Roy Beck's picture


  by  Roy Beck

For two decades every time a President addresses Congress, we have cringed as we waited for the obligatory paragraph about the need to honor our immigration traditions and welcome more foreign workers who will save our economy. Clinton and Bush nearly always stuck it to us at least once in each speech. Obama didn't last night. For that I'm thankful.  But ....... 

  • Pres. Obama has lately been telling Hispanic media that "comprehensive immigration reform" remains a high priority for him this year. In case you forgot, that reform means amnesty for illegal aliens, loophole-riddled enforcement and increases in our million-a-year legal immigration program.
  • He has just appointed Esther Olavarria to be Deputy Assistant Secretary for Policy in the Department of Homeland Security. Olavarria has been one of the chief architects and henchwomen for illegal-alien amnesties for two decades. (See more about her below.)

In last night's address to Congress, we heard the President state principles and promises that should mean relief from an immigration system stacked against American workers. But based on those other recent actions, it is difficult to believe Mr. Obama really means most of what he said last night.

Here are the most relevant quotes from Mr. Obama's address that should mean assurance for unemployed Americans -- but probably don't:

It's an agenda that begins with jobs.

-- Pres. Obama describing his economic plans to Congress last night

Jobs for whom?

Esther Olavarria worked for 10 years as Sen. Ted Kennedy's chief lawyer pushing for massive numbers of new foreign workers to take U.S. jobs. She also has worked as a directing attorney for the nation's immigration lawyers' association, which has as its main business helping corporations hire foreign workers instead of Americans. 

Mr. Obama's recent promise to Hispanic media was that he will work to increase the number of foreign workers in U.S. jobs and give illegal aliens permanent rights to their U.S. jobs.   

As soon as I took office, I asked this Congress to send me a recovery plan by President's Day that would put people back to work and put money in their pockets. Not because I believe in bigger government -- I don't. Not because I'm not mindful of the massive debt we've inherited -- I am. I called for action because the failure to do so would have cost more jobs and caused more hardships.

-- Pres. Obama to Congress last night

Surely, when he says "put people back to work," he means putting "Americans" back to work?    

Mr. Obama has been President for more than a month.  During that month -- if federal authorities behaved as they did on average every month last year -- another 138,000 foreign workers were brought into the United States.

Mr. Obama took office unprepared or unwilling to deal with the fact that every month that he fails to address immigration and temporary work visa policies, another 138,000 jobs potentially will be denied Americans because they will be given to new foreign workers.

If Mr. Obama and his allies in congressional leadership continue to ignore the immigration part of our unemployment crisis, their failure to act will cost as many as 1.6 million jobs for American workers over the next 12 months, because that is the number of foreign workers who will be brought into the country under the status quo.

Over the next two years, this plan will save or create 3.5 million jobs. More than 90 percent of these jobs will be in the private sector -- jobs rebuilding our roads and bridges; constructing wind turbines and solar panels; laying broadband and expanding mass transit.

-- Pres. Obama to Congress last night

But unless Mr. Obama reduces immigration, approximately 3.2 million foreign workers will be imported over the next two years, potentially erasing nearly all net job benefit for unemployed American workers.

I reject the view that says our problems will simply take care of themselves; that says government has no role in laying the foundation for our common prosperity.

-- Pres. Obama to Congress last night 

The immigration disaster will not take care of itself. Government must step in and protect unemployed Americans by dramatically reducing the number of foreign workers being imported to take a rapidly dwindling number of U.S. jobs.

Every signal from the Obama Administration thus far has been that it sees no connection between the importation of foreign workers (legal or illegal) and the ability to put unemployed Americans back to work. 

ROY BECK is Founder & CEO of NumbersUSA

America's Jobless

Updated: Tue, Mar 3rd 2009 @ 1:27pm EST

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