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Greg Siskind on Immigration Law and Policy

THE THIRD LEG

Rating: 2 votes, 5.00 average.

When comprehensive immigration reform legislation gets going in Congress next month, you're going to hear anti-immigration folks say over and over again that we tried legalization and enforcement in the 80s and it didn't work. Three million workers were legalized and we got the whole I-9 system and it didn't solve the illegal immigration problem.



Immigration historians will tell you that a key part of the 1986 immigration bill was torpedoed because of pressure from anti-immigrant forces and that success on the part of the antis doomed the program's long term ability to solve our immigration problems.



What was deleted? A real temporary worker program that would address the needs of the market in future years. Congress decided that it would put that topic off until the future and just pass the best bill they could at the time. Well guess what? That fix was never delivered.



This time must be different. Even though unemployment is high, we have to assume that the situation will not always be like today and one day we will need to bring in more workers. Demographers tell us that our aging population will depend on such workers in the future so we would be foolish to ignore this need.



Immigration reform advocates call a future flow program "the third leg" of the stool that is immigration reform. The first leg is a tough enforcement program. The second is a program to legalize the undocumented work force.



The Essential Worker Immigration Coalition has just produced a paper discussing what that third leg needs to look like if it is truly going to work and not merely put off addressing immigration for a future generation. The Congress of 1986 unfortunately kicked the can forward to our generation to solve this problem. We can't morally justify doing the same thing to our children and grandchildren.





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  1. john's Avatar
    before going into details of your words, please explain :
    That is $35 billion from legal immigrants and $26 billion from illegal immigrants) This is--AFTER--immigrants' contribution in taxes has been subtracted.
    are you saying that even if legal immigrants pay taxes at 28% or more and still hold jobs even in this recession (wiuth health insurance etc) they becomes a public charge?. all these legal immigrants are here to do job and make money. when they becomes public charge, they will go back to their own country. simple reason they are educated and highly skilled group of people. To them US is only another opportunity...

    second, how did you get the tax details of undocumented people. they are not even paying taxes. and 26 billion only from illegal immigrants- i thought they are public charge everywhere for now.
    I think your maths is incorrect.before you lie, pray to god to forgive you first.
  2. john's Avatar
    brittancus posted exactly same message on this site as well.
    http://www.suntimes.com/news/cepeda/1950288,guiterrez-reform-plan-esther-cepeda-122109.article
    looks like he/she lacks ideas/words and his/her job is only to paste the words made my someone else.
  3. Carl McGinnis's Avatar
    Everyone must be warned before coming to the United States. Even if you have a visa, you are putting yourself at risk of Homeland Security ICE officers. I have a friend that is from Paris France here on an education visa to finish his degree. He has been here since 2005. His visa is valid until March of 2010, His passport is valid until 2014, and his I-20 is current. He is not illegal. In 2008 He fell in love and married a U.S. citizen that just happens to be addicted to Prescription medications, He knew nothing about this. But he was arrested due to her mistakes. He was placed in detention, scheduled for deportation. He has been in detention center in Pompano Beach Florida for 5 months now. All this because of her mistakes. She should be the one in jail not him. Please everyone coming to America. Think twice. This couple has lost all there savings on lawyers, she lost her job, and they are in the process of losing there home. All this was caused because ICE has the wrong person in jail. They make up any story they want and when they are questioned about it you get nowhere. I have written many letters to Janet Napolitano, Senator Bill Nelson, Representative Ginny Brown-Waite and even President Obama. But no one will listen. So please people think twice about coming to America for any reason. Our immigration system is broken ....they all agree, but you put your life at risk when you enter our borders. Even if you follow the rules you may also lose everything as this couple has. No one will listen, no one cares. This man has never even had a traffic violation and is 51 yrs old. He has never worked in America has always been self supporting and took nothing from Americans social services. His American dream has turned into a night mare. Shame on America. I think it is about time someone revised this immigration and ICE practice. What is illegal in this case is the way DHS is treating this guy. John Morton and Janet N. should be ashamed of themselves. This is just wrong. While in there detention center they have abused him, denied him food and proper medical treatment. He is diabetic and they will not give him the proper food or medical attention. I think it is terrible. The phone system is very poor and not working everyday. They plan it that way so they can not contact there lawyers and family. Someone needs to stop ICE, They are totally out of control. I fear He will be next on the long list of persons that have died while in detention. Until you go to one of these detention centers and see with your own eyes, you will not believe what America is doing. I was shocked, on my first visit and after almost 6 months of seeing what happens, how they have to live. I am still in shock. Trust me it is all about money. He is in a private prison owned by a company called GEO based near Miami Fl. They are paid very well by our tax dollars, but the treatment is unbelievable. I just have to close by saying shame on America. I have seen it with my own eyes. I wonder how many congressmen have stock in this company. They are doing quite well. Just watch for yourself they are GEO on the stock market and are doing well in a bad economy. Makes one think a government contract like this is not a bad investment. I think the government is making a mountain out of a mole and then sell climbing equipment.
  4. Legal and no longer waiting's Avatar
    Carl, stop spamming the blog.
  5. Bradwhg's Avatar
    John, your assumptions are wrong. Actually Brittanicus writes his own blogs and then distributes them. I guess if you don't like the message, you attack the messenger. Do a little research on your own and rebut it if you can. I have found his numbers on the web, you should be able to also.
  6. Another Voice's Avatar
    One has to seriously question the figures presented by Brittacus, and he does post the same stuff over and over in any blog that he can get access to, the same thing for this guy Carl I've read that same posting over and over in many other places...nobody attacks the messenger but you can seriously question the message based on the agenda of the messenger.

    We can find plenty of numbers that dispute these figures presented by Brittacus and that actually indicate quite the contrary. As for Carl's fear agenda well he probably works for Fox News!!
  7. Another Voice's Avatar
    "The White House's Council of Economic Advisers, concludes that foreign-born workers have accounted for about half of labor force growth in the past decade, fueling overall economic output, creating jobs and increasing earnings for native-born workers by as much as $80 billion a year..."

    The Heritage Foundation report on immigration in the U.S. issued in June does not account for the economic impact that all workers have through their consumer purchasing power and entrepreneurship, both of which create new jobs, and overlooks the value added to the U.S. economy by industries in which less-skilled workers tend to be employed. The buying power of Hispanics in the United States totaled $798 billion in 2006 and is expected to increase to $1.2 trillion by 2011. The Commerce Department estimates that nondurable-goods manufacturing (textiles, apparel, etc.) added $685.5 billion to the U.S. GDP in 2006, while construction added $647.9 billion and accommodation and food services contributed $349.9 billion.
  8. Another Voice's Avatar
    The 12 million undocumented immigrants in the United States, who comprise nearly one-third of all immigrants in the country, are not eligible for public benefits. According to the New York Times, "Illegal immigrants are pumping the Social Security system with as much as $7 billion a year and contributing to Medicare in payroll taxes, yet they are unable to collect on the benefits...Starting in the late 1980's, the Social Security Administration received a flood of W-2 earnings reports with fake Social Security numbers. It stashed them in what it calls the "earnings suspense file" in the hope that someday it would figure out whom they belonged to...$189 billion worth of wages ended up recorded in the suspense file over the 1990's..."
  9. Another Voice's Avatar
    The Washington Post reports,"Immigrants and their children also have a "modest positive influence" on government spending...contributing about $80,000 more per person in tax dollars over the long run than they claim in government benefits and services..."

    A report issued by the Immigration Policy Center claims, "Unlike most Americans, who will receive some form of a public pension in retirement and will be eligible for Medicare as soon as they turn 65, illegal immigrants are not entitled to benefits. Legal permanent residents must pay into the Social Security and Medicare systems for approximately 10 years before they are eligible to receive benefits when they retire.
  10. Another Voice's Avatar
    Immigrant Percent of US Population: Facts & Numbers

    It is obvious that immigrants are major contributors to the economic, social and political status of the United States. They compose an increasingly essential proportion of our workforce and overall society and will continue to do so into the twenty-first century.

    However, what may not be so obvious are the proportions between US natives and immigrants. Below are numbers reflecting the large increase in US population, from the late 1700's to the early twenty-first century. Also below, is a graph reflecting the continual immigrant population below that of 10%. Although there was a large increase in immigrants throughout the mid 1800's to early 1900's, the population increase was never so much to threaten that of US natives, as many believe.

    Year Population Year Population
    1790 - 4,000,000 1930 - 123,000,000
    1800 - 5,000,000 1940 - 132,000,000
    1810 - 7,000,000 1950 - 151,000,000
    1820 - 10,000,000 1960 - 179,000,000
    1830 - 13,000,000 1970 - 203,000,000
    1840 - 17,000,000 1980 - 227,000,000
    1850 - 23,000,000 1990 - 248,000,000
    1860 - 31,000,000 2000 - 281,000,000
    1870 - 39,000,000 2010 - (309,000,000, est)
    1880 - 50,000,000
    1890 - 63,000,000
    1900 - 76,000,000
    1910 - 92,000,000
    1920 - 106,000,000
  11. Another Voice's Avatar
    The Economic Impact

    Recently, there have been an upsurge of anti-immigrant emotions, particularly in areas where the number of immigrants grows rapidly. Although natives do not feel the same about legal and illegal immigrants, there is still great animosity that exists in day-to-day life and in large part of the work force. Many believe that immigrants, particularly those illegal immigrants, are to blame for the lapses in the economy, benefiting from its good standing and hindering its growth. In addition, immigrants are believed to steal jobs from Americans, and collect an excess of government benefits.

    The truth is that immigrants greatly help the economy, instead of the opposite. They create new jobs by forming new businesses, spending their incomes on American goods and services, paying taxes and raising the productivity of U.S. businesses. Immigrants pay more than $90 billion in taxes every year and receive only $5 in welfare. (Receiving much more would be considered unlawful.) Without their contributions to the public treasury, the economy would suffer enormous losses.
  12. Greg Siskind's Avatar
    FYI - I have deleted Brittanicus' post and it's not because of the content per se, but because he is a spammer. He cuts and pastes long essays from his blog and posts them in the comment sections of other blogs in order to drive traffic to his blog.
  13. john's Avatar
    thx greg.
    can you also check the IP of Another Voice as well. looks like couple of these people want to spread the same messages (copy paste) rather than their own ideas.
  14. Legal and no longer waiting's Avatar
    Another voice has been around for a long time, and he is a bona fide poster.
  15. George Chell's Avatar
    Nancy Pelosi has told the Dem Caucus that they will not touch the immigration issue in the House unless the Senate acts on it first...and by that she means the full senate floor vote. I still think that there wont be much of a debate next year as much as I love to see this legislation passed.
  16. George Chell's Avatar
    Dont even know why you pay attention to Britannicus and Jack! Here is the news on Pelosi and immigration....

    http://thehill.com/homenews/house/72461-pelosi-to-shield-vulnerable-members-from-tough-votes
  17. Another Voice's Avatar
    Great link George, I think this is terrible news!! Once politicians start thinking political survival before anything else....it usually means they will stay on the sidelines for any controversial bill.

    As far as my posting to post statistics from the pro immigration camp is not that different than the postings from the antis...each side is entitled to present its own set of facts!!! Anyone would crosscheck those facts with reality to form a better opinion about an issue...take them with a grain of salt if you must, yet it does not mean they are wrong!! I would give more credibility to anything in the NY times or the W post that anything that comes from Numbers USA or any other anti-immigrant think-tank.
  18. beppe's Avatar
    Hi George, the link is old and it was posted in another post (or i readed while i was doing some research on my own).
    this is the reason of why it won`t happen and why we must found another way to have some kind of relief for the undocumented and foremost for the EB provision. CIR will not happen
  19. gg's Avatar
    I was wondering why Zoe Lofgren was not listed as a sponsor in the CIR ASAP bill introduced last week. Turns out she has her own bill ready ..

    Looks like CIR ASAP is not necessarily going to be ASAP.
  20. George Chell's Avatar
    Nothing will happen next year unless the jobs market dramatically improves. Wont happen for a while because the employers are circumventing immigration laws and moving jobs abroad. A person I know here in the DC area who was interviewing for a job as a computer specialist...a US citizen...was told that the position has been moved to Hong Kong, and he now has to compete with Asian and European applicants and be prepared to move to Hong Kong if the job is offered to him. There goes another $20,000 in taxes and social security putting another hole in our budget!
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