On March 31, 2021 the White House issued a news release regarding Biden’s “American Jobs Plan” that laid out ambitions for far more than creating good jobs. Before we even consider, though, how the Biden administration would supposedly create good-paying jobs for Americans, let us remember how his administration is dealing with immigration—or, perhaps more accurately, not dealing with immigration.
Immigration has a huge impact on Americans’ jobs and wages. Prior to the Second World War, in fact, the primary authority for the enforcement and administration of our nation’s immigration laws was vested in the Labor Department. Immigration law enforcement was moved to the Justice Department when our leaders realized that enemy saboteurs and spies were seeking to gain access to our nation to undermine our national security, not unlike the way it was moved into the Department of Homeland Security in the wake of the terror attacks of September 11, 2001.
During the Great Depression, President Franklin D. Roosevelt sought to get the American economy moving by getting Americans back to work. To do so, FDR ramped up the enforcement of America’s immigration laws to protect American workers from competition from foreign workers, who would not only flood the labor pool but would be willing to work for substandard wages under substandard conditions.
Effective immigration law enforcement back then protected American workers from both of these, and could and should still do so today. In the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, many American workers and their families are struggling, not unlike the Americans who suffered during the Great Depression. Yet, rather than enforce our immigration laws the way that FDR did, the Biden administration has acted to permit and, indeed, encourage a human tsunami of aliens into the United States across the U.S.-Mexican border.
Furthermore, Biden has crippled immigration law enforcement within the interior of the United States as well. Coupled with the policies that set up “sanctuary cities” and “sanctuary states,” illegal aliens are being provided with driver’s licenses and being provided with a variety of benefits that not only fail to deter illegal immigration but actually incentivize illegal immigration.
Providing driver’s licenses to illegal aliens who are “undocumented”—meaning that there is no way to determine their true identities—undermines national security and public safety and violate the findings and recommendations of the 9/11 Commission. The mayors and governors of the sanctuary jurisdictions blithely explain that illegal aliens need driver’s licenses so that they can drive to work safely! (So much for protecting the jobs and wages of hapless American workers and their struggling families.)
Biden also wants to provide a pathway to U.S. citizenship to aliens who were granted Temporary Protected Status (TPS) in the United States. These are aliens, including illegal aliens, whose home countries suffered a disaster while they are in the United States. However, many times the emergency that prompted the issuance of TPS occurred many, many years ago and conditions in their home country may well have improved. Temporary is supposed to mean temporary. Consider the case of aliens who are granted TPS and get jobs as construction workers in the United States. Does it make sense to have illegal alien construction workers build and repair houses and other structures in the United States when their skills are sorely needed in their home countries to rebuild their countries after a catastrophe?
Biden and the Democrats also want a pathway to U.S. citizenship for “Dreamers.” The term “DREAMer” is an acronym for “Development, Relief and Education of Alien Minors.” (It is interesting that the term “alien” is acceptable when it is used in an acronym that conjures up the desired imagery, but verboten under all other circumstances.) The original DREAM Act was supposed to provide a pathway to U.S. citizenship for illegal aliens who supposedly arrived in the United States prior to their 16th birthdays. However, aliens would have been able to file for amnesty as DREAMers under this latest immigration bill if they did so prior to their 35th birthdays. Aliens would simply have to claim to have arrived in the U.S. prior to turning 16. With no capacity to conduct field investigations or interviews for a population this large, fraud would permeate this program.
It is noteworthy that Biden said of illegal immigration in his address to Congress, “There’s over 11 million undocumented folks, the vast majority here overstayed visas.” Presumably the president wants Americans to forget the lack of border security and the crisis it is creating. Visa violators do pose a huge problem as well, however, and aliens who violate their visas don’t only overstay their authorized period of admission but almost invariably work illegally.
But as for Biden’s claim about the 11 million “undocumented folks,” in 2018 a Yale study found twice as many undocumented immigrants as previous estimates. The report stated that “using mathematical modeling on a range of demographic and immigration operations data, the researchers estimate there are 22.1 million undocumented immigrants in the United States.”
What is never discussed, however, in addressing the status of undocumented immigrants and any possible pathway to legalization is the fact that all newly legalized aliens would have the immediate and absolute right to have all of their spouses and minor children admitted to the United States as lawful immigrants. If, for the sake of argument, 20 million illegal aliens were legalized, and if on average each such alien would have (or claim to have) just four children each, we could see an influx of 80 million minor immigrants enter the United States.
Imagine the ecological, economic and societal impact this would have. Each person has an environmental impact, and requires water, food, electricity, sewerage, access to healthcare, education, transportation, and other such essential requirements. As these minor immigrants grew older they would join the overflowing labor pool. Imagine the impact this would have on jobs and wages that Biden promises he will create for struggling Americans.
The illegal employment of aliens used to be a traditional matter of concern for Democrats and the American left. In 2020 BuzzFeed News examined Senator Bernie Sanders’s evolving positions on immigration, including his early labor-supported opposition to “immigration reform.”
“I believe we have very serious immigration problems in this country,” Sanders said during a 2007 press event, with AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka behind him.
“I think as you’ve heard today, sanctions against employers who employ illegal immigrants is virtually nonexistent. Our border is very porous. And I think at a time when the middle class is shrinking, the last thing we need is to bring over in a period of years, millions of people into this country who are prepared to lower wages for American workers.”
Clearly, back then, Sanders was concerned about the deleterious impact illegally employed aliens had on Americans. However, he and radical Democrats have since reversed their position on this important issue.
Now, Biden wants to extend citizenship to alien farm workers who “put food on our tables.” The obvious question is “Why?” Aliens who work illegally in the United States violate federal laws that are supposed to protect the lives and jobs of Americans. Their wages are ill-gotten. When individuals acquire money or other assets by violating the law their money and assets are subject to asset forfeiture. Why should this be different for illegal aliens?
The ill-conceived massive alien amnesty of 1986 was an element of the Immigration Reform and Control Act of 1986 (IRCA) enacted during the Reagan administration. It was supposed to provide about one million illegal aliens with lawful status. It ultimately provided lawful status to more than 3.5 million aliens, and no one knows how many millions of family members were subsequently admitted under that program. A number of supposed farm workers who received amnesty under IRCA committed fraud and subsequently participated in terror attacks. The official report “9/11 and Terrorist Travel – Staff Report of the National Commission on Terrorist Attacks Upon the United States” noted:
Once terrorists had entered the United States, their next challenge was to find a way to remain here. Their primary method was immigration fraud. For example, [Ramzi] Yousef and [Ahmed] Ajaj concocted bogus political asylum stories when they arrived in the United States. Mahmoud Abouhalima, involved in both the World Trade Center and landmarks plots, received temporary residence under the Seasonal Agricultural Workers (SAW) program, after falsely claiming that he picked beans in Florida.
The Biden administration’s failures to secure our nation’s borders undermine national security, public safety, public health and the jobs and wages of Americans. Bad as the situation is now, Biden’s further plans all run contrary to the best interests of America and Americans and would encourage still more aliens to head for our borders confident that the Biden administration will take no measures to prevent them from entering the United States and that, once in the United States, they will having nothing to fear from immigration law enforcement authorities under Biden’s immigration policies.
As Congress considers this administration’s immigration and jobs agendas, the one question that President Biden must be asked is how his immigration policies benefit America and Americans. That is the one question that should be asked of all politicians.
Michael W. Cutler was a senior special agent for the U.S. Immigration and Naturalization Service.