Roy Beck's picture


  by  Roy Beck

The arguments for special work visas for Irish workers that may come to a vote in the Senate any day are among the most offensive and baseless that I've ever seen.  As engorged and harmful as is our current level of foreign workers, can you imagine what would happen if every nationality asked for the same favors that the Irish lobby is asking in this bill?

Sen. Scott Brown (R-Mass.) -- in a tough re-election bid this year -- apparently thinks he must pander to American voters of Irish descent by promising to put more U.S. citizens out of work by giving 10,500 new work permits to Irish citizens.

And within the Irish blogophere, it is pretty clear that a primary recipient for those new work permits are Irish citizens who managed to come to the U.S. legally at some point and have over-stayed their visas.  Yes, illegal aliens just as surely as if they had walked across the U.S.-Mexico border. 

Sen. Brown's Democratic opponent,  Elizabeth Warren, apparently has the same low regard for Irish Americans and is pushing the same idea that these Americans have more loyalty to citizens of Ireland than to unemployed citizens of the United States.  Did anybody notice that this isn't the 1860s?  What next, New York City draft riots?

There had been a powerful push to pass this form of ethnic pork-barreling before St. Patrick's Day.  Thankfully, enough thoughtul Senate heads prevailed to prevent that kind of embarrassing exclusionary ethno-centric spectacle.

Neither Brown nor Warren seems to be aware that 20 million Americans of all nationality backgrounds either can't find a job or are forced to work part-time.

But they don't hear the suffering of Americans over the sound of the Irish lobby pipers.  They only hear the voices again demanding special favors for the Irish because they are . . .   ?   I can't think of a logical or non-offensive explanation. 

While a Massachusetts Senator, John F. Kennedy led the way to the 1965 immigration act that ended nationality-based preferences that had the effect of racial and ethnic discrimination in our immigration system. 

But the Irish lobby has spent more than two decades arguing that the white Irish ought to have special privileges.  The worst example of this was in 1990 when JFK's brother Sen. Teddy Kennedy (D-Mass.) created the Visa Lottery that raffles off permanent work permits and paths to U.S. citizenship every year.  The reason we are stuck at present with this insanity is that it was a package that Teddy used to help illegal alien Irish already in this country to legalize their status.  For the first three years, 40 percent of the lottery slots were reserved for the Irish.   

So, the two people competing for Teddy's old Senate seat, are now falling all over themselves to walk in Teddy's footsteps and dishonor the honorable principles of Sen. JOHN Kennedy.

Antoinette Kelly, a staff writer for, reports today that Republican incumbent Sen. Scott Brown's office claims his proposal is vital to the Irish community because "for decades, the Irish have been unfairly shut out by our immigration laws."

Kelly reports that Democrat Elizabeth Warren "agrees" and that many skilled Irish cannot access the U.S. because of the current system. 

Again, I ask, do these candidates think it is the 1860s?

"Unfairly shut out?"  What are they talking about?  There are no rules that pick on the Irish or that put Irish applicants in an inferior position compared to applicants from other parts of the world. 

All I can see is that Brown and Warren and the Irish lobby are mad because the Irish don't get SPECIAL treatment that discriminates against everybody else in the world.  I can't imagine that most Americans of Irish descent think like this. 

Democratic Sen. Chuck Schumer of New York says he has lined up 53 Democratic Senators to support this ethno-centric special favor, even though his own bill to give preferential treatment to the Irish only has four cosponsors.  He has been battling for amnesties and increased foreign workers his whole career. You know that he has no desire to stop with the irish.   I have no doubt that he wants this Irish bill to pass so he can come back and claim the discrimination that it truly represents as a reason to then push through one bill after another favoring first this ethnic group and then that one.  Just like all pork barrel activity, passage of the Brown bill will set up a never-ending string of opportunities for special interests at the detriment of the American public. 

What makes any of these ethno-nationalist lobbies think that the government of the American people owes jobs to them instead of to Americans of all ethnicities who are already standing in line? Well, what makes any special interest seek selfish gain over the public interest?  Only when the public demands a higher standard will these shameful legislative efforts cease.

ROY BECK is Founder & CEO of NumbersUSA

H-2B visas

Updated: Mon, Jul 24th 2017 @ 2:26pm EDT

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