Friday, December 13, 2013

NC: Kinder, Gentler, and Foolish; An Important Study by the Center for Immigration Studies.

Its Application to North Carolina
Comments by Mike Scruggs

This article embedded below is  particularly relevant to North Carolina. Despite having among the highest unemployment rates in the United States, 2013 witnessed a Republican bill, NCHB 786 that will actually attract more illegal immigrants to compete with North Carolina workers at the expense of North Carolina taxpayers. This bill was strongly backed by the North Carolina Farm Bureau and Republican House Speaker Thom Tillis.

There were many immigration enforcement features in NCHB 786, but sandwiched into the bill were two outrageous provisions that amounted to a "red carpet" treatment of illegal immigrants in North Carolina.

1. One provision would have authorized driver permits for illegal immigrants. This was supposedly justified on the basis of public safety--that there would be fewer illegal immigrant highway accidents, if illegal immigrants went through drivers training. This embarrassingly and negligent analysis, however, failed to consider many far more important demographic factors. Reliable studies and common sense prove this assertion to be nonsense. Fortunately, this provision did not make it through the House vote. Nevertheless, we must question what Speaker Tillis and the bill's sponsors were thinking. The North Carolina Farm Bureau has lots of campaign money to throw around, but they represent the agricultural industry, not necessarily the interest of North Carolina and especially not North Carolina workers and taxpayers. In fact, I am ashamed to say that the North Carolina Farm Bureau endorsed the the U.S. Senate Schumer-Rubio bill that would have given eleven million amnesties and brought in an additional 30 to 33 million foreign workers in the next ten years. If passed, according to the Heritage Foundation, the amnesty provisions alone would cost $6.3 Trillion. According to the Congressional Budget Office and many academic studies, it would displace American workers and lower their wages because of increased job competition.

2. A second provision extended the North Carolina exemption of "seasonal workers" from the E-Verify legal status check from three months to nine months. Unfortunately, this passed, creating a huge free ride period for illegal immigrants and their employers. It essentially makes illegal entry into North Carolina easy and at minimal risk. Internal immigration enforcement in the U.S. has practically ceased. Hence once an illegal immigrant gets in without any E-Verify check, they are in for as long as they want. Actually, even the three month exemption is a dangerous gap attractive to terrorists and criminals as well as illegal workers. Governor McCrory rightly and courageously vetoed the bill, but Speaker Thom Tillis, with the help of the NC Farm Bureau and other special interest lobbyists managed to overturn the Governor's veto.

It was a sad day for North Carolina and North Carolina workers, especially those who are unemployed or can only find part-time work. Nor was it a favor to taxpayers, who must foot the considerable state and local taxes to support an illegal population that costs far more to support than their economic benefit to the state. The economic benefits go to the illegal immigrant workers and their employers at the expense of North Carolina workers, taxpayers,  the rule of law, and basic principles of fairness.  It was even sadder to me to see Republican legislators sponsoring such a provision. The problem is that most North Carolina legislators are "low-information" voters on immigration issues, so they are prone to shallow or negligent analysis of the economic impact of immigration.

Please click the CIS study, Kinder, Gentler, and Foolish below. I regret that it applies to North Carolina more than most Southern or Republican dominated states.

Mike Scruggs

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