Sen. Durbin (D-Ill.) last night and today is once again using his leadership position to make false claims about E-Verify's reliability and to project the absolutely foolish notion that unemployment and immigration have no relationship.
But while he laments the 125,000 who have recently lost their unemployment benefits (I do, too), he ignores the fact that HIS immigration policies now in place have given out 125,000 brand new work permits to foreign workers during the last month.
Sadly, Sen. Durbin is Exhibit A of the intellectual hypocrisy that is pervasive in Congress. He gives speeches as a champion of unemployed Americans while his actions throw ever more Americans out of work.
Such is the ability for self-deception in Congress that I wonder if Sen. Durbin and his foreign-labor-importing buddies have the slightest consciousness of their counterproductivity.
SITUATION ON THE HILL TODAY
The Senate is trying to extend unemployment benefits for a lot of our poor fellow Americans who lost their jobs long ago and who are reaching the limits of benefits.
But before voting to extend, some of our friends in the Senate want to make sure that none of these scarce benefits goes to illegal foreign workers.
Sen. Durbin considers that concern to be absolutely outrageous. (Read more about the proposed amendment here.)
TWO KEY REASONS TO VERIFY UNEMPLOYMENT BENEFITS
As you know, we are trying to insert verification into every part of federal benefits and the labor market to squeeze the incentives out of being an illegal alien in this country.
Here are two specific reasons for verifying that no illegal alien gets unemployment benefits:
- Federal funds for unemployment benefits are scarce. Any part of them that goes to illegal aliens likely will mean less money for American workers over time.
- More importantly, the payment of unemployment to illegal aliens encourages them to stay in the United States and compete with unemployed Americans every time a new job opens up. The last thing jobless Americans need is for the feds to pay more illegal aliens to compete with them for jobs.
SOMETHING FAMILIAR ABOUT THE 125,000 FIGURE
Last week, Sen. Durbin expressed his abiding compassion for Americans losing their jobs and disgust at some Republicans for insisting on immigration enforcement:
The Democrats have asked the Republicans to move to this item of business and to pass the extension of unemployment insurance benefits to the hundreds of thousands of Americans out of work. They have refused time and time again. They have had a long series of reasons, none of them valid from my point of view. Many of them think they want to argue a lot of other issues. They want to argue the issue of immigration. They want to argue issues totally unrelated to unemployment. They don't seem to understand there are real people out there calling my office every day--and most Senators--explaining they are out of work and desperate.
-- Sen. Durbin
Our members have been calling Sen. Durbin for a year, desperately asking him to protect American workers from immigrant-labor competition. In nearly every instance, he has refused -- and even given support for "comprehensive immigration reform" which is about greatly INCREASING foreign labor.
According to Sen. Durbin last week, immigration is an issue "totally unrelated to unemployment."
Here is what Sen. Durbin said last night on the Senate floor:
Mr. President, it has been 18 days since the Senate Democrats tried to pass a strong unemployment insurance extension only to see the bill blocked by the other side of the aisle. Since that time, over 125,000 Americans trying to find work have lost their unemployment benefits; 125,000 families across America now have the hardest possible question to answer: How are we going to keep food on the table? How are we going to keep a roof over the heads of myself and my family?
-- Sen. Durbin
Interesting, that figure 125,000.
Over the last month (based on the most recent government-released averages), the feds gave out another 125,000 first-time permanent and temporary work permits to working-age foreigners!
Can you believe it?
We have pushed Congress and the President for a year to stop issuing more work permits to foreign workers while unemployment is so high.
Sen. Durbin is among the dozen Members of Congress most responsible for seeing to it that ANOTHER 125,000 Americans each month are kept out of a job because of his insistence on providing cheap labor to unscrupulous employers.
Sen. Durbin now would rather spend more money on unemployment payments to 125,000 workers than to give them a chance at a job by stopping the issuance of 125,000 new work permits.
Don't get me wrong. I don't want to stand in the way of an extension of benefits to severely pressed unemployed Americans. But I would much rather that they could get a job and recover the dignity of being a productive and self-supporting member of society.
Call your own two Senators at 202-224-3121 and ask them to make sure that the unemployment benefit extension includes provisions to keep the money out of the hands of illegal aliens. And while you are at it, ask them to SUSPEND IMMIGRATION at least until unemployment gets down below 6% again.
ROY BECK is Founder & CEO of NumbersUSA.
Updated: Tue, Oct 27th 2009 @ 2:01pm EDT