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Feds Not Enforcing Legal Immigration Laws

May 15, 2014 in Economics

By Alex Nowrasteh

Alex Nowrasteh

House Republicans have declined to schedule a vote on any immigration legislation this year, citing a lack of trust in President Barack Obama.

“The American people, including many of my members, don’t trust that the reform that we’re talking about would be implemented as it’s intended to be,” House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) said in February. “It’s going to be difficult to move any immigration legislation until that changes.”

Democrats have countered by pointing to the president’s aggressive enforcement of certain aspects of the law, such as record deportations and employer fines. But Republican supporters of reform are not just talking about enforcement of the immigration laws. They want to roll back unnecessary regulations that hamper legal guest worker visas.

Tea Party Congressman Mark Meadows (R-N.C.), who favors giving “legal status” to immigrants here illegally, is very concerned about regulations that obstruct guest worker visas.

“One of the big concerns that many have is if we pass another law, will it be fully enforced?” he said last month. “The H-2A [Ag] program doesn’t have a cap, and yet we have agricultural workers who are here undocumented. There is no cap on that kind of program. Why is it not working?”

It’s not working because the H-2A visa is stymied by regulations promulgated and “enforced” by four different federal agencies.

The H-2A visa is stymied by regulations promulgated and “enforced” by four different federal agencies.”

As George W. Bush’s former Secretary of Labor Elaine Chao said, “Many who have tried [the H-2A visa] report such bad experiences that they stopped using it altogether.”

However, since Chao’ statement, the Obama administration has piled even more rules on to the H-2A farm program. On one hand, the United Farm Workers union said that it was “deeply thankful” for the regulations that they viewed as protection. But farmers tell a different story.

In a recent survey of Georgia farmers, only 3.4 percent of respondents used the H-2A program. Most were not eligible to apply because of overbearing regulations. The rest didn’t even bother because they had heard negative things about it. As one farmer wrote in the survey, “My H-2A workers visa [sic] were cut from 75 requested to 35. This is an impossible program the way it stands.”

Rep. Raúl Labrador (R-Idaho), another Tea Partier, argues the same.

“The president has a year to prove to us that he is willing to actually …read more

Source: OP-EDS

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