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Greg Siskind on Immigration Law and Policy

PRO-IMMIGRATION SPECTER SWITCHING PARTIES

Rating: 7 votes, 5.00 average.

Republican Arlen Specter of Pennsylvania has announced he is switching to the Democrats and will run for the Democratic nomination for Senate in the Keystone State next year. The Democrats will have a filibuster-proof sixty seats after Al Franken is soon sworn in. As far as immigration politics go, however,this will not really change much. Specter was already a pro-immigration vote and that won't change. In fact, it is a bit disappointing to lose a pro-immigration voice in the GOP leaving just a handful of Senators with a solid record in this area (and one wonders whether the two pro-immigration GOP Senators in Maine are the next ones to jump ship?).

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  1. Another voice's Avatar
    This huge for CIR, great news!!!!!!
  2. Legal and no longer waiting's Avatar
    WOW! I always liked Specter for his practical no-nonsense approach, but I did not expect his to switch over. I guess anyone in the middle is so fed up with Republicans pandering to the right wingers, even party veterans can't take it. Well, if a party invites Rush and Coulter as keynotes speakers, it's clearly digging it's own grave.
  3. mulberry's Avatar
    Is it the beginning of the end for the GOP??
    Although i like some of the moderates, they are becoming a rare species. With Rush at the helm, it clearly is a sinking ship.


  4. AJ's Avatar
    I'm wondering how this can be taken to be a filibuster proof majority? Are there no Democrat Senators who will vote against party lines depending on the issue at hand?

    And doesn't this set up the Republicans to make a strong come back in 2010 by consolidating right wing votes?
  5. Geroge Chell's Avatar
    I think his switch is more due to the anti-southern white backlash of the white voters in the north rather than due to any immigration issue. Collins and Snowe will hang on as Republicans for a while but they will probably switch if the Dems gain even more seats in 2010..otherwise hightly unlikely!
  6. Greg Siskind's Avatar
    AJ - You are right that this is a barebones filibuster. There are a few other Republicans that are likely to cross over to support Democrats on key bills, but there are also going to be times when a greater number of Democrats bolt. And if the public is not happy with the way the country is going in 2010, they'll take it out on the Democrats.
  7. Jim's Avatar
    "And doesn't this set up the Republicans to make a strong come back in 2010 by consolidating right wing votes"

    - I do not think so. I totally agree LNNLW's analysis. Many do not like that the GOP are pandering more with the right wing nuts like the likes of Rush, Coulter, Laura Ingraham. And some moderate GOPs are embarrassed. What's more funny is they think they are doing good to their party when it's actually the opposite.

    BTW, want to share this good video: http://current.com/items/89924638_jabba-the-rush.htm


  8. Geroge Chell's Avatar
    "And doesn't this set up the Republicans to make a strong come back in 2010 by consolidating right wing votes?"

    I still think the GOP will make gains in the House if not the Senate in 2010. But, unless the economy does not recover chances of taking back the House (and definitely the Senate) in 2010 are very slim indeed! Perhaps 10-15 seats in the House and 1-3 seats in the Senate under the most optimistic scenario as of now.

  9. eb2Immi's Avatar
    This is NOT a great news for democrats. If he does not join the democrats now, he would certainly loose in primaries and a real democrat would win the election.

    That is one selfish man trying to save his job by switching parties. Just like Joe Lieberman

    I hope he does not act like republican with democratic face.
  10. Rachel's Avatar
    Hi Greg,
    I understand you rely on immigrants (legal/illegal) for your living. But as an American citizen, how do you justify the long term damage done on your fellow Americans due to the H1B visa? Surely not everyone who is anti-H1B is a xenophobe. Aren't you concerned about possible anarchy and civil war as a result of millions of unemployed Americans?

    http://www.humanevents.com/article.php?id=31634

    Thanks,
    Rachel
  11. Legal and no longer waiting's Avatar
    "But as an American citizen, how do you justify the long term damage done on your fellow Americans due to the H1B visa?"

    This question is in the category of "when did you start beating up your child?". The damage caused by H1Bs on American citizens is the same that is caused by younger workers joining the workforce on older workers, and women joining workforce on men (remember, 50-70s, women taking up the jobs that used ot belong to men?). Basically, there is absolutely no scientific evidence that H1Bs cause any hardship to American workers; there is, however, evidence to the contrary.

    "Surely not everyone who is anti-H1B is a xenophobe."

    Everyone I have seen. That's the name for the people who disregard all and any scientific evidence and stick to their guns just because they don't like to compete with foreigners.

    "Aren't you concerned about possible anarchy and civil war as a result of millions of unemployed Americans?"

    That was really funny of you. Actually, it's not. Rememember the guy who shot three police officers in Pittsbugh a few weeks ago? He was going around blogs talking about anarchy and civil war and the rest of the end of days stuff. Rachel, please get help - for your fellow Americans' sake.
  12. Greg Siskind's Avatar
    Rachel - I have about 100 active H-1B cases right now involving physicians and several dozen more for nurses. Given the news about pandemics in today's news, I wonder what happens when we have a massive health care disaster without enough MDs and RNs. Chaos and anarchy are probably good nouns to use to describe that situation.

    I've posted data showing that more than 25% of all IT jobs in America are at companies started by H-1Bs.

    And school systems all across the country are relying on math teachers here on H-1Bs to train those future American IT workers you're so worried about protecting.

    The way I see it, all of the "damage" you're talking about is largely protectionist claptrap.
  13. Geroge Chell's Avatar
    "I understand you rely on immigrants (legal/illegal) for your living. But as an American citizen, how do you justify the long term damage done on your fellow Americans due to the H1B visa? Surely not everyone who is anti-H1B is a xenophobe. Aren't you concerned about possible anarchy and civil war as a result of millions of unemployed Americans?"

    I will answer this question when you answer the following question to citizens of Asian countries? how do you justify the long term damage done to Asians due to two million Americans working in Asia? Surely not everyone who is against foreign talent in Asia is a xenophobe. Aren't you concerned about possible anarchy and civil war as a result of millions of unemployed Asians and anti-American feelings that may arouse? Or is it ok for Americans to work in Asia but not the other way around? In other words do you prefer American (or as African Americans would call it, white) privilege?

    Lady, it is very interesting that people like you make a big issue of 500,000 jobs out of a total of 100 million jobs going to foreigners while about three times that amount of jobs leave American shores never to return. Now that is what I call xenophobia!
  14. Geroge Chell's Avatar
    Human events (like VDare) is a racist publication, anti anything not white..the fact that Rachel quotes Human Events shows her mindset.
  15. Geroge Chell's Avatar
    And Phyllis Schafly is a big racist..opposes affirmative action when it is convenient but does not like competition from foreigners, ie., wants to protect mostly white Americans from foreign competition!
  16. Jim's Avatar
    "Given the news about pandemics in today's news, I wonder what happens when we have a massive health care disaster without enough MDs and RNs. Chaos and anarchy are probably good nouns to use to describe that situation."

    - If and when a pandemic happens, I am also not confident that the already short-staffed nurses can be truly relied upon if the forum discussion by US nurses I have recently read would be any indications of their true feelings.

    Being lax and outrightly dismissing the potential of the Swine flu scare to become a pandemic doesn't bode well with their mental and emotional preparedness of handling the worst case scenario. One post I read even said "the population needs some culling anyway" and this is from a nurse with 20 years experience and I believe practices in NY (where most cases of Swine flu in the US are in so far) or in the tri-state area and guess what she works in the ER. Very comforting.

    They even have discussions if they will work in case there is a pandemic. Not very comforting to know that some are having 2nd thoughts.

    That's why it's always good to have competition from foreign RNs and to always make sure that the US has more than enough nurses to go around.





  17. Geroge Chell's Avatar
    "Being lax and outrightly dismissing the potential of the Swine flu scare to become a pandemic doesn't bode well with their mental and emotional preparedness of handling the worst case scenario. One post I read even said "the population needs some culling anyway" and this is from a nurse with 20 years experience and I believe practices in NY (where most cases of Swine flu in the US are in so far) or in the tri-state area and guess what she works in the ER. Very comforting."

    Sounds like former Governor Richard Lamm of Colorado, the most virulent anti-immigration politician I have ever seen..he said that to solve the social security problem the seniors should roll over and play dead. Seems like the nurses are setting themselves up for a huge lawsuit. If you want to reduce health care costs increasing the salary of the nurses or doctors is a no go! End of story! We need to flood the market with both foreign and doemestic nurses plus primary care physicians!

  18. Jack's Avatar
    If a true believing free marketer perceives a temporary shortage of labor, the first thing she might ask is 'What is interfering with the functioning of this market?' The last thing she would turn to is a politicized, arbitrary governmental market intervention like H1-B. Rather, they would look to see what the government might be doing that is interfering with the market and preventing it from doing its work. Where a governmental foreign labor program has long been in place but the shortage supposedly persists, they might logically conclude that the government's 'cure' to a labor 'shortage' actually PERPETUATES it. Based on how our politics work, it's a fair question if the program is even intended to ameliorate or is just a setup and for whose benefit? Once there's a guest worker presence in a market, the domestic laborer considering that field has to take a guess as to what degree the government might flood it. He can't see as clearly as he otherwise would and uncertainty might rationally lead him to take a pass due to that governmental variable which could negatively affect the working conditions, depress the wage, etc. The market based solution to a 'shortage' is simple--don't intervene (as opposed to mere regulation). Leave the market alone and let it work. H1-B is the opposite of that. Anyone who says guest workers are essential to the functioning of a market, by definition, isn't a free marketer.
  19. Sid's Avatar
    Jack, define the boundaries of the "market". If you restrict it to U.S. soil then you have a point. The reality is that the market is global, therefore movement of labor and goods within the global market is not a violation of free market principles. In fact, since there is no quota on how much American tech companies can sell in other countries, imposing a quota on H-1B is a violation of free market principles.

    Are you ok with the U.S. government shutting down sales of American products to other countries as a condition for dropping the H-1B program in order to define the market as you want it to be?
  20. Jack's Avatar


    Sid:
    The reality is that the market is global, therefore movement of labor and goods within the global market is not a violation of free market principles.

    AGREED, BUT NOT IF THE WORKER'S LAWFUL PRESENCE IS BASED UPON INDENTURE TO AN EMPLOYER. MOBILITY OF LABOR WITHIN A DOMESTIC LABOR MARKET IS FUNDAMENTAL TO FREE TRADE THEORY & COMPARATIVE ADVANTAGE. I THINK ANY SYSTEM IN WHICH A WORKER ISN'T FREE TO CHANGE JOBS, INDUSTRIES, ETC. IS NOT COMPATIBLE WITH FREE MARKET PRINCIPLES. THIS IS ASIDE FROM WHATEVER NEGATIVE EFFECTS ONE THINKS THE PRESENCE OF SUCH SECOND CLASS LABOR MIGHT HAVE ON WAGES AND WORKING CONDITIONS.

    WHEN THE GOVERNMENT CHOOSES TO ADD LABOR SUPPLY TO CERTAIN INDUSTRIES IT PRESUMES TO KNOW MORE THAN A LARGE MARKET. EVEN IF NON-POLITICIANS (SUPPOSEDLY 'NEUTRAL PANELS') WERE MAKING INDUSTRY AND QUOTA DETERMINATIONS, A FREE MARKETER THINKS A LARGE MARKET ALLOCATES MORE EFFICIENTLY THAN ANY SMALL PLANNING COMMISSION OR COMMITTEE OR LEGISLATURE OR SINGLE PERSON OR FORTUNE TELLER. ISN'T THAT THE MOST BASIC JUSTIFICATION FOR CAPITALISM OVER SOCIALISM? THUS, THIS NEW PROPOSAL OF A PANEL DECIDING NON-IMMIGRANT VISA POLICY IS NOT MARKET BASED BUT NEITHER IS THE CURRENT VISA SYSTEM. LOBBYING BECOMES PARAMOUNT AND CORRUPTION BRED THE MORE YOU INVOLVE GOVERNMENT WHERE BIG MONEY IS AT STAKE.

    I THINK MARKET FRIENDLINESS IS NOT BASED ON IMMIGRATION LEVEL. IF THE GOVERNMENT WANTS TO GUESS WHAT WORKERS ARE NEEDED MOST, WHATEVER, BUT LET IT BE WITHIN THE FRAMEWORK OF IMMIGRATION, NOT NON-IMMIGRANT VISAS. IF THEY ARE WRONG, LET THE DYNAMIC MARKET ADAPT AND HOPEFULLY THEY WON'T CAUSE TOO MUCH HARM AND IN A FREE LABOR MARKET IT WON'T BE FOR LONG ANYWAY. CONVERSELY, NON-IMMIGRANT WORK VISAS INDEFINITELY PUTS THE GOVERNMENT RIGHT IN THE MIDDLE OF A LABOR MARKET AND IN ITS WAY IF YOU ADHERE TO MARKET IDEOLOGY. MARKET PURISTS I KNOW ALSO LIKE SIMPLICITY AND FLEXIBILITY AND THE GUEST WORKER STRUCTURE IS COMPLICATED AND CUMBERSOME TO THE MAX. WHEN THE GOVERNMENT TAMPERS WITH THE LABOR SUPPLY OF AN INDUSTRY, IT SIGNALS TO A PROSPECTIVE DOMESTIC LABORER THAT HE MIGHT NEVER REAP THE BENEFITS OF A TIGHT LABOR MARKET SINCE THE GOVERNMENT'S TAMPERING CAN POTENTIALLY MANIPULATE THE MARKET SO THAT THERE IS NEVER A TIGHT MARKET OR EVEN A PERMANENT GLUT. NO FREE MARKETER I KNOW WANTS THIS LEVEL OF GOVERNMENT PRESENCE IN A MARKET WHERE YOU CAN NEVER GET RID OF THEM RATHER THAN JUST LETTING THE MARKET WORK. THE TRUE IDEOLOGUES OFTEN WANT UNLIMITED IMMIGRATION WHICH WOULD BE FREE MARKET COMPATIBLE BUT WE DON'T HAVE THAT AND AREN'T LIKELY TO GET IT (AND I OPPOSE IT ON PRACTICAL GROUNDS). SO WHAT WE GET IS THE MARKET MUDDYING HALF STEP OF NON-IMMIGRANT WORK VISAS AND AT ARBITRARY LEVELS. WHY NOT LARGELY JUNK THAT AND JUST GO WITH WHATEVER DOMESTIC LABOR MARKET WE END UP WITH (AND WITH EVERYONE WE ALLOW IN CITIZENSHIP PROVISIONAL AND MOBILE AS LABOR) AND MAKE IT AS FREE FROM GOVERNMENT INTRUSION AS AS POSSIBLE? I THINK THAT MAKES MORE SENSE THAN A TWO-TIERED, GOVERNMENT PLANNED LABOR MARKET. IF THERE IS SOME TEMPORARY SHORTAGE, IT SHOULDN'T LAST FOR LONG WITH THEM OUT OF THE WAY. BARRING IMPEDIMENTS WE DON'T HAVE IN THE U.S., ECONOMIC THEORY SAYS 'LONG TERM LABOR SHORTAGE' IS AN OXYMORON IN A MARKET ECONOMY. WE CAN ALWAYS CHANGE COURSE SO WHAT'S THE HARM IN GETTING OUT OF THE LABOR MARKET'S WAY AND FINDING OUT IF THE SOLUTION WAS, IN FACT, CAUSING THE PROBLEM?

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