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Updating misguided immigration reform efforts

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Posted: Saturday, January 26, 2013 12:00 am

Here's an update on how amnesty supporters refer to their cause. Outdated are "comprehensive immigration reform" and "legalization." The latest trendy phrase is "path to citizenship," no doubt the result of market research into what resonates best among those Americans whom amnesty advocates need to convince. "Amnesty," suggestive of forgiving criminals, offends. The softer "path to citizenship" may resonate positively with the undecided.

In the meantime, Gov. Jerry Brown announced that he plans to "carry the message to Washington" to advocate for what he perceives as an urgent need for amnesty. Brown's enthusiasm for an eventual Senate Democratic amnesty bill is hardly surprising, since during the last two years he's supported driver's licenses for aliens, endorsed in-state tuition and Cal Grants for college-age alien students, and signed a bill that nullified E-Verify.

According to Brown, since California has nearly 3 million illegal immigrants that account for about a quarter of the nation's total alien population, making them citizens is imperative. As citizens, they could more easily find jobs and would qualify for more expansive social service eligibility.

Brown's logic is, to describe it mildly, tortured. Because California has more illegal immigrants than any other state, Brown should be arguing against amnesty, because it will only add to his already considerable budget and unemployment headaches.

For most of the last decade, California has racked up annual budget deficits in excess of $10 billion to which immigration, both legal and illegal, has made a significant contribution. Public school education alone may account for $10 billion per year. Only brutal, across-the-board spending cuts keep California's deficit from soaring past the $20 billion mark.

Analyzing federal data published by the Census Bureau and the Current Population Survey, the Center for Immigration Studies found that California's immigrant welfare use is high and its education level low. Nearly 40 percent of all immigrant-headed California households participate in at least one welfare program. Among 19-year-old immigrants, 29 percent have not graduated from high school, a grim statistic that is linked to California having the nation's least-educated workforce.

Amnesty would hurt California not only directly — by making its current illegal residents legal (and thus joband welfare-eligible) — but also indirectly. Eventually, the new citizens can petition to bring their relatives, a process called "chain migration" that would add to California's already overpopulated condition.

Ironically, amnesty would negatively impact Hispanic-Americans more than any ethnic group. Consider these daunting nationwide Hispanic employment statistics taken from the Bureau of Labor Statistics but conveniently overlooked by amnesty proponents: 1 in 4 Hispanics lives in poverty, 2 million more than impoverished African-Americans. Hispanic-American's broad unemployment rate — what BLS refers to as the U-6 category, which includes discouraged workers who have given up looking for jobs and those forced into part-time jobs — is 19 percent.

Amnesty would also grant work authorization to millions previously unemployable because of their immigration status, and would devastate Hispanics. Competition with new immigrants for jobs is most intense for Hispanics under 30 without a college degree. The U-6 unemployment rate is 28 percent for Hispanics with a high school diploma, 40 percent for those without a degree and 45 percent for teens looking for their first job. Adding roughly 11 million new workers into a market already saturated with unemployed Americans of all ages and ethnicities is unconscionable.

If the unthinkable happens and amnesty passes, no lessons will have been learned from the 1986 Immigration Reform and Control Act, at the time disingenuously referred to as a "one-time amnesty." Millions more than the estimated 2.7 million received amnesty. Fraud, especially in the Special Agricultural Worker category, was unchecked.

The bottom line: Amnesty encourages more illegal immigration, which in turn begets future amnesties.

Joe Guzzardi retired from the Lodi Unified School District in 2008 after a 25-year career teaching English as a Second Language. Contact him at guzzjoe@yahoo.com.

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Welcome to the discussion.


  • Simon Birch posted at 1:24 pm on Tue, Jan 29, 2013.

    Simon Birch - Online Manager Posts: 170 Staff

    Everyone: I discussed this with Brian on the phone. There was no intent to deceive or break any rules. Any future comments will be under his usual name.

  • Joanne Bobin posted at 12:52 pm on Tue, Jan 29, 2013.

    Joanne Bobin Posts: 4488

    I don't know why "Thomas Docktor" is suddenly appearing in this forum.

    Weren't you banned a while back, Brian?

  • Joanne Bobin posted at 12:38 pm on Mon, Jan 28, 2013.

    Joanne Bobin Posts: 4488

    By the way, Mr. Gorak, if your buddy Joe hasn't told you, Lodi is surrounded by ranches and farms and I haven't seen a single Anglo face at one of them - and ranchers are crying for workers to harvest their crops.

    Whatever happened to the days when the Unemployment office sent you out on ANY job and you either had to take it or forfeit your unemployment?

  • Joanne Bobin posted at 12:35 pm on Mon, Jan 28, 2013.

    Joanne Bobin Posts: 4488

    Dave Gorak wrote: "We're still awaiting your concern about your fellow unemployed citizens who are being forced by their own government to compete with illegals in a dismal jobs market."

    What I am concerned about is the lack of enforcement of employer penalties for HIRING illegals in the first place.

    And why is the Republican party in favor of increasing the ceiling on H1B visas? Simple - Republicans = Corporations who want to hire "professionals" at 1/2 the cost of an American with the same skills.

    YOU are not concerned about your fellow citizens. YOU and your fellow xenophobes are more concerned about having to brush elbows out in public with those durn furiners.

  • Joanne Bobin posted at 12:27 pm on Mon, Jan 28, 2013.

    Joanne Bobin Posts: 4488

    Very interesting article considering Joe Guzzardi's praise back in August for players Fernando Valenzuela (born in Mexico) and Joe DiMaggio (parents born in Italy).

    And ironic because "Gorak" and "Guzzardi" don't sound very "American" to me.

    Classic cases of the "I got mine" syndrome.

  • Jeff Tillett posted at 11:36 am on Mon, Jan 28, 2013.

    Jeff Tillett Posts: 557


    Endorsers of Joe Guzzardi for Governor of California
    Dave Gorak, Illinois:

    Joe Guzzardi's thorough understanding of the immigration issue makes him the only candidate capable of speaking intelligently about what needs to be done to resolve California's fiscal problems. His message condemning this nation's unfunded federal mandate for forced population growth must be allowed to be heard by all Californians who, for too long, have been the victims of a media-induced coma that has prevented them from learning all the facts.

    "the google" is replete with their pairings, but this might be my favorite xenophobic rant:

  • Dave Gorak posted at 1:57 pm on Sun, Jan 27, 2013.

    Dave Gorak Posts: 3

    We're still awaiting your concern about your fellow unemployed citizens who are being forced by their own government to compete with illegals in a dismal jobs market. Unable to spare a little compassion for the former? The next time you preach about "skewed" information and the need for the "truth," please don't forget to include the mainstream media's coverage of the issue in your list of those who each day churn out "misleading information."[yawn]

  • Joanne Bobin posted at 11:06 am on Sun, Jan 27, 2013.

    Joanne Bobin Posts: 4488

    Thanks for your assessment of what YOU think I think, Mr. Gorak.

    Google tells me that you are a professional anti-immigration advocate and no doubt a great friend of Joe Guzzardi. It is so nice that he has friends like you to come to his rescue whenever he presents misleading information.

    I am well aware that the USCIS is now under the jurisdiction of the DHS, so you can rescind your "memo." The fact that the INS now has a new name UNDER DHS is irrelevant since the audience Guzzardi plays to doesn't know any better anyway.

    Joe Guzzardi specializes in ginning up the immigration issue through misleading information - specifically directed at his supporters in the Lodi area who don't know the real issues, but just simply hate brown people.

    That is my complaint. He is ANTI-IMMIGRATION (legal or illegal), but there are many in this area who would swear on a Bible that he is ONLY anti-ILLEGAL immigration. Believe me, I've heard from them in this forum.

    That is my problem with Guzzardi. Just tell the truth. Not his skewed version of it.

  • Dave Gorak posted at 7:32 am on Sun, Jan 27, 2013.

    Dave Gorak Posts: 3

    Memo to Ms. Bobin: The Immigration and Naturalization Service ceased to exist March 1, 2003, when it became part of the Department of Homeland Security. But more to the point: This really isn't about citizenship per se; Mr. Guzzardi's concerns are directed at the idiocy of those "Americans" who today think that the way to end illegal immigration is to legalize those here illegally and further reward them with citizenship in a country whose laws and sovereignty they've disrespected since Day One. He, like the rest of us who seek an immigration policy that does the most good for largest number of people (not just illegal aliens and their greedy employers), wonder daily why between all the sobbing and handwringing from illegal advocates is there never any acknowledgement of the pain and suffering that illegal immigrants inflict on American workers. Ms. Bobin apparently supports a federal government that is permitting 7 million illegal aliens to keep their payroll jobs in the construction, manufacturing, transportation and service industries while 20 million of her fellow citizens are unable to find full-time work. The majority of these jobs, by the way, are already being done by Americans, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, so they hardly can be described as being jobs our citizens "won't do." The only conclusion that I am able to draw from Ms. Bobin's remarks is that she is decidedly anti-American worker and shares with her illegal alien friends the same disrespect for the rule of law.[sad]

  • John Kindseth posted at 4:22 pm on Sat, Jan 26, 2013.

    John Kindseth Posts: 245

    Joe: Your understanding of the immigration problem over all these many years has always amazed me. Best wishes.

  • Joanne Bobin posted at 3:34 pm on Sat, Jan 26, 2013.

    Joanne Bobin Posts: 4488

    This column should be retitled, "Misguided Update to Immigration Reform Efforts."

    Joe Guzzardi decries the use of "path to citizenship" as clever marketing research that will make "amnesty" more palatable to the average American citizen.

    Surprise, - the Dept. of Immigration and Naturalization has been using that terminology on its website for a very long time in order to guide legal immigrants desiring to become citizens through the various steps.

    More disinformation coming from a familiar source.

    And more noticeably - the "blurring" of the lines between the use of the word "immigrant" as opposed to "illegal immigrant" in the attempt to make it sound like illegals are sucking up free money.

    Joe Guzzardi is simply ANTI-ANY-IMMIGRANT. Period.


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