Mark Krikorian recently wrote on Rand Paul's confused endorsement of a solution for illegal aliens and a potential solution. Of course Paul's statement was not just confuse, but shows his obvious ignorance of immigration law and policy. Something that frustrates this blog immensely. The only thing worse than bad solutions are those solutions that are based on a fundamental ignorance of immigration law and policy.
NRO by Mark Krikorian January 9, 2013
First Paul's obvious obliviousness on current immigration law and policy.
Senator Rand Paul recently suggested the following as part of a possible immigration compromise: giving amnesty to the illegal population but not giving them “immediate voting privileges.”
His phrasing about voting is the result of either hyperbole or ignorance, since there’s never been any proposal that would give illegals the ability to vote immediately. But what he seemed to be suggesting is legalizing illegal aliens with the kind of provisional status provided for in the Schumer–Rubio amnesty, but without offering them a green card and the eventual chance at citizenship that entails. (A green card confers “permanent residency,”[Federale Note: Legal Permanent Residency (LPR) or as it is now called, Lawful Permanent Residence.] and after five years of that status — in most cases — a green-card holder may apply for citizenship.)
However, Krikorian makes his own mistake, not of policy, but of possible policy.
Under such an amnesty, the formerly illegal immigrants would receive Employment Authorization Documents (EADs, or work cards), legitimate Social Security accounts, driver’s licenses, expanded (though still limited) access to welfare, travel documents enabling them to leave and freely reenter the country, eligibility for affirmative-action preferences, and much more. The only thing they wouldn’t have is a timetable to apply for citizenship, which means no prospect of eventually being able to vote.
This idea of a work-visa amnesty or non-citizenship amnesty has been around for a while; Senator Rubio’s stillborn alternative to the DREAM Act envisioned just such an arrangement. (President Obama beat Rubio to the punch with his unilateral and illegal Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program.) Representative Darrell Issa is preparing legislation to offer this sort of amnesty to illegals generally. The notion even has some intellectual cachet: My friend Peter Skerry, a Boston College political-science professor, made a sober and reasoned case for it in National Affairs.
Unfortunately, it is a mirage. A non-citizenship amnesty would not fix the shortcomings of a regular amnesty and would probably be worse in some ways.
Amnesty before enforcement. Amnesty would be distasteful and expensive, but many Americans are, as a practical matter, resigned to legalizing long-resident, non-violent illegal aliens. But for any kind of amnesty, sans citizenship or not, they’re okay with it only if it’s the last amnesty. Legalizing illegals before we’ve completed our enforcement infrastructure is a recipe for yet more amnesties in the future, which is clearly what the amnesty-pushers have in mind. Any form of legalization that takes place before — at the very least — full implementation of E-Verify and a biometric exit-tracking system for foreign visitors would simply repeat the debacle of 1986, when nearly 3 million illegals got amnesty but the promised enforcement did not materialize. “I will gladly pay you Tuesday for an amnesty today” worked once with a trusting American public; they’re not suckers enough to fall for that trick a second time. If lawmakers wanted to (unwisely, I think) package enforcement and legalization in the same bill, with a trigger for the latter, the trigger should be something like three years of steady decline in the total illegal population as determined by three independent sources — i.e., proof that enforcement is actually happening. Whether or not the illegals got green cards or red or blue or whatever is irrelevant to this point.
However, contra Krikorian, a grand bargain based on granting illegal aliens a non-immigrant employment status is both viable and politically feasible.
First, a non-immigrant employment based visa solution to illegal alien workers is political ju-jitsu. It separates the Slave Power from the cultural Marxists, destroying the amnesty coalition. Slave Power wants docile workers. And frankly, until there is real reform of welfare, the low IQ class that should be doing the jobs illegal aliens are currently performing in America will not do the labor under the discipline required to both fulfill workplace expectations of business and to provide for themselves without the massive and failed welfare state. Let's face the truth, the welfare class, especially the lazy and violent black welfare class, needs the discipline of the market place, e.g. force to work to provide for their daily sustenance. One of the reasons that black crime exploded in the 60s was the expansion of welfare that enabled the criminally prone among blacks to have the leisure time required for criminal behavior. Without free housing and food, usually provided by baby momas on welfare, black male criminals would be force into labor that they performed prior to the 60s; e.g. the labor now performed by illegal aliens such as that were illegals are so obvious; construction, janitorial, kitchen services, etc. In order to eat and have shelter, blacks were disciplined to work so that they could eat. That is no more. Because of that, Slave Power needs illegal alien workers. To get those workers the Slave Power is allied with cultural Marxists to obtain amnesty.
Unfortunately, Krikorian falls into the trap that we can't have a solution without legal permanent residence, e.g. green cards, for illegal aliens. His argument is that Americans won't accept some "second-class" status for so many illegal aliens.
There is, however, no real evidence that belief is true. Currently we have an extensive "third class" status for large numbers of aliens working in the United States. These are aliens admitted to the United States on non-immigrant visas (NIV), as opposed to immigrant visas (IV) that are grants of legal permanent residency, to work for specific employers, with the most common NIVs being H-1B, H-2B, and L-1. Such NIVs and their successors have a long history in the United States, and similar programs exist throughout the world with success, especially in countries with a rational immigration policy, such as Singapore.
A true grand bargain, a way to politically manage the problem with amnesty would be to separate the Slave Power from the cultural Marxists. This blog proposes a grand bargain based on NIVs for illegal aliens currently employed in the United States with the proviso that no illegal aliens who accept an NIV will be able to adjust status to legal permanent residency, unless they obtain an income over $100,000.00. Of course, few will be able to make that level. NIVs will be continue to be offered to both low and high skilled aliens, such as Singapore does. With Singapore, low wage work permits are offered based on an employee sponsor, but at higher levels an alien may self sponsor after a period of sponsorship, but only at the high-skilled and high wage level.
Given that most illegal aliens only want to avoid deportation and are not as enamored with citizenship as are the cultural Marxists, this has an opening to break even the ethnic grievance based cultural Marxists.
Pew Research December 19, 2013
While lopsided majorities of Hispanics and Asian Americans support creating a pathway to citizenship for unauthorized immigrants, two new surveys from the Pew Research Center also show that these groups believe it is more important for unauthorized immigrants to get relief from the threat of deportation.
By 55% to 35%, Hispanics say that they think being able to live and work in the United States legally without the threat of deportation is more important for unauthorized immigrants than a pathway to citizenship. Asian Americans hold a similar view, albeit by a smaller margin—49% to 44%.
Here in lies the vulnerability in the amnesty coalition. Slave Power wants disciplined workers which is a fault line in the coalition. The other fault line in the amnesty coalition is the illegals who just want to work, but are not as interested in being the cannon fodder for the Bolsheviks among the cultural Marxists.
Here immigration patriots have a chance to split their coalition, and impose patriotic immigration reform with these broad outlines:
1) an NIV for illegals currently employed, dependent NIVs only for those with minor children illegally in the United States as today, e.g. no new dependents brought from outside the United States for low-skilled or low income NIV holders. This would assume that most spouses of illegals would also be employed illegally and eligible for a NIV.
2) low-skilled NIVs would be sponsored by a direct employer, e.g. no middle-men or labor contractors.
3) employers of said NIV holders would be responsible for healthcare of their NIV employees.
4) no dependents except for wage-earners over a certain level, assuming a 2 income household, $50k to bring a minor child; $35k to bring a dependent non-employed spouse.
5) no welfare of any sort.
6) enforcement by writ of mandamus by any American citizen with reimbursement for any legitimate expenses the enforcement of supporting legislation and removal of overstaying NIV holders.
7) employer responsibility for removal of any former employee who overstays, through the services of any licensed bail-bonds enforcement agent.
8) current employed illegal aliens without any arrest record would be initially eligible.
9) condition of ineligiblity for LPR status except at income levels over $80k.
10) indefinite renewal while employed.
11) no Social Security benefits, only those nationals who have an agreement with the U.S. on harmonization of retirement benefits.
12) initial minimum wage rates determined by standard Department of Labor local wage rates for unskilled labor. New applicants would have to be paid at 110% of prevailing wage rates to encourage hiring of Americans forced off welfare.
13) skilled labor would have to be paid at 110% of prevailing wage rates.
14) four year period of admission on the NIV.
13) current illegals would apply in place, but would be applying for an employment based NIV, perhaps call the unskilled visa an H-5 visa, skilled labor H-6, those with technical degrees that would qualify for an H-1B would get a visa called the H-7.
14) Four year validity of the visa, with an admission date of up to the expiration date of the visa. Renewal of the visa would have to be at an American embassy or consulate overseas.
15) all applicants for the visas who would not be applying initially in the United States and here illegally would have to apply overseas and be paid at 110% of the prevailing wage.
16) welfare reforms to force able-bodied into the work force, including reforming the disability program to end fraudulent claims and those claims not directly caused by injury on the job.
Of course, the immigration system would have to trade this amnesty for the end of chain migration and a return to the enforcement of our nation's immigration laws, but this is start, and a winner in the end.
I think a program like this has the potential to solve the illegal immigration problem and, more importantly, break the coalition that exists now for amnesty. Most illegals just want to work, so they claim. This program will remove those immigrants dependent on welfare, offer a benefit to illegal aliens, force the current American welfare class into productive work, and preserve the historic American nation. A program that would not be open to allegations of "second" or "third" class status for current illegal aliens and for future true guest workers. To the truly exceptional LPR status could be offered, but based on strict income levels as Singapore does. Contra Krikorian, a temporary NIV for current illegal aliens and some future guest workers could be a solution amenable to all, except the cultural Marxists.