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Monday, September 26, 2016

WASHINGTON — If you want to alleviate worries about the economic impact of immigration reform, increase the minimum wage.

If you want to reassure communities that bear the highest costs from large-scale immigration, revisit a proposal from 2006 by a senator named Hillary Clinton to help state and local governments cover some of the expense of providing health care and education to undocumented workers.

What do these suggestions have in common? They address legitimate concerns while issuing a challenge to Republicans who believe they can block reform and still win future elections — as long as they expand their support among the white working class.

The catch for the GOP is that it doesn’t seem eager to do anything concrete to earn the loyalty of such voters, many of whom stayed home in 2012 rather than vote for Mitt Romney.

Battling for a higher minimum wage would test the Republicans’ newfound love for the salt of the earth. Are they willing to embrace an idea endorsed by 7 in 10 Americans? Or do they retreat to Romney’s rhetoric privileging “job creators” over workers?

Raising the minimum wage would also respond to a claim being put forward by opponents of immigration reform. “The last thing low-skilled native and immigrant workers already here should have to deal with is wage-depressing competition from newly arriving workers,” wrote William Kristol and Rich Lowry in a joint editorial this week signaling an enhanced level of opposition on the right to the Senate immigration bill.

It’s heartwarming to know that the editors of the Weekly Standard and National Review are now worried about depressed wages. In truth, granting immigrants who are here illegally basic labor rights would have a positive effect on wages for all workers. But if Kristol and Lowry are really worried about low-paid workers, let their next literary collaboration be an endorsement of a $9 or $10 hourly minimum wage.

Clinton’s 2006 proposal likewise has the virtue of giving a substantive reply to questions regularly voiced by immigration foes.

  • Dominick Vila

    Unfortunately, and as it is usually the case, differing opinions dominate this issue and influence the decision of our elected officials. Perhaps not surprisingly, President Obama, who cannot run for another term, decided to champion something that should have been corrected many years ago. That, however, is not the case for elected officials running for re-election.
    Most are well aware of the risks they are taking if they decide to do something that is inconsistent with the expectations of many of their constituents.
    The solution, in my opinion, is to take a small state towards solving an injustice. A possible compromise may involve not granting a path to citizenship to those who violated our immigrations laws, regardless of how ineffective or unfair they may be. Granting them permanent residency or a work permit may be a good compromise.
    What is really important, and seldom discussed, is how are we going to handle the potential entry of future immigrants from Mexico and Central America? Are we going to extend the same privileges enjoyed by people from countries like India, Pakistan or Iraq to them?
    While the emphasis on attracting foreign talent is understandable, and logical considering our demands and limitations, shouldn’t we recognize that there is also demand for semi-skilled and unskilled labor to work in sectors of our economy where we are reluctant or unwilling to work? The irony, is that giving entry visas to immigrants from South of the border would help our fiscal and economic woes, and would be consistent with our values and socio-economic goals.

  • tax payer

    These days women live with men and they have children, but ( surprise ) they don’t get married. No matter how much those men earn the woman will still be getting Welfare since she has put down ( unmarried single parent ) so she can suck the Government for everything allowed for her to receive. The men keep earning a good income, but that money is never used to maintain the family since he isn’t part of that family legally yet he lives there with the family. Meantime, they live a good life with his money, while the tax payers pay for the Section-8 Home, Free Food, Free Medicaid for their children and I can name others, but you get the idea. You have to pay for all those ( for your family ) and turn around and pay for them too with your tax money. Now, is this right or wrong? To me it’s wrong because they are taking advantage of the tax payers and the Government knows it’s happening, but fails to stop it since it’s your money paying for it.

    • Lorr

      I agree there are those who take advantage of the system and they need to step up investigating people believed to be defrauding the system. However, we also need to address Corporate Welfare, Organizations and Groups getting tax exempt status, Corporations paying little or no taxes, Politicians and/or their families receiving financial benefits though subsidies they vote for.
      If you know of these people than you should report them.

      • idamag

        Banks borrow money from the government at .75 interest. There was a recent attempt to increase student loan rates to 7.8%. Who owns your senator or representative?

        • Lorr

          Our Republicans – Adelson, Casinos, Koch Bros, NRA and Wall Street. Our Democrats NRA and Wall Street.

      • tax payer

        It’s up to the Government to stop the Corporate abuse because the citizens don’t know who gets what ( same as individuals ) that get certain benefits. It may be a neighbor ( you thought was better off than you ), but in reality they have everything you don’t have because you work and barely make it with your salary, and don’t qualify for benefits for being an honest person.

        • Lorr

          It is up to you and “we the people” to stop voting in Politicians who refuse to work and govern and eliminate Gerrymandering in Both Parties. Politicians elected to Congress have to learn to balance the interest of their districts with that of the Nation’s interest.

          • tax payer

            We vote and we think we voted for Politicians that will be there for us, but now their main concern is the Illegals, and the Americans are just being tax payers that provide money to the Government. I have decided to stop voting, if they ( Vote Yes ) to Immigration Reform because they are going to make this country another Mexico. At my age I don’t pay taxes and those that work support me ( Social Security ) as I supported others while I worked, but also remember Social Security ( may not be here ) when you retire. Get a job that provides you with a Pension as I did because Social Security will be History in a few decades or less.

          • Lorr

            I am sorry you feel that way, that you will stop voting and having your voice heard if they don’t do what you want. You agree that we should allow them to work, pay taxes and be denied a path to citizenship? Do you feel that 11 million people should be deported and all the money they have paid into our economy should be considered a donation or a fee for breathing our air?

            If they would raise the CAP on social security that would a huge difference and would be an one way to secure. According to Bernie Sanders: “The argument being used to cut Social Security is that because we have a significant deficit problem and a $14 trillion national debt, we just can’t afford to maintain Social Security benefits. This argument is false. Social Security, because it is funded by the payroll tax, not the U.S. Treasury, has not contributed on nickel to our deficit. In fact, according to a very recent study by the Congressional Budget Office ( CBO) Social Security has a $2.5 trillion dollar surplus and can pay out every penny owed to every eligible American for the next 27 years until 2038.”

          • BDC_57

            Yeah the people who don’t got us in this mess. The Koch bros. and Carl Roves took over the goverment.

    • idamag

      Welfare reform enacted under the Clinton Administration makes it impossible to make welfare a lifelong career. Now, instead of mouthing urban legends, come up with solid proof that this is a problem. Your money pays for more corporate welfare than it does for the down and outs.

      • tax payer

        Go to any Housing Project and ask them how long they have been living there. There grandmother lived there, there mother also lived there and now they are there, and their children will be there too and the cycle won’t even become stationary. What other Proof do you want? These people won’t ever leave the slums since they would have to work in order to have a home like you and most Americans that work to provide for their families. I am not going to go ahead and say. Oh, it’s fine we should support them until the day they die, so go ahead and keep making babies because the tax payers will eat less, so your children won’t die of hunger.

        • Allan Richardson

          See my reply above.

    • TheSkalawag929

      Tax Payer I don’t think what you are saying is true. For one thing with you and your party’s attitude toward the poor you would have already gotten rid of the people that you are complaining about. Besides welfare doesn’t last forever anymore. Not since Clinton signed The Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Reconciliation Act of 1996.

      • tax payer

        I don’t work for the Government, so there isn’t anyway I can stop this fiasco from going on. I keep saying the (hard working poor ) is different that the ( poor that don’t work ) and depend on us to have a life. I am not against those that work and barely make it, but I am against those that have ( never worked ), so can you figure out what I am trying to get across to everyone. If not I give up and stop right there, and let the tax payer support everyone that decides to never work in their life.

        • TheSkalawag929

          Tax payer you say a lot of things and the majority of it is untrue while all the rest is made up.
          It isn’t hard to figure out what you are trying to get across to everyone. Plain and simple you don’t have a clue as to what is going on but you’re trying to explain it anyway.

    • Allan Richardson

      Were you aware that all states now require these women to NAME the father of their children and the states PROSECUTE the men for child support? Do you KNOW anyone who is or was on welfare? The President does: his MOTHER! Maybe that is why he realizes that the vast majority of welfare mothers (a) want to get off welfare, but any job they get is lost the first time they have to stay home with a sick child, and (b) WANTED to marry their baby’s father at the time, but he proved to be abusive, or was sent to jail (possibly for the rape that got her pregnant; OK, THAT man she would not have married), or just disappeared (and some of these couples actually WERE married, by the way).

      If you believe that living on welfare is that great, go ask your banker to freeze your bank accounts and send you ONLY what welfare and food stamps pay for the next TWELVE MONTHS, and find a place you can rent for that amount of money and a minimum wage job close enough to walk or ride the bus (you didn’t think welfare mothers can afford a new car, and the repair bills and gas to use it to get to work, did you?), THEN tell me how you lived like a king or queen for a year.

      • tax payer

        There is no way I would tell my Banker to freeze my Checking and Savings Accounts. I have what I have because I worked to have a future for my children. I am not rich, but have enough, so we don’t ask you and the tax payers to feed my family. So why are you so against people that don’t want to support ( THOSE ) that refuse to provide for their families? You should be saying ( YES ) why should they eat better than my children, but you still feel you are obligated to pay taxes to support them? I give up and won’t respond to anymore of your negative comments because you love to feed the lazy ( That Refuse To Work ).

    • Polana

      They get nothing of the sort. I don’t know how can you say that. Illegals can’t vote, collect unemployment, SS,, food stamps, Sect.8. If you don’t have legal ID, Birth Certificate, License or green card U don’t qualify for NOTHING.

      It’s only Repukes spin that they do. THEY DO NOT. Most people believe this BS and keep telling LIES. I worked in Sect. 8 so I KNOW.

      • tax payer

        If you worked or work for Section-8 it must be in the Housekeeping Department because the way you present yourself it tells me you don’t work in the Front Office. You would know by now, if you work for Section-8 they do qualify for Food Stamps for the Anchor Baby since the baby is considered an American Citizen. The mother qualifies for Medicaid same as the baby even before she gives Birth. I don’t work for SAHA, but I know what’s going on. I also have a feeling they can somehow qualify for Section-8 Housing because of the Anchor Baby. The key word is Anchor Baby.

  • old_blu

    Here is my take on Immigration reform. Also it is really making the tea partiers get their panties in a wad, kind of fun to watch.

    According to the census bureau, and checked by PolitiFact:

    “less than 1 percent of illegal-immigrant-headed households included anyone receiving direct government cash assistance, such as Temporary Aid for Needy Families (TANF), Supplemental Security Income (SSI) or state-run cash aid”. This is not surprising: Illegal immigrants are generally barred from receiving such payments.

    They also pay into Social Security, more than they will ever collect, and pay state/local/federal taxes, taken out of their paychecks. This data is easily located via Google, for anyone who actually care about FACTS.

    Most of the undocumented have been here for decades.

    The cost of deporting 12 million+ people would be prohibitive, in addition to sending floods of millions of kids – who are Americans by birth – into the foster-care system.

    Maybe they shouldn’t have come here, but we have to deal with the reality of NOW. And the best solution for everyone concerned, for our country, is an earned pathway to citizenship.

    • idamag

      So true. Now that they are here, courtesy of those who wished to exploit them, ,what are we going to do? You are also right about it being monumental tasks with prohibitive costs to deport them.

    • Dominick Vila

      Something else to consider is, who is going to take their place if we deport them? The reason our agri-business seek illegal immigrants to do the work they do, under horrible conditions, low pay, and no benefits goes beyond economic considerations. The truth is that most of us are not interested in that kind of work. The reason for the latter is not because we are lazy, but because most Americans get an education that allow us to pursue career opportunities in other fields. I guess we could always import the produce we need – from Mexico – if there is nobody willing to do what the “illegals” currently do.

      • old_blu

        Yeah I don’t know what to do about that because you know those large agriculture corporations use these people to keep their bottom line down, and to send an affordable product to the people, I’m sure it’s going to be difficult to say the least on how to fix.
        Hello Dominick.

      • plc97477

        It’s going to mess up our farmers pretty badly.

  • disqus_ivSI3ByGmh

    But, E.J, tax cuts for the rich are how they will be able to hire more undocumented workers as groundskeepers, nannies, gardeners, etc. in their homes, and as dishwashers and groundskeepers at their country clubs! Either that or it will allow them to hide more of their wealth in the Cayman Islands.

  • Catskinner

    It’s worth noting that Romney ran on a platform of encouraging illegal aliens to “self deport” and won 27% of the Hispanic vote. But if Congress was serious about passing an immigration bill, all they’d have to do is eliminate family reunification and do away with the Anchor Baby problem, and they could probably get something done.

    • Allan Richardson

      The “anchor baby problem” is caused by the 14th Amendment to the Constitution, and would require another Amendment to change it. And such an Amendment should ALSO clarify that, except for financial dealings, corporations are NOT really people.

      • Catskinner

        Not necessarily. The way the amendment is worded, simple legislation should suffice. At least it should be tried and fast-tracked to the Supreme Court. If it failed, then go through the amendment process, but it shouldn’t be required.

    • Jim Myers

      And, all Congress will have to do is amend the Constitution to basically re-write that pesky Article 2, Section 1, Clause 5.

      That is one the that states that “only a natural born citizen…”

      This is in reference to the requirements for holding the office of The President Of The United States. However, that definition also states that a person born in the United States is a “Natural Born Citizen.”

      In fact, while we are at it, why not just re-write any part of the Constitution we don’t like.

      Or, scrap the whole thing and start over.

      Then, we can make Corporations the ONLY citizens of the United States, and eliminate those nasty little things called elections.

      Problem solved.

      • Catskinner

        Not so! The amendment states (paraphrasing) “…children born on American soil, and under the jurisdiction of the government, shall be deemed to be American citizens…” The argument is, a illegal aliens aren’t under the jurisdiction of the US government, because the government doesn’t even know they are here.

        A bill was drafted in the House in January, and the bill has a number of co-sponsors. It should be passed into law and sent to the Supreme Court for clarification. If it’s ruled constitutional, no changes to the amendment is necessary.

  • howa4x

    There is an organization called ALEC the American Legislative exchange council made up of people like the Koch bros and their ilk and elected republican officials. Opposing the minimum wage hike is a core ALEC principle and even in NJ a usually blue state, Christie opposes a wage hike on the grounds it would hurt business. The ALEC strategy is to not fight the battle in DC rather take it to the states, so Walker, Daniels and Kasich all oppose the wage hike. In most states controlled by republicans ALEC actually writes the legislation. This is where the right to work for less laws come from and Union busting is another core principle. Most of the legislation has to do with loosening environmental regulations and in ALEC controlled states we have some of the looses ones. Basically this organization is anti people, especially children and pro business. Another one of their objectives it to privatize all the prisons and to voucher education by defunding the public schools. This way they can teach children to be obedient to their corporate over lords. All in the name of Freedom and Liberty of course.

  • The discussions on this issue have been had; it needs a roll call vote now. Enough of the garbage politicizing, just do your job.
    WHY the focus is on this issue is beyond me. To listen to the GOP you’d think they were handing out Obama Phones, Obama Care, EBT cards, free housing & free money at the border. That’s bunk contrived by the GOP & spread among the low brow listeners of Hate Radio. They need someone to blame for their own miserable lives so they blame the blameless.
    I know who the people are that are racists & spouting off about immigrants. You’re that crowd of people who in high school drank your way through & we’re too cool to associate with the students there to learn. Now live with yourself. And get back to work cleaning my toilet.

  • Republican lawmakers say they stand behind the nation’s estimated 11 million undocumented, law-breaking crooks.
    WASHINGTON—As the debate over immigration reform continues in Congress, members of the Republican Party on Tuesday voiced their unequivocal support for the nation’s “more than 11 million Latino criminals,” emphasizing that much of the foundation of American society rests on these hardworking Hispanic lawbreakers.
    “Today, as we consider these crucial changes to our country’s immigration laws, let us once again reiterate our party’s tremendous respect and advocation for the legions of dedicated and persevering Latino wrongdoers who are such an important part of this country,” said Sen. Mitch McConnell (R-KY), speaking on behalf of a group of GOP lawmakers who have pledged their support of the estimated 11 million “flagrant and obtrusive offenders of the law.” “And so I would like these utterly felonious men and women to know that the Republican Party respects you and your corrupt, blatantly illegal interests. We stand with you, wanton transgressors.”
    “After all, you and your lawbreaking ilk make up a vital part of our nation’s rich tapestry,” McConnell added.
    Emphasizing the important role played by the country’s 11 million undocumented miscreants in the nation’s neighborhoods, schools, and businesses, Republicans from both the Senate and the House came together in solidarity today with what lawmakers called “the proud, resilient Hispanic crooks seeking to make a better life for themselves and their criminal families by taking what is not theirs.”
    Specifically, GOP legislators highlighted the countless contributions made to society by the millions of job-stealing Latino factory workers, incessant federal fund wasters, violent gangbangers, and unassimilated, non-English-speaking foreign interlopers who they said make this country great.
    “I, for one, am proud of these lawless foreigners who drain vital resources from our nation, irrevocably alter our national identity, and punish law-abiding immigrants who play by the rules,” said House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH), noting that several of his own constituents are steadfast, patriotic delinquents who openly defy our nation’s rule of law and believe in America. “Despite anything you may have heard to the contrary, my fellow Republicans and I are fully behind these outlaws, and we believe in making a better life for these villains’ children and their children’s children, who will someday become enthusiastic criminals in their own right, if they aren’t already.”
    “These parasitic monsters should be given a shot at freedom and opportunity, because diversity and acceptance are what America is all about,” Boehner continued. “And they are what the Republican Party is all about, too.”