The amnesty plan pushed January 20 by President Joe Biden includes a few cursory mentions of American families while championing the demands of migrants, employers, and investors.
“The U.S. Citizenship Act of 2021 establishes a new system to responsibly manage and secure our border, keep our [migrant] families and [border] communities safe, and better manage migration across the Hemisphere,” says the statement introducing the plan.
The plan mentions families 15 times, nearly all of which refer to foreign families:
Keep families together. The bill reforms the family-based immigration system by clearing backlogs, recapturing unused visas, eliminating lengthy wait times, and increasing per-country visa caps. It also eliminates the so-called “3 and 10-year bars,” and other provisions that keep families apart. The bill further supports families by more explicitly including permanent partnerships and eliminating discrimination facing LGBTQ+ families. It also provides protections for orphans, widows, children, and Filipino veterans who fought alongside the United States in World War II. Lastly, the bill allows immigrants with approved family-sponsorship petitions to join family in the United States on a temporary basis while they wait for green cards to become available.
The plan mentions work and workers 16 times, nearly all of which refer to foreign workers:
Protect workers from exploitation and improve the employment verification process. The bill requires that DHS and the Department of Labor establish a commission involving labor, employer, and civil rights organizations to make recommendations for improving the employment verification process. Workers who suffer serious labor violations and cooperate with worker protection agencies will be granted greater access to U visa relief. The bill protects workers who are victims of workplace retaliation from deportation in order to allow labor agencies to interview these workers. It also protects migrant and seasonal workers, and increases penalties for employers who violate labor laws.
The statement repeatedly praises the economic migrants who have illegally taken jobs and wages from many millions of Americans, including mother of young children, disabled Americans, ex-convicts, blacks, untrained Americans, and isolated Americans:
The bill provides hardworking people who enrich our communities every day and who have lived here for years, in some cases for decades, an opportunity to earn citizenship … The bill creates an earned path to citizenship for our immigrant neighbors, colleagues, parishioners, community leaders, friends, and loved ones—including Dreamers and the essential workers who have risked their lives to serve and protect American communities.
The plan does not mention “jobs” — but it does include one reference to Americans’ wages.
The statement says the amnesty will allow — but not require — federal agencies to set policies that raise wages for foreign workers “to prevent unfair competition with American workers.”
But those protection policies have already been established by President Donald Trump’s regulations — and the Biden team is expected to discard the regulatory protections.
Moreover, the amnesty bill would cut Americans’ wages by dramatically increasing foreign competition. For example, the bill would spike competition for Fortune 500 jobs by allowing all foreigners with “STEM” PhDs to get citizenship.
Overall, the bill offers to dramatically expand corporate revenues, real-estate values, and Wall Street stocks by supercharging the chaotic flow of foreign consumers and workers into American’ jobs, home, and communities:
Grow our economy. This bill clears employment-based visa backlogs, recaptures unused visas, reduces lengthy wait times, and eliminates per-country visa caps. The bill makes it easier for graduates of U.S. universities with advanced STEM degrees to stay in the United States; improves access to green cards for workers in lower-wage sectors; and eliminates other unnecessary hurdles for employment-based green cards. The bill provides dependents of H-1B visa holders work authorization, and children are prevented from “aging out” of the system. The bill also creates a pilot program to stimulate regional economic development, gives DHS the authority to adjust green cards based on macroeconomic conditions.
In contrast to Biden and his business-backed policies, Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL) said on January 19 that Americans and their job should get a higher priority than immigration changes. “Before we deal with immigration, we need to deal with COVID, make sure everyone has the chance to find a good job, and confront the threat from China,” Rubio said in his statement.
Amnesty advocates respond to the criticism by insisting that Americans will gain some moral benefit as their jobs and wages are diverted to blue-collar migrants, foreign graduates, and Wall Street.
For example, Mark Zuckerberg’ FWD.us group declared that the Biden amnesty is “Vital to Restoring the U.S.’ Moral Leadership.” The statement from the investor group continued:
At the end of the day, the success of our country comes in large part from our longstanding tradition of encouraging families seeking a better life to leave behind everything they know to begin contributing to the United States. They deserve the opportunity to live a dignified life. Lawmakers on both sides of the aisle must act expeditiously to bring this legislation to the floor for a vote to create the modern, compassionate and humane immigration system that our nation deserves.
The vast majority of Americans tell pollsters that the federal government should ensure Americans have decent jobs before allowing companies to import more foreign workers.
The multi-racial, cross-sex, non-racist, class-based opposition to cheap labor migration co-exists with generally favorable personal feelings toward legal immigrants and toward immigration in theory — despite the media magnification of many skewed polls and articles that still push the 1950’s “Nation of Immigrants” claim.
In December, the Washington Post reported on the economic free-fall faced by Flaviana Decker in Rubio’s Florida:
Her job waiting tables at Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort had sustained her through the painful end of her marriage and the struggles of being a single parent to two teenage girls, one of whom is autistic and struggles with basic motor skills and speaking. Throughout the summer and fall as lawmakers were fighting over an economic relief bill and the number of coronavirus cases was climbing, Flaviana was scouring the Disney fan blogs for glimmers of hope that the tourists might be returning. But the once famously long lines at Disney World remained short even as Orlando’s free food lines, packed with laid-off hotel and theme park workers, grew longer. All the while Flaviana’s unemployment checks shrank from more than $800 a week in July to $247 a week in October, which didn’t even cover her rent.
The hardest parts for Flaviana were accepting the reality that her Disney job was gone; that the modest middle-class life that she had built was no longer sustainable; that she wouldn’t be able to provide Victoria, a bright and imaginative teenager whose autism made everyday tasks difficult, with the classes and therapists that enabled her to learn and share her thoughts and feelings.
As Trump’s prospects dimmed in the days after Election Day, Flaviana held on to the faint chance that he might somehow prevail. Her hopes were dashed on Nov. 7 when she glanced at her phone and saw the election was being called for Biden. She took a deep breath and then swallowed hard. A tear streaked her cheek.
The public’s preference for civic solidarity is decent and rational. Migration moves money from employees to employers, from families to investors, from young to old, from children to their parents, from homebuyers to real estate investors, and from the central states to the coastal states.