Roy Beck's picture


  by  Roy Beck

Although it came up 20 votes short of passing, H.R. 4760 ("the Goodlatte bill") yesterday gained the most votes in the history of the U.S. House of Representatives in terms of mandating E-Verify and ending the chain migration categories.

  • 193 elected Representatives from every region of the nation voted on June 22, 2018 for the top two legislative priorities of NumbersUSA -- the top priorities since our founding in 1996.

That is something to celebrate!

We are getting closer.

Most importantly, the way the Goodlatte bill would have ended chain migration and mandated E-Verify would have significantly reduced overall annual immigration numbers -- and that reduction is the overarching objective of NumbersUSA.

Many in the mainstream media like to describe those goals of NumbersUSA as being "fringe" and "eccentric." I can't tell you how many reporters have reacted when I mentioned H.R. 4760 by quickly dismissing it as "going nowhere" and impossible to pass.

Well, maybe they think the defeat of the bill yesterday confirms their dismissiveness. But I know that vote was far closer to victory than any of them could have imagined. I see it as another sign that the will of the people is starting to break through.

Those 193 votes included a lot of Republicans who are scared to death of the business lobbies who demand the ability to hire illegal aliens and to avoid recruiting among non-working Americans. Yet, those Republicans may have had to face a fear of the voters that was greater. In the end, they voted to require every employer to use E-Verify and to have to recruit their workers from among the 50 million working-age Americans who are not currently working.

That's real progress on the wise recommendations of Barbara Jordan and her bi-partisan joint U.S. Commission on Immigration Reform.

Speaker Ryan could have fought for the extra 20 votes but abdicated leadership

Because of vacancies and non-voters, the Goodlatte bill needed only 213 votes to pass the House (instead of the usual 218).

If Speaker Ryan had backed this bill, had whipped for it, had twisted some arms -- well it is highly likely that he could have gotten 20 of the 41 NO votes to switch to YES and the House would have had an historic afternoon.

But Ryan never tried, having claimed for months that there was no way he could get enough Republicans to pass the bill we endorsed months ago. So, with no help from House leadership at all, our side almost got to victory on our own -- thanks to tremendous grassroots efforts.

Thanks to all of you who made the phone calls, sent the emails and took other actions to try to get your Member of the House of Representatives to support H.R. 4760 with three of our top priorities:

H.R. 4760 would have (1) ended all chain migration, (2) mandated E-Verify, and, (3) most importantly, it would have significantly reduced annual legal and illegal immigration.

Unfortunately, the majority of House Members -- 41 Republicans and 190 Democrats -- voted to preserve the ability of employers to hire illegal workers and to keep lifetime work permits and annual immigration flowing at more than one million a year.

What a betrayal of the voters in their Districts! Polling shows large majorities of voters in every state support all three of those top priorities of the bill and of NumbersUSA.

Previous high was when some Democrats still wanted to protect workers from unfair job competition

The previous high came in 1996 with a House vote of 183. At that time, 25 Democrats joined 158 Republicans in supporting an end to all chain migration.

Sadly, not a single Democrat in the House yesterday would stand up for less foreign labor competition for vulnerable American workers.

As noted above, the key elements of the Goodlatte bill were first promoted by former Democratic Congresswoman Barbara Jordan. It is an affront to her legacy that her recommendations are not getting the time of day from Democrats in this Congress.

Even though the Democrats have claimed that they place a high priority on protecting young-adult illegal aliens who came to the U.S. as children, not one of the Democrats was willing to vote for a bill (H.R. 4760) to provide that protection because the bill also had protections for American workers.

Yesterday, House Democrats made clear that their compassion for illegal aliens does not extend to compassion for vulnerable Americans who have to compete with them.

H.R. 4760 would have provided lifetime work-permit renewals for the 690,000 young adults who are in the country illegally and who are holding temporary work permits provided by the Obama DACA amnesty.

But the Democrats have been united in opposing any amnesty that takes away the jobs magnet from future illegal immigration. Without mandatory E-Verify, outlaw businesses will continue to draw millions of illegal aliens who will raise kids who in 10 more years will be demanding their next "Dreamer" amnesty.

I have to conclude that unending illegal immigration is what today's House Democrats desire -- even more than providing an amnesty to the DACA population.

What a strange world we live in: We now have persuaded most Republicans to resist the pressure from cheap-labor business lobbies at the same time that Democrats in the House are teaming up with a minority of Republicans to keep the wage-depressing flows of foreign laobr high.

ROY BECK is Founder & CEO of NumbersUSA

Updated: Fri, Jul 6th 2018 @ 9:00am EDT

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