Democrats on Border Crisis: Help Migrants, Not American Wage-Earners

Central American Migrants
Moises Castillo/AP

Border agencies should provide even more help to Central American migrants, top Democrats said in response to the White House’s emergency funding request to manage the migration inflow.

The support for migrants came after the White House asked for $4.5 billion to help process the growing flood of economic migrants from Central America.

“As a country, we must do more to meet the needs of migrants – especially children and families – who are arriving in increasing numbers,” said a statement by Rep. Nita Lowey, chairwoman of the House Appropriations Committee. She urged the administration to speed up the release of the migrants:

However, the Trump administration appears to want much of this $4.5 billion emergency supplemental request to double down on cruel and ill-conceived policies, including bailing out ICE for overspending on detention beds and expanding family detention. Locking up people who pose no threat to the community for ever-longer periods of time is not a solution to the problems at the border.

“This crisis is one largely of the Trump Administration’s own making,” claimed Rep. Bennie Thompson, chairman of the House Committee on Homeland Security. His statement also urged the border agencies to release the migrants at a faster pace into the U.S. labor market:

We will not appropriate more funds that will add to the chaos and make the problem worse … this request holds a number of non-starters – such as doubling down on the Administration’s cruel and failed policies including mass detention. There is no reason to lock up thousands who pose no threat, especially in an already-strained system.

Thompson said Democrats were ready to provide more aid to the foreign migrants: “House Democrats understand that there is a humanitarian crisis at the border, and we stand ready and willing to provide necessary resources to help fix this challenge and alleviate the suffering of thousands.”

Lowey declared Democrats as guardians of the nation’s values. “House Democrats take seriously our responsibility to uphold our values and secure our borders,” Lowey said.

The growing wave of migrants is forcing down Americans’ wages in U.S. blue-collar workplaces and is weakening education for Americans kids in blue-collar schools.

The Democrats’ opposition to border security reflects the pro-migration views of their coalition, which includes wealthy progressives and poor, government-dependent families.

The White House request says:

The migration flow and the resulting humanitarian crisis is rapidly overwhelming the ability of the Federal Government to respond. Only halfway through this fiscal year (FY), the U.S. Border Patrol has apprehended more than 360,000 migrants. This is over 187,000 more than during the same period in FY 2018, and just 35,500 below the number apprehended for all of FY 2018.

The $4.5 billion request asks for $1.1 billion for the Department of Homeland Security’s border operations.

The request says the agency needs the extra $1.1 billion to implement Congress’ direction to shelter, house, feed, and register the growing wave of economic migrants.  In March, for example, 100,000 migrant adults and children pushed their way through Congress’ catch-and-release loopholes to get into the United States, just one month after Democrats refused to include any border reforms in the February 2019 spending bill. The request says:

U.S. Border Patrol personnel no longer have the ability to identify, process, and transport all ofthose apprehended at the border to safe and secure facilities designed to house them, but have instead been increasingly pressed into providing critical humanitarian, medical, and transportation services for this population.

The request also asks $2.8 billion to shelter the growing number of young migrants — Unaccompanied Alien Children — who are being brought northwards by coyotes which are hired by the children’s’ relatives and parents who are already living in the United States. Many of the UAC’s parents are using Congress’ 2008  Trafficking Victims Protection Act to bring their children up from Central America.

The requested $2.8 billion will provide shelter for up to 23,600 UACs simultaneously, while the federal government passes the children from the coyotes to the illegal-immigrant parents. The migrants’ children will then be allowed to use U.S. schools, despite the impact on the children of blue-collar Americans. Very few of the migrant children and youths are placed in the schools used by the children of congressional legislators, immigration lawyers, and progressive activists.

The request said the agencies would have to cut educational and recreational programs for the migrants unless Congress approves the extra spending:

There is a significant likelihood that the UAC program will exhaust all of its resources in June. If Congress fails to provide HHS this additional funding, the expected continuation of current trends may require HHS to divert significant resources from other programs that serve vulnerable populations – such as refugees and victims of trafficking and torture. In addition, UAC services that are not necessary for protection of human life, such as education and legal services, as well as recreational activities, would likely need to be canceled or scaled back.

The UAC migration is being boosted by the 2019 spending plan, which bars federal agencies from using information gathered in the UAC program to identify and deport illegal migrants.

The budget request also asks for $377 million to fund Pentagon and National Guard support programs for the border agencies.

Nationwide, Trump’s “Hire American” push has helped nudge up wages by reducing the inflow of legal and illegal workers.

Each year, roughly four million young Americans join the workforce after graduating from high school or university.

But the federal government then imports about 1.1 million legal immigrants and refreshes a resident population of roughly 1.5 million white-collar visa workers — including roughly 1 million H-1B workers — and approximately 500,000 blue-collar visa workers. The government also prints out more than 1 million work permits for foreigners, tolerates about eight million illegal workers, and does not punish companies for employing the hundreds of thousands of illegal migrants who sneak across the border or overstay their legal visas.

This policy boosts economic growth for investors because it ensures that employers do not have to compete for American workers by offering higher wages and better working conditions.

This policy of flooding the market with cheap foreign white-collar graduates and blue-collar labor shifts enormous wealth from young employees towards older investors even as it also widens wealth gaps, reduces high-tech investment, increases state and local tax burdens, and hurts children’s schools and college educations. It also pushes Americans away from high-tech careers and sidelines millions of marginalized Americans, including many who are now struggling with fentanyl addictions. The labor policy also moves business investment from the heartland to the coasts, explodes rents, shrivels real estate values in the Midwest, and rewards investors for creating low tech, labor-intensive workplaces.

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