Rep. Jim Jordan Suggests Foreign Workers Needed Because Too Many Americans On Drugs

Jim Jordan Freedom Caucus J. Scott ApplewhiteAP
J. Scott Applewhite/AP

On The Laura Ingraham Show, House Freedom Caucus Chairman Jim Jordan refused to say whether he supports curbing immigration levels. Jordan cited concerns of employers that the United States may need more workers because too many Americans are on drugs.

“I hear from all kinds of employers, they say they can’t find people to work,” Jordan said, “And one of the reasons they cite… is that there’s a number of people who can’t pass the drug screen.”

The assertion is significant because the Freedom Caucus was partially responsible for the recent installment of House Speaker Paul Ryan, who has a two-decade history of pushing open borders immigration policies, opposed by more than 9 in 10 Republican voters. By his own terms, Ryan would have withdrawn his consideration of the Speaker’s position if he did not receive the support of Freedom Caucus members.

Eric Cantor, John Boehner and Kevin McCarthy were ejected or blocked from the Speakers’ role in large part due to a populist voter revolt against open borders trade and immigration policies. However, as Breitbart News, Politico, The Washington PostThe New York Times and many others have documented, Paul Ryan was an architect of both the effort to pass Marco Rubio’s amnesty and Barack Obama’s trade agenda through the House— more so than Cantor, McCarthy, or Boehner. As such, the decision of the Freedom Caucus’ members to back Ryan has resulted in the selection of a Speaker, who even more strongly rejects the views of the GOP voters, who created the House majority in the first place.

“Ninety-two percent today of GOP voters want future immigration rates reduced,” Laura Ingraham told Jordan during the interview Friday. “Given the fact that overwhelmingly our voters want immigration reduced… how do you work with Ryan when the people are completely at odds with where leadership—both in the Senate and the House of Representatives—is on the issue of legal immigration?”

Jordan either dodged Ingraham’s question or did not understand it. Even though most immigrants from poor nations are voluntarily imported into the United States on visas— and can therefore legally replace American workers, access welfare, and vote in U.S. elections— Jordan instead gave common talking points about border security.

As I’ve said all along— and our group believes in— do the security you need to do on our Southern border… and follow the rule of law, but the other thing that’s so important… is we need to reform our welfare. You reform our welfare system, then there is this discouragement out there for people who want to come here for the wrong reason. We only want people who want to immigrate for the right reason: who want to learn our language, be a part of our culture, and chase the American dream. We don’t want people who want to come here because there’s a social safety net that’s way too generous.

But as Senator Sessions and Dave Brat wrote in a recent op-ed, the flood of immigration into America is the consequence of green cards—not the border.

The green card is the immigration document responsible for the overwhelming majority of immigration into the United States. One million green cards are now being handed out each and every year. This document legally invites foreign nationals to live permanently in the U.S., claim virtually all federal benefits, receive lifetime work authorization, and ultimately become voting citizens. No nation on Earth admits more new permanent immigrants each year than the United States. No nation on Earth has more than one-fourth as many total immigrants as we do today. And no nation on Earth anywhere near as large ours has a higher percentage of foreign-born residents.

The U.S. foreign-born population is currently at an all-time high of 42.4 million. This record high number of foreign-born residents, is a result of changes to immigration law made by Ted Kennedy, who opened up American immigration visas to poor migrants who, by substantial margins, favor big government policies like gun control and high taxes.

Every year, as a matter of national policy, the U.S. permanently resettles one million foreign nationals on green cards, admits another one million foreign workers, refugees and dependents, and brings in half a million foreign students. This means that every single year the United States imports a population of immigrants on green cards— who will eventually be granted access to a U.S. voting booth— that is 8 times larger than the number of Jim Jordan-voters in the 4th Congressional district of Ohio.

Driven by these visas, each and every day the U.S. imports an immigrant population that is the size of a metropolitan high school. Every three years, the U.S. adds an immigrant population the size of Los Angeles. These numbers have nothing to do with border security.

Ingraham pressed Jordan on his familiarity with the subject before he voted to install a Speaker who wants to vastly increase those numbers.

Ingraham: “Right now we have a legal system, Congressman, that allows one million permanent residents in each year. So one million permanent residents. Do you know how many guest workers are allowed to come in every year? Congressman, do you know that number?

Jordan: “I don’t know off the top of my head, Laura.”

Ingraham: “Seven hundred thousand. One million permanent residents, seven hundred thousand guest workers. Is that enough or should we bring in more, do you think?”

Jordan: “Well, look, everyone knows we need to change the way this thing operates.”

Ingraham: “But that’s not answering the question. Is that enough, is that too much, or should we bring in more?”

Jordan dodged: “I’d have to look more at the details of what’s going on,” Jordan said. “What I do know is let’s follow the law, let’s not give amnesty like the president’s executive order does… If we can adhere to the rule of law and secure the border, then we can, of course, answer these questions, and dig into this: what is the right level, what kind of people should be coming in to our country.”

“So you’re not willing on the show today, Congressman,” Ingraham pressed, “to say that 700,000 guest workers and a million permanent residents is just about enough, or that that number should be decreased or increased? You’re just not willing to say anything on that?”

At which point, Jordan— instead of presenting the perspective of unemployed Americans— cited the concerns of CEOs who want more low-wage migrant labor:

I think it’s a big problem and that’s why I brought up the welfare reform. I think that needs to be addressed as well if we’re going to fix the problem in our country… When I talk to employers I hear every single day across our district… I hear from all kinds of employers, they say they can’t find people to work.

There are currently 94 million Americans operating outside the workforce. “Congressman, it sounds like you’re saying that the American workers are lazy,” Ingraham pushed back. “Is that what you’re saying?”

Jordan explained that he was not, but rather that too many Americans were on drugs and welfare:

Not at all— there’s lots of hardworking people, but what I do hear from employers is that they can’t find people to work. And one of the reasons they cite— well, they say two things— one they say is that there’s a number of people who can’t pass the drug screen; the other thing they cite is there are some people who say, ‘You know what? I can get more money off the tax payer. I can get more money in our social safety net.’ Those things have to change, coupled with doing our immigration system right with adhering to the law, and not giving amnesty, and not letting people come here who don’t want to be a part of our great culture.

Ingraham pointed out that Jordan’s argument suggests that the United States should set no limit to the amount of people who want to enter the country— so long as those admitted simply assert in their paperwork that they “wan[t] to become a part of our culture.”

“So if someone wants to be part of our culture, they should be able to come into the country and become American citizens?” Ingraham asked. “Is that the barometer now? Because I’m sure most of Africa would want to come here.”

The New York Times recently wrote that a Gallup Poll “found that in Nigeria… 40 percent of people would emigrate to the West if they could.” The population of Nigeria is larger than 181 million. Today, about nine out of every ten new immigrants brought into the United States on green cards come from countries outside the Western world— from Latin America, Africa, Asia or the Middle East.

Jordan’s apparent reliance on the testimony of employers— who necessarily want to reduce labor costs— overlooks the federal data suggesting that immigrants use welfare at vastly higher rates than Americans.

A recent census data report authored by the nonpartisan Center for Immigration Studies found that “immigrant households use welfare at significantly higher rates than native households,” with more than half of U.S. immigrants on welfare including 3 in 4 immigrant households with children and 90.8 percent of Latino immigrant households with children.

The high rate of welfare usage extends to second and third generations of immigrant families. Manhattan Institute scholar Heather Mac Donald has observed, “Native-born Hispanics collected welfare at over twice the rate as native-born whites.” Moreover, the Hispanic population accounted for almost the entire increase in poverty from 1990 to 2004. As Washington Post columnist Robert Samuelson has reported:

The number of Hispanics with incomes below the government’s poverty line [rose] 52 percent; that [represents] almost all (92 percent) of the increase in poor people,” Samuelson writes. “Among children, disparities are greater. Over the same period, Hispanic children in poverty [rose] 43 percent; meanwhile, the numbers of black and non-Hispanic white children in poverty declined 16.9 percent and 18.5 percent, respectively.

Similarly, with regards to drug usage, a 2011 U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO) report tallied half a million drug related crimes that are attached to the incarcerated alien population. The report counts as an alien any immigrant who has not been “naturalized” – i.e. it does not include aliens who have applied for and have been conferred with citizenship. The elder Boston Bomber had been naturalized, for instance, and would, therefore, be counted as a citizen rather than an alien in such a report on alien crime. Thus, this tally does not include drug related offenses attached to the millions of immigrants inside the U.S. who have converted their visas into citzenship papers, about 19.3 million.

According to a new report from the Bureau of Justice Statistics (BJS) released last week, although Hispanics represent 18% of the U.S. population, they accounted for 37% of drug offenders in federal prison in 2012. The government data reveals that at yearend 2012:

“About three-quarters of drug offenders in federal prison were non-Hispanic black or African American (39%) or Hispanic or Latino (37%), and less than a quarter (22%) were non-Hispanic white.”

The report documents that, “about a quarter (24 percent) of all drug offenders in federal prison were noncitizens. An estimated 1 in 3 powder cocaine (34 percent), marijuana (35 percent) and methamphetamine offenders (31 percent) were non citizens.”

Additionally, “more than half (54%) of powder cocaine offenders were Hispanic, and 13% were non-Hispanic white. Hispanics also made up more than half (59%) of marijuana offenders and almost half (48%) of heroin offenders.”

Jordan’s interview perhaps sheds light on what many in the media have struggled to explain: namely, that while the base jettisoned Republican leadership for pushing an unpopular globalist agenda, the Freedom Caucus had a different agenda in opposing House leaders.

Several key players in the House Freedom Caucus actually share Ryan’s immigration agenda— and therefore, logically, would have reason to prefer Ryan, an outspoken advocate for progressive open borders views, to the more reserved Boehner. Several members of the House Freedom Caucus such as Mick Mulvaney, Raul Labrador and Justin Amash have openly pushed to expand record high immigration levels. Mulvaney even joined Paul Ryan in his 2014 push to complete the amnesty and immigration-expansion agenda which Senator Rubio continues to push today as a presidential aspirant.

The House Freedom Caucus, however, is not monolithic. Dave Brat, for instance, cast his vote against Paul Ryan as Speaker. Brat’s election, according to PBS, is responsible for preventing the passage of the Rubio-Ryan immigration agenda in 2014. Unlike Jordan, Brat has called on the Republican Party to curb future projected immigration growth— putting Brat in perfect political alignment on this issue with at least 92% of all GOP voters nationwide and at least 82% of voters in all parties nationwide, based on Pew’s polling. Given the conservative bent of Brat’s district, these numbers are likely even closer to 100% in the geography he represents.

With Ryan’s election, the House is now led across the board by people who refuse to cut immigration— putting the entire House leadership team at odds with the GOP base. Considering the strength and intensity with which polls show the Republican electorate would like immigration to be lowered, this would be the equivalent of every member of the Democratic leadership team being pro-life, anti-gay marriage, and against taxing the wealthy. Meanwhile, Republican leaders are also avidly pushing globalist trade deals, even though only 11% of Republicans think that these free trade deals raise wages. As such, the end result of this year-long leadership shuffle is that, on the critical issues of trade and immigration, the gap dividing Republican leadership from Republican voters has grown even wider. Moreover, with the possible election of a President Rubio, according to Rush Limbaugh, this leadership team will be in a position to implement— in total— the unfinished portions of President Obama’s trade and immigration policies.
As Politico recently reported:
“If Obama had to pick a House Republican to be speaker, people who know the president say he’d probably have voted for Ryan himself. There isn’t a close runner-up. Looking ahead to what the dynamic between them will be now, aides to the president and new speaker point to their collaboration on getting trade fast-track through Congress last summer as a model.”

Later in the day, Jordan’s office sent Breitbart News a statement from Jordan’s spokesman in response to Jordan’s exchange with Ingraham:

 “Congressman Jordan has been a congressional leader in the fight to stop the Obama administration’s efforts to enact amnesty by executive order. He has voted against a party-line rule vote over the issue, in December 2014, and against the majority of the party on another tough vote in March of this year.

“Congressman Jordan supports the strictest possible workplace enforcement of our immigration laws, and has continually spoken out for greater border security. He has supported the Legal Workforce Act, which would expand and strengthen E-Verify. Expanding E-Verify would help eliminate opportunities for illegal immigrants to work in this country, removing the jobs magnet that leads many to seek work here in violation of the law. Additionally, Congressman Jordan believes that there should be serious consequences for employers who knowingly hire illegal aliens.

“Congressman Jordan does not decide his positions during interviews, but rather after carefully considering legislation and listening to his constituents. Too many politicians in Washington have forgotten that they are here to serve their district, not lobbyists. Congressman Jordan’s voting record shows that he is here to serve ordinary Americans who feel that Washington has forgotten them.”

Noticeably, Jordan’s comment still did not address whether the Congressman supports curbing the nation’s record high dispensation of visas and green cards. Meanwhile, every three years the United States continues to add, uninterrupted, another city of Los Angeles through immigration— on top of the record number of foreign-born living here today.


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