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Posts Tagged ‘immigration reform’

Trumpland: The Dreamers Can Still Dream

dreamers

Donald Trump is adopting a softer tone on young undocumented immigrants granted work permits through an Obama-era directive that the president-elect has vowed to repeal once he’s in the White House. It appears he is not going to rescind that order, or he’s going to rescind it but have an alternative directive in place to accommodate the dreamers.

Some 740,000 so-called Dreamers have been given a deportation reprieve and other benefits by President Barack Obama through the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, which Obama enacted by executive action in 2012. But the status of those young immigrants, who do not have formal legal status, has been in limbo because Trump has said he would overturn Obama’s immigration orders.

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In an interview with Time magazine announcing him as “Person of the Year,” Trump didn’t go into specifics but signaled that he could find a way to accommodate the Dreamers.

“We’re going to work something out that’s going to make people happy and proud,” Trump told Time. “They got brought here at a very young age, they’ve worked here, they’ve gone to school here. Some were good students. Some have wonderful jobs. And they’re in never-never land because they don’t know what’s going to happen.”

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The Republican’s in congress have been blustering and proposing measures about border security and immigration reform since they have come into power. It’s all hogwash. Okay, it’s pure unadulterated bull shit.

The Republicans want to lower wages in the United States for the 99 percent, and redistribute the difference between the old wages and the new lower wages into the pockets of their billionaire buddies. So do plenty of Democrats, like Wall Street Senator Ron Wyden. Republicans also want to undermine health and safety laws, and an undocumented working population can hardly find a voice against undermining these laws. That’s why the Republicans really are against immigration reform, or fixing border security. They want to continue the current system of keeping millions of people undocumented, and welcoming new arrivals, so as to continue pushing wages down.

Otherwise, the Republicans would:

* Make it a felony to enter the United States undocumented, which many nations already do. In Mexico, it’s a one to two year prison sentence for entering the nation undocumented the first time. This law would likely reduce undocumented immigration by 90 percent, if enforced.

* Would broadcast loudly that any sort of amnesty would reduce the wages of American citizen’s for eleven years, and reduce the gross domestic product of the United States for eleven consecutive years, according to a study by the non-partisan Congressional Budget Office (CBO). See The Economic Impact of S. 744, the Border Security, Economic Opportunity, and Immigration Modernization Act–Congressional Budget Office, giving a strong rationale for the Republicans to rally the troops against undocumented immigrants, but that’s not going to happen.

* would broadcast loudly that the last amnesty for undocumented workers reduced average American wages for eleven years.

* would pass a law requiring all businesses to use the highly accurate and successful E-Verify system, but that would push a lot of undocumented immigrants out of the job markets, thereby reducing the supply of labor, and raising wage rates.

The Republicans, however, don’t want to mention of these things because:

* They want to lower the wages of US workers, as well as undermine US health and safety laws, because those laws undermine profits.

* Building fences and holding tanks for an increasing undocumented population is big business because most of those things are privatized.

* In other words, keeping people undocumented is big business.

The same can be said for the Democratic Party. They also want to lower American wages, which is what President Obama has done according to the CBO report by allowing up to five million undocumented immigrants to stay and work in the United States. The president’s actions have also likely encouraged more people to arrive undocumented in the United States. According to Pew Hispanic Research poll a few years ago, 80 percent of Mexican adults said they would rather live in the United States than Mexico.

So the president’s actions will also keep the profitable business of catching and holding undocumented immigrants going strong far into the future, even after the US supreme court invalidates his orders.

This issue keeps Americans divided between the law and order Republican grass roots and the bleeding heart liberals. The issue is really about profits, divide and conquer the grassroots, and to keep us from seeing the real picture of income and wealth inequality.

The two parties used to divide us over abortion, but in recent polls, only 1 percent of Americans considered abortion to be a major issue. Undocumented immigration, and immigration in general, were higher up in the polls than abortion. That’s why illegal immigration is the new abortion in the sense that it is a divisive issue that keeps our eyes off the economic prize, and other issues, such as income and wealth inequality, which have been brought about by legislation in the federal government.

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After the Republicans shellacked the Democratic Party candidates in the November elections, the Corporate Democratic Establishment appears to have coordinated a series of attacks against the Republican Party, which it should have done a long time ago. So why is the Democratic Establishment doing this now?

The purpose for these attacks may not be to smear Republicans with their gruesome corruption; one can rightly suspect that it is to entice the growing number of grassroots Democrats who have abandoned the party into returning to the polls and voting for candidates of the Wall Street Democratic Party.

One can rightly suspect that the November elections showed the Democratic Establishment that its base was drifting away, and so the establishment is attempting to reestablish its credibility as a party of the people. These are a series of slick public relations stunts to fool its own base into returning to the polls and voting Democratic next time. Since the elections:

1. The Senate Intelligence Committee released its report on the Bush torture system, excoriating the ex-president and his white house advisers as the war criminals thugs they are. Most of us knew this more than ten years ago.

2. The New York Times followed that up with an editorial demanding these people be brought to justice.

The establishment is trying to show its liberal base that there exists a difference between the completely bankrupt Republican Party and itself. In the matter of war crimes, however, there is virtually no difference between the two parties. During the first year of his presidency, President Obama squashed an attempt by a Spanish judge to prosecute war crimes against members of the Bush administration. In addition, if the Democratic Establishment and the Obama administration really wanted to prosecute members of the Bush administration for war crimes, which would include such top dogs as George W. Bush and Dick Cheney, the White House could order its justice department to prepare extradition hearings for those accused. Earlier this month, the New York Times reported that the head of the United Nations demanded the USA do precisely this. The Obama administration refuses to follow through despite the fact that the US is a signatory to international law governing war crimes and is required to do this.

3. President Obama signed a so-called executive order granting amnesty to an estimated 5 million undocumented immigrants. The big question here, if the president can constitutionally do this, which is debatable, why then does he not issue an executive order granting amnesty to the other 6 million undocumented immigrants in the USA, or those that cross the border illegally tomorrow or next year? This action, of course, will appeal to Hispanic voters, so the establishment hopes.

4. The president negotiated a treaty with the Chinese curbing CO2 emissions. The Establishment hopes this will appeal to its waning environmental base.

5. The president opened the door to normalize relations with Cuba. The establishment hopes those of the far left, which isn’t very far left of center during this contemporary period, will return to the party.

6. MSNB created a documentary broadcast via Rachel Maddox showing that oil and not weapons of mass destruction was the reason the President George W. Bush pursued war in Iraq. Most knowledgeable people knew this more than ten years ago. This should appeal to the disillusioned anti-war faction that has seen the Obama administration continue to wage war for profits throughout the world.

Here’s what the Establishment doesn’t want the grassroots to see. The problem is that more and more of the grassroots know what’s going on.

1. The Democratic Establishment is trying to pass the greatest income redistribution treaty of all time: the Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP). If the treaty passes through congress President Obama has promised to sign it. Trillions of dollars of income will be redistributed from the 99 to the 1 percent via this treaty.

The secretive TPP will grant investors of the 0.01 percent special privileges to challenge labeling and health and safety local laws and regulations of the 99 percent; which will effectively eliminate your votes on local and state levels for and against such things (which most people call voter suppression, but in this case it should be called voter elimination), outsource millions of jobs, offer new monopolies for Big Pharma to raise medicine prices they charge you (which redistributes income from the 99 to the 1 percent), limit food safety standards (which redistributes and transforms your health into the profits of the 1 percent), and block financial regulations aimed at preventing the next financial crisis (which will make it easier for Wall Street to redistribute your income and wealth to the 1 percent). It will also kill the remainder of the US textile industry, destroy millions of jobs in Latin America, drive millions of undocumented immigrants into the United States, and depress wages in both North and South America, all to the benefit of the 1 percent, and all at the expense of the 99 percent. And we can’t forget that it will increase the already massive US trade deficit with other nations, which is supposed to be a bad thing. In other words, this scam is the largest income redistribution treaty of all time from the 99 to the 1 percent. It’s an attack on the middle class.

2. President Obama and the Establishment have worked overtime to see that 95 percent of all income growth since 2009 has gone to the 1 percent.

3. The battle over the omnibus spending bill in December 2014 proves an important point.

Referring to the Democratic Party meltdown in allowing a provision sneakily put in the latest budget bill (by corrupt Wall Street Republican Congressman Kevin Yoder of Kansas) that allows Wall Street investment banks to gamble with taxpayer money and expect to be bailed out if their gamble fails, Matt Taibbi of Rolling Stone magazine wrote on December 13;

“If the Democrats actually stood for anything other than sounding as progressive as possible without offending their financial backers, then they would do what Republicans always do in these situations: force a shutdown to save their legislation. How many times did Republicans hold the budget hostage to rescue the Bush tax cuts? But the Democrats won’t do that here, because they’re not a real (political) party. They’re a marketing phenomenon, a big chunk of oligarchical”…”single furiously-money-collecting/favor-churning oligarchical Beltway party…cleverly sold to voters as the more reasonable and less nakedly corrupt wing of a two-headed political establishment.”

4. The budget battle of December 2014 proved a particularly gruesome point; both political parties have been totally corrupted by big money unleashed by the Reagan tax cuts, as well as other tax cuts, and the politicians of the US government are absolutely corrupt, with few exceptions, such as Bernie Sanders, Elizabeth Warren, Sherrod Brown, Jeff Merkley, Alan Grayson, and perhaps David Vitter. That’s why the political and economic game is totally rigged against the 99 percent.

5. The White House coordinated the crackdowns on Occupy Wall Street.

The Democrats, exactly like the Republicans, are all about redistributing income and wealth from the 99 to the 1 percent.

That’s why the Democratic base is leaving the Democratic Party because the Party Establishment left the base behind two decades ago, and continues to favor the rich and powerful over working families, just like the Republican Party. In this respect there is no difference between the twin parties of corruption. And no slick public relations campaign is going to keep the grassroots in line.

More and more grassroots Democrats are leaving the rotted ship called the Democratic Party because the Establishment can no longer direct their attention away from economic issues by appealing to social issues, which is what the latest wave of Democratic Establishment actions are intended to do. These actions may be the last gasp of a sinking skip.

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The US senate passed a comprehensive immigration reform bill several days ago. The bill calls for amnesty for somewhere between eleven and twenty-five million undocumented immigrants in the US, which will be granted over a period of thirteen years. Some of the provisions of the bill include the payment of back taxes, increased border security (such as more fences) and an end to family ties as a determining factor for future immigrants.

The bill looks like it was written by Wall Street and the 1 percent, most likely because it was. Wall Street and the 1 percent derive all the benefits; undocumented immigrants and the rest of the 99 percent will pay the price. The propaganda machines of the proponents of immigration reform, some of which are non-Wall Street, are on the march.

A study released by the Center for American Progress says, “Once they (undocumented immigrants) attain legal status, immigrants will be able to contribute to the increased consumption of goods and services that boosts business sales and raises the earnings of all Americans. They will pay taxes on their higher wages and increase the gross state product (GSP). Additionally, immigrants will be able to use their new legal status by integrating their skill set and education into creating jobs and raising productivity.”

Common sense tells us that once undocumented immigrants receive legal status, they will consume approximately what they consume today. It is possible that with higher wages they will consumer more. That will be offset, however, because the rest of us will be consuming less, according to an analysis of the bill by the non-partisan Congressional Budget Office (CBO). According to the CBO, everybody’s wages and job opportunities will decline with the deal. That means the impact of immigration reform will have little, or no, or perhaps even negative, net impact on the consumption of goods and services. It could even result in a decline of GNP. How could the consumption of goods and services go up if everybody’s wages and salaries are going down? They can’t and so the claim by the Center for American Progress is patently wrong.

According to the CBO, the senate bill will depress wages of all workers for the next twelve years, “raise the unemployment rate,” and “result in higher interest rates.” Notice the corporate news media hasn’t reported these things to you.

Immigration reform will also push the unemployment rate higher than it would otherwise be through 2031. Currently, the real unemployment is somewhere between 13 and 15 percent, which is higher than the official rate of nearly 8 percent. In other words, the 99 percent is living during a low grade depression and the government intends to increase unemployment. Immigration reform will force more and more people to compete for a smaller number of jobs, and this will drive wages down.

This same process also occurred after the amnesty granted undocumented immigrants in December 1986. Wages immediately began to plummet for the next six years and didn’t recover to their 1986 level until 11 years later.

The CBO also reported, “Capital investment would rise primarily because the return that investors would earn on a given amount of investment would be higher under the legislation than under current law.” The rationale for this is given with economic jargon, but basically it boils down to this; lower wages will increase profit margins, and so members of the 1 percent will purchase more corporate stocks and bonds.

In other words, immigration reform has been written to ensure Wall Street and the 1 percent benefit by pushing down wages, salaries and other compensation and redistributing the difference between the old rates and the new lower rates into the hands of the 1 percent. Nice scam, but it gets worse.  That issue will be taken up in part two.

All the government really has to do is enforce the laws written in 1986, or it could pass out green cards to legalize the undocumented, place them in line for legal immigration status, and when their number comes up, grant them citizenship.  That, however, is too easy, and not all that profitable for Wall Street and the 1 percent.

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Why is President Obama so adamant about going after government whistle blowers, while making no effort at all at going after the crooks on Wall Street who tanked the economy? The answer is simple. Obama serves corporate interests, that includes Wall Street. Government whistle blowers are a threat to the corporate/government symbiotic chain of profits that redistributes income from working folks to the 1 percent via Wall Street and taxpayers.

Why doesn’t Obama close down the torture chambers at Guantanamo? Because it’s profitable to the private companies that operate the facilities. Likewise, why is Wall Street interests such a heavy influence in Comprehensive Immigration Reform? The answer is those folks are in it for profits at the expense of everybody else. And so it goes in all sectors of the Federal Government. The quest for private sector profits are determining national policies ranging from the above to federal education policy to whether or not we go to war. The interests of ever expanding profits are more important than people.

The same is true with both ideological sides of the corrupt US Supreme Court. The conservative side is always siding with the Koch Brothers, and the liberal side decided that the government can tax us for not buying health care via legislation that was written by the health insurance companies, which opens the door to other things we could be forced to buy, or else get taxed for not buying it.

In other words, Obama, like almost all Republicans, 80 percent of Democrats, President George W. Bush and many others, is letting the quest for profits determine national policies in almost all areas of American life.

Whistle blowers can reveal information that might prove what is already obvious, but the details might prove even more embarrassing to the administration, to the corrupt congress, to both corrupt political parties, as well as the corrupt corporate media that intends to side with the corrupt federal government . That’s why the whistle blowers need to be stopped. They’re bad for business, and the business of the US government is to make the rich wealthier at the expense of us all regardless of how many laws are broken by Obama’s Wall Street cronies.

Check out the links below for Comedian Jon Stewart’s comments on the issue.

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Undocumented immigrants in the USA will need to pay back taxes under the new comprehensive immigration reform plan. There’s something that stinks about this. It’s simple. Why aren’t the employers who hired undocumented immigrants under the table going to be compelled to pay a fine and pay back taxes if undocumented workers are going to be forced to? At the very least, these employers should be forced to pay back the social security taxes they didn’t pay in the first place. This is a double standard that probably violates the equal protection clause of the Fourteenth Amendment of the US Constitution. Of course, there’s a reason for the double standard.

Many people in high places have likely hired the undocumented as maids, janitors, kitchen help, gardeners, etc…. Because some are members of the 1 percent, the government will not go after them. On the other hand, there’s billions to be had bilking undocumented immigrants.

Credit card companies, banks and Wall Street are the suspects in question. You know those folks; Goldman Sachs, JP Morgan, Citibank, and the usual Wall Street crime family, the same criminals that tanked the economy and committed such crimes as fraud and money laundering, and not a single person was charged with a crime because they’re so politically powerful. But why are these folks dictating many of the terms of comprehensive immigration reform? What’s the link? Money, and lots of it. Here’s how and why Wall Street’s scam will work.

According to Pew Hispanic Research, up to 90 percent of all undocumented workers earn their living under the table, which means they haven’t paid federal and state income taxes, as well as social security taxes. The government says there are 11-12 million undocumented immigrants in the US. However, the 2010 US Census claimed there were 13 million undocumented Hispanics in the US. Assuming that Hispanics make up roughly 60 percent of the undocumented, the total number could be 24 to 26 million people. So let’s say that there are 11-26 million undocumented immigrants. A high percentage work for a living. Most of these folks have worked under the table for multiple years and even decades. That means some of these people owe tens of thousands of dollars in back taxes. Millions of wage earners multiplied by thousands and tens of thousands dollars in back taxes is a ton of money.

How are these folks going to get the money to pay back taxes since most don’t earn very much? They’re going to need to apply for credit, unless the government plans to carry their load, which is unlikely. So these folks will need to use credit cards or home equity loans. Interest rates will likely be high.

The credit card lenders, such as Citibank, will reap tons of interest and late fees. On top of that, they’ll bundle the loans and sell them to Wall Street investment banks, such as JP Morgan and Goldman Sachs. Those folks will issue bonds backed by the credit card balances and payments. They’ll turn around and sell the bonds to rich investors. There’s billions of dollars to be scammed through all of these transactions. The newly indebted, but now, documented will make their payments and pay their late fees with much of the proceeds going to the investors, as well as to those who service the loans–members of the 1 percent.

In other words, comprehensive immigration reform is simply another way to redistribute income from the 99 percent to the 1 percent. The victims are the undocumented, who, admittedly, put themselves into this position of indebted servitude to Wall Street for decades to come by illegally migrating to the US. But that doesn’t mean they should be used as financial cannon fodder for the rich in their war against the middle class.

Wall Street is also why a Dream Act doesn’t seem to part of the package. The Dream Act is a concept that undocumented immigrants who were smuggled into the US as children by their parents shouldn’t be made to pay for the violations of US law done by their parents. Instead, they should immediately be given a path toward citizenship. Who can argue with that? Not me. But Wall Street and other credit card companies can because there’s no profit in immediate amnesty for these kids. And that’s the sorry state of the worst congress and worst white house that money can buy. The political philosophy is simple enough. Doing the right thing isn’t the right thing to do if it’s not profitable to Wall Street, which is the main conduit through which income is redistributed from the 99 to the 1 percent.

One more point needs to be made. If undocumented persons have worked in the US for years, many might have had several employers, and in different states. Some of these employers might be out of business. If they worked under the table, how is the government going to determine who owes what in back taxes? The answer seems to be obvious. The government isn’t going to make that determination. Wall Street will and it likely will be part of the package. That suggests the back tax issue is going to onerous for the undocumented. That’s part of Part 3 of this series.

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Comprehensive immigration reform may or may not happen. However, a legislative package has been created by eight members of the US senate. For how will this will impact the US economy, let’s take a look at the past.

After the Immigration Reform Act of December 1986, average real wage rates immediately dropped for six straight years in the USA. Wage rates had dropped during the Reagan years, but then they rebounded and were going up. That growth was stopped cold in December 1986. Then real wages began the big drop, and didn’t rebound to their December 1986 rate for eleven years. All of this information is available at the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics, http://www.bls.gov.

So it’s possible (and likely) that with comprehensive immigration reform, wage rates will once again be adversely impacted. Who will gain from this?

Wall Street wins and immigrants who move from the shadow economy to the taxed economy will improve their livelihoods. The rest of us will lose in this case.

Wall Street wins because average wages will go down, meaning corporate profits will go up further than would otherwise be the case. This will fuel dividends which pushes stock prices higher. It will also likely strengthen the corporate bond market. Most of those assets are owned by the 1 percent. So it stands to reason that income and wealth will be redistributed from the 99 to the 1 percent with a reform package.

However, there is some good that will likely occur with reform. One will be the likely suicide of the Republican Party, the most viciously anti-middle class warriors of the political elite. Don’t get me wrong. About 80 percent of the Democrats in congress and the white house are anti-middle class warriors on behalf of the 1 percent. However, with the Republicans out of the way, perhaps the base of the Democrats will take a look at how important of a role most Democrats have played in the massive redistribution of income and wealth from the 99 to the 1 percent over the last thirty years.

Click below for the latest news about comprehensive immigration reform.

criticism-immigration-bill-left

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