Since Congress reconvened earlier this month, House Speaker John Boehner, Majority Leader Eric Cantor and House Judiciary Committee Chairman Bob Goodlatte have held a series of closed door meetings to plot how to get the resistant House members to pass a blanket amnesty. Members know that their constituents oppose such legislation and, with mid-term elections on the horizon, would prefer not to enter into a toxic amnesty debate.
House immigration advocates plan to employ deceptive language to lull skeptics. The term “provisional” permanent residency may be used along with a promise to delay the proverbial path to citizenship for five, ten or even 13 years. But provisional status (legalization) includes immediate work authorization for 12-20 million illegal immigrants. For the 20 million unemployed Americans, they’ll have to compete in an expanded labor pool. In short, legalization is amnesty.
The House is under continuous pressure to increase the H-1B visa cap, now set at 65,000, to 180,000, the total the Senate approved when it passed S.744 last June. Led by multibillionaire Mark Zuckerberg, the high-tech lobby has relentlessly pushed for more visas even though numerous reports have found that there’s no shortage of unemployed American tech workers.
In May 2013, just as the Senate was in its final deliberations, Georgetown University’s Center on Education and the Workforce issued its report which found that recent computer and mathematics graduates face 9.1 unemployment, while recent engineering graduates have an unemployment rate of 7.4 percent. With such high unemployment, adding more guest workers makes the job search for young graduates more difficult. Dozens of reports that reached the same conclusion have been released during the last two years, including one from the Economic Policy Institute, another from the Federal Reserve Bank and a third from the Columbia Journalism Review.
Boehner and his like-minded colleagues have scheduled at least one more secret meeting before January’s end. But rank and file resistance is rising. By the time the calendar turns to February, immigration reform might be dead, at least until after the November election. That’s cold comfort, however, because if there’s one thing patriots know it’s that we can only wound amnesty lobbyists. They always get up to fight another day. But then, so do we.