This country will not be a permanently good place for any of us to live in unless we make it reasonably good place for all of us to live in.
A federal district court in Houston has struck down the Obama Administration’s Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program and its companion for parents of those children. Specifically, it held that the program was an administrative rule making required to follow the notice and comment process of the federal Administrative Procedures Act (APA). The failure of the Obama Administration to follow this process rendered the program illegal. CNN helpfully included a copy of the Order and Opinion of the court here. The decision is not only a step towards effective immigration reform, but also strikes a blow against the power of the administrative state.
The court essentially took up the issues ignored in the US Supreme Court’s Regents of the University of California opinion that I previously discussed here. This decision struck down the attempted rescission of the DACA program by the Trump Administration as itself violating the APA while glossing over the illegalities in the original rulemaking. This new federal court opinion turns the tables and focuses on those infirmities, noting that the Supreme Court itself held that DACA was not simply a passive non-enforcement policy. Instead, it conferred affirmative immigration relief such as the right to receive a work permit and the right to travel abroad without permission. It did so despite admitting in the original memorandum that only the Congress could confer affirmative immigration relief. The district court’s opinion built on Justice Clarence Thomas’s dissent in the Regents opinion by highlighting the real reason for the program – the inability of successive Presidents to unite the Congress and country around an immigration bill that included effective limits and enforcement as well as the necessary relief for longtime residents.
The district court was mindful of the hardships an immediate cessation of the program would cause to current participants and simply prohibited further expansion of the program for the time being. The Biden Administration has announced that it will appeal the order and urged Congress to pass a bill fixing the problem. The administration’s latter position is correct. Both political parties need to look beyond the twin corruptions of identity politics and corporate contributions to pass a comprehensive immigration reform legalizing the status of the “Dreamers” and creating real enforceable limits on future immigration as I advocated in this post. A truly comprehensive answer to the immigration crisis would be a new beginning for insuring the American Dream for both lifetime citizens and immigrants alike.
An old proverb advises there are two things decent people should never see being made – laws and sausages. Both processes can be disgusting to watch. Immigration legislation certainly falls into that category. For example, the crisis at the border should be focusing the attention of Congress on immigration enforcement and border control issues. Instead, globalist Democrats and some Republicans in the House of Representatives sent two bills to the Senate with the transparent objective of avoiding the duty to enact any meaningful reform by creating two sets of amnesties. This allows them to side-step the controversial, but necessary immigration limitation and enforcement issues. The goal of legalizing some long – time immigrant residents is laudable and necessary, but should be part of comprehensive immigration reform.
Again, both of these bills could be appropriate ways to bring these workers out of the darkness and give them the fundamental rights they need. However, the Senate should not take up either bill now until it considers a comprehensive immigration bill with effective limitations and enforcement mechanisms. I urge you to write or e-mail your state’s senators to ask them to table or vote against the two bills until it considers such a comprehensive bill.
The Justice Department just struck a blow for Americans by suing Facebook for abusing the H-1B visa and labor certification process to favor temporary immigrant tech workers. The action is part of a Trump Administration initiative called Protecting American Workers and addresses a problem with one of the biggest loopholes in the immigration law – the “adjustment of status” rules that allow employers to convert a temporary H-1B visa worker into a permanent resident. In order to do so, the employer must file a proceeding with the Department of Labor to obtain a permanent labor certification (called PERM for short) to prove that there are no minimally qualified and available American workers qualified for the job. The rules require the job to be posted at the employer’s workplace and publicly advertised before the filing of a PERM application.
The Justice Department’s complaint alleges that Facebook created a process designed to prevent American workers from discovering an open position it wished to fill with the temporary worker and applying for it. For example, it failed to post the position on its public website or accept applications on-line in violation of its own human resource procedures. It then used the contrived absence of applications to justify hiring the temporary worker instead. The scheme affected over 2,600 high-paid technical positions with an average salary of $156,000. The government is seeking not only an end to this gaming of the system, but also civil penalties and back pay for those Americans victimized by it.
As I mentioned in my previous post Immigration – The New Slavery, Big Tech has long been exploiting the H-1B visa system and immigration laws to keep their wages down with the acquiescence of the federal government. The system cruelly betrays the American Dream by allowing companies like Facebook to import foreign workers to undercut the wage level necessary for Americans to afford the education to win those jobs and support a family.
Democrats have long relied on big contributions from Big Tech. The fate of this suit and the Protecting American Workers program will be an important test of President-elect Biden’s pro-worker rhetoric. Will Biden continue to aggressively pursue these abuses or cave in to big business by ending the program to the detriment of American workers? The answer will indicate whether this will be the presidency of the American worker or just the globalist elites.