies that are designed to drive down US wages don’t benefit US workers.

            Competition is a good thing. Using government force to drive down wages is not competition.

          • You’re missing the point here. If there was no government control over immigration at all, the exact same problem you’re dealing with now would still exist. Employers would bring over cheaper labor to compete with you. So the absence of government would result in the same outcome as the government program that exists now. You are asking for that program to change so that the natural thing – competition to lower wages – doesn’t happen.

            These policies aren’t designed to drive down wages – that’s the market at work, not the policy at work. And if the program benefits US employers and US consumers, there are more of them than there are the handful of US workers who are negatively impacted. That may not be something you want to hear, but it’s true.

          • GirlFromIvy

            I’m not missing the point. No one is arguing for no government. Visa policy is supposed to be set by the government to benefit the country as a whole, not to benefit specific employers to the detriment of US workers. I am asking for the H1b program to be administered as originally intended.

            H1b is being used specifically to drive down wages. Flat and decreasing wages hurt more US workers than the marginal benefits of slightly cheaper tech workers. That may not be what YOU want to her, but that’s the truth.

            We are seeing the economic ill effects of stagnant wages and people seeing a future where they make less, not more – that is not benefiting the US, and that’s becoming more and more clear to people.

          • This argument sounds very familiar, if we make them citizens it will hurt our wallets and drive up costs to farm crops. And in the north y’all will get cheap labor and increase your profits.<- said southern democrats before slavery was ended and Civil War broke out…. Ponder that Ivy Girl…..

          • GirlFromIvy

            David, that’s a point that has been made by a lot of H1b reformists. H1b is essentially indentured servitude – your visa is dependent on your employer, you can’t change jobs, you can’t object to bad working conditions, and abuse is common.

            Thank you for raising this point.

          • wrong, even with H1b federal work condition laws still are in place. OSHA- read up on it.

          • GirlFromIvy

            I’m not wrong, and that’s not the point. Yes, you can complain to OSHA. With H1b, your visa is tied to a specific employer. If you complain and lose your job, you are sent back – the visa effectively does not let you shop around.

            The problem isn’t that the rules don’t apply. The problem is that, as it’s set up, the employer controls that employee’s right to be in the country. Complain, and you may find yourself on a plane back home.

            Further, H1b’s are often paid below market rate – sometimes significantly so.

          • “you can’t object to bad working conditions, and abuse is common”<- you are by definition WRONG

          • GirlFromIvy

            No, David, I am not wrong.

            NBC Bay Area’s investigative unit – “Skilled Foreign Workers Treated as Indentured Servants”

            http://tech.slashdot.org/story/14/10/29/1244255/skilled-foreign-workers-treated-as-indentured-servants

          • GirlFromIvy

            Additional quotes from investigation – “A year-long investigation by NBC Bay Area’s Investigative Unit and The Center for Investigative Reporting (CIR) raises questions about the H-1B visa program. In a five-part story that includes a mini-graphic novel called Techsploitation, CIR describes how the system rewards job brokers who steal wages and entrap Indian tech workers in the U.S., including the awarding of half a billion dollars in Federal tech contracts to those with labor violations. “Shackling workers to their jobs,” CIR found after interviewing workers and reviewing government agency and court documents, “is such an entrenched business practice that it has even spread to U.S. nationals. This bullying persists at the bottom of a complex system that supplies workers to some of America’s richest and most successful companies, such as Cisco Systems Inc., Verizon and Apple Inc.”

          • AND I’m not sure which side of the argument you’re fighting……. YOU can try to get sponsorship for a work Visa from other employers and OSHA is designed to protect employees, AND YOU CAN REPORT anonymously….. but hey it’s cool to argue with me, I’m not OSHA 10 certified, I’m not a contractor who hires people. and I don’t have to follow strict regulations……. but really I do!

          • GirlFromIvy

            David, I don’t want H1b’s exploited, I don’t want to stop all immigration, and I do want to stop H1b abuse by employers.

            I want what I think is fair and right, not a “side.”

          • Do you argue that employees can or can not shop for other employers to sponsor them? Do you argue that an employee can or can not file an anonymous complaint to OSHA? Do you argue that no matter your status you have rights as an employee to be safe??

          • GirlFromIvy

            David, read the investigative report that I provided – which was from the Bay Area NBC affiliate and CIR.

            Some quotes – from the Center for Investigative Reporting’s website – https://www.revealnews.org/article/job-brokers-steal-wages-entrap-indian-tech-workers-in-us/

            “In America’s visa program for highly skilled workers, labor brokers shackle employees to their jobs with restrictive contracts, punitive lawsuits and an ecosystem of fear.

            Federal law bars companies from penalizing H-1B visa holders for quitting their jobs. But a loophole allowing companies to sue workers who quit for “damages” can disguise illegal penalties.

            The federal government is supposed to investigate complaints. But of nearly 200 H-1B labor violation investigations in the 2013 fiscal year, seven companies were cited for going after workers who quit.

            Without the protection of strong federal enforcement, H-1B workers instead fend for themselves in state courts – often with disastrous results.”

          • Just got bad news, will talk more about it later.

          • GirlFromIvy

            I hope all is okay with you and yours.

          • thanks, a friend passed…

          • GirlFromIvy

            I’m sorry. I hope you are doing okay.

          • GirlFromIvy

            Additional quotes, from the NBC website, same investigation – http://www.nbcbayarea.com/investigations/Silicon-Valleys-Body-Shop-Secret-280567322.html

            “For example in August, 2014, a Cupertino man involved with one body shoppleaded guilty and was sentenced in US District Court to 19 felony counts of visa fraud where he admitted he knowingly applied for work visas for foreigners who had no job offers, filling out applications for fake jobs for a Silicon Valley tech firm.

            However, some local workers say many don’t get caught. And the workers are the ones who suffer.

            “It virtually makes these employees a slave,” said one worker who came from India more than a decade ago.

            “The body shops have a specific business model,” the worker said. “They make business and profit by having cheap labor.”

            Because the man fears for his safety and his future, he asked that he remain anonymous. He had worked for 7 to 8 different body shops before he spoke to us.

            “There are times when I am trapped there are times when I am, yes, I feel I am trapped,” he said.”

          • Downstater

            GFI has a point. The United States IS OUR country. It is not the world’s country. Our elected officials have the responsibility to put our citizens needs first.

          • Downstater

            Throw the “nativist” word around again to defend your point of open borders. No, a guy who is an Indian national on an H1 visa who came here last year to work is not a “New American”.

          • Downstater

            but the government is the one who has actively decided to tip the scales in favor of the employer by importing non-native workers. The gov. is the one who has already put its weight against its own citizens.

          • Government decided to tip the scales in favor of the employer when it agreed with other states that capital and goods could cross borders but workers could not.

            You compete with less expensive labor whether it’s actually in the US or not.

          • GirlFromIvy

            Also, as far as a third of one percent – no, it isn’t. That’s permanent legal immigrants.

            In tech, with the spouse work permits added, it’s currently about 170K per year, for 6 years, so total around a million two. Quintuple that, and you’re talking around six million – in a field that, depending on how you define it, has around 10 million employed.

            It’s high enough that before the spouse permits and without the increase, the IEEE was warning that new electronic engineering graduates couldn’t get entry level jobs.

          • This is not the only…or even the most important…reason why people are hurting.

      • Reinhardt Reganbacker lll

        Yes, we can change the way they vote. We can send them back to where they came from, and let them vote there.

        If we send them back, our politicians will not have to worry about how “they” vote.

        Ya know, there is an overwhelming consensus in BD. The vast majority respond to every immigration article the same way.

        We want something done about immigration, and that something is as far from amnesty as it could possibly be.

        • We represent a broad range of opinions on immigration. You just hear Shaun and I because we’re the most vocal about it.

          If we can’t appeal to new Americans and earn their votes, then we’re finished as a party. It would be nice if you all recognized that you’re not getting any younger, and we can’t afford to place all of our eggs in one basket. We need to craft a message that appeals to newcomers, whether through immigration or age, and we don’t do that by acting like every new immigrant is a communist.

          • mpolito

            The message that we have appeals to *some* newcomers- about one-third of them. The same as in 1988. But unless we actually move to the left of the Democratic party, which would basically be impossible, we will always lose new immigrants. Mass immigration is not some “inevitable process.” It is the result of particular decisions our foolish leaders take. It can easily be reversed.

          • GirlFromIvy

            In general, immigrants are significantly less likely to vote for Republicans than for Democrats, and the differences are largely policy – not so much immigration policy, but differences in how the role of government is seen.

            Generalizing, immigrants are more likely to want a robust safety net and government intervention in the economy.

            Are you going to change your policies to significantly expand the social safety net (a la Bernie Sanders – free college, free preK, extended mandatory paid parental leave, increased Social Security retirement ) and increase government regulation and taxes? Because if I’m reading the polls correctly, that’s what would appeal.

            It’s not “tone”. Some people are definitely opposed to people who look different than themselves – and that isn’t okay – but the implications for the Republican party actually does go further. Many of the people with concerns aren’t concerned about skin color.

          • But the loudest of those complaining are. There are ways to resolve this problem, both short and long term, that don’t involve mass deportations or the like.

            Like any new citizens, it takes a while for our efforts at education to pay off. We shouldn’t turn people away because we are concerned they will vote wrong. That’s never a good excuse for a policy decision.

          • GirlFromIvy

            Not that I’ve seen – the loudest I’ve seen complaining are tech workers, who, as a group, are not worried about skin color. They are really, really unhappy.

            Most people don’t support mass deportations.

            We have more moral obligations to the people here than we do for people who want to come here. However, it seems like no one is particularly concerned about immigration’s effects on people here and their wages.

          • Hang out around here any time we talk immigration. You’ll get an eye full of the nativism and racism.

            We have a moral obligation to what’s right. Immigrants want to be Americans. Treating them as if they’re lesser because they weren’t here first is a bad idea. It leads to bad things.

          • GirlFromIvy

            What’s right is taking care of our own. There are billions of people in this world. They can’t all come here. That is simply practical, although I suppose you’d consider that nativism.

            I don’t think they are in any way lesser than us, but we do need to look out for our own first, and the policies we have are hurting the people who are already here, including immigrants already here. We don’t have a better life than our parents, on average, and there are no real prospects of us having a better life on average in the future.

            That really negates the hopeful American Dream that is so much a part of our society.

          • I do consider it nativism. Most people in the world don’t want to come here. The ones who do should be able to do so, as long as they do it in a legal way and are coming here to become American and contribute.

            Everybody needs to look out for themselves, and not expect anyone else to do that for them. Government intervention in the market should be something that only happens for a critical reason, like national security.

            Everyone has the opportunity to have a better life than our parents – but it’s not something that should be taken for granted. It takes hard work. It’s not just going to be handed to you. The American dream is alive and well, but you have to work for it.

          • GirlFromIvy

            Brian, a really significant number of people in the world would like to come here legally – tens, hundreds of millions. They have no particular inherent right to come live here unless it benefits those of us already here. There is no reason they “should” be able to come here automatically.

            Tweaking immigration policy to force down wages is government intervention in the market of the worst sort, and that is what I’m objecting to.

          • No one has a right to come here. We offer people the chance to come here because we’ve done that throughout our history, and it has made our country the strongest in the world by a variety of metrics. There have always been those already here who have wanted to pull the ladder up behind them, and we’ve constantly had to fight that attitude. Now is no different.

          • GirlFromIvy

            There is a huge difference between “pulling up the ladder” and opening the floodgates. The fact, and it is a fact, that immigration is good does not mean that you can’t overdo a good thing – and we are currently overdoing it.

          • I need more data before I can come to the conclusion you’ve already reached.

          • Why not? Aren’t rights granted by the Creator rather than by states, or men?

      • GirlFromIvy

        Actually, yes, there are people arguing for limitless mass immigration. Further, the current crop of presidential candidates includes someone who wants to quintuple H1B (Cruz) or just triple it (Rubio), when H1B is already hitting tech employees hard.

        The level of immigration we’re currently experiencing is already extremely high, and is pushing population growth in a way that is likely to make this country a far less pleasant place to live.

        • Who on the GOP side is arguing for limitless immigration?

          • GirlFromIvy

            Ted Cruz, quintupling the H1B quota. Marco Rubio, tripling the H1b quota. Which quota was already effectively doubled by Obama, when he authorized work permits for spouses of H1bs.

            Rand Paul, open borders. Pretty much all libertarians argue essentially open borders.

            Not to mention L1 – which is essentially unlimited.

          • The H1B quota is 65,000 a year. Making that 250k is not limitless immigration. L1 visa are limited by the number of jobs a company has.

            I’ve not seen Rand Paul advocating for open borders.

          • GirlFromIvy

            Wives of H1bs can also work now, per Obama executive order – so it’s effectively 130K per year, for a 6 year visa. Quintupling that is about 4 million people at any given time.

            There are not anywhere near 650K new jobs opening in tech per year, and we’re already graduating quite a lot of CS, IT, math, and other computing-capable majors. It would be nice if our kids had a reasonable shot at a decent job.

            This kind of huge expansion is essentially a prescription for drowning the tech job market. So much for studying hard and having your work pay off.

            Rand Paul actually is for essentially open borders – it’s a libertarian principle.

          • H-1B visas aren’t solely for tech jobs.

            Those kids do have a reasonable shot at a decent job – they have to compete for it, just like anything else.

            This is what Rand Paul says on immigration. Not seeing open borders. https://www.randpaul.com/issue/immigration

          • GirlFromIvy

            H1b’s are used for tech jobs more than anything else, and the supposed need for more tech workers is the usual argument for expanding them.

            Those kids have a reasonable shot at a job at a lower wage, with poorer working conditions, than their parents had, or that current workers have. That’s not a good thing, Brian.

          • They’re for any kind of specialty profession. Not just tech.

            It’s up to those kids to get those jobs and then fight for better working conditions and higher wages. They aren’t going to be handed that on a silver platter. Their parents weren’t – they had to fight, too.

          • GirlFromIvy

            They are used primarily for tech, and the pressure to increase the quotas is coming primarily from large corporations wanting cheaper tech workers.

            When you enormously increase the supply of workers, you have no chance to fight for better working conditions and higher wages. This is not the situation I was in when I was in their shoes. It’s an actual problem, even if it doesn’t fit your preferences.

    • Tim Donner

      I think we get into trouble when we consider only the politics of immigration.

      • mpolito

        You’re right. Immigration also depresses wages and radically alters our culture. There are lots of reasons to reduce it dramatically.

        That said, the political effects are glaring and it would be irresponsible for any conservative to ignore them. Not caring about how potential voters will vote is like not caring about how potential Congressman will vote.

        • No, it doesn’t.

          • mpolito

            Yes, it does. Supply and demand: flooding the market with cheap labor lowers prices for labor. Lots of low-wage workers (including many blacks) are screwed in the process. The net increase in GDP immigration produces reflects a transfer of wealth from the middle and bottom to the top. The fact is that in both parties, but especially the GOP, the donor class supports open borders and the actual voters don’t. We see who wins, though (at least until this cycle).

          • LarrytheG

            $10 an hour is $20,800 a year. Walmart is saying that SOON that will be their starting pay

            how many entitlements does a person qualify for if their income is 20,800?

          • Nobody in the GOP supports open orders, and no a,punt of repeating that nonsense will make it so.

          • GirlFromIvy

            Brian, there is good evidence that we already are not creating enough jobs to fully employ the people that are already here. Increasing supply, when there’s already an excess, is going to depress wages. In general, immigration at the levels we’re seeing increases overall GDP, but reduces per capita GDP.

            Also, there are elements of American culture that are relatively unique – particularly our attitudes towards free speech, legal ownership of firearms, and our tolerance of political and ideological dissent. We also tend to be quite focused on self-reliance, in ways that, while not unique, are somewhat of an outlier.

            When most of the increase in population is coming from people outside the country, and when there are elements of your culture that are relatively unique, you’re going to see cultural change, and potentially loss of influence of those cultural elements.

          • Unemployment is at around 5%. Where is the evidence we aren’t creating enough jobs?

            Our uniqueness has withstood larger immigration waves than this. Why? Because our culture appeals broadly folks regardless of their background. They come here to get away from their old systems, not transplant their systems here.

          • GirlFromIvy

            Wages are flat. Average wages are down, not up, over the past decade. Workforce participation is down – and that’s not just due to aging, which is expected – participation in the key working ages is at a low not seen in decades. A huge percentage of people who want to work full time cannot get full time work.

            People are hurting, Brian, and they don’t see a better future ahead.

            This is the largest immigration wave we’ve had, and the longest. Many people coming here are not coming so much for our culture, but rather for economic gain. When you look at policy preferences, what immigrants want is a change to our culture, not an affirmation of it.

          • Wages are flat because we just came out of a recession. We should start seeing wages rise as the unemployment rate continues to drop as we shift from an employer’s market to an employees market. Workforce participation is dropping, but it’s not clear why. Part of it is the aging population, and I think a lot of it is kids staying in school longer to avoid trying to find a job. Yes, a lot of folks who want full time work can’t get it, but that’s partly Obamacare’s inevitable result.

            Some people are hurting, yes. And immigration is not causing the hurt for the vast majority of workers.

            This isn’t the largest immigration wave we’ve had, not on a per capita basis. Policy is not culture. The current generations of immigrants are assimilating and the same or a faster rate than those in the past. This just isn’t as big an issue as some people think it is.

          • GirlFromIvy

            We’ve been coming out of a recession since about 2010. This has not been a recession for a long time. We have a problem, and a main part of that problem is flat wages.

            Workforce participation, again, is down in key working ages – that includes when you exclude older people.

            Per capita, if trends continue, yes, this is the largest wave of immigration in our history. Adding more people when we don’t have enough jobs for the folks here doesn’t make sense. We are flooding supply – price goes down – and we’re surprised?

          • Unemployment and wages are lagging indicators. It takes a while before things settle down. We’re finally under 6% unemployment for a sustained period, and it’s taken eight years to get there.

            And I agree that workforce participation is down, but nobody can say exactly why that is.

            The idea that we don’t have enough jobs for the folks here is what doesn’t make sense. The jobs are there. Not everyone is willing to do them. There are stories every week about employers who can’t find employees.

          • GirlFromIvy

            Recovery from recession doesn’t normally take this long.

            There isn’t a problem with people wanting to do jobs so much as there is a problem with people wanting to do jobs at the salary offered. The normal market response is to offer a higher salary or more desirable working conditions.

            Short circuiting that process is not good for workers. It’s not good for employers, either, in the long run.

          • Bert Nye

            The recession ended in May or June 2009, almost 6 1/2 years ago. How long are going to cover the reduction in workforce participation rate with that excuse? Job growth certainly didn’t produce the reduction in unemployment rate, and consistently well above half the new jobs were part time.

          • james hawley

            Disagree. Unemployment is around 23%, not 5%… The guvment is lying to you…

          • No, it isn’t. Even if you don’t like the traditional unemployment rate, the U-6 is around 10%. There’s no way do justify a claim that the unemployment rate is 23%.

          • james hawley

            1933
            =====
            unemployed……….total population
            12.8………………. 125
            …x………………..100

            x= (100×12.8)/125 = 10.24

            unemployment rate in 1933 = 10.24%

            2015
            =====
            unemployed total population
            100 ……. .330
            x ……………100

            x= (100×100)/330 = 30.3%

            Of course depends on how many unemployed there are.. If you think there are 50 million unemployed, that works out to 15%.. Pick your number and divide by 330..
            That was easy math.. Unlike common core math..

          • It’s about as useful as common core. You can’t compare the rates over that long a time. Use the numbers given by DOL. They are non-partisan and there is no reason to question them. I worked with the folks over there for a year and never saw any evidence of political shading on those. Umbels.

          • Bert Nye

            We need to remember we aren’t talking about legal immigration where people want to become American citizens. They want to assimilate, not retain the old country culture. Not so much with the flood of illegals.

          • LarrytheG

            actually in this thread – we’re hearing both.

            we’re hearing folks who are opposed to legal immigration.

          • Bert Nye

            I had to leave before finishing the earlier thought. I was responding to the general notion that the poor people immigrating in large numbers were voting Democrat for various reasons. Only legal immigrants who become citizens can vote legally. I know that doesn’t stop Democrats from working hard to illegally register opeople who can’t legally vote, but that is just the usual election fraud. This discussion also ignores the large number of young males who come to the US illegally who rent a single residence and use it as a dormitory from which they go out to work at wage levels many times higher than home wages, save their money, wire it home and eventually return home to rest at life back home with a substantially bankroll earned illegally in the US. They never have any intention of assimilating and the last number I saw was over $20B per year going into Mexico. The families with children arriving illegally are substantially impacting local budgets as free medical care, free schooling, free food, housing, etc is required to be provided.

          • LarrytheG

            so the illegals are surviving on entitlements and don’t work?

            how many fraudulently registered are caught ? 5 or 10?

            numbers?

          • GirlFromIvy

            Larry, there’s a crucial difference between thinking levels of legal immigration, particularly temporary work permits, are too high, and opposition to legal immigration.

          • LarrytheG

            I totally AGREE but it’s also apparent that the GOP itself cannot find common ground with which to forge a path forward …

            right?

            if the GOP can’t agree among itself – how do we get anything at all agreed to be done?

            that’s a frustration with the GOP these days…

            don’t blame the Dems…

          • GirlFromIvy

            Not blaming the Dems. Actually, of all the candidates, the only ones who have indicated concern about immigration levels forcing down wages are Bernie Sanders and Donald Trump.

            Not a party thing. Both parties, with exceptions on both sides, are, right now, making immigration policy to suit major corporate interests, without too much concern about how that affects small business (hint – open borders does hurt some of those) nor with much worry about how it affects individuals.

            Extremely high levels of H1b immigration is getting toxic, but because of big donors to both parties, it’s currently canon. I think that will change because it’s now hitting people with more money and more tech savvy, and there’s a lot of pent up anger.

            Interestingly enough, in a similar vein, Bloomberg ran an article, last week or the week before, indicating that economists are now re-looking at free trade – that it hasn’t had quite the effects they expected, and that problems (like long term unemployment of displaced workers) are more severe and persistent than originally expected. Actually, I’ll link to it – http://www.bloombergview.com/articles/2015-10-07/free-trade-is-no-longer-a-no-brainer-for-economists

            It’s important to have a good business environment. Vitally important. But economic ideas are general principles, not unyielding moral guidelines, and they need to be evaluated and tweaked by looking at ground truth.

          • LarrytheG

            I don’t think the Dems have near the problem coalescing around a compromise position as the GOP who seem to be at total war within.

            no matter where the Dems ended up – the GOP would still be not at a compromise position …

            you have to do get there – in order to convince folks you want to govern… we cannot have a POTUS who ends up like the Speaker of the House.

            the GOP has to WANT to govern rather than impose their principles..

    • I think you begin with an incorrect assumption: that people come here from other countries to take advantage of our social welfare system. Though some – especially those who come here fleeing political or social oppression – do need assistance, most come here with a plan to improve their lives and those of their families. Immigrants come here to find work, build businesses and enjoy the fruits of capitalism they cannot find at home.

      Many of them come from culturally Catholic countries and share Republican beliefs about the importance of religion, marriage, sexuality and abortion. This is also the demographic far more likely to start a small business – taquerias, small markets that cater to ethnic diets and holidays – than to ask for welfare checks. So they have similar concerns about regulations and how government can inhibit entrepreneurship. These people fit naturally into the conservative coalition.

      The reason they vote Democratic has nothing to do with preference for the “party of redistribution.” They vote Democratic because the Republican Party uses the threat of “the other” to get its mostly white and aging base to the polls. This is actually an old story: former plantation owners after the Civil War understood that they could preserve their political and economic privileges if they could convince poor whites and sharecroppers that the newly freed slaves threatened their already precarious position in society.

      This continued through the Civil Rights era into the 1980s with Nixon’s “Southern Strategy,” and since then Republicans have sought electoral victory by assembling coalitions of white voters that depend on demonizing others as more prone to crime, more likely to mooch off taxpayers, and a general burden to society.

      Get away from “the Mexicans are sending criminals and rapists” rhetoric and the GOP may have a chance to attract these voters to the Capitalist small government cause.

      And by the way, immigration does not depress wages. Remember that economic growth requires more than just capital as a component of production. We need workers as well. These workers also become new customers who spend the money they earn.

      The real cause of depressed wages in America isn’t immigration, it’s free trade. Low wage workers in Virginia don’t so much compete with that Mexican immigrant who works his blank off nailing down shingles. They compete with workers in Bangladesh and Thailand who now make our jockey shorts because Fruit of the Loom moved their operations overseas.

      If you really want to protect US labor and their wages, lobby against free trade and for unionization. Since this doesn’t fit the “Ayn Rand Galtians and free markets can fix everything” narrative, I don’t expect conservatives to get this any time soon.

      • mpolito

        It doesn’t matter how “culturally Catholic” Hispanics are- blacks are religious, too, but they still vote Democratic for economic reasons. Poor voters of all races are more likely to vote Democratic.

        Again, Bush pandered like crazy to Hispanics. The economy was doing well. We were in a war. And he still only got 40% of their vote.

        The Republican party doesn’t need to say that “others” (blacks and Hispanics) are more prone to crime, welfare use, etc.- they *are* more prone to these things, emphatically, unequivocally, and consistently. The massive increase in crime in the 60s and 70s was only reversed because of the hated (but necessary) “mass incarceration.” You can’t expect such people to vote Republican in large numbers.

        Immigration depresses the wages of lower wage workers specifically. That is why Samuel Gompers supported the 1924 immigration reform.

        Sam Francis remarked that our two parties ought to be called the Stupid Party and the Evil Party- and that once in a while when they do something stupid and evil, it is called “bipartisanship.” Reading the comments here makes me think that the GOP could also be called the Innumerate Party. You can’t keep importing a group of 40% Republicans and expect to win.

        • More conservative “just so” stories. It seems right, and I heard it on Fox News (or from the Center for Immigration Studies). so it must be true.

          No, poor whites do not vote Democratic, even though it would be in their economic interest to do so. Yes, Bush reached out to Hispanics. That he was able to get almost half of them on his side suggests that refusal to demonize them can sway their votes. If the rest of the GOP had, even more of them might have voted Republican. And yes, statistics appear to show that non-whites commit more crime that whites. But it’s not at all clear that brown people are “emphatically, unequivocally and consistently” prone to criminality. These statistics may simply show that authorities arrest and prosecute them more often.

          In any event, my point has nothing to do with whether or not non-whites actually commit more crime or use more welfare. It’s that saying this again and again, without regard to the underlying causes or attempting to find solutions and helping them escape poverty, chases them to the Democratic Party, which takes a far more nuanced position. Even if you’re right, it’s still a small percentage of these groups causing the problem – but your rhetoric blames the entire group, including those sympathetic to your message.

          In other words, if people hear you stereotype them as congenital mooching losers and criminals they’ll vote against you whether or not they share your religious or economic views. The GOP could change their votes by reaching out to minority communities with proposals for bringing businesses (and therefore jobs) to their neighborhoods, more equitable policing, improving their schools, and higher wages for those who work. Doing so, however, would alienate the existing coalition of poor whites it assembled largely by driving wedges between them and minorities while pandering to rural Christians.

          Keep doing what you’re doing, since it appears to be making it all but impossible for a GOP candidate to win the Presidency. You can bring immigration to a screeching halt tomorrow but demographic changes would still mean increasing non-white populations that could turn red states (Texas! Georgia!) purple or blue in the long run. You can only suppress their votes for so long.

  • Reinhardt Reganbacker lll

    Senior’, could you direct me please to the Spanish version of this blog? Gracias.

      • didn’t Reagan actually grant Amnesty??

        • Yes.

        • mpolito

          He did, and look what it produced: modern-day California, well-known GOP stronghold.

        • Downstater

          Yes, and I remember him promising that this would be the ONLY time the amnesty was going to happen, and that it would solve our problem, and going forward we would not have waves of illegals.

          • Can a president who serves 8 years make such a promise

    • John Harvie

      Perfect, RRIII!

    • Patrick Murphy

      Señor.

      • Reinhardt Reganbacker lll

        You got me, thanks!

    • mpolito

      This *is* the Spanish version, alas. Can you direct *me* to the conservative version?

      • Reinhardt Reganbacker lll

        Hilarious! Thanks!

  • Tim Donner

    It’s very hard to comprehend why Brat would oppose all new immigration in…a nation of immigrants. I want people here who really want to be here and are willing to give up their lives in the old country and come here to be productive, as the early waves of immigrants were.

    • LarrytheG

      there _are_ compromise positions .. but not in the GOP anymore.. everyone draws a line in the sand and that’s all she wrote….

      right?

    • mpolito

      “A nation of immigrants?” What is this kitsch? The only reason previous waves of immigration “worked” is because they were basically cut off after 1924. We need such a cut-off now, too.

      • Downstater

        As I understand it, there were waves of immigrants, followed by a period of respite, then after 20-30 years, another wave, but they were absorbed. And there were quotas. And the system was pretty much tweaked so that mainly immigrants from Westernized nations came, although we did have the Chinese come in to build the railroads, in addition to the Africans brought here as slaves.

    • Downstater

      We do not need anymore warm bodies in this country anymore. The labor dynamic is completely different then it was in the 19th/early 20th century. The social welfare system is completely different. At most, if we could get a handle on illegal immigration, we might need seasonal guest workers for agriculture to meet a demand, but they should be guest workers, allowed to send their money home, but not bring their entire extended clan, and not expect that their physical presence here alone makes them “immigrants”.

      • LarrytheG

        there’s a simple fix. It’s called serious E-Verify where employers are fined 100K per illegal worker.

        It works in Canada. they have a well run guest worker program and the penalties for hiring illegals are so severe that they don’t do it.

        we need to also have severe penalties for those still employed with expired visas.

        As long as we look the other way and give employers a free ride – folks will come for the jobs.

        Realistically – global jobs are lower paid than protected jobs. If we want to compete globally – we can’t be paying more for labor than what it costs elsewhere or else we lose the jobs all together.

        What we get from the GOP these days are not actual legislation to do these things. We get threats of shutdowns, lawsuits, gridlock, etc.

        you can’t govern that way.

        • Reinhardt Reganbacker lll

          Excellent .

        • GirlFromIvy

          Yes. I think the idea of mass deportation is silly – especially when the employers are the ones who are causing the problem. However, I’m not sure that employers really have the tools, currently, to properly verify employment, and there have been cases reported in the news where they’ve been fined for trying to enforce rules.

          I do disagree with part of your premise. Labor costs vary from country to country, both because some jobs can only be done locally and because productivity varies from country to country. We can compete perfectly well globally with wages that are higher than elsewhere.

          It’s not how high your wages are. It’s how much value you are creating for those wages. If it was just wage levels, in the US, instead of having tech workers in Silicon Valley, we’d have them in West Virginia or Mississippi.

          If the result of globalization was inevitably that our wages go down to global levels (which average in the high teens), I’d argue for going back to protectionism. What would the advantage be from global trade in that case?

          • John Harvie

            GFI, You ought to run for VA Senate.

      • So we should stop having kids?

        • GirlFromIvy

          What a silly thing to say. We are having enough kids now to fill the jobs we are creating – but when we don’t have a shortage of workers, why bring in more people than we actually need to do jobs?

          I get best and brightest. I get that we need a certain level of immigration on top of that. Why is it increasingly becoming almost limitless, between regular immigration, H1b, L1, E1, spouses of H1b, and on and on and on?

          When we don’t have enough jobs for people already here, the benefit to new people is to employers, who can offer lower wages and poorer working conditions. It doesn’t help the rest of us.

          • It’s not limitless. All of those programs have caps. We have enough jobs for the folks here and we have jobs that employers can’t fill. Employers generally have the power because we’ve skewed the system in their favor.

          • GirlFromIvy

            They have caps that are high enough to crowd out people already here from working in their own fields.

            We don’t have many jobs that employers can’t fill. We have jobs that employers don’t want to pay enough for. Different thing.

            Pay more, and you get more supply.

          • This is true, but every employer’s fundamental goal is to get the most productivity from the fewest number of workers at the lowest cost.

            Folks in the tech industry are finally experiencing what folks in traditional industries like manufacturing and transportation have known for decades.

          • GirlFromIvy

            It’s fine to have that goal. It’s not the job of the government to force our wages down below market level, by manipulating immigration policy to suit large employers. Not cool.

          • And it’s not the job of government to prop up your wages by stifling competition, either. If we don’t want to the free market to set the rate of wages, just say so. And you’d be better off getting a union than trying to get the government to do your work for you.

            This is the private sector’s problem, the private sector needs to solve it – labor and management.

          • GirlFromIvy

            US immigration policy is intended to benefit those of us who live here. The free market within the US does set wages.

            Until around 2000, no one argued that not having an unlimited immigration policy was the government propping up your wages. Then Y2k, H1b, and you know the rest.

            I’m not asking for the government to prop up my wages. I am asking the government to refrain from making visa policies specifically targeted to reduce my wages. Different things.

          • It’s the opposite side of the same coin.

            We all recognize that the current immigration system is screwed up and needs to be reformed. Whether you’re being undercut by a foreign workers on an H1-B visa, or by a kid fresh out of school who is willing to work for less just to have a job, there’s always going to be competition. Not sure why foreign competition is somehow worse than other forms of it.

          • GirlFromIvy

            No, it’s not. When you are undercut by a kid fresh out of school, he or she has had the same disadvantages (school debt, cost of living here) and the same expectations of living standards that the rest of us have. It’s fair competition and it doesn’t change what people expect a decent living to be.

            It’s not the same thing when you flood in tens of thousands of people without US school debt, who are wiling to accept low salaries and poorer living and working conditions, often only staying temporarily and then taking their money home. What happens is that it drives down salary levels and expectations of working conditions.

            Further, using H1B’s to drive down salary levels is directly in contradiction to the stated intent of the legislation. Now you’re justifying bringing in people solely to drive US salaries down?

            The world salary level is below 20K. What do you think our economy is going to be like if it drops to that level? Is your policy goal to make us all equally poor?

          • Now we are moving into dangerous territory. The people coming in on tech visas aren’t the great masses of unskilled labor that the usual suspects are scared of. Maybe they don’t have school debt, but they aren’t going to accept pennies a day to do work that others will do for six figures a year. They aren’t stupid.

            I agree that using h-1Bs to drive down salaries is not the stated intent of the law, which is why it needs to be reformed. But again, you are demanding that the law be designed to benefit you to shield you from competition.

            That you think competition from kids is okay but not from foreigners is odd.

          • LarrytheG

            they’re not only better educated but they are debt-free because their home country’s provide free college.

          • GirlFromIvy

            Larry, they’re not better educated.

          • LarrytheG

            lots of articles on this… an no shortage of employers who say they cannot get the skills domestically.

          • GirlFromIvy

            See EPI article above. Note that about half of people with tech degrees do not work in tech. I have a good friend with a CS PhD from a good school that has moved to real estate, because more money, less stress, less age discrimination. It’s not lack of skill that drives people out.

            As has been noted repeatedly, the problem is not that employers can’t get the skills domestically. The problem is that tech wages have been flat for a decade, and employers do not want to pay more. Really smart people – and Larry, these people are scary smart – do have options.

            I have worked in a field where there was an actual shortage (tech, during Y2k and the dot com boom) – salaries were rising quickly, easy to change jobs and make more, many people paying to go back to school, people who had gone into other fields coming back into tech. Price went up, supply increased in response.

            That’s a shortage and a market response. Again, rising wages, demand for your work, easy to change jobs.

            Tech wages have been essentially flat for a decade – hot spots like Silicon Valley and NYC have seen some increase, but averages are flat.

            That’s not a shortage. I don’t blame businesses for not wanting to pay more, but if you have an actual shortage, you offer at least a modest pay increase.

          • LarrytheG

            I think there is a misunderstanding. computer technology is the new literacy – like english used to be – for ANY FIELD.

            if you do not understand and are comfortable with computerized processes – you’re not going to be comfortable doing a wide range of occupations these days.

            the definition of “menial” labor is changing.

            it’s no longer only physical labor.

            “gate-keeper” jobs – access to info are now going to way of manufacturing.

            You don’t spend time and money to find out what the dealer cost is for a car – you do a few clicks and you’re done and you know. SOMEONE wrote the stuff that provides you with a user front end and a highly sophisticated real-time, dynamic back end database.

            People who don’t understand two-step authentication are sliding into the digital abyss…

            you don’t drive to deposit a check – you do it with your phone – someone has to design the application that does that.

            these are the 21st century jobs.. you can’t even “learn” them if you have a crippled HS education – even if you are college bound.

            Most schools have 1/4 or less of their kids taking math/science AP – and half fail it.. these are college-bound kids.

            The AP they prefer is “social science” and related – not hard science.

            and in the meantime – conservatives are leading the charge against education standards and metrics… wanting it left to whatever the locals want.

            that’s going to put our kids at an even greater disadvantage with their world competitors.

            we have to compete straight up for the global jobs and yes some jobs, maybe a lot ARE going to pay less AND better jobs WILL REQUIRE higher and higher levels of knowledge and skills.

            we’re running away…

          • GirlFromIvy

            Yes, but that’s not what is being discussed here. These are computer jobs, not jobs that require familiarity with computing. Different things.

          • LarrytheG

            no.. you don’t understand. computer technology is a 21st century core competency for all students.

            virtually every field on the planet is transformed by this technology.

            even if you know the content – you’re not qualified if you cannot articulate it in computer technology terms.

            It’s like saying you can be a cartographer without knowing how cartography is actually practiced in the 21st century.

            ditto – medicine, engineering, education, etc.

          • And many of them come here for school.

          • GirlFromIvy

            Brian, I have worked with people on H1b that were making less than half what I made. They are in fact accepting salaries below market rate to do the same work, and replacing US workers doing it. When your alternative is working in your home country for even less than that, there’s nothing stupid about it – and H1b is tied to employer, so they can’t change jobs.

            The design of the law is specifically to only address actual shortages, and not to lower wage levels. That is the law as intended, Brian. Characterizing a request that intent be followed as “demanding that the law be designed to benefit me to shield me from competition” is dishonest and inaccurate.

            I don’t think there is anything odd with being okay with competition from my fellow Americans, US born or foreign born.

            I also don’t think there’s anything odd with realizing that, with an estimated 138 MILLION people wanting to immigrate to the US, that allowing selective immigration to drive down wages is quite capable of doing a very effective job of doing just that. That is not fair, and while it is happening to tech workers now, with the numeric expansions suggested by Cruz and Rubio, it could be you next.

          • If that’s the case, then there needs to be investigations and prosecutions of those employers. That’s not the intent of the program, but abuse is also not a reason to end the program, either. We don’t end social security because it’s abused.

            You’re complaining because of the unfair competition, correct? You’re asking the government to come in and fix this program, correct? And your reasoning for doing so is that it is harming you because you have to compete with equally skilled colleagues who aren’t American and will work for less than you, correct? How is that not you wanting the law designed to shield you from competition?

            If H-1B goes back to being what it was intended to be, would you oppose it or the expansion of it?

            Like I’ve said before, if instead of relying on the federal government for this, you guys organized and got your employers to stop hiring these works through collective bargaining, you’d all be better off and you wouldn’t need government to step in on your behalf.

            Yes, people still want to come here. That’s a good thing.

            And no, it won’t be me next. I chose a career that you can’t outsource.

          • GirlFromIvy

            Brian, the problem is, it’s legal, if in direct contradiction to the intent of the law, and the companies are lobbying like mad to keep it legal rather than fix the loopholes.

            I’m not suggesting ending H1b. H1b is a needed program that is being abused. Abuse should end, not the program itself.

            I am trying to figure out what you’re saying. Is your argument that immigration policy should encourage employers to be able to import an unlimited number of workers specifically to lower wages? Because that is what I am objecting to.

            We have very few labor shortages. There is no need to expand H1b.

            Collective bargaining does not help when you have an oversupply of labor, and tech work is extremely ill suited to collective bargaining.

            And yes, it will be you next. With the way H1b is currently being used, you don’t need to outsource overseas – companies are bringing people here to lower wage levels in this country.

          • My point is that immigration policy should encourage the best and the brightest around the world to come to the United States. If they come here with jobs lined up and employers who are willing to sponsor them, all the better.

            Competition is good. It’s not about driving down wages, it’s about giving employers the best workforce pool possible. Like I’ve said multiple times, if you are really worried about wages and competition, then get a union.

            Collective bargaining absolutely helps when you have an oversupply of labor – that’s part of the reason it began to exist, to get workers unified to fight unfair wage undercutting by employers who could find cheaper workers elsewhere. I don’t know what about tech work is inherently ill-suited to collective bargaining. If your wages are being undercut by competition, that’s the perfect time to organize.

            And no, I won’t be next. Unless foreign lawyers can come in and pass the Virginia bar and become experts in the American political system overnight, they aren’t going to take my job.

          • GirlFromIvy

            I absolutely agree that the best and the brightest around the world should be encouraged to come to the US. H1b, BTW, is not the visa normally used for that.

            H1b. as currently used, is very much about driving down wages – it’s what it’s used for, not for giving employers the best workforce pool possible.

          • H1-B is one of the dual intent visas, meaning someone can come here on one and still apply for permanent resident status on their way to citizenship.

          • GirlFromIvy

            H1b, however, is not the exceptional talent visa. There are visas in every country I know of specifically to encourage exceptional talent – I know people who have emigrated to other countries on those visas, and immigrated here on them as well.

            H1b visas are primarily used by entry level workers with the lowest skill level eligible for the visa, not for any kind of exceptional talent.

            In the US, I believe exceptional talent usually use EB2 or O1.

          • GirlFromIvy

            Brian, I’d be fairly surprised if we don’t have a number of foreign students with political science degrees, who attended US law schools, and who would love to stay here. If all it takes is an H1b visa, you can easily get more into the pipeline pretty quickly.

            So no, don’t think that you’re safe. Legal work and accounting work are already impacted.

            Also, you may not realize it, but it’s kind of odd to be arguing for unfair visa rules, because you can use unions to limit competition. You do realize that unions are arguably less free market than preference given to people already living here, rather than rando people from all over the world who might like to move?

          • I’m not arguing for unfair visa rules – I’m arguing against your desire for government intervention to protect you from competition. Unions are the private sector response to bad behavior on the part of employers. They are part of the free market, and represent a private solution to the problem that allows the market to work out its problems without government intervention.

            For those of us who want limited government, unions get you where folks want to go without the need for government intervention. When the system works as it’s supposed to, the companies and the unions work out issues like wages, benefits, work rules and safety at the bargaining table, and government only plays its traditional role of referee through the courts.

          • GirlFromIvy

            Again, Brian, what you’re calling “government intervention to protect you from competition” is asking that a visa designed specifically to provide additional workers for areas of short term shortage, at market wages, actually be used for areas of short term shortage, at market wages.

            Misusing those visas is not part of the free market. It’s misuse of a government program, by large corporations, who have inserted loopholes to the detriment of workers and smaller companies.

          • Downstater

            No, I am not demanding that the law shield me from competition. What I am demanding is that my elected representatives in the Commonwealth of VA represent me (ie: Dave Brat) and not be in the corner of illegal immigrants (ie: Eric Cantor).

          • Downstater

            Sheer numbers

          • Downstater

            Agree. There are approx. 6 billion people on the planet. What if they all wanted to come here?

          • Downstater

            And not everyone is in IT.

          • LarrytheG

            it’s not IT per se. Think about ANY field from Medicine to Engineering to Education and they are being transformed by computers and allied technology.

            Anyone who has visited a doctor’s office lately surely has seen that they are using networked computers in the examining rooms.. and everything from weight, bp, lab results to doctor notes and even prescriptions are being digitized… back office your insurance is getting an electronic delivery of what services you used , etc.

            Engineering is now installing wi fi strain gages on bridges and recording their flexing – 24/7 to produce signatures.. that become history that new reading are compared against to see if the signature changes – indicating potential structural issues.

            education – from MOOG to elementary kids using specialist software on tablets – is bringing to each child – personal tutors – that not only interact with the child to provide increasingly tougher lessons – but based on each kids speed – and the results are automatically transmitted via wi Fi to the teacher who has similar info for all kids.

            In each of these cases and thousands more – there is modern day melding of technology with core knowledge skills.

            These are jobs. They are jobs for people who are comfortable with the technology as well as the core function being computerized.

            These jobs are not for kids who are not literate in 21st century technology , reading and math skills which rules out almost 2/3 of the kids now in K-12.. even ones headed to college but not on a hard science/STEMS track.

            it’s NOT STEMS per se – it’s the skills and competencies associated with using STEMs to address real world products being demanded.

            we are failing in these areas. Ask Bill Gates or Larry Ellison or just about any technology company CEO…

            some are worried about immigration.. our real threats are much more serious and not being recognized.

          • Downstater

            We do not have enough jobs now for Americans. Many of us are either unemployed, or under-employed. Many of my college friends can’t get jobs in their community after being out of the workforce to raise families. I hope your kids (if you have them) are able to get jobs too when they are ready.

          • This just isn’t true. If they can’t get jobs in their community, they need to go where the jobs are.

          • Downstater

            A good example is a friend of ours in IT, middle-aged, constantly having to only do short-term contract work, and then it ends, and so far he has been able to get another gig after a period of more unemployment. I’ll hear from them that “they laid off a big group of people, but they kept the Indians, though”. Yes, they live in Fairfax Co., and ironically are Democrats.

          • Downstater

            Further to previous: What you seem to be suggesting is that the whole world move to a few urban centers, such as ours. That has already happened. I work in a public service capacity where I meet a lot of people – we not only have people from all over the world coming to the DC area because of the gov. and second tier gov. created service jobs, but I see many young people from all over the United States coming here, so then we are inundated. There still are only so many jobs, many of which are seasonal or gig jobs (Uber). There are not enough jobs for American. Try sending your resume to something, or asking an employer posting on Craigs List or Indeed how many resumes or applications he got. And then there’s showing up and finding out the job is only part-time, or you take it and the 25 hours a week turns into 10, but they want you there 2 hours a day, each weekday, making it hard to get something else. I don’t know what world you are living in.

          • We barely have a birthrate high enough to sustain population. If not careful we’ll be Japan, more in adult diapers than huggies.

          • LarrytheG

            our bigger problem is our really horrible literacy rates compared to our global competitors including those with Visas.

            we’re giving away our jobs – not to immigrants – but to better educated competitors for labor.

            Businesses don’t want “cheap” tech – they want well-educated tech and look around these days to the surnames of the CEOs and company executives of American companies.

            we’re in denial about this – and want someone to blame so we blame immigration.

            epic fail.

          • Very good remarks. As we fail on the educational front we fail as a nation. Also the move to a tech economy will hurt us in the long run. We can still be a manufacturers economy as well. We should be diversified as possible, design, development and build. It’s not immigration stifling our economy, it’s a slew of poor decisions and Keynesian short term fixes.

          • LarrytheG

            it’s the REASON for the “under-employed” rate that should be concerning.

            you get a college education with a generic degree LITE and only Starbucks wants you and tech employers want HB1.

            it’s not about cheap wages – it’s about qualified labor and we are in denial about it…

            the other part. You cannot throw away kids from economically disadvantaged circumstances – no matter your personal views about responsibility.

            when we throw these kids away -we are creating enormous entitlement burdens that will further erode our fiscal security.

          • GirlFromIvy

            Larry, that is so untrue.

            The reality is, you get a CS degree, you work for a company for years, do a good job. They decide to cut costs, hire an outsourcing company, you train your replacement, you get laid off.

            This is not about qualified labor. This is about replacing skilled US workers in existing jobs with less expensive guest workers, and a visa that is being misued to do it.

          • LarrytheG

            in the 21st century – basic CS degrees are 20th century -dime a dozen and easily filled by cheaper labor.

            US manufacturers – people like Microsoft and Oracle have weighed in on this.. the US does not produce the quality and quantity of entry level tech.

            Many non-tech jobs require the ability to understand tech – to read tech manuals.. to be able to configure tech devices like routers and program cell phones and car computers., drones, .. Ask yourself who you know that knows how to do these things.

            we are in denial. We think 20th century skills are 21st century and they are not – but our global competitors in OECD know and they are having our lunch and what do we do?

            we seek protectionism.. that’s an epic fail and the fact that it’s coming from folks who claim to be GOP is mind-blowing.

            what happened to the competitive mindset?

          • GirlFromIvy

            Larry, do you have any idea what a “basic” CS degree from a good school entails? It’s not a dime a dozen, and not easily filled by cheaper labor.

            US manufacturers actually heavily recruit US workers for entry level tech. H1b is not being used primarily by companies like Oracle and Microsoft. H1b is primarily being used for IT functions, to drive down wages, not for leading age tech work, and it’s overwhelmingly being used by outsourcing companies.

            Our global competitors aren’t having our lunch in tech. Different discussion.

          • LarrytheG

            IT is my field and generic CS are a dime a dozen. What you need is folks who know how a particular field is computerized.. it’s way more than CS and it involves the ability to read and understand and articulate solutions for modern technologies.

            CS is cheap entry level labor.. anyone can do it. Take a CS guy and tell him to program a drone or write a big data database and he’s dead meat.

          • GirlFromIvy

            Larry, when is the last time you looked at a CS curriculum?

            No one individual writes a big data database, if you mean RDBMS software itself – that’s hundreds of millions of lines of code. If you mean setting up a big data database, that’s training, and gets more into IT, not CS. I know how to do it, as do hundreds and thousands of other people. It’s actually not that super advanced a skill – it’s craft, more than high tech – and while I have a CS background, you dont’ need one to do it – I know smart liberal arts graduates who went back and got tech skills who can do it.

            Drone programming is more likely to be in the school of engineering, not CS. Different area.

            IT and CS are not the same thing. Sit down for a few hours and look at CS curricula from Va Tech, Stanford, Ga Tech. It’s not generic, and they are not a dime a dozen. The purpose of CS graduates is to build the tools that are used to computerize particular fields – they are the shoulders others stand on.

          • GirlFromIvy

            Larry, that isn’t correct. H1b is used, overwhelmingly, by outsourcing companies that bring in people on visas to replace existing workers, already doing the job, with less expensive temporary workers. Most H1b visas do not go to what we think of as tech companies – they go to staffing companies that have job replacement as their business model.

            H1b is not the “exceptional skill” visa – it’s for skilled workers, but there are separate visas for extraordinary talent.

            Companies do indeed want cheap tech. US tech workers are as good as anyone from anywhere. Not better – brains are brains – but every single bit as good, and just as well educated. They can compete on skill – problem is, they do actually want to make over 20K per year.

            The drive for cheaper workers is quite obvious when you see corporate responses to H1b reform. The proposed reformed were to verify that there weren’t already adequate numbers of US workers well skilled for the jobs, and protections to insure that the salaries offered were market rate. FWD.us and other lobbying groups described those rules – which are supposed to be part of H1b in the first place – as being devastating. All they really devastate is the ability to replace US workers with less expensive ones.

            The goal of most companies with H1b is largely cheap tech. A number of these cases have been in the news lately (Disney, Toys R Us, SoCal Edison), but this isn’t new. The business model is essentially, bring in cheaper guest worker, have existing worker train guest worker, lay off existing worker. When there is already a worker in place doing the job, and that worker has to train his or her replacement, how can you argue that there are not qualified US workers to do that job?

            Further, the large majority of H1bs brought in are at the lowest skill level – entry level workers, not highly skilled workers.

            Let me know if you want sources – I’m not sure about links policy here, or I’d post a batch of them in this note.

          • LarrytheG

            if they cannot satisfy their labor demands domestically, they will outsource or move overseas.

            immigration policy is a dishonest excuse… to argue this.

            I can find dozens of articles that say that US companies cannot find enough qualified workers – that our education system is not producing the required skillsets.

            Colleges have to remediate HS grads…

            we are rotting from within and in denial about it.

          • GirlFromIvy

            Larry, these are existing jobs already filled with US workers, which workers are being replaced by less expensive workers brought in on temporary visas.

            How do you equate that to “cannot satisfy their labor demands domestically”?

            This is a case of cheaper workers brought in on temporary visas by outsourcing companies – not by tech companies – replacing existing workers. This has nothing to do with “not enough qualified workers” – it has everything to do with misusing an existing law to drive down wages.

            How is objecting to that dishonest? I don’t understand your argument.

          • LarrytheG

            doing what you are doing is going to chase technology overseas… it’s no different than trying to protect factory jobs.

            you have to compete… protectionism fails.

          • GirlFromIvy

            Nope. These are jobs that can’t be outsourced. With agile development, work is coming back from overseas, because there is value to having it done here.

            If you open up borders and have US workers compete here, in the US, with the whole world, you will have a whole world (20K or less on average) salary. Which will pretty much collapse the US economy.

          • GirlFromIvy

            Hi Larry – first cite – from Economic Policy Institute – http://www.epi.org/press/epi-analysis-finds-shortage-stem-workers/

            Title – EPI analysis finds no shortage of STEM workers in the United States

            quote – “In a new EPI paper, Hal Salzman of Rutgers, Daniel Kuehn of American University and B. Lindsay Lowell of Georgetown University find little evidence to support expansion of high-skill guestworker programs as proposed in the immigration bill being debated in the Senate. Contrary to many industry claims, the study finds that U.S. colleges and universities provide an ample supply of highly qualified science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) graduates.”

          • LarrytheG

            I can quote an equal number of counter studies.

            It not STEM per se. It’s the ability to use STEM skill in solving real world problems with computer-based technology melded with other technologies …

            less than 1/3 of our kids graduate with higher than proficient reading skills. Most of them could not begin to tell you how a cell phone system works.. or computers in cars.. or network controlled traffic signals, etc..

            there are no “degrees” in these fields but employers know the KINDS of core skills that are needed to perform and our kids don’t have them. Our kids go for easy generic degrees…and more and more are ending up “under-employed” and we are in denial about it and want protectionism.

          • GirlFromIvy

            These are IT jobs. Write and maintain reports, cleanse data, customize ERP packages, that sort of thing. With people who were already doing those jobs, and doing them satisfactorily.

          • LarrytheG

            everything today is multi-discipline that rests on the backbone of Information Technology whether it’s distributed real time databases, education software, computer-coordinated traffic signals, etc.

            It’s not Computer Science it melds other technologies with computers and info technology –

            that means the entry level folks have to be well schooled and well understanding of technology – well able with their reading , math and technology skills and education to step in and start doing jobs that require mixtures of CS, engineering, science, etc.

            Our kids run scared away from thing like Calculus and Physics in high school -but you’d never going to write software for self-driving cars – if you don’t have these backgrounds.

            These are real global jobs in the 21 century for whoever has those skills.

            Today advanced high school level reading, math and science is the STARTING position for higher ed.

            People from other countries are hungry for these jobs and our kids are afraid of the basic education requirements.

            we’ve gone from trying to protect manufacturing jobs to protecting minimal technology jobs.

            Our kids should be out-competing immigrants for these jobs rather than complaining about others taking them.

            American – especially Republicans used to be up to this task.

            the GOP would support competition because the knew we were the best in the world at competing…

          • GirlFromIvy

            We have the highest population increase of any advanced economy. No one’s suggesting ending all immigration, or seeing a population shrink – but we’re at no risk at all of decreases.

            With current trends, we’re at significant risk of large population increases, to the point htat it would hurt our quality of life.

  • Peacemaker

    I have not read the op-ed yet, but I do not really need to read it. I’ve been screaming that Brat is a dangerous fool since before his election. The best I can hope for now is to get drawn OUT of the 7th. Oh, please…ye map making persons. Have mercy.

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