The Obama administration must hand out security clearances with the same generosity as it does amnesty for illegal aliens, judging from the recent arrest of a Saudi engineer, Mostafa Ahmed Awwad (pictured in handcuffs), for espionage.
He worked in the Norfolk Naval Shipyard’s nuclear engineering and planning department after being hired earlier this year and receiving a clearance a few months later.
According to the Washington Times, “Awwad was born in Saudi Arabia, married a U.S. citizen in Cairo in 2007 and took steps to become a U.S citizen.”
Apparently marrying an American was sufficient to bypass any qualms about national security and get him a job working on critical US weapons.
A Saudi-born U.S. Navy engineer working on a top-security assignment was nabbed by federal agents and charged on Friday with espionage-related crimes as a result of his attempt to steal classified schematics for what is arguably the most advanced aircraft carrier ever built. The warship is now being constructed in Newport News, Virginia, according to federal indictment documents.
The suspect, 35-year-old Mostafa Ahmed Awwad was working at the Norfolk Naval Shipyard and intended to send the schematics for the project to Egypt, according to agents with the Federal Bureau of Investigation. He was indicted on two counts of attempted exportation of defense articles and technical data and faces a total 40-years imprisonment.
Awwad worked in the nuclear engineering and planning department at the shipyard, having begun working at there in early 2014. His security clearance gave him extensive access to information on Naval nuclear propulsion systems. But many counterterrorism and counterintelligence professionals are wondering how a foreign national from a nation that hosts a large number of Islamic terrorists can get so close to a classified operation such as building an aircraft carrier reputed to dwarf any nations’ warships. Continue reading this article
… Sweden has taken an open-door approach to people fleeing the conflict, accepting more Syrians than any other European country.
Never mind that Sweden has double-digit youth unemployment. That there have been riots in immigrant neighborhoods in Stockholm. That there is a severe housing shortage for new arrivals. Or that the Swedish Migration Board, which handles asylum seekers, needs a drastic budget increase — almost $7 billion — to cover soaring costs over the next few years.
Interestingly, that number is based on only 100,000 Syrian refugees, just a tiny portion of the two million Sweden had welcomed. Have all diversity-besotted liberals failed math?
Swedish media reported on Tuesday that the country is looking at record-breaking numbers of refugees this year, with one report predicting up to 100,000 displaced people resettling in Sweden.
The Migration Board has announced that it cannot afford to handle the influx with its current budget, and has asked for 48 billion kronor ($6.9 billion) above the 91 billion ($13.2 billion) allowance the board has already been granted for the next four years.
As a refugee named Issa, who declined to give his surname due to fears of repercussions for his family back in Syria, put it, “The city is mostly Iraqi and Syrian immigrants, but some Swedes live here too.”
The usual mass immigration problems are showing up in utopian Sweden — unemployment, self-segregation leading to non-assimilation and increased costs for taxpayers with jobs.
And Sodertalje is lucky that Muslims self-segregated to another town, leaving the Syrian Orthodox Christians to live in peace. “If they built a mosque there would be trouble here,” one Christian remarked.
It’s becoming clear that the Obama bunch has been planning the imperial distribution of work permits to illegal aliens for some time, despite the squeals that Republicans were being obstructionist toward the foreigners languishing in the shadows. In October, the administration began organizing the production of the physical work permits, and now the hiring has begun for the bureaucrats to handle the auto-processing of the foreign lawbreakers.
In the video below, Washington Times reporter Stephen Dinan noted, “Of the thousand or so positions they’ve advertised, only seven of them are actually fraud detection staff, which suggests that less than one percent of these people are going to be actually charged with trying to spot fraud in the millions of applications.”
In other words, the administration is saying, “Welcome, cartels gangsters, generic criminals and jihadists!” Public safety and national security apparently mean nothing to the current regime.
America’s Senator, Jeff Sessions, published a press release on Wednesday to point out the new office building dedicated to rubber stamping illegal alien job thieves:
It has just been discovered today that the Obama Administration is now opening a new USCIS facility in Crystal City, Virginia, for the purpose of immediately implementing the President’s imperial immigration decree. They are in the process of hiring 1,000 full-time staff to quickly approve applications for the President’s illegal amnesty, which will provide work permits, photo IDs, Social Security, and Medicare to illegal immigrants—all benefits rejected by Congress. This action will mean that American workers, their sons, their daughters, their parents, will now have to compete directly for jobs, wages, and benefits with millions of illegal immigrants.
This facility is a clear symbol of the President’s defiance of the American people, their laws, and their Constitution. He is hiring federal employees to carry out a directive that violates the laws Congress has passed in order to foist on the nation laws Congress has repeatedly refused to pass.
The Washington Times put Stephan Dinan’s article on Thursday’s front page:
Department of Homeland Security officials wasted little time in ramping up for President Obama’s amnesty, posting 1,000 job openings the day after his announcement and announcing it already has space for hundreds of employees at a new location in Arlington, Virginia — an indication that it had laid its plans well before Mr. Obama’s announcement.
And even though Mr. Obama said his policy is temporary, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services is hiring the employees for permanent positions, at salaries of up to $157,000 a year, according to the job postings listed on the official federal jobs website.
“USCIS is taking steps to open a new operational center in Crystal City, a neighborhood in Arlington, Virginia, to accommodate about 1,000 full-time, permanent federal and contract employees in a variety of positions and grade levels,” the agency said in an internal email to employees on Monday. “The initial workload will include cases filed as a result of the executive actions on immigration announced on Nov. 20, 2014.”
A number of the job openings were posted the day after that Nov. 20 announcement, and those postings have already expired, suggesting the agency already has filled some of the slots.
In a statement, USCIS said it was trying to get its operations in order for when it begins to collect applications.
“Increasing staffing will ensure that every case received by USCIS receives a thorough review under our guidelines,” the agency said late Wednesday.
But Ken Palinkas, head of the labor union that represents USCIS employees, said he couldn’t see any way that the agency could hire enough good people in time to process the millions of applications that are expected.
“I can’t see how they could,” he told The Washington Times. “I think what they’re leaning toward is just getting the paperwork done regardless of who does it. You have to vet these people.”
The employees will need to undergo checks, and some will require security clearances, which is an even longer process.
Mr. Palinkas said the large scale of the hiring and the new office space suggests to him that the White House had its plans in place for some time ahead of Mr. Obama’s announcement last month.
“It’s so orchestrated it’s pathetic,” he said.
Sen. Jeff Sessions, an Alabama Republican who has taken the lead in fighting Mr. Obama’s policy, said the new facility in Virginia is “a clear symbol of the president’s defiance of the American people, their laws and their constitution.”
“He is hiring federal employees to carry out a directive that violates the laws Congress has passed in order to foist on the nation laws Congress has repeatedly refused to pass,” Mr. Sessions said in a statement. Continue reading this article
Congressman Lou Barletta (R-PA) took another approach, cornering Johnson on the vital topic of what millions more legal workers tossed into the employment pool will do to Americans, millions of whom are are un- or underemployed:
“We keep talking about the illegal immigrant. Here we go again, talking about the illegal immigrant and how we can make it easier for them. How does this help the American worker who can’t find work and can’t provide for his family? Who’s fighting for them? Why don’t we talk about the American worker and what this will do to them, not what it will do for the illegal immigrant?”
More elected officials need to think in terms of how amnesty will screw Americans.
Congressman Barletta’s office recycled his remarks into a press release:
WASHINGTON – Congressman Lou Barletta, PA-11, today questioned Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson over the impact on American workers as a result of President Obama’s executive action on illegal immigration. In a hearing of the House Homeland Security Committee, Barletta argued that the president’s granting of amnesty to millions of illegal immigrants will increase competition for jobs that are already scarce. In addition, Barletta highlighted the fact that illegal immigrants granted amnesty will be ineligible for Obamacare, meaning they would be cheaper and more attractive for businesses to hire than legal American workers.
“Some people say that our economic security is national security,” Barletta said to Johnson. “Nearly 20 million Americans woke up this morning either unemployed or underemployed. The president didn’t mention these Americans when he announced his plan to grant de facto amnesty and work permits to up to 5 million illegal immigrants.”
In response to the problem, Barletta has introduced the Defense of Legal Workers Act (H.R. 5761), which clarifies that illegal immigrants granted amnesty by executive action cannot be issued work permits. In the committee hearing, Johnson indicated that the Obama Administration’s plan was to encourage illegal immigrants to come out of the shadows and seek to have their deportation deferred under the amnesty program, which would also grant them work authorization.
“But how does that make it easier for the American worker?” Barletta asked. “We keep talking about the illegal immigrant. Here we go again, talking about the illegal immigrant and how we can make it easier for them. How does this help the American worker who can’t find work and can’t provide for his family? Who’s fighting for them? Why don’t we talk about the American worker and what this will do to them, not what it will do for the illegal immigrant?” Continue reading this article
WASHINGTON—U.S. Senator Jeff Sessions (R-AL), Ranking Member of the Senate Budget Committee and a senior member of the Senate Judiciary Committee, issued the following comments today in response to the current plan being floated in the House of Representatives regarding the President’s unconstitutional amnesty:
“The Chairman of the Republican Party made a promise to America on executive amnesty: ‘We can’t allow it to happen and we won’t let it happen… everything we can do to stop it we will.’
Unfortunately, the plan now being circulated in the House fails to meet that test. The executive amnesty language is substantially weaker than the language the House adopted this summer, and does not reject the central tenets of the President’s plan: work permits, Social Security, and Medicare to 5 million illegal immigrants—reducing wages, jobs, and benefits for Americans.
Congress considered and rejected these changes to immigration law in 2006, 2007, 2010, 2013, and 2014. The President’s action erases the laws Congress has passed in order to implement laws Congress has refused to pass.
Now the President demands Congress fund his imperial decree and declare its own irrelevance.
That is why Congress must respond to the President’s unlawful action by funding the government but not funding illegal amnesty. This is a perfectly sound and routine application of congressional authority. In fact, the nonpartisan Congressional Research Service reports that last year’s omnibus spending bill included 16 such funding restrictions on fee-based programs.
Such a plan would put the focus where it belongs: on Senate Democrats. They are the ones who should be made to choose sides—save Obama’s amnesty or save Americans’ jobs and borders.
Polling shows voters believe that Americans should get preference for available jobs by almost a 10-1 margin. Republicans should not be timid or apologetic, but mount a bold defense of struggling Americans. Continue reading this article
Many people will be ordering books and other merchandise from Amazon.com this Christmas. But few realize how robotized the company’s warehouses have become. Key is the Kiva robot system which moves shelves of appropriate items to the human who packs the order for shipment.
Below, Kiva warehouse robots are wired in to a computer system that tracks customer orders as well as where everything is located on the floor.
The following video shows the robot warehouse system in action, and it is quite ingenious.
The Wall Street Journal article below notes that the robots may save Amazon $400 million to $900 million a year in so-called fulfillment costs, namely the dollars spent to assemble and ship the merchandise. The good news is increased efficiency, but clearly humans are being phased out of certain aspects of warehouse work, even though the company is hiring extra temps for the holidays.
With a radically transformed economy in the near future, America certainly doesn’t need to import millions of immigrants, even though the boomer generation is retiring from jobs (one common excuse for excessive immigration).
The Squat, Wheeled Machines Move Stocked Shelves to Workers
Amazon.com Inc.’s robot army is finally falling into place.
The Seattle online retailer has outfitted several U.S. warehouses with squat, orange, wheeled robots that move stocked shelves to workers, instead of having employees seek items amid long aisles of merchandise, according to people familiar with the matter.
At a 1.2-million-square-foot warehouse in Tracy, Calif., about 60 miles east of San Francisco, Amazon this summer replaced four floors of fixed shelving with the robots, the people said.
Now, “pickers” at the facility stand in one place and wait for robots to bring four-foot-by-six-foot shelving units to them, sparing them what amounted to as much as 20 miles a day of walking through the warehouse. Employees at some robot-equipped warehouses are expected to pick and scan at least 300 items an hour, compared with 100 under the old system, current and former workers said.
An Amazon spokeswoman declined to comment.
The robots are the fruits of Amazon’s 2012 purchase of Kiva Systems Inc. for $775 million. In May, Amazon Chief Executive Jeff Bezos told investors at Amazon’s annual meeting that he planned to deploy 10,000 Kiva robots by year-end, up from 1,400 at the time. Continue reading this article
Pope Francis is visiting Turkey, with hopes that he can promote religious tolerance there to help the Christians and other minorities. Good luck with that. The modern Turkey that Kemal Ataturk built has been almost entirely wiped out by the violent Islamist tide that is roiling the Middle East and is persecuting Christians.
The BBC provided an interesting review of the history of Turkey to accompany the Pope event:
Below, the Orthodox Patriarch Bartholomew (with the white beard) presides over a service in Constantinople. His struggles to preserve Orthodox Christianity in a hostile Muslim nation was the subject of a 2009 Sixty Minutes segment, Patriarch Bartholomew Feels “Crucified.”
It tells of a city where empires, cultures and religions collided. A building that bears mosaics of Jesus and the Virgin Mary beside calligraphy reading “Allah” and “the Prophet Mohamed”. There is no greater symbol of the clash of civilisations here than Hagia Sophia.
For almost 1,000 years it stood as the most important Orthodox cathedral in the world, the religious heart of the largely Christian Byzantine empire whose capital was then called Constantinople.
But in 1453 the city fell to the Ottomans, Hagia Sophia became a mosque and Christianity began its slow demise here.
As Turkey grew out of the ashes of the Ottoman Empire, that decline accelerated. When Pope Francis arrives here this week, he will visit a country whose population has fallen from 20% Christian 100 years ago to around 0.2% today.
‘Huge brain drain’ “No country in the region – including Iran – is as homogenous in terms of Islam as Turkey,” says writer Cengiz Aktar. “It’s a mono-colour country – it’s a Muslim country.”
After the Turkish Republic was born in 1923, it carried out a “population exchange” with Greece to create more ethnic and religious consistency. More than a million Greeks were forced out of Turkey to Greece while around 300,000 Muslims from Greece were relocated here.
The Greeks of Istanbul were initially saved but after a crippling wealth tax, anti-Greek pogroms in 1955 and mass expulsions in 1964, the Greek community was left in tatters. And so was the Orthodox Christianity they practised.
“The ethnic cleansing of these non-Muslim minorities was a huge brain drain,” says Mr Aktar, who has created a new exhibition on the loss of the Greeks here.
“It also meant the disappearance of the bourgeoisie because not only were they wealthy but they were artisans. Istanbul lost its entire Christian and Jewish heritage.” Continue reading this article
Thousands from the unfriendly and dysfunctional third world have descended upon the shrinking outposts of civilization, demanding access to maximum free stuff from the hard-working taxpayer. Germany is a popular target of foreign moochers because it is wealthy — a result of its citizens’ industriousness.
Below, asylum pests in Munich ensconce themselves in a tree to demand full benefits and permission to stay in Germany — just because they want it.
The problem is the asylum system itself, where economic migrants are allowed to stay in first-world nations based on spurious claims of suffering. Foreign freeloaders then develop a massive sense of entitlement based on the belief they can move into a functioning country and stick their snouts into the gravy train.
Several refugees in central Munich climbed trees to avoid police dispersal of a protest. Despite frigid temperatures, they held a five-day outdoor hunger strike to create awareness of their housing problems and their legal status.
About 30 refugees began to refuse food on Saturday. Later, they also stopped taking fluids, fighting for their right to stay in Germany and protesting against shared accommodation.
On Wednesday, the asylum seekers held a press conference.
“We’re mad,” said the group’s spokesman Adeel A. “We see no positive signals from the politicians.”
Later that day, dozens of police and firefighters arrived at the camp at the city gate Sendlinger Tor in central Munich to clear it out, local media reported.
“Give us our rights!” shouted the protesters – six people, who fled up two trees after the police dispersal. “This protest will continue!” Continue reading this article
The latest influx of invasive boat people has come on a basic freighter and they number around 700 (pictured below).
We shouldn’t think too harshly of the illegal invaders since they are responding rationally to Europe’s rescue and potential offer of a home in the first world. Elite Europeans became overly generous with governmental services after a particularly terrible loss of life when hundreds of boaters drowned in attempting to reach the continent in October 2013. The EU decided that somebody needed to rescue the Africans and Middle Easterners and that duty fell on the Italians because of geography. But a year later, Italy declared that it would end its navy’s Mediterranean rescue operations, because the policy enticed more to come.
This week’s boatload approached from the east (Turkey) rather than the southern route starting in north Africa. Perhaps the boaters hope the Greeks will be more hospitable than the Italians — at least for the time being.
The NPR story below includes an audio version at the link.
RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST: It is worth considering on this day the millions of people around the world who are refugees fleeing war. Many trying to escape the fighting in Syria, Afghanistan and Iraq try to reach Europe. About 700 refugees are on a broken-down freighter in the Mediterranean Sea right now under tow by the Greek Coast Guard. Joanna Kakissis has the story from Athens.
JOANNA KAKISSIS, BYLINE: The Greek Coast Guard says the 250-foot cargo ship was headed to Italy when its engine failed. Hundreds of migrants, including women and children, are on board. The Greek Navy towed the ship through rough waters to the port of Ierapetra in southern Crete. The mayor of Ierapetra, Theodosios Kalantzakis, says local authorities and aid workers have turned an indoor basketball court into a shelter.
THEODOSIOS KALANTZAKIS: (Speaking Greek).
KAKISSIS: This space can’t house them for long, Kalantzakis says, but we had to put them somewhere until they go to migrant detention centers. Most of those on the ship are refugees from Syria and Afghanistan, he says. Amnesty International says that more than 2,500 people have died this year trying to cross the Mediterranean Sea to make it to Europe. The number of undocumented migrants arriving in Greece has tripled this year, says merchant Marine Minister Miltiades Varvitsiotis. Continue reading this article
Illegal aliens have a lot for which to be thankful this season, given that Obama’s unconstitutional amnesty will give work permits to at least five million foreign job thieves. Plus, the President’s cornucopian package includes Social Security and Medicare even though the he claimed his amnesty wouldn’t cover benefits that cost taxpayers billions of dollars yearly. In addition, businesses now have a big financial incentive to hire illegals because they are not required to receive Obamacare.
Funny how the system is being rejiggered to screw the citizens and benefit the invasive foreigners.
Border watchdog and filmmaker Dennis Michael Lynch appeared on Fox News on Thanksgiving morning to discuss the government’s inducement to hire illegals, including some observations as a former employer:
LYNCH: Let me explain how this works using my own company. I used to have 250 employees. Fifty of them would be front office workers, sales, marketing etc, I gave them insurance. My guys in the back though, the lower-skilled, the lower-wage, I can’t afford to give them insurance. So if I don’t give them insurance I get hit with a fine. Now that fine could be anywhere from two thousand and five thousand, not three, could be anywhere between. So if you look at the higher range, if I don’t pay insurance I have to pay a million dollar fine — five thousand times two hunderd employees. But now because Obamacare is not given to anyone legal US citizens or legal aliens, the illegal aliens — the five million or I think more like 10 million, who just got the work permits from President Obama — I can now hire them legally and get rid of my US citizen employees and save myself the million dollars. . .
I find something very ironic. He gave the other day after Ferguson a speech in Chicago about how it is that there are so many hardships in the black community and then he goes on and talks about his amnesty. Anybody who’s familiar with this knows that amnesty of this kind throws the black community under the bus. We’ve got 22 percent unemployment for young black men, highest in this country, in some cities it’s 50 percent.
So now what happens is that these people are all going to go in and take those jobs. Employers are going to be forced to hire the illegal aliens. if you think about it because the Obamacare businessman the employer mandate suffers you. It actually pins the employer versus the employee in a way that’s like the Hunger Games, so you bring in the illegal aliens and that’s it. I think he knows exactly what he’s doing. It’s devastating for the economy because you’re going to look at those 200 employees that I had — where are they going? They’re going on the welfare line. . .
And don’t think for one moment that the illegal alien who just got this work permit who might be picking crops or hanging sheetrock is going to say “Ooh, now I can do that legally.” They’re going to be able to go to those better payroll jobs, working at UPS, working at the United States Postal Service. This is devastating to the American worker.
Under the president’s new amnesty, businesses will have a $3,000-per-employee incentive to hire illegal immigrants over native-born workers because of a quirk of Obamacare.
President Obama’s temporary amnesty, which lasts three years, declares up to 5 million illegal immigrants to be lawfully in the country and eligible for work permits, but it still deems them ineligible for public benefits such as buying insurance on Obamacare’s health exchanges.
Under the Affordable Care Act, that means businesses who hire them won’t have to pay a penalty for not providing them health coverage — making them $3,000 more attractive than a similar native-born worker, whom the business by law would have to cover.
The loophole was confirmed by congressional aides and drew condemnation from those who said it put illegal immigrants ahead of Americans in the job market.
“If it is true that the president’s actions give employers a $3,000 incentive to hire those who came here illegally, he has added insult to injury,” said Rep. Lamar Smith, Texas Republican. “The president’s actions would have just moved those who came here illegally to the front of the line, ahead of unemployed and underemployed Americans.”
A Department of Homeland Security official confirmed that the newly legalized immigrants won’t have access to Obamacare, which opens up the loophole for employers looking to avoid the penalty. Continue reading this article
The current $2 trillion figure is based on Obama’s stated goal of rewarding 4-5 million illegals with non-deportation and work permits (the true amnesty), but the millions not covered are already squawking that they too are entitled to the full bounty of America, despite being a pack of thieves.
They unrewarded intruders are unlikely to languish for long however, since the royal decree will apply to all of the 11-20 million eventually. The dollar costs will only increase because the plan is to import poor people who will support big Democrat government.
Meanwhile, as the 4-5 million number is the one being debated, Neil Munro broke down the unimaginable trillions into smaller parts that can be understood by citizens as a handout for foreign lawbreakers being financed out of American wallets.
President Barack Obama’s amnesty for four million illegal immigrants will cost Americans about $2 trillion, or roughly $40 billion a year for the next five decades.
The cost of Obama’s generosity is equivalent to 30 cents extra for every gallon of gas bought by Americans.
Or a $10 monthly fee added to every cellphone.
Or a $22,000 tax on every American graduate’s four-year college degree.
The $2 trillion cost is driven by the federal government’s support for all poor people, says Robert Rector, a budget analyst at the Heritage Foundation. Rector explained that, on average, the illegal immigrants benefiting from the amnesty have a 10th grade education.
That low education ensures they can’t earn enough money, or pay enough taxes, to pay for the many benefits they’ll get if they progress from temporary residents to legal residents and then to citizens, Rector said.
These various benefits add up to roughly $50,000 a year for each household, but those households can and do pay only about $13,000 a year in federal taxes, leaving a gap of roughly $40,000 between payments and benefits, Rector said.
That gap is effectively filled by payments from intact, college-education households which normally pay $30,000 more in taxes than they receive in benefits. “It takes all of the net taxes paid by one college-educated family [household] to pay for one of these immigrant households,” he said.
Rector draws his estimate from a May 2013 analysis he completed for Heritage, which predicted a $6.3 trillion, 50-year cost if all 12 million illegals in the country were granted amnesty.
Currently, government spends roughly $50 billion a year supporting the children and families of illegal immigrants. Much of that costs consists of free schooling and medical care for the U.S.-born kids of illegals. Continue reading this article
The New York Times analyzed the California experience with illegal immigration on Sunday, with the usual slant that diversity happens and American citizens should just lay back and enjoy the tacos.
Apparently, the paper believes that Obama’s unilateral action was Not Enough Amnesty because all 11-20 million weren’t covered, hinted in a prominent photo:
As is often the case with mainstream media, comments can be more accurate than the official text:
JBR Berkeley 13 minutes ago
I am a native Californian and a liberal. I am appalled at what illegal immigration has done to my beloved state. Huge areas of former middle class housing turned into crime-ridden slums. Our cities and freeways so crowded that travel is unbearable. My brother and my closest friends are contractors who follow the law and pay all the required taxes – only the very wealthiest residents can afford to hire them because the great majority of contractors employ illegals at slave wages and dodge all taxes. An employer who hires legal residents and pays all taxes cannot compete.
Just as Reagan’s ill-advised amnesty opened the floodgates that caused the current situation, Obama’s contempt for middle and lower class America will produce untold millions more illegals. We need to ask ourselves – do we want a US modeled on crime-ridden Mexico? Or perhaps Honduras? El Salvador? Perhaps Guatemala? These are all failed countries, ruled by corrupt governments and gang violence which they are exporting to us in the form of illegals. Is this the future we will leave to our grandchildren?
California is an example that immigration demographic change can transform politics completely. The state was a conservative bastion a few decades back until immigration happened, along with a liberal transformation of the schools and an Alinsky-esque media.
Meanwhile, California has fallen enormously in quality of life issues, such as terrible traffic and SRO public transportation as a result of immigration-fueled overpopulation. At one time, families would move here so their kids could attend the state’s excellent public schools and universities. Now they are diversity propaganda factories.
Unemployment has been a bad problem in California, where jobs have come back much more slowly than nationally following the recession. It doesn’t help that the state is hugely over-regulated, and now there’s a million additional workers added to the legal job pool. That’s really tough for workers who are struggling already.
LOS ANGELES — There may be no better place than California to measure the contradictions, crosswinds and confusion that come with trying to change immigration law.
For 30 years, California has been the epicenter of the churn of immigration — legal and not — in the nation. It was California where Pete Wilson, the Republican governor, championed in 1994 a voter initiative known as Proposition 187, which severely restricted services to immigrants here illegally. And it was California where just last year, Gov. Jerry Brown, a Democrat, held a celebratory, dignitary-filled signing of legislation permitting unauthorized workers to obtain driver’s licenses.
One-third of the immigrants in the country illegally live in California, which has a 125-mile border with Mexico, much of it guarded by long stretches of border fence. They work on farms in the Central Valley, in manufacturing jobs in Los Angeles, and as housekeepers and gardeners in Silicon Valley, alongside a steady stream of young legal immigrants who hold low-paying, high-skilled jobs in Northern California’s critical tech industry.
They come mostly from Mexico but also from Central America, the Philippines, South Korea and Japan. Commercial boulevards in the heart of Los Angeles are a riot of Korean-language signs, and in many neighborhoods in San Francisco the talk on the street is as likely to be in Spanish or Chinese as it is English.
And while many undocumented immigrants take pains not to draw attention to their status, California nonetheless offers the prospect of a more open existence than much of the country does, albeit in an ask-no-questions fashion. Given the way many of these immigrants are already treated by the state, be it with the issuing of driver’s licenses or some health insurance, President Obama’s executive action on immigration was almost anticlimactic to many people here.
“We are the state that has the most settled immigrant population in terms of people who have been in the country for 10 years,” said Manuel Pastor, a co-director of the Center for the Study of Immigrant Integration at the University of Southern California. “We went through our Prop. 187 moment. We are at the other end. People will be eager to make this happen, because they realize we are going to get comprehensive immigration reform at some point.”
Indeed, more than half the undocumented immigrants in California have lived here at least 10 years — far more than anyplace else in the country — and one-sixth of the children in California have at least one parent here illegally, according to Mr. Pastor’s center. That was illuminated by Mr. Obama’s expansion of the deportation protection program, since it was based largely on how long immigrants have resided here and whether they have American-born children. Continue reading this article
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