President Obama announced an expansive new set of executive actions in a prime-time address Thursday that the White House says will give legal status and work permits to 5 million immigrants in the United States illegally.
At first glance, it's a relatively limited amount of overreach. He's not trying to offer citizenship, just temporary deferral of deportation (with an exception for criminals). It's Obama refusing to faithfully execute the laws, but not Obama purporting to grant a benefit that the law does not provide, at least so far as I can tell. That doesn't mean it's not a harmful action, though.
For example, it means people can stay in the country and keep voting illegally (if they were already, of course), but it doesn't transform those votes into legal votes. It might encourage people who think they are now legal residents to think they are now legal voters, though. And the people who take advantage of this will get legal id which they can present when voting, which means the voter rolls have to be cleaned more thoroughly to make sure that non-citizens with valid ID are prevented from voting.
I do wonder if many of the low-income immigrants might not prefer to stay in the shadows, though. If they come out, they make themselves targets for potential deportation later, and -- as they are temporarily legal workers -- they must now be paid minimum wage, benefits or penalties under Obamacare, payroll taxes, income taxes... in other words, illegal immigrants can no longer rely on competing for jobs based on low wages to make up for other disadvantages (ie, poor english, etc).
In many cases, jobs that went to illegals before because those jobs were not economical under the minimum wage will now go to illegal illegals rather than Obama illegals because the jobs still aren't worth the minimum wage. I doubt the availability of government benefits will be viewed as worth the imposition of government taxes by those not used to paying them.
To the extent that this measure is taken advantage of by former illegals, competition for legal, minimum wage jobs will increase.
A second hammer blow will be dealt by the president's unilateral increase in foreign worker programs for large corporations, including technology corporations. Currently, two-thirds of all new jobs in the IT industry are being filled by foreign workers and yet the president wants to dramatically surge foreign worker admissions even further. This at a time when the Census Bureau tells us more than 11 million Americanswith science, technology, engineering and math degrees don't have jobs in those fields.
I have seen this personally. These visas are extremely damaging to the tech industry in the United States. Large companies that can sponsor these visas will rejoice at the availability of foreign temporary workers, effectively indentured, who cannot effectively negotiate for salary and benefits like an American worker can. And these workers do make enough to be a net tax positive.
These visas are not supposed to be issued when Americans are available who can fill the positions, but that requirement is a joke.
This entry was published Mon Nov 24 12:16:24 CST 2014 by TriggerFinger
and last updated 2014-11-21 22:10:47.0.