Obama the new champ--out with the oldObama Hands Palin a Game-changer

Republicans could do much to begin undoing the damage of the Rove-Bush-Gillespie years by seizing on President Barack Obama's politically misguided and economically ignorant attacks on "protectionism."
"I think it would be a mistake ... at a time when worldwide trade is declining for us to start sending a message that somehow we're just looking after ourselves and not concerned with world trade," Obama said on the Fox television network. [Reuters]
That's precisely the kind of gibberish George W. Bush was always spouting. The future of the Republican Party lies with anyone who will call Obama on it.

President God, house hymns, and the catechism of change

I'm working away at my desk, the internet playing in the background, and I hear it again: a song to the incoming president—snatches from a Barack Obama speech set to a powerful, reverent house beat.
"It was a creed written in the founding documents that declared the destiny of a nation", you hear Obama intoning, "...it was whispered by slaves and abolitionists on the long road to freedom...shared by immigrants...pioneers...workers...women reaching for the ballot...a president who took us to the moon...a King who took us to the mountaintop... "Yes we can...achieve justice and equality...yes we can...yes we can....yes we can."

Note to President-elect Obama: We already did. So just what is it about the nation that just elected you president is it that you want to change?

Another note to guys who make house music: we are Americans; we don't worship politicians.

America's first half-white president

If Americans (and the West, in general) weren't so--what's the word--stupid? unsophisticated? about race, the half-whiteness of our new president would carry little more practical significance for the 44th American presidency than a youthful dalliance in pot-smoking was to the 42nd.

Vilifying E-Verify

Check out my September 23, 2008 VDARE article "Vilifying E-Verify—The ACLU's Campaign To Break The Only Unbroken Part Of Our “Broken Immigration System"

Rating the dishonesty in one ACLU paragraph

Please rate the dishonest components of the following paragraph from the "Immigrants' Rights" section of the ACLU website:

It is true that the Constitution does not give foreigners the right to enter the U.S. But once here, it protects them from discrimination based on race and national origin and from arbitrary treatment by the government. Immigrants work and pay taxes; legal immigrants are subject to the military draft. Many immigrants have lived in this country for decades, married U.S. citizens, and raised their U.S.-citizen children. Laws that punish them violate their fundamental right to fair and equal treatment.

—from the "Immigrants' Rights" section of aclu.org

 

Two with points, a flat one, and a packet of gravel

Watching the media's reaction to the Sarah Palin interview with ABC's Charlie Gibson I was reminded of the stoning scene in 1979's classic, "Monty Python's Life of Brian". The part of the interview that I watched had Gov. Palin sticking to her answer regardless of the number of times Gibson rephrased a question: Media 101. The media types I heard commenting later criticized her for that, for crying out loud. I got the distinct impression they'd come to the auto-da-fe disguised as responsible journalists to watch this Alaska brood-hick get burned by an East Coast media sophisticate (you know, someone like them) and you could almost feel the disappointed fury when they were denied the blood-pleasure.

Counteractivist Strikes in Broad Daylight, Escapes Undetected

In a couple of daring counteractions occurring within minutes of each other this morning, a counteractivist struck two Washington, DC locations just blocks from the US Capitol. When it was over, the counteractivist had vanished, but the evidence of the counteractivism remained in plain view (see photos).

Counteraction at 7-11
This e-VeriFILE "prod card", discovered Wednesday morning on the counter at a Washington, DC 7-Eleven, has been called the modern counteractivist's "calling card".
Counteraction at DC Starbucks
Just down the block, and only minutes before the 7-11 strike, a Starbucks found its counter the scene of a similar action.
e-VeriFILE decal
Had this free decal been on display in its front window Wednesday morning, Starbucks might have avoided the counteraction, say experts on counteractivism.
e-VeriFILE prod card
The counteractivist's "calling card" is available at the e-VeriFILE website in packs of 50 for a $25.00 donation.

Starbucks and 7-Eleven

In an October, 2006 VDARE piece, Defending Starbucks, James Fulford noted that at Starbucks "they hire Americans who can speak English, unlike 7-Eleven, which spends millions lobbying for open borders, and has bad coffee 24 hours a day."

Less than two years later, precisely those two businesses were again targets in the nation's ongoing war between the pro-borders and anti-borders forces. "The symmetry is uncanny," said one Washingtonian, who was panhandling in front of the 7-Eleven at the time of the counteraction.

But a local teenager filling out an employment application at the Starbucks disagreed. "I don't think it's uncanny at all," said KeJuan Simms, a senior at nearby McKinley Technology High School. "It's not even symmetrical," he added, noting the divergent hiring practices between the two companies.

"Look, yo," he said, holding out his just finished Starbucks job application and pointing to the part that required proof of employment eligibility.

A table of three young women, who said they were "Hill staffers", weren't surprised that the two local businesses had been targeted in that morning's counteraction. "We walk down here because we like the coffee and because Magic Johnson is the owner," said former Texan Emily Sanders. "But it would be great if Starbucks were registered with the e-VeriFILE program and had the e-VeriFILE decal on display in their window. Then we could feel twice as good about coming here. It's their own fault, the dumbasses."

Her friend, former Oregonian Lisa Weaver, agreed. "I hope there are counteractions at Starbucks all over the country until the corporate headquarters gets with the program," she said. "We go out of our way to support corporations that act responsibly."

All three made gagging sounds when asked about the coffee at the 7-Eleven down the block. "It sucks as bad as their hiring practices," said Ms. Sanders.

Panglossian ninny shrieking racist unwittingly proves my point

In the last ezine, I wrote that in any discussion of the coming minority status of whites in the United States, we should dismiss as Panglossian ninnies those proper, polite whites who affect to see no cause for concern in this event. Further, I wrote, a white reader already shrieking "racist!" shouldn't bother reading on as the discussion "will be over your head anyway."

Well, it didn't take long for a reader to prove my point.

I received the following email before the ezine was even finished sending:

SUBJECT: It is not "way over [my] head...

FROM: director_general_emeritus@socialjusticealliance.org

MESSAGE: The Alliance for Social Justice International..[something in Latin] you ARE a blatant racist. Pathetic !

I did a little googling (here's his user profile on wikipedia) and discovered that the sender is a white guy with lots of diversity cred, including "Native American" diversity associations.

So, I replied with a quote from Chief Sitting Bull as if it were my own, replacing words like "red" and "Sioux" with "white" and "American":

"Is it wrong for me to love my own? Is it evil for me because my skin is white? Because I am a native-born American?"

I received in reply the following under the subject line, "My final response to you, Racist...":

1. First, I did not know you are an albino. Only albino's have white skin. So must be very difficult for you...pink eyes and all. Which would explain your mental disturbances to a significant degree.

2. Secondly, [some more stuff in Latin]. So I have nothing more to say to you: no need; you are self-condemning.

(send him email: dr_ajb@post.harvard.edu)

This person proves my point: the discussion of what the response should be to the news that whites are about to become the minority in this country is over his head. In that discussion, I wrote, we should "start by assuming that white Americans share with all peoples throughout the world at all times throughout history the characteristic that being disempowered as a group is a negative--like being conquered, or being subjugated. Let's assume that it is the same disaster for whites that whites consider it to be for everyone else."

The racist-shrieking person who sent me the email believes the disempowerment of the Sioux and other Native Americans was a disaster for them; he would never call Chief Sitting Bull a racist. Yet he calls me a racist for quoting Sitting Bull back at him.

In other words, the sender does not seem able to abstract from the historical experience of the Sioux and apply his thinking consistently--to apply objectively his logic to the situation whites now face. This, to me, is a sign of a mediocre intelligence, i.e., the discussion is over his head.

The only other explanation I can think of to explain an email like this is a perverse form of racism on the part of the writer--an inverted kind of racism, which I addressed in the rest of the paragraph:

Let’s assume there is nothing magical about being white that permits whites the luxury of indifference to this disempowerment–this permanent disempowerment. Let's assume whites are not so superior that they can ignore gritty bloody reality--that they can ignore as if he were a precocious child, Willie Brown, the black former speaker of the California Assembly, when he says, "I think most white politicians do not understand that the race pride we all have trumps everything else.” Let’s assume the United States is a nation not so exceptional that Americans of any color can opt out of the destiny that demography is.

This is not to say all Panglossian ninnies possess only modest intelligence or are the perverse products of inverse racism. They may not even be ninnies, though they are certainly unjustifiably and foolishly optimistic.

For example, a reporter at a mainstream daily responded:

To be clear, the central thrust of your concern is that when one group does not represent a majority, they are subjugated. That in years to come, whites will no longer be the majority (leaving aside that we will remain the plurality) and therefor will feel be subjugated and “conquered.” By your definition, other blacks and Hispanics, in minority status are “disempowered,” and whites hold a superior position. Public policy must be prescribed to maintain white superior position based solely on skin color. Dude. I’m not reaching to call that racist. I’m trying to figure out how it in any way, is NOT racist. It is the belief that one race should dominate others and the dangers if that dominant race is no longer white. You’ll note, I’m not calling you a racist but if you don’t want to be considered one, stop sending out e-mails like this.

First, in a democratic republic, or any system involving majority rule, the majority wields the power. Everything that occurs in a majority rule system occurs by leave of the majority unless it occurs through some kind of corruption or special interest pressure (and even then, arguably, it still occurs by leave of the majority).

If the majority loses majority status, whether it is Republicans in Congress, or whites in the United States, it is disempowered insofar as the system is democratic.

Moreover, losing majority status in any given geographical area is seen by everyone, including white Americans, as a negative regardless of whether the area is under a democracy. For example, ethnic Han Chinese are now a majority of the population in Lhasa, Tibet and in Inner Mongolia. This is seen by all (except the Han Chinese) as a negative for ethnic Tibetans and ethnic Mongolians. When the European waves rolled across the land of the Sioux, it was, it is widely agreed, from the standpoint of the Sioux, a negative. Thus, in most of the world--in Japan, in Israel, in Saudi Arabia--immigration policy (if immigration is even possible) today reflects a desire by the dominant ethnicity to maintain that dominance.

We implicitly acknowledge the negative quality of being in the minority by the mechanisms we have in place to ensure minority representation in the power sharing in this country. Significantly, these very mechanisms, instituted under a white majority, are by no means guaranteed forever (consider the rank injustice and racism of the reparations movement).

Perhaps I am wrong to be concerned about the disempowerment of whites in America, but I don't think, in all sincerity, that I am. In any case, if it is "racist" for a white person to be concerned, then I share with the rest of humanity the quality of racism, and the word itself has lost any useful meaning.

The White Minority

By 2042, the Census Bureau says, whites will be a minority in the United States, and among children under 18, whites become the minority in just 15 years.

How long is 15 years? Fifteen years ago, Bill Clinton was president.

So, just around the corner, whites in America are going to be disempowered (assuming we remain a democracy) through a radical and rapid transformation of the nation's demography on a scale unprecedented in world history.

In response to this news, individual whites--the proper, polite ones--will affect (or, if particularly ignorant of the world around them, evince) an attitude, at the least, of indifference and calm assurance, at the most, of celebratory enthusiasm.

For the sake of clear, adult thinking, let's dismiss these proper, polite whites as a bunch of panglossian ninnies and adopt a position more in line with everything we know about humans. Let's say that the Census Bureau projections are deeply troubling and cause for alarm for white Americans (and leave it to the other races in America to decide for themselves what this demographic shift means to them).

Now, if you are a white person reading this, and if you are the type of white person who is already looking around for someone to point and shriek "RACIST!" in front of, you might as well stop reading now. You don't matter to the following discussion, and it will be over your head anyway.

For everyone else, let's start by assuming that white Americans share with all peoples throughout the world at all times throughout history the characteristic that being disempowered as a group is a negative--like being conquered, or being subjugated. Let's assume that it is the same disaster for whites that whites consider it to be for everyone else. Let's assume there is nothing magical about being white that permits whites the luxury of indifference to this disempowerment--this permanent disempowerment. kenya unrestLet's assume whites are not so superior that they can ignore gritty bloody reality--that they can ignore as if he were a precocious child, Willie Brown, the black former speaker of the California Assembly, when he says, "I think most white politicians do not understand that the race pride we all have trumps everything else.” Let's assume the United States is a nation not so exceptional that Americans of any color can opt out of the destiny that demography is.

If we make these assumptions--assumptions future generations will curse us for not making--then the new Census Bureau projections plainly demand an immediate and radical change in public policy, and an all out effort to accomplish this change. In particular, the projections demand an immediate time-out on mass immigration like the 40-year time-out the nation wisely implemented in 1924 at the peak of the last great wave of immigration.

There are many similarities between now and then.

A primary power driving the great immigration wave of the late nineteenth-early twentieth centuries was American business, which steadfastly fought for increasing the supply of labor through mass immigration. As Samuel Gompers, an immigrant and the founder and president of the American Federation of Labor wrote in a 1924 letter to Congress.

"Every effort to enact immigration legislation must expect to meet a number of hostile forces and, in particular, two hostile forces of considerable strength. One of these is composed of corporation employers who desire to employ physical strength (broad backs) at the lowest possible wage and who prefer a rapidly revolving labor supply at low wages to a regular supply of American wage earners at fair wages. The other is composed of racial groups in the United States who oppose all restrictive legislation because they want the doors left open for an influx of their countrymen regardless of the menace to the people of their adopted country."

In 1912, the nation elected one-world utopian Woodrow Wilson, and over the next eight years of Wilson's presidency the nation's population grew by 15 percent while President Wilson repeatedly vetoed restrictionist legislation passed by Congress.

Wilson's successor, Warren Harding, increased the power of corporations in Washington, and the cheap labor wave would likely have continued but for the growing threat to the American system from imported anarchists and radicals.

In September 1920, a bomb one twelfth the size of the Oklahoma City bomb exploded in front of 23 Wall Street in New York City capping years of rising concern over the threat to the domestic order posed by the massive influx of foreigners. As James Fulford writes at VDARE, "Wall Street support for immigration takes a sudden drop" and within four years the great time-out had begun--thirty years after organized efforts to restrict immigration had begun.

It wasn't until the corrupting influence of the profiteers was sidelined that 1924 America could implement the necessary time-out.

The question we face now, then, is: must we wait for another bombing on Wall Street or its equivalent before the corporate profiteers will again loosen their grip on the nation's future and stop driving the country headlong into demographic meltdown for their own selfish benefit?

Or can we retake control of immigration policy before that happens?

e-verifile decalThrough the new e-VeriFILE program, Americans have the opportunity to bring the business community to heel by financially rewarding those business owners who follow the law, who understand the principle of enlightened self-interest, who understand that the kind of uncertainty into which some monied interests are selfishly driving the nation is not, in the long run, good for business.

The e-VeriFILE program could become enormously beneficial to the country, and every American should support it.

Cheering the defeat of the laws of their adopted land

Cheering loudest for the narrow defeat in Fremont, NE last week of a city ordinance that would have required local businesses to comply with US immigration law was city council meeting in Fremont held at the high school auditoriumNebraska Appleseed—an illegal immigration advocacy group funded by the Ford Foundation and George Soros, among others, that is part of a "network of 16 public interest justice centers in the U.S. and Mexico".

It was a victory cheer: Nebraska Appleseed played a role in killing the "anti-immigrant" measure, which would have required landlords and employers to use the federal E-Verify system. In written testimony to the Fremont city council, Norman Pflanz, staff attorney for Nebraska Appleseed, argued that since it is well established that immigration is a federal matter "the proposed Fremont ordinance would unlawfully attempt to regulate immigration because private actors (landlords and employers) and city officials would determine who was lawfully present, instead of federal officials."

Here's the absurdity that Nebraska Appleseed wanted the people of Fremont to swallow:

Because a federal law is a federal law, local officials cannot take measures to increase public participation in a federal program provided by the federal government to the public for the purpose of increasing public compliance with that federal law.

How embarrassing for Fremont that some city council members were actually swayed by this hogwash.

It would be laughable if the flip side weren't so sinister. For while the Appleseedlings like to pretend the entire federal apparatus and the Constitution itself are threatened if a city council somewhere tries to mandate compliance with federal immigration law, non-compliance with federal immigration law, for Nebraska Appleseed, is entirely a local matter . The Appleseedlings have no problem with private actors not complying with federal immigration law—with millions of them, in fact, from other countries, no less, in blatant individual daily violation of it.

a crowd of nearly 1000 included many out-of-townersIn fact, pushing local policies to help private actors not comply with federal immigration law is this outfit's raison d'etre.

On its website, Nebraska Appleseed lists some of the other projects that keep the Appleseedlings busy when they're not poisoning the local democratic process with rent-a-mobs and specious legal arguments:

  • Nebraska Appleseed works to separate out immigration law from all the other laws and make immigration law enforcement off limits to law enforcement officers in Nebraska.
  • Nebraska Appleseed advises banks and credit unions on how to make it easier for illegal aliens to use financial services in this country.
  • Nebraska Appleseed "articulates and publicizes strong regional support for our newest neighbors and for the policy changes necessary to treat them fairly."
  • Nebraska Appleseed complains that "Nebraska’s progress in welcoming newcomers and treating immigrant families equitably has been frustrated by the thousands of non-citizens detained in county jails across the state for immigration law violations and facing deportation without legal representation."
  • Nebraska Appleseed works to ensure immigrants (to whom most social services and public benefits are denied by federal law) have access to social services and public benefits.
  • Nebraska Appleseed works hard "to insure Nebraska is a welcoming state, with policies and practices that do not disadvantage newest Nebraskans."
  • Nebraska Appleseed publishes helpful tracts like "Educational Opportunity for Undocumented Students: An Overview of In State Tuition Laws."

That is Nebraska Appleseed—enormous resources being used on one hand to encourage foreign nationals to violate US immigration law while on the other hand to frustrate efforts by citizens to see our immigration laws respected. And that's what won in Fremont last week—that and George Soros and the enormously guilty Ford Foundation.

That can't be allowed to win. The 25,000 people living in Fremont, Nebraska need to take that victory away from the Appleseedlings and reclaim their town.

Snatching Victory from Defeat

prod cardFremont is the county seat of Dodge County where there were, in 2002, according to the Census Bureau, 25 gas stations employing 187 people. Imagine what might happen if some Fremonters started leaving e-VeriFILE prod cards with the station attendant every time they filled up their cars.

It's my guess it wouldn't be long before a few of those stations signed on to the E-Verify system.

Then imagine if those stations put the e-VeriFILE decal in their windows and on their pumps so that their customers knew that the stations were using E-Verify—so that their customers knew that when they bought their gas there, they were supporting a business that played by the rules.

And imagine if a whole bunch of Fremonters started going out of their way to buy gas from the stations that displayed the e-VeriFILE decal. Well, pretty soon, you'd have more stations signing up, and it wouldn't be long before 20, maybe all 25, of the gas stations in Dodge County would be using the E-VErify system, hiring all 187 employees legally, and displaying the e-VeriFILE decal in their places of business.

e-VeriFILE decalAnd suppose the same thing happened at the 17 clothing stores in Dodge County with their 204 employees, and at the ten new car dealers with their 311 employees, and at the 36 fast food restaurants and 27 bars.

Pretty soon, every resident of Dodge County would know what E-Verify was. They'd know what the e-VeriFILE decal meant, and they would be able to recognize it at a glance and at a distance.

They would know that there is no excuse for an employer to undercut his neighbors by hiring illegally.

And, especially, they would know which businesses were using E-Verify. They would know which businesses were good neighbors.

Finally, citizens could reward law-abiding employers with their consumer dollars.

The popular will, in other words, could impose its desire that immigration laws in this country be respected. The whole town could begin using the E-Verify system, without any city ordinance, and there wouldn't be a thing the Appleseedlings down in Lincoln could do about it.

Wouldn't that be sweet? Let them squawk.

Tomorrow, an ad for e-VeriFILE begins running in the Fremont Tribune. But we need to pour it on, now, so I'm hoping you take action immediately on this:

  1. Help us raise the money to promote e-VeriFILE in Fremont. Order prod cards (and use them to get an effort going in your own town).
  2. Send a straight donation to get this effort off to the strongest possible start.

Please act today.

By the way, if you don't think this whole immigration thing has gone far enough, check out this quote from a fellow American as quoted in a news story about the Fremont ordinance battle:

"Thankfully now, I'm a U.S. citizen, and that's why I'm supporting the illegal immigration," Fremont resident Gabby Ayala told a local television reporter. Ms Ayala then explained why she opposed the proposed city ordinance. The ordinance "would tear the city apart by making it illegal to harbor, hire, or rent to any illegal immigrants," she said.

She's one of us?

Washington fixing broken immig system by killing E-Verify, only unbroken part

In the wake of the murder in San Francisco of a father and his two sons, ages 20 and 16 years old, by an illegal alien, Mayor Gavin Newsom blamed his city’s illegal alien sanctuary policy on our "broken immigration system". If our immigration system weren’t broken, argued the mayor of the city that kicked off the sanctuary movement back in 1989, we wouldn’t have needed to break federal immigration laws in the first place.

Oh, those wacky San Franciscans.

Nevertheless, Washington, stung into action by the rebellious teenagers running San Francisco, did eventually decide to fix the nation’s broken immigration policies. The nation’s capital stepped back and looked up at the mountain of brokenness.

Let’s see. Which broken part of immigration policy should we fix first?

Should we fix the broken refugee part, which has spawned a refugee resettlement industry in this country that’s paid by the head?

Or should we fix the broken labor and employment visa part, the SD2, H-1B, H-1B1, R51, T51, E14, H-1C, SM4, E11, H-2A, E22, SM1, E23, SM2, H-2B, L, O-2, E15, O-1, EW5, E32, P-1, P-3, E35, Q-1, T53, E31, SR3, T52, SJ2, E21, SR2, EW4, SR1, C53, SM3, SJ1, E34, SD3, E13, SD1, C51, P-2, H-3, EW3, E12, SM5, and C52 visas part, which generally benefits a rich few at the expense of an insufficiently corrupt many?

Or should we fix the broken ethnic preferences part, which has members of ethnic caucuses in Congress coordinating legislative activity with foreign governments and running citizenship mills out of their district offices?

Or should we fix the broken chain immigration part, which is doubling US population within the lifetimes of today’s children on one hand, while radically remaking the country’s demographics on the other, both with entirely unpredictable consequences, both against the wishes of the majority of Americans, and both in direct contradiction to the promises made by Sen Ted Kennedy, the policy's primary architect and recipient, it was announced Friday, of the Aguila Azteca, the highest honor Mexico can give a foreigner?

Or should we fix the broken "anchor baby" part of immigration policy? Or the broken visa fraud part? Or the broken "free trade business immigration" part? Or the broken political asylum part? Or the broken welfare abuse part? Or the broken borders part? Or the broken secure ID part? Or the broken "sham marriages" part? Or the broken "birth tourism" part? Or the broken "diversity lottery" part? Or the broken "affidavit of support" part? Or the broken EOIR part? Or the broken AILA part? Or the broken PERM part? Or the broken VAWA part? Or how about even the broken "sanctuary city" part?

Well, with so many choices between what to fix, the Washington politicians, and the Washington influence-peddlers, and the Washington Post, and the Washington headquarters of the US Chamber of Commerce, and various other profiteers, parasites, and trough-squatters all got together in a big meeting (What, you weren’t invited?) to decide where to start.

After some influence-peddling in an amount appropriate to the size of the task, Washington came up with a course of action.

The Washington establishment’s fix for our broken immigration policies, the one significant action on immigration in Congress this year, turns out to be an effort to kill the one part of immigration policy that isn’t broken—the E-Verify program.

The E-Verify program is more than just not broken, in fact. The program is actually in the process of fixing a big chunk of our broken immigration system. But it’s the E-Verify program that’s on the congressional chopping block this year instead of one of the dozens of other broken, harmful, costly, and dysfunctional components of immigration policy Congress might have chosen.

Oh, those wacky Washingtonians.

We’re probably not going to get much from Washington in the way of fixing immigration policy any time soon. And though we’re probably in for a few more rounds of moral grand-standing, subversive foot-stamping, and tragedies that could have been avoided, we’re probably not going to get anything helpful from San Francisco, either.

So, it’s up to those Americans in between, the ones clinging to their guns and their religion and fearful of people who don’t look like them, to pull the nation through, again—to fix the mess Washington and San Francisco created.

It’ll be up to the general contracting company in Fort Collins, Colorado and the furniture maker in Suffolk County, Long Island, and all the other tens of thousands of American businesses that are now voluntarily using the E-Verify system, even when doing so puts them at a competitive disadvantage against competitors who hire illegally.

They are special, these employers, and their swelling numbers could save E-Verify, in spite of Congress’ best efforts to fix it.

Imagine how truly bold an affront it would be to these employers if lawmakers in Washington dared let E-Verify die, how brazenly corrupt Congress would appear if it pulled the rug out from under employers playing by the rules and killed their best hope that, eventually, they’ll be able to compete again on a level and legal playing field in the Unted States.

The momentum behind the E-Verify program is building, and, it’s to be hoped, will continue to build. If efforts catch on like those of e-VeriFILE.us, a new service that registers and identifies publicly employers who use E-Verify, if employers who play fair begin to be rewarded for it rather than penalized, the use of E-Verify will continue its explosive growth, and Congress won’t dare try to fix it.

Biggest immig raid much worse than you think

Agriprocessors: A Blight on the Land

The Bureau of Immigration and Customs Enforcement detained 390 illegal immigrants May 13, 2008 in the largest single-site immigration raid in US history. The raid took place at Agriprocessors, Inc., the nation's largest kosher meatpacking plant, located in the tiny town of Postville, Iowa.

postville, iowaFederal officials have declined to comment about possible charges against the owners of Agriprocessors, and jaded Americans can be forgiven for assuming the employer will receive a slap on the wrist, if it receives any penalty at all.

But before you shrug and move on, it's worth noting that the feds aren't following the typical routine around the Postville raid. There may yet be some arrests in the offing higher up the ladder, with serious felony charges to follow.

There should be, anyway. The 390 detainees who were working in Agriprocessors' slaughterhouse are the vanilla surface of a much darker story underneath—a deeply troubling story that demands the owners of Agriprocessors, among others, be prosecuted under the full weight of the law.

If this story doesn't end with significant prison sentences handed down, there is, as they say, no justice.

An astonishing criminal enterprise

I first picked up the Agriprocessors story in May, 2004. It began far from Iowa's cornfields with the arrival of a Chinese national named Hu Yao Bin with his wife and two children on Cathay Pacific Airlines Flight CX872 at San Francisco's international airport .

The paperwork Mr. Hu presented to immigration inspectors at the airport was in order. It showed that a US employer named Aaron Rubashkin, president of Agriprocessors, Inc. of Postville, Iowa, had petitioned successfully for the visa that Mr. Hu and his family presented to immigration inspectors.

It should have been another rubber stamp entry. But no sooner had Mr. Hu and his family been cleared to enter the United States, permanently, than Mr. Hu blundered badly. As they were leaving he asked the inspecting officer to forward his Legal Permanent Resident card to his intended address in San Francisco's Chinatown—not to the kosher slaughterhouse in Iowa that was to be his place of employment.

Oops. That's one heck of a commute. Mr. Hu was promptly referred to a second agent for questioning.

Hu Yao Bin
Hu Yao Bin
(photo from ICE
charging documents)

He confessed everything in the second interview. In a sworn statement, Mr. Hu said that his friend, Mr. Hu Shu Bin, had obtained the immigrant visa from the American consulate in Guangzhou, China. Mr Hu had paid his friend US$30,000—the standard fee "snakeheads" charge for a valid visa in China.

In the statement, Mr. Hu Yao Bin stated that Mr. Hu Shu Bin had arranged for the family to immigrate through an American immigration lawyer named Christopher A. Teras, who, Mr Hu told the agent, had processed hundreds of these cases.

When the interview was over, Mr. Hu received a "deferred inspection". He was released with a request that he reappear voluntarily at a later date.

After Mr. Hu and his family left to start their new lives as Americans, an ICE agent telephoned Agriprocessors. It happened to be a Jewish holiday, so the plant was closed. But a security guard named Warren Timmerman was on duty, and he showed no reluctance to talk to to the agent.

He told the agent that, yes, "hundreds of Chinese" immigrants come to Postville to work at the slaughterhouse for a couple of weeks in order to fulfill their visa requirement, then disappear.

Interesting.

The agent then called Mr. Hu's attorney, Christopher Teras, a member of the American Immigration Lawyers Assn whose office in Washington, DC, as it turned out, was just five blocks from my own. A "Ms. Kim-attorney secretary", answered the telephone at the law firm. She too was very forthcoming. In a heavy Asian accent, she told the agent that $30,000 was a typical fee for someone like Mr. Hu, and that, yes, the firm "has successed for hundreds of such".

A brief explanation of how the labor certification process works

Mr. Hu and his family entered on an EW-3 immigrant visa, which is sponsored by an American employer who has successfully petitioned the Department of Labor (DOL) for the right to import an unskilled foreign worker. This is also called a "labor certification". To secure a labor certification, an employer must first demonstrate it cannot find an American to do the job the employer wants filled. In this case, Agriprocessors had to demonstrate that it could not find an American to pack kosher meat.

The employer demonstrates it can't find an American by advertising for a worker in a local newspaper's help wanted section. In the ad, the employer must offer the "prevailing wage", a rate determined by the DOL.

If the ad is unsuccessful, the employer has proven to the satisfaction of the DOL that there are no Americans available to do the job. The employer can then file the EW-3 petition with the DOL for the certification. When the DOL approves the EW-3 petition, the sponsoring employer receives an approval letter, and the prospective immigrant or his attorney files an I-140 visa petition, which is the foundation for permanent residency.

When the I-140 is approved, the alien or his attorney receives a green card. However, thanks to a decision in a famous lawsuit we'll get to in a bit, the visa is transferable from one prospective immigrant to another. This transferability allows for all sorts of mischief. In Mr Hu's case, the visa was transferred to him on the street outside the American consulate in Guangzhou for $30,000.

The labor pool in Postville

The visa transferred to Hu Yao Bin in Guangdong Province for $30,000 was issued on the strength of Agriprocessors having proved to the DOL that it was unable to fill a position at its plant in Postville, Iowa with an American worker. Because no Iowan was available to take the job, the meat-packing plant found it necessary to send all the way to China for a meat-cutter, and the DOL agreed.

Under such circumstances, one would suppose Postville enjoyed an extremely tight labor market, with labor priced through the roof. But Census Bureau data show the opposite to be the case. Of the 2,273 people who live in Postville, one in eight (12.7 per cent) lives in poverty—including one in eight children. And even though the little town plays host to Agriprocessors, Inc., Iowa's seventh largest employer, the per capita income in Postville is only $14,264—less than half the transfer fee Mr. Hu paid in China for the visa that would allow him to uproot his family and travel all the way to Iowa to take the very job that had gone begging among the locals.

Something isn't right. While the working conditions at Agriprocessors are reportedly abusive and deplorable, and not only for the employees, still, how could it be that in a town with so many living in poverty, there wasn't a single resident willing to take the job?

The answer is in the wage rate set by the DOL. At the time Mr. Hu Yao Bin's unskilled labor visa was petitioned for, the wage set by the DOL (since raised) for a meat cutter in Allamakee County, Iowa, where Postville is located,was $6.50 per hour.

That hourly wage translates into a yearly salary of just $13,000—substantially lower than the already low per capita income in town, and 25 per cent below the poverty line for a family of four living in Iowa at that time.

No wonder no American was available to take the job.

Just think for a minute about the real world consequences of this legal fraud—this modern scam. Imagine a guy trying to support a wife and two kids and just barely staying afloat. If there is anybody to whom society should be giving a hand up, in my view, it is that guy. But if he wants the slaughterhouse job Agriprocessors is advertising, at the rate set by his own government, he would have to accept a 25 per cent pay cut.

But, instead of helping him, his government helps the employer avoid having to offer higher wages to him. By giving the employer the right to import a cheaper human from abroad, the government helps ensure that the prevailing wage will never rise. Together, the employer and the government collaborate in cutting the struggling guy off at the knees.

Wrong, but perfectly legal. Or is it?

If a foreign national enters the United States under the conditions just described, he has entered legally.

But wait. Legally? If Agriprocessors is cutting its struggling neighbors off at the knees legally, then why were those 390 mostly Guatemalans detained as illegal aliens in Postville last week?

agriprossesorsIn general, these Central Americans will have entered the country illegally, and none of them will have paid a smuggler anywhere near $30,000 to be smuggled in. They are on the lowest economic rung of all. In fact if you're a Guatemalan illegal alien, you can forget about that princely $6.50 per hour Agriprocessors advertises for the Americans. At Agriprocessors, according to the charges in a lawsuit reported by the Cedar Rapids (IA) Gazette, "Immigrants were paid $5 an hour and after three or four months, bumped up to $6."

Agriprocessors, you see, has two lucrative and pernicious schemes going. One scheme involves driving wages down to bare subsistence by hiring desperately poor illegal immigrants to work in its slaughterhouse—the criminal enterprise that made the news last week. The other involves fraudently claiming that the United States has run out of native-born meat-cutters and then, with the help of American Immigration Lawyers Association member Christopher Teras, securing work visas for foreigners worth $30,000 each on the street in Guangzhou.

If it is the pattern and practice of Mr. Rubashkin, the sponsoring employer, Mr. Teras, the immigration lawyer, and Mr. Hu Shu Bin, almost certainly the agent of the sponsoring employer, to sponsor employees who consistently leave after two weeks, or who never show up in Postville at all, it militates against a finding that there ever was any intent to employ the alien for a reasonable period of time. The employer's defense of employment intent is removed. He is indictable. He and all parties are amenable to being charged with conspiracy, racketeering, labor certification fraud, money laundering, making false statements, and, perhaps, tax evasion. [ US Code ]

Unquestionably profitable

The Department of Homeland Security severely restricts the public's access to information it possesses about, for example, the number of visa applications a particular attorney has executed (why?). Therefore, it is difficult to say how much profit the Teras-Postville scheme generated.

However, Mr. Timmerman, Ms. Kim, and Mr. Hu all claimed, according to the charging document in the Hu case, that the Teras-Postville scheme generated "hundreds" of such cases.

Let's say the Teras-Postville scheme collaborated on 200 such visas. At $30,000 per person, 200 such entries would have generated $6 million.

But hundreds of such cases? Isn't it a little hard to believe such a large scale fraud involving so many people could go undetected for years?

The famous case against an immigration lawyer named Samuel Kooritzky is instructive. While in that case labor certifications were being filed for nonexistent businesses, or for business that actually existed, but without the business's knowledge that the certifications were being filed, the Kooritzky case shows how the scheme operates, and on what potential scale. A DOL special agent testified at Kooritzky's trial in December, 2002, that the immigration lawyer "filed 2,200 phony labor applications last year alone." Kooritzky v. Herman DC U.S. Court of Appeals, 1999

From an article by Tom Jackman, who covered the Kooritzky case for the Washington Post:

"There's every reason to believe this is going on all over the country," said Ben Ferro, a former INS district director in Baltimore. Ferro said the INS doesn't have enough agents to track internal visa schemes, particularly with increased border scrutiny and other changes in priorities since Sept. 11. "There are many, many areas of immigration law that, because INS doesn't have the ability or willingness to monitor and stamp them out, it goes unchecked," he said. "And when these things are found, they're usually only prosecuted when they reach the kinds of numbers you're talking about here."

Kooritzky was convicted of filing thousands of petitions and led away from the courtroom in handcuffs to serve time in prison. But there is more to the Kooritzky case.

In 1991, the DOL published an "interim final rule", which terminated the right of employers to substitute one immigrant applicant for another in the labor certification process. The rule change would have made it much harder to sell labor visas on the street outside the American consulate in Guangzhou, for example.

Kooritzky sued the Secretary of Labor, arguing that the rule had been published unfairly. The district court ruled in DOL's favor, but the US Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia reversed, concluding that DOL had promulgated its rule without adequate notice and comment. Kooritzky v. Reich, 17 F.3d 1509 (D.C. Cir. 1994).

The ability to substitute in any prospective foreign worker makes it much easier for immigration lawyers to engage in wholesale visa fraud, as Kooritzky himself did with a vengeance, as it turns out, but Kooritzky wasn't satisfied with his victory. After prevailing on the merits, Kooritzky sought to recover attorney fees from the DOL—even though he had represented himself in the suit. He even sought to recover attorney fees for other immigration lawyers who, he claimed, had helped him on the case, even though no other attorneys had entered an appearance on Kooritzky's behalf during the merits phase of the case.

The DOL declined to pay Kooritzky Kooritzky's attorney fees, so, on March 1, 1995, Kooritzky moved for an award of attorney fees of $427,662 in district court. The district court awarded Kooritzky and his co-counsel a portion of that amount. Both sides appealed to the US Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia, which eventually denied Kooritzky any fees at all.

Arguing the appeal for Kooritzky was one of the immigration lawyers Kooritzky claimed had served as co-counsel in the original suit against the DOL. That attorney was Mr. Christopher Teras, the Washington, DC attorney for Hu Yao Bin, the imported meat-cutter for Agriprocessors of Postville, Iowa.

Tentacles unexamined obstruct justice

I received the information about the Hu Yao Bin case back in 2004 from an ICE agent who told me, "You know, Craig, this stuff goes on all the time. It's like we are waterboys for the snakeheads, performing our part by stamping these visas approved. It's wrong, but it just seems to go on forever. We mostly get used to it, but sometimes it really bothers me."

He asked me to do what I could to bring attention to the case so that it didn't just disappear.

I passed the information on to a member of the Iowa congressional delegation, who duly called the special investigations unit in San Francisco, which wondered why he was calling. The visa was perfectly legal, he was told, and so he let the matter drop.

I sent the story to several newspapers, but only the Omaha World Herald ran a small bit, if I remember correctly.

One reporter I contacted was Tom Jackman of the Washington Post, who had covered the Kooritsky trial in 2002. When I described the documents I had in my possession, he became very excited. I'm on deadline now, he said, but as soon as I file this, I'll call my editor to get the go ahead, and then get back to you.

I didn't hear back from him, so I called him again. He was apologetic, and said his editor had nixed the story.

The same thing has happened to me three times. Three times I have contacted a Washington Post reporter with a story. The reporter would be excited about the information initially, but then end up telling me his or her editor had killed the story. Of the other two times, one involved an aspect of the Jack Abramoff case, her coverage for which the reporter I talked to won a Pulitzer; the other concerned the manifestly corrupt activities of Congressman Chris Cannon of Utah. (It while I was looking into Cannon's activities that I first came across the name Christopher Teras. Teras has made two political contributions in his life large enough to be recorded. Both were in 2004. One was to Chris Cannon during the campaign in which ProjectUSA was giving him fits, the other to a woman named Joanna Conti, who ran against Rep Tom Tancredo that year.)

So, to the agent who asked me to help bring attention to the Hu case: I'm sorry to have failed you; you see what we are up against.

But perhaps I didn't fail completely. I also forwarded the information to the ICE office in Iowa that led the arrests last week in Postville. If the arrests are limited to Guatemalans, to the people on the very bottom rung of the ladder, I'll know I have truly failed, and so will our society have failed. I hold out hope that more arrests are coming.

The heart of the problem

The biggest obstacle I see to cleaning up our nation's immigration mess—bigger than the American Immigration Lawyers Assn and the greed of its members, bigger than subversive newsroom editors, bigger than contemptible employers—is the governmental corruption that seems to have this country by the throat.

One form of that corruption is campaign contributions—a practice that is destroying our democracy and simply has to stop. From 2000 to 2004, Agriprocessors contributed $2,000 to Congressman Noach Dear of Brooklyn, $2,500 to Congressman Jim Nussle of Iowa, $2,000 to the National Republican Congressional Cmte, and $14,000 to Senator Arlen Specter. Each of these recipients during this time period actively worked against the wishes and well-being of the American people on the immigration issue in Washington.

From 2000 to 2004, Agriprocessors also gave $3,550 to the Republican Party of Iowa, which repeatedly acquiesced in the betrayal of Iowans on the immigration issue during Governor Tom Vilsack's administration, and $5,500 to Stan Thompson, an Iowa Republican who challenged Democratic incumbent Leonard Boswell in Iowa's 3rd congressional district in 2002 and again in 2004.

billboard-congressman Leonard Boswell supports amnesty for illegal aliensHow is Stan Thompson on immigration? When ProjectUSA put up billboards in Des Moines during the 2004 campaign advertising the fact that, in Washington, Rep. Boswell supported amnesty for illegal aliens, the immigration issue exploded into the race. Rep. Boswell was left hurling invective and fuming, but ineffectively, since our billboards were accurate. Enter challenger Stan Thompson. Thompson not only failed to capitalize on the gift he'd been handed, but neutered our campaign by publicly condemning our completely accurate billboard campaign and calling on us to take down the boards! To whose interests was Stan Thompson hewing? The voters' of Iowa? The struggling guy's in Postville with a wife and two kids to support? Or the interests of Agriprocessors, his campaign donor?

But that's chicken feed

per capita income in Postville, vs lobbying money at the department of labor on immigrationIn 2004, the year the DOL approved the $30,000 visa for Agriprocessors, the total that lobbyists in Washington reported in client fees on filing documents that listed both the DOL as a government etnity lobbied, and immigration as an issue lobbied on was $74,740,904. That's 5,240 times the per capita yearly income in Postville.

A similar amount was spent the year before that, and also in the year after, and the year after that. Every year, in fact, business interests dump tens of million of dollars in "lobbying" money on the DOL, as well as on dozens of other departments, on the House of Representatives, on the Senate, and on the White House.

Where, actually does that money go? Who knows. But the corporations must be getting something in return, because they keep coming back and doing it again the next year.

What are they getting? Hard to say, but there is one thing certain: every last corporation is concerned about one thing, and one thing only: its own best interests. The Department of Labor, on the other hand, like the entire federal apparatus, is supposed to be concerned with our best interests. To the extent the lobbyists are successful, we lose out.

Just ask the struggling guy in Postville.


Annals of legible clothing

In huge letters on the back of a t-shirt I saw today: "It's time for a black president."

A black president? Who cares? It's time for a good president.

Advertising anti-US worker members of Congress

Despite the obvious detriment to US workers, business interests in the United States are allowed to import hundreds of thousands of cheap foreign workers every year.

8 U.S.C. § 1182. Inadmissible aliens
(i) In general Any alien who seeks to enter the United States for the purpose of performing skilled or unskilled labor is inadmissible...

These business interests enjoy all the advantages of doing business in the United States. They benefit, as we all do, from a stable political climate, transparent judicial system, first rate infrastructure, well-developed banking system, advanced educational opportunities, and a wide array of social services. Such advantages cost money, of course, which we all pay for as members of this society. `

Unfortunately, too many businesses don't want to pay their fair share of the costs for our expensive quality of life. Rather than pay their neighbors a suitable wage appropriate to an advanced social structure, they choose to import cheaper humans from abroad.

In so doing they cheat their neighbors. They leave American workers with the high cost of being an American while simultaneously undercutting their wages. Further, they increase the burden on American families by dumping the medical, educational, and other social costs of their imported workers on taxpayers.

Why does Congress allow some special interests to abuse Americans so unfairly?

The answer lies in the influence of business lobbyists on Capitol Hill. Members of Congress can allow themselves to be influenced by the nine million dollars per day special interests pour into Washington, DC without concern that our somnambulent corporate media will inform the voters back home.

That's where we come in. ProjectUSA puts up billboards in the home districts or states of members of Congress whose actions help special interests undermine American workers. We identify the worst offenders by looking at their voting records, then factoring in their sources of campaign funds. Then we factor in the demographics of their districts or states to determine in which five or six members' districts would a billboard be most effective.

Users of this site can then vote for which member they'd most like to see face an informed constituency. Since we don't have anything like nine million dollars per day to play with, we ask voters to pay for each vote as a way to fund the billboards.

Trust us, this isn't a way for us to become rich. And it's a lot of work But there are a lot of people in this country experiencing real pain thanks to the greed of a few, and they deserve help. They can count on ours. We hope they can count on yours, too.

Embittered do turn to religion--in Chicago, not PA

Pennsylvanians facing tough times are embittered, according to Barack Obama, and so they turn to guns, and religion, and hold anti-immigration and anti-trade views. But the Pennsylvanians I've come across don't seem all that bitter to me—they seem pretty normal, in fact. And compared to a famously bitter Chicagoan named Jeremiah Wright, Pennsylvanians seem downright suffused with Christian joy.

Granted, the bitter ravings of the Reverend Jeremiah Wright have about as much to do with real religion as a rain dance has to do with real science, but the Obama family, including the manifestly bitter Michelle Obama, turned to that embittered fount for its religious needs. For my money, the south side of Chicago is where the embittered "turn to religion."

In fact, I'd say it's the south side of Chicago where the embittered turn to guns, as well. Small-town Pennsylvanians can be determined defenders of their right to keep and bear arms, no doubt. But it's a trait their fathers had before them, as did their grandfathers, and generations of fathers going back to the Pennsylvania of the Founding Fathers, who enshrined their right in the Constitution. I don't see the bitterness there. But I do see the bitterness of the angry young man who grew up listening to Jeremiah Wright and learning to blame others for his failings. I see the bitterness when he turns to guns and winds up shooting to death a liquor store owner on the south side of Chicago for the $140 in his cash register.

Chinese-Americans demonstrate for brutality

The Olympic torch passes through San Francisco, and Chinese-Americans turn out en masse in support of Chinese brutality and the cultural genocide being committed methodically against the Tibetan people.

Taiyuan to Lhasa

When I was teaching in Shanxi, Taiyuan, I had dinner at the house of a headmaster at a local school for Tibetan kids. Tibetan kids? Why are Tibetan kids being schooled so far away from Tibet?

I was told the kids are taken from their parents at about age six, brought up as Han Chinese, required to speak only Mandarin, completely cleansed of their Tibetan cultural identity, and then returned to their parents at age eighteen.

Americans condemn this as cultural genocide. Oh, except for Chinese-Americans. They condemn citicism of China's cultural genocide against the Tibetan people as "anti-Chinese."

Anyone recall the American surveillance plane that was attacked in international waters by Chinese fighter jets? It was forced down on Hainan Island, an uproar ensued. Against international law, and the law of human decency, the American crew was paraded on Chinese television for propaganda purposes (the captain, I am proud to report, who graduated from the same high school I did, acquitted himself honorably).

One of the San Francisco papers did a poll asking some blunt question along the lines of, "Do you think Beijing should release the American crew?" Something like 99% of all respondents answered "yes." Except Chinese-Americans. Including American-born Chinese, they lined up behind Beijiing.

Chinese-Americans need to grow up and decide whether they are, indeed, American. If they can't, if they are incapable of participating in the American story, if they are incapable of relinquishing allegiance to the old country, then Americans need to grow up and institute an immigration time-out until a more sober-minded and responsible generation comes to power.

Fox News: "Less high schools offer drivers ed classes"

fox newsA graphic accompanying a March 29 Fox cable news story on teen drivers read, "Less high schools offer drivers ed classes."

That means, apparently, that schools at normal levels of highness don't offer such classes, which makes sense from a safety point of view—clear evidence our educational system is working.

So let's have fewer griping about the state of our schools.