Illegal immigration costs North Carolina taxpayers $1.75 billion net annually. Read the full report click here to learn more about the impact of illegal immigration on NC.
NC Listen advocates these 4 basic immigration policies to combat illegal immigration and increasing legal immigration:
- Enforce Immigration Laws and Control Our Borders
- No More Amnesties
- Return to Lower, More Sensible Legal Immigration
- No additional “Guest Worker” Programs; Require E-Verify – Americans Need Jobs
You can learn more about these policy recommendations on our Policy Page.
Immigration Reformers and Concerned Citizens,
It took me months to setup a meeting in person with Congresswoman Renee Ellmers. The day of our meeting an email was sent after 10 am asking for us to move the meeting from Dunn to Asheboro. I was told by her assistant there was less seating in the Asheboro office so I said some of us can just stand, and I scrambled and contacted all ten attendees who were constituents, some already on their way to Dunn but we met in Asheboro. Congresswoman Ellmers already in Asheboro arrived 17 minutes late and said we had only until 4 pm (13 minutes) to speak with her. As she arrived she said only 3 persons could meet in her office, even though there were four chairs and plenty of standing room. I mentioned how we scrambled to meet her in Asheboro with her last minute change and all ten attendees are her constituents and her reply was, “I am in charge and only three can be in the meeting”, so the others had to wait in her small lobby just outside her office and to add insult to injury they closed the door on the 7 constituents.
I have arranged 11 group trips to Washington, DC over the last 12 years to meet with US House members and US Senators from North Carolina to discuss immigration reform, not to mention other trips I made to DC myself and local trips, so I have had a lot of experience meeting with members of Congress. Today’s meeting with Congresswoman Ellmers was the most contemptible meeting with a member of Congress I have taken part in. From the beginning she showed a sense of arrogance and disdain for meeting with us. If you heard the audio clip from the Laura Ingraham radio show of Laura interviewing Renee Ellmers, today was deja vu. When she wasn’t interrupting me she was constantly changing the subject, with a look of glee in her eye as if she thought she was being clever. I have studied immigration and immigration policies for nearly 20 years, and she was the most misinformed and uninformed member of Congress I have ever spoken with on the matter of immigration reform…..and that is saying something.
Just as Congresswoman Ellmers called Laura Ingraham ignorant during their interview, Congresswoman Ellmers went a few steps further by calling me ignorant, a racist, and dense during our meeting…….these insults were sprinkled through our discussion which was about immigration policies and her own statements about immigration reform. I refrained from any personal name calling. As we know, these kinds of insults are usually used by those who have weak arguments or are under the age of ten.
Below is a recap of some of the matters I tried to discuss as she attempted to change the subject approximately every 30 seconds. Our meeting eventually lasted about 40 minutes.
I stated that NC LISTEN believes we need real enforcement of our immigration laws first without any legal work permits for illegals nor an amnesty. Ellmers believes we must give legal work permits to illegal immigrants. She denied stating the following but in an op-ed piece in the Fayetteville Observer on January 18, 2014 she wrote, “only after this legal work status is obtained (by illegals) can they have the opportunity to begin the naturalization process”. The naturalization process is a path to citizenship. I pointed out again that she wrote this and she denied it again.
I asked her why she was for giving legal work permits to illegal immigrants when we have 20 million citizens in the USA who are either unemployed or are working part-time but want and cannot find a full-time job (also called the U-6 rate) and that the U-6 unemployment rate in North Carolina is near 14%. Even with her attempting to change the subject, I asked her repeatedly and she NEVER would answer that question.
The NC House and NC Senate passed and then overrode Governor McCrory’s veto to keep H.786 as law. H.786 is state legislation that is in effect a major jobs bill to help illegal immigrants get jobs and the unscrupulous companies who hire them to get away with it, to the detriment of unemployed citizens. Ironically and sadly our State still has high real unemployment. The U.S. Department of Labor Statistics U-6 measure of unemployment for North Carolina is 14%. The labor participation rate of people working between the ages of 16 and 65 in our State is at one of the lowest levels since the federal government began tracking the rate in 1976. How will helping illegal immigrants get jobs do anything but bring harm to our own unemployed citizens?
The NC House and NC Senate earlier in 2013 cut public benefits to our unemployed citizens to “encourage them” as they put it to “go find a job”. But turning against citizens and making it easy for unscrupulous companies to hire illegal immigrants is certainly not helping our state unemployment problem. Companies who abide by our labor and immigration laws are at a competitive disadvantage when they have to compete against companies who break our laws and hire illegal labor and don’t withhold payroll taxes nor properly account for Workers Comp and unemployment tax, etc.
H.786 guts our earlier E-Verify legislation put in place to protect jobs for citizens and legal residents instead of illegal immigrants. Farmers had some complaints with the earlier law and a waiver was offered just for the seasonal farm worker issue to deal with that concern, but it was rejected. This is because it never was about farmers, but in fact assisting cheap labor industries to get illegal labor at low wages to the harm of unemployed citizens in our State. And those hiring illegal labor then send their illegal workers to government agencies, our hospital emergency rooms, and non-profit groups to milk society even more, which leaves less help for poor citizens.
US Senate bill 744 should be allowed to die and not be considered by the US House because it is bad policy for our nation and the bill is unfixable. Legalization for illegal immigrants will come before the enforcement. In fact the bill does NOT require our borders to be secure (94 waivers in the bill to discourage action), it does NOT require illegals to go to the back of the line in their home country, does NOT really require back taxes to be paid by illegals (under which of their aliases), does NOT have real triggers that require enforcement first, and the list goes on and on. Millions of illegal aliens will receive amnesty once DHS submits a plan to Congress detailing how they’ll secure the border. Just to clarify, they only have to show a plan; they don’t have to actually do it. Just like the border promises of 1986, these promises will likely be long forgotten after the amnesty is granted.
Concerning our two US Senators from North Carolina, Senator Richard Burr rightly voted against the bill but Senator Kay Hagan voted for S.744 to give an amnesty to illegal immigrants and also give them legal work permits while our unemployment rate in North Carolina is the fifth worse in the nation.
We now know S.744, the Gang of Eight US Senate Immigration bill, will allow nearly two million new immigrants to the USA each year for the next ten years (this does not count giving an amnesty which gives current illegal immigrants of 11-13 million a path to citizenship). Do any of the Gang of Eight (includes Sen Rubio and Sen Graham and Sen McCain) care at all about the more than 20 million Americans who are either unemployed or cannot find a full-time job? The Heritage Foundation recently presented a detailed report showing the net fiscal costs of this amnesty are $6.3 trillion (yes Trillion) over the lifetime of the 11-13 million illegals. Note this is the net cost, government public benefits over taxes that will be paid.
Even though the Gang’s plan calls for increased border security, it only calls for increases in areas where there are high numbers of illegal border crossings. I’m sure it won’t be too difficult for the sophisticated smugglers that have been evading detection for years to relocate their operations to another spot along the 3,000-mile border.
First of all we must reject the Gang of Eight national immigration bill (S.744) as currently written. It is a replay of 1986 in which the US Congress granted an amnesty for illegal immigrants with only promises to control our borders and more promises to do real enforcement of our laws. The promises were not kept and there is no reason to trust Congress this time. The Gang of Eight bill actually increases legal immigration to two million immigrants each year when we have over 20 million citizens who are either unemployed or cannot find a full-time job. This is nothing less than ridiculous.
It is a both a right and responsibility of our government to manage immigration so that it serves the national interests of the USA, as eloquently spoken by the late Congresswoman Barbara Jordan and former Chairperson of the US Commission on Immigration Reform. Obviously we need to stop illegal immigration (steps to take on page 2), but we also need to reform legal immigration for our knowledge-based society and have it built upon very high skill-levels and advanced education with the exception of allowing a traditional number of refugees per year. Less legal immigration, almost exclusively based on very high skills and advanced education, would benefit the USA. The key point is advanced skills and education, the smartest of the smart. Outside of some small shortages of STEM workers in spots around the nation, there is no shortage of college educated workers in the USA. One can look at statistics as real proof. And we have over twenty million citizens who are either unemployed or cannot find a full-time job. In the past we have had too much unskilled legal immigration and illegal immigration. Mass illegal immigration in particular has caused an increase in unemployment and driven down wages for low-skilled citizens and created more poverty. Among the top legal immigrant sending countries of legal immigrants, welfare is the highest for households headed by immigrants from Mexico (57%), Guatemala (55%), and the Dominican Republic (54%).
Should we consider a pathway to citizenship (amnesty in reality) for illegal immigrants? Robert Rector, a senior research fellow of the Heritage Foundation, says legalization of illegal immigrants will cost more than six trillion dollars net over their lifetime for the total public benefits they will be entitled to receive minus taxes paid. How will we really determine the amount of “back taxes” owed by illegal immigrants to the federal government…..under which illegal immigrant’s fake name? How much will this analysis cost the taxpayers? How do we do an effective background check since again illegals have so many aliases? How much will that investigative work cost taxpayers? What is the amount of the so-called fine the illegals will pay? How many would-be legal immigrants waiting in line now would gladly pay a “fine” to be able to jump in the front of the line of others? And the biggest insult is the notion of illegals getting in the back of the line. Is it the end of the line that would-be legal immigrants enter while still in their native country? Or is it the end of an imaginary line inside the USA as if the illegals had green cards? We have a backlog in paperwork and processing today while admitting one million legal immigrants each year, but how is it that we have plenty of time and money to process paperwork for thirteen million illegal immigrants, while at the same time, continuing to admit the one million legal immigrants each year? Isn’t it interesting that those proposing amnesties never mention the punishment that citizens will endure with an amnesty, only the suggested “humanitarian” benefit the illegals will receive? Citizen taxpayers are being punished by having to fund the huge cost of public benefits of illegals and their dependents. And every social services dollar going to illegal immigrants and their dependents is one less dollar going to our own poor, since there is not an unlimited amount of taxpayer money. Low-skilled citizens are punished by lost jobs and driven-down wages due to illegal immigration. How humanitarian is it to keep granting amnesties (since the IRCA amnesty in 1986 the USA has granted six “mini-amnesties”) while would-be legal immigrants wait years and years in line? Any action other than illegal immigrants returning to their native country and getting in the back of the line is in fact an amnesty.
Should consideration be given to the so-called “Dream or Achieve” Act amnesty? Both of these are marketed as helping children of illegal immigrants. Children aren’t really deported. They simply follow and go with their parents. 18-32 year old persons are adults, not children. As young adults, those illegally in the USA can go back to their native country to attend trade school or college and/or work legally. The only persons hurt with such an amnesty are young adult citizens who, one for one (as college is a selection process), will be disenfranchised for every illegal immigrant allowed to enroll in a U.S. college or take a job in the USA.
We need to reduce legal immigration and make it much more advanced education-based AND diverse (ten sending countries hog most of the legal immigration slots). More diversity automatically makes it likely that legal immigrants will learn English and not easily reside in ethnic enclaves in America. Use the opportunity of reforming immigration to do welfare reform at the same time. Reduce legal immigration to a total of 150,000 per year until our high real unemployment rate (use U-6 data per the Dept of Labor) is significantly lowered. Why are we allowing nearly one million legal immigrants to the USA each year to include this year, while over 20 million Americans are either unemployed or want and cannot find a full-time job? Maybe we need to listen to citizens instead of the whining of the US Chamber of Commerce and other cheap labor advocates.
Concerned Citizens and Immigration Reformers,
Illegal immigrants hold over six million non-agriculture jobs in the USA. Yet President Obama continues to press to spend hundreds of billions [yes with a b] to allegedly create new jobs. For less than $5 billion we could finish building a dual layer fence on our southern border and fully implement the federal E-Verify System to make sure only legal residents in the USA are hired, and then begin to check the immigration status of existing workers to include real workplace audits and punish employers who then knowingly hire illegals. Illegals would have a tough time remaining in the USA without a job and especially if they knew they could not continue to cross the border at will.
Unfortunately the US Senate and the US House will not require E-Verify and has yet to even allow it to be used (even voluntarily) by companies to check the status of existing workers. The US Chamber of Commerce (aka United Nations Chamber of Commerce) is partially responsible for this.